Science Majors: Program Options
The following information is specifically designed for incoming BC Freshmen, present undergraduates, and BC alumni/ae. As such, detailed course recommendations (complete with course numbers) are listed. Therefore non-BC individuals may want to skip this section and visit the Program Overview.
Science Majors: Program Options
The BS in Biology fulfills all of the core premedical/predental requirements listed in Required Courses/Expectations. The premedical/predental Biology laboratory requirement is fulfilled by completing BI204 (Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab). Courses in Genetics, Physiology, and Biochemistry are especially recommended for those individuals considering health careers. Recommended course sequences appear below.
The BA program in Biology does not fulfill all of the premedical/predental requirements listed in Required Courses/Expectations. The BA in Biology requires only one semester of mathematics. Neither does the BA require Organic Chemistry (with lab) or Physics (with lab).
To fulfill premedical/predental requirements, the BA Biology major must therefore take one full year of Organic Chemistry (with lab), Physics (with lab), and Mathematics. The premedical/predental/preveterinary Biology laboratory requirement is fulfilled by completing BI204 (Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab). Courses in the area of Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics, and Statisticss are especially recommended for those individuals considering health careers. Recommended course sequences appear below.
Recommended Course Sequences for Biology Majors (BA and BS)
|Freshman Year||Sophomore Year||Junior Year|
General Chemistry (CH109–110)**
General Chemistry Lab (CH111–112)**
English Core Requirement
|Organic Chemistry (CH231–232)
Organic Chemistry Lab (CH233–234)
Biology Lab: Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology (BI204)
Biology Elective(s) (e.g., Physiology, Genetics, etc. — see Biol. Dept. Web Site)
Physics Lab (PH203–204)****
Biology Electives (e.g., Biochemistry, Physiology, etc. — see Biol. Dept. Web Site)
*Gen. Chem. (CH109) or equivalent, or permission of department, is a prerequisite or corequisite for BI200.
**or the Honors Chemistry courses Principles of Modern Chemistry (CH117–118), and Modern Chemistry Lab (CH119–120) — both by invitation of the instructor only.
***or, if supported by AP exam or Math Dept. recommendation, Calculus II/Statistics (MT101 and BI230 or EC151).
****Foundations of Physics (PH183–184; algebra based) and laboratory (PH203–204) also fulfill health professions school requirements, but the Premedical Committee recommends Introduction to Physics (PH211–212; calculus based) and its associated lab (PH203–204). The BS degree requires calculus-based physics.
The requirements of the Biochemistry major at Boston College fulfill most of the core prehealth requirements outlined in Required Courses/Expectations.
We strongly recommend that Biochemistry majors complete Introduction to Physiology (BI303) before they file applications to health professions graduate schools. One of the Biochemistry major “tracks” (see Biochemistry Major Degree Requirements) allows BI303 to count for the major.
Biochemistry majors fulfill their Biology premedical laboratory requirement by completing BI204 (Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology).
The requirements for the Chemistry major fulfills most, but not all, of the core premedical/predental/preveterinary requirements. There is no Biology course required for the major. Given this, at a minimum Chemistry majors should take the following Biology courses and lab to fulfill minimum health professions school requirements:
- Molecules and Cells (BI200) — Fall or Spring
- Physiology (BI303 F&S) or, if space available, Human Physiology with Lab (BI433/434 S) in the Spring
- Lab: Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab (BI204) offered Fall and Spring
Since BI200 is a prerequisite for BI204, it is generally advisable to take BI200 as your first Biology course. Additional science electives are often recommended or required by health professions graduate schools (see "Specific Courses at BC" under Required Courses/Expectations). Your Biology courses should be planned carefully in relation to the course requirements of the Chemistry major. Most Chemistry majors choose to complete their biology courses Junior year.
Earth & Environmental Sciences and Physics Majors
The requirements in these two areas fulfill some of the core pre-health requirements. As you plan your major, be sure that your program (at the very least) includes the required prehealth science core courses listed under Non-Science Majors. For a complete listing of the required courses for these majors, please refer to the appropriate program descriptions in the departmental web sites and/or the Undergraduate Catalog.