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Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Requirements

The following are the different requirements that must be met for this degree.

Review available Elective Biology Courses

Required Courses for a BA in Biology

  • Biology 105 - General Biology I
  • Biology 106 - General Biology II
  • 28 Hours of Biology (which must include the above 2 required Biology core courses)
  • 1 semester of a 4 hour Mathematics course
  • 1 year of Chemistry

To ensure students are exposed to advanced study in the major areas of biology, at least one course in each of the following areas must be taken: Organismal Biology (Biology 221, 301*, 332*, 340, 370, 374*, 422*, 432*, and 442); Cell/Molecular Biology (Biology 295-Phage, 335, 356/357, 348/349, 355, 366, 395 (Bioinformatics); Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (Biology 315, 343*, 380*, 421, 395 (Marine Biology and Biophysics*); Professional Development (Biology 395 (Mathematical Biology), 490, 495 (Capstone, Journal Club). In addition, to ensure students are informed about the important topic of biological diversity, at least one of the courses above with an asterisk is required.

    The Biology course numbers and titles are listed below:
  • Biology 221 – Human Physiology
  • Biology 295 – Phage Discovery and Genomics
  • Biology 301 - Microbiology
  • Biology 315 - Advanced Topics in Ecology
  • Biology 320 - Plant Physiology
  • Biology 332 - Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
  • Biology 335 - Neurochemistry and Disease
  • Biology 340 - Advanced Topics on Plant Biology
  • Biology 343 - Vascular Plant Systematics
  • Biology 348 - Special Topics in Cell Biology
  • Biology 355 - Embryology
  • Biology 356 - Genetics
  • Biology 357 - Genetics Laboratory
  • Biology 366 – Molecular Biology
  • Biology 370 – Animal Behavior
  • Biology 374 - Biology of Insects
  • Biology 380 - Field Studies in Biology
  • Biology 390 - Independent Study of Biology
  • Biology 395 - Studies in Biology
  • Biology 421 - Evolutionary Biology
  • Biology 422 - Invertebrate Zoology
  • Biology 432 - Vertebrate Zoology
  • Biology 442 - Advanced Topics in Animal Physiology
  • Biology 490 - Independent Research in Biology
  • Biology 495 - Internship
  • * This is a minimum requirement. To be competitive in graduate training and in professional biology careers, however, it is recommended students have at least five semesters of chemistry, a year each of math and physics, and a semester of statistics.

    Suggested Progression of Classes (BA in Biology)

    Although there are many possible pathways to obtain your biology degree, many students will find that completing introductory biology and chemistry during the first two years is extremely helpful, and doing so creates more flexibility in your later coursework. Your "breadth" requirements for general education at Hope College can span as many semesters as you wish; sampling some of the variety in other disciplines is a valuable thing to do starting early in your freshman year.

    Careful planning with your advisor will open possibilities for you to study abroad (consider Animal Behavior in Australia, Immunology in Scotland, or Ecology in Kenya!), and/or to complete an off-campus internship (Centers for Disease Control, Argonne National Laboratory, Shedd Aquarium, and Brookfield Zoo are just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities actually accomplished by recent Biology alumni) or a semester or more conducting research at Hope College or elsewhere!

    Your Freshman Year

    Fall:
    Biology 105 - General Biology I
    Chemistry 125 and 127 General Chem and Lab or Chem 131 and 132, Accelerated General Chemistry and Accelerated
    General Chemistry Laboratory
    First Year Seminar
    Spring:
    Biology 106 - General Biology II
    Chemistry 126 and 128 General Chem (General Chemistry II)
    During the First Year:
    Mathematics (e.g. Calculus I or II or Statistics), general education electives such as Health Dynamics, Foreign Language, English 113.

    Your Sophomore Year

    Fall:
    Upper Level Biology Elective
    Spring:
    Upper Level Biology Elective
    During the second year:
    Declare your major as soon as appropriate, continue general education electives, explore research, internship, and off-campus options in biology, and begin to focus in areas of biology that interest you the most. Include electives in other areas of science that may constitute interdisciplinary fields you might want to explore further (e.g. computer science (computational modeling), GES (environmental science), neuroscience, biochemistry, allied health professions, mathematical biology.
    Your junior and senior years:
    continue general education electives, explore research, internship, and off-campus options in biology (students pursuing a B.A. have greater flexibility to be able to do one or more of these options during their final years at Hope), and begin to focus in areas of biology that interest you the most. Include electives in other areas of science that may constitute interdisciplinary fields you might want to explore further (e.g. computer science (computational modeling), GES (environmental science), neuroscience, biochemistry, allied health professions, mathematical biology. Consider whether you will want to pursue a graduate degree (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) and begin attending workshops and meetings designed to help students explore graduate school and career options. Internship experience, in particular, may be the most important thing you can do to begin moving into a specialized biology career.

    What can I do with a Biology Degree?

    Unique programs

    We believe that students learn best by doing biology so it is equally important that we provide new and interesting ways for you to do exactly that. The programs below are only available at Hope College, so you won't find these anywhere else.

    Unique Biology Programs