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.

Pre-health students can choose from several majors. Generally, a major in Biology or Biochemistry will meet more of the professional-school requirements within the major than other choices. However, Chemistry also has a BS option whose pre-professional health focus area adds life-science courses, and a pre-health student could also major in Health Sciences if appropriate science courses were taken in addition to the major requirements.

Below are basic four-year plans for Biology, Biochemistry and Chemistry degrees giving appropriate preparation for major healthcare options. Faculty, academic advisors and pre-health advisor Marguerite Degenhardt are all good sources for more information.

Option 1: Biology BS - Biomedical Science track
This degree (see more detail on the Biology BS page) provides strong preparation for medical, dental, or veterinary school as well as other health careers.
YearFallSpring
1 BIOL 195
CHEM 121
MATH 151
GenEd seminar
BIOL 210
CHEM 122
GenEd seminar
GenEd or elective1
2 BIOL 220
CHEM 2512
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL 230
BIOL 240 (2 cr)
CHEM 2522
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
3 BCHM 365
BIOL 201
PHYS 131
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
GenEd or elective
300-level BIOL3
BIOL 202
PHYS 132
GenEd or elective
4 300-level BIOL3
PHIL 213, SOAN 215,
   or KINE 230 or 300
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL Capstone4
BIOL 490 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
Option 2: Biochemistry BA or BS5
This degree (see more detail on the Biochemistry page) provides strong preparation for medical or dental school as well as other health careers, especially pharmacy.
YearFallSpring
1 BIOL 195
CHEM 121
MATH 151
GenEd seminar
BIOL 210
CHEM 122
GenEd seminar
GenEd or elective1
2 CHEM 251
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL 230
CHEM 252
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
3 BIOL 360
CHEM 391 (1 cr)
PHYS 131
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BCHM 365
PHYS 132
CHEM 310
CHEM 392 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
4 CHEM 341 or 342
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BCHM 465
CHEM 493 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
Option 3: Biology BA - Health Professions track
The Health Professions track is is designed to be compatible with the requirements of professional schools in areas such as nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, etc. Students interested in MD/DO, DDS or DVM programs should consider the BS Biomedical Science track.)
YearFallSpring
1 BIOL 195
CHEM 121
GenEd quantitative
GenEd seminar
BIOL 210
CHEM 122
GenEd seminar
GenEd or elective1
2 BIOL 220
CHEM 251 or PHYS 131
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL 230
BIOL 240 (2 cr)
CHEM 252 or PHYS 132
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
3 BIOL 201
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL 202
PHIL 213 or SOAR 215
   or KINE 230 or 300
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
4 300-level BIOL3
300-level BIOL3
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIOL Capstone
BIOL 490 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
Option 4: Chemistry BS with Health Focus
With appropriate elective choices within the health focus portion of the major, a BS in Chemistry could be used as preparation for many professional programs. This degree has a number of options; one way to meet pre-professional health requirements is shown below.
YearFallSpring
1 BIOL 195
CHEM 121
MATH 151
GenEd seminar
BIOL 210
CHEM 122
MATH 152
GenEd seminar
2 CHEM 251
PHYS 131
PSYC 100
GenEd or elective
CHEM 252
PHYS 132
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
3 CHEM 301
CHEM 391 (1 cr)
PHYS 131
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BCHM 365
PHYS 132
CHEM 310
CHEM 392 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
4 CHEM 341
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
CHEM 485
CHEM 493 (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective

Notes:

1The MCAT requires preparation in behavioral sciences as well as life and physical sciences; pre-med students should include at least one psychology course and one sociology course among their GenEd and elective courses. Other health-related professional schools also have requirements in this area.

2Students wishing to go directly to medical or dental school in the fall following graduation need to complete the MCAT/DAT coursework by the end of junior year: intro. biology, intro. chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, math through calculus II and biochemistry. In order to take biochemistry in junior year, it is necessary to take organic chemistry in sophomore year.

3Two 300-level Biology electives are required on this track; Animal Physiology, Developmental Biology, and Infectious Disease are particularly recommended for pre-health BIOL majors.

4BCHM 465, Advances in Biomedical Research, is a particularly strong capstone choice for pre-health students

5The BS in Biochemistry requires three advanced electives in addition to the courses listed here; Animal Physiology, Developmental Biology and Infectious Disease are particularly recommended for pre-health BCHM majors.