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Bachelor of Science 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 BS in Biology

  • Biology 105 - General Biology I
  • Biology 106 - General Biology II
  • 36 hours in Biology (including the 2 above required Biology core courses)
  • Chemistry 125
  • Chemistry 126
  • Chemistry 127
  • Chemistry 128 (or 131, 132)
  • Chemistry 221
  • Chemistry 231
  • Chemistry 255
  • 2 semesters of Math (or 1 semester of a 4 credit mathematics course and CSCI 160-Scientific Computer Programming)
  • 8 hours from the Natural Science Department's courses other than Biology and Chemistry (e.g. mathematics-beyond the two required semesters, computer science, geological and environmental science, physics)

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.

Suggested Progression of Classes (BS 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 for B.S.-seeking students, may be essential to completing all of the requirements in a 4 year plan of study.

Completing the introductory biology and chemistry courses early also 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
Chemistry 221 & 255 (Organic Chemistry and Lab I)
Spring:
Upper Level Biology Elective
Chemistry 231 and 256 (Organic Chemistry and Lab II)
For students who will be seeking admission to medical, dental or veterinary professional programs – General Physics & Lab I (Physics 121 & 141) should be taken this semester.
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. For the B.S. in biology, note that a minimum of 2 semesters of mathematics courses is required, and an additional 8 credits in natural science (other than biology and chemistry) are required. Being able to cross disciplinary boundaries is of ever-increasing value to biologists!
Your junior and senior years:
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. 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