North Central College
Course Planning for the Life Sciences

Below are some sample four-year plans for biology and biochemistry majors. Use the tabs to see a plan which matches your situation, but remember that your plan should be designed based on your interests and future goals. You should discuss your plans with your academic advisor.

Biology BS Biology BA1
YearFallWinterSpring YearFallWinterSpring
1 BIO 1512
MTH 1513
ENG 115 or 1254
FYE 100
CHM 141
MTH 152
IDS 125
BIO 152
CHM 142
GenEd
 1 BIO 1512
MTH 1406
ENG 115 or 1254
FYE 100
CHM 141
MTH 141
IDS 125
BIO 152
CHM 142
GenEd
2 BIO 251
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
GenEd
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
PSY 250
BIO 253
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
GenEd
 2 BIO 251
PSY 2506
GenEd or elective
BIO 252
GenEd
GenEd or elective
BIO 253
GenEd
GenEd or elective
3 300-level BIO7
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
ENG 315
BIO/CHM 4755
300-level BIO
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
GenEd
300-level BIO
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
CHM 210
 3 300-level BIO8
ENG 315
GenEd or elective
300-level BIO
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIO elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
4 300-level BIO or
  BIO capstone9
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIO/CHM 4755
300-level BIO or
  BIO capstone
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
300-level BIO or
  BIO capstone
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
 4 BIO capstone9
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIO/CHM 4755
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective

Research experience is required for all BIO majors. Taking one of the 400-level BIO "capstone" courses, each of which has an independent research project as its laboratory, and presenting the project in seminar (BIO/CHM 475) meets this requirement. Students interested in research careers are encouraged to do summer research or investigate additional research opportunities.

Notes:

1The BA degree in Biology is intended primarily for students with a supplemental major in Secondary Education or who plan to double-major in another field. Otherwise, it is not recommended for graduate or professional study unless the optional support courses in MTH, PHY and CHM are added, resulting in a program similar to the BS requirements.

2BIO majors need to take BIO 151 & 152 and CHM 141 & 152 in the first year; the order does not need to be as shown here. BIO 151 and CHM 141 are offered both Fall and Winter terms, and BIO 152 and CHM 142 are offered both Winter and Spring terms.

3Assumes the student has successfully completed pre-calculus in high school. Students with weaker math backgrounds should take MTH 140, MTH 141 and MTH 152 instead.

4Students with an ACT English score ≥28 take ENG 125 and do not need to take IDS 125.

5BIO majors take the BIO/CHM 475 Seminar course three times: twice for zero credit as audience members and once for one credit to present their research. Starting this process in sophomore year is recommended, in order to get an idea of the kinds of research that are possible. It could be taken in any term.

6Students with stronger math backgrounds wishing to take calculus could go directly to MTH 151, which would meet the math requirement. BA students not wishing to take calculus can take statistics, PSY 250, instead, generally in sophomore year.

7BIO students seeking the BS need at least 27 total credit hours above the 200-level and 37 total credit hours in biology.

8BIO students seeking the BA need at least two lab courses (7.5 hours) at the 300 level and 34 total hours in biology.

9A 400-level Biology "capstone" course is required; it may be taken any term. Some courses may be offered only in alternate years. The capstone course meets the GenEd requirement for a Leadership, Ethics and Values ACR seminar.

10PHY 143A is recommended for BIO and BCM majors unless they are planning to continue on to PHY 244, in which case PHY 143C is the appropriate course.