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-medical or pre-dental students wishing to go directly to medical school in the fall following graduation need to complete the coursework required for the MCAT/DAT 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.

Biology BS Biochemistry BA or BS1
YearFallWinterSpring YearFallWinterSpring
1 BIO 1511
MTH 1512
ENG 115 or 1253
FYE 100
CHM 141
MTH 152
IDS 125
BIO 152
CHM 142
GenEd
 1 BIO 1511
MTH 1512
ENG 115 or 1253
FYE 100
CHM 141
MTH 152
IDS 125 or GenEd
BIO 152
CHM 142
IDS 125 or GenEd
2 BIO 251
CHM 220
GenEd
BIO/CHM 4754
BIO 252
CHM 221
PSY 250
BIO 253
CHM 222
GenEd
 2 CHM 220
BIO 251
GenEd
BIO/CHM 4754
CHM 221
BIO 252
PSY 2505
CHM 222
CHM 210
GenEd
3 300-level BIO6
PHY 141
ENG 315
BIO/CHM 4754
BCM 365
PHY 142
GenEd
300-level BIO
PHY 143A7
CHM 210
 3 BIO 360
PHY 141
ENG 315
BIO/CHM 4754
BCM 365
PHY 142
GenEd
CHM 3408 or
  BCM elective9
PHY 143A7
4 300-level BIO or
  BIO capstone10
GenEd or elective
GenEd or elective
BIO/CHM 4754
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 CHM 3418 or
  BCM elective
GenEd
GenEd
BIO/CHM 4754
BCM elective
GenEd
GenEd or elective
BCM 465
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:

1BIO and BCM 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.

2Assumes 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.

3Students with an ACT English score ≥28 take ENG 125 and do not need to take IDS 125.

4BIO 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.

5Statistics is required for the BS in Biochemistry only.

6BIO students seeking the BS need at least 27 total credit hours above the 200-level and 37 total credit hours in biology. Microbiology, Animal Physiology and Developmental Biology are particularly recommended as electives for BIO majors planning on medical or dental school.

7PHY 143A contains material needed for the MCAT that is not covered in PHY 143C; thus, 143A is recommended for all pre-medical/pre-dental students regardless of math experience or ability.

8BCM majors are required to take either CHM 340 or CHM 341. The other may be taken as an elective for the BS.

9Three advanced BIO or CHM electives are required for the BS in Biochemistry only.

10A 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.