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Science Majors: Program Options



The following information is specifically designed for incoming BC Freshmen and present undergraduates majoring in a science discipline and include detailed course recommendations. Non-BC individuals may want to skip this section and visit the Program Overview.

Science Majors: Program Options

Biology Majors- BA/BS

The BS in Biology fulfills all of the core pre-health requirements listed in Required Courses/Expectations. However, the BA program in Biology does not fulfill all of these requirements. The BA in Biology only requires one semester of mathematics and does not require Organic Chemistry (with lab) or Physics (with lab). To complete pre-health requirements, the BA Biology major must therefore take one full year of Organic Chemistry (with lab), Physics (with lab), and Mathematics.

Both BA and BS Biology majors should fulfill the pre-health Biology laboratory requirement by completing BI204 (Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab). Courses in the area of Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics, and Statistics are also especially recommended. Recommended course sequences appear below.

Courses in the area of Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics, and Statistics are also especially recommended. Recommended course sequences appear below.

Recommended Course Sequences for Biology Majors (BA and BS)
Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year
Molecs&Cells (BIOL 2000 F) Ecol & Evol. BIOL 2010S)*

General Chemistry    (CHEM 1109–CHEM 1110)**
General Chemistry Lab (CHEM 1111–1112)**

(MATH 1100F–1101S)***

English Core Requirement
Electives/Core Courses
Organic Chemistry
(CHEM 2231–2232)
Organic Chemistry Lab
(CHEM 2233–2234)

Biology Lab: Investigations in
Molecular Cell Biology
(BIOL 2040 restricted for Biology and Biochemistry majors)

Biology Elective(s) (e.g., Physiology, Genetics, etc. — see Biol. Dept. Web Site)
Electives/Core Courses
Physics (PHYS 2100–2101)****
Physics Lab  (PHYS 2050–2051)****

Biology Electives (e.g., Biochemistry, Physiology, etc. — see Biol. Dept. Web Site)
Electives/Core Courses

Biology Lab: Investigations in
Molecular Cell Biology
(BIOL 2040 all other science majors)

*Gen. Chem. (CHEM 1109) or equivalent, or permission of department, is a prerequisite or corequisite for Molecs. & Cells BIOL 2000.
**or the Honors Chemistry courses Principles of Modern Chemistry (CHEM 1117–1118), and Modern Chemistry Lab (CHEM 1119–1120) — both by invitation of the instructor only.
***or, if supported by AP exam or Math Dept. recommendation, Calculus II/Statistics
(MATH 1101 and BIOL 2300 or ECON 1151).
****Foundations of Physics (PHYS 1500–1501; algebra based) and laboratory
(PHYS 2050–2051) also fulfill health professions school requirements, but the Pre-Health Committee recommends Introduction to Physics (PHYS 2100–2101; calculus based) and its associated lab (PHYS 2050-2051). The BS degree requires calculus-based physics.

Biochemistry Majors

The requirements of the Biochemistry major at Boston College fulfill most of the core prehealth requirements outlined in Required Courses/Expectations. Biochemistry majors fulfill their Biology pre-health laboratory requirement by completing BIOL 2040 (Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology).

We strongly recommend that Biochemistry majors complete Introduction to Physiology
(BIOL 3030) before they file applications to health professions graduate schools. One of the Biochemistry major “tracks” (see Biochemistry Major Degree Requirements) allows
BIOL 3030 to count for the major.


Chemistry Majors

The requirements for the Chemistry major fulfill most, but not all, of the core pre-health 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:

  1. Molecules and Cells (BIOL 2000) — Fall or Spring
  2. Physiology (BIOL 3030 F&S) or, if space available, Human Physiology with Lab
    (BIOL 4330) in the Spring
  3. Lab: Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab (BIOL 2040) offered Fall and Spring

Since BIOL 2000 is a prerequisite for BIOL 2040, it is generally advisable to take BIOL 2000 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.