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.

Secondary education certification requires a supplemental major in Secondary Education in addition to a major in a content area, in this case Biology. Students are advised to work closely with the Education department as well as with their faculty advisor to ensure that all requirements are met. Please note that the plan below is very tight; completing the many education requirements will require an overload in at least one term and summer physics; variations or changes in how classes are scheduled could require additional overloads or add an additional term to the student's program. See also the course map for secondary education requirements.

Biology BA/Secondary Education
YearFallWinterSpringSummerOther Requirements
1 BIO 1511
PSY 100
ENG 115 or 1252
FYE 100
(11 hours)
CHM 141
PSY 205 or 220
IDS 125
(9.75 hours)
BIO 152
CHM 142
EDN 101
(11 hours)
  • pass Basic Skills Test
  • complete background check
  • get tuberculosis test
2 BIO 251
PSY 250
BIO/CHM 4753
(9.75 hours)
BIO 252
PSY 220 or 205
(9.75 hours)
BIO 253
EDN 200/201
(9.75 hours)
PHY 115
PHY 116
(8 hours)
  • apply to the EDN program
3 BIO 301
EDN 322
EDN 360/361
EDN 276
BIO/CHM 4753
(11 hours)
BIO 302
EDN 346
EDN 371
EDN 403
(12 hours)
BIO 147 or
  SCI 141 or
  PHY 1214
ENG 315
EDN 330
EDN 436
(11 hours)
  • apply to student teach (fall)
  • pass Content Area Test
  • set up Credential File
  • Portfolio Artifacts approved
4 Student teach:
EDN 480
EDN 481
EDN 490
EDN 491
(12 hours)
EDN 470 (D-term)
BIO 310
EDN 411
(12.75 hours)
BIO capstone5
BIO/CHM 4753
(10.75-11 hours)
  • Assessment of Professional Teaching
  • apply for graduation

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.


1BIO 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.

2Students with an ACT English score ≥28 take ENG 125 and do not need to take IDS 125.

3BIO 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.

4Competency in astronomy (PHY 121), geology (SCI 141) and anatomy/physiology (BIO 147) is required for teacher certification. This plan assumes that the student will take one of these three courses and pass departmental competency exams in the other two areas by studying on his/her own.

5A 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.