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international programs

Biology Majors and Minors

office of international programs

Biology majors are encouraged to study abroad, but one must plan ahead carefully, especially if one wants to go abroad for a whole year instead of for a single semester. The Biology Department allows biology majors to carry over a maximum of one Biology elective for each semester that students are abroad.

When Can I Study Abroad?
Biology majors are eligible to study abroad during either the fall or spring semester of their junior year. For students who plan ahead, it may be possible to study abroad for an entire academic year, but students must be in early contact with the Director or Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

What Classes Should I Take Before Studying Abroad?
Early planning is essential to make sure that students will meet all BC requirements, and to ensure that they will have a strong Biology background for study abroad.

At a minimum, all Biology majors should take the following courses prior to study abroad:

  • 4 Biology courses
  • 4 Chemistry courses
  • Calculus

It is essential for all Biology majors to meet with their departmental advisor before studying abroad. Prior to this meeting, students should obtain their degree audits and map out a tentative schedule for the semester(s) abroad and for the remaining time on campus at Boston College to show how students plan to meet the remaining major requirements. 

What Classes Should I Plan To Take Abroad?
The ideal type of course is one that fits with the Biology major. Courses that focus on the region in which students are studying and those that reflect the academic strengths of the host university department are highly recommended.

To receive major credit for courses taken abroad, students must provide a course syllabus and obtain approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are advised to obtain preliminary approval via email and a course approval form before going abroad. Upon students’ return, they should submit a syllabus and Course Substitution Form to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for final approval.

Biology students should remember that the department allows a maximum of one course to be taken outside of the department with departmental approval, including study-abroad courses. Students going abroad for an entire year can take a maximum of two courses outside of the department with departmental approval.

What If I Am Planning To Do An Honors Thesis?
All Honors thesis work is dependent on undergraduate research. Undergraduate research done in a BC faculty research laboratory is typically a two year commitment. Therefore, students wishing to go abroad should carefully plan their course of study with their academic advisor.

Department Information

Department Contacts

Course Approvals
Megan Barry

Director of Undergraduate
Studies and Associate Chair            
Kathy Dunn, Associate Professor