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.

Transfer students may be able to complete a degree in Biology or Biochemistry in less than four years, depending on what science courses they have taken elsewhere. The plans below (a) are intended only to suggest the range of possibilities, (b) are intended to show the minimum number of terms in which a degree could be completed, and (c) only list science courses (since transfer students enter with a variable number of general education credits). They do not necessarily represent the best plan for any given student from the standpoint of a quality education.

Every transfer case is different; transfer students are advised to seek advice from their transfer advisor and also to meet with a member of the Biology department or Biochemistry program if questions remain. We caution that junior-college or community-college courses are usually not the equivalent of rigorous college science courses, and transfer students from these schools may find they do not have the same background or skills as students who have taken college science.

Students entering with no biology or chemistry credit
Biology BS1 Biochemistry BA2
YearFallWinterSpring YearFallWinterSpring
1 BIO 1513
MTH 1514
CHM 141
MTH 152
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 152
CHM 142
 1 BIO 1513
MTH 1514
CHM 141
MTH 152
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 152
CHM 142
2 BIO 251
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
PSY 250
BIO 253
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
CHM 210
 2 BIO 251
CHM 220
PHY 141
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221
PHY 142
CHM 222
PHY 143A10
CHM 210
3 300-level BIO6
300-level BIO
PHY 141 or
  CHM 220
300-level BIO
300-level BIO
PHY 142 or
  CHM 221
BIO capstone7
300-level BIO
PHY 143A10
  or CHM 221
BIO/CHM 4755
 3 BIO 360
CHM 3408
BCM 365
PSY 250
BCM 465
CHM 3418
BIO/CHM 4755
 
Students entering with credit for BIO 151 & 152 and CHM 141 & 142
Biology BS1 Biochemistry BA2
YearFallWinterSpring YearFallWinterSpring
1 BIO 251
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
MTH 1514
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
MTH 1524
BIO 253
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
CHM 210
 1 BIO 251
CHM 220
PHY 141
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221
PHY 142
CHM 222
PHY 143A
CHM 210
2 300-level BIO6
300-level BIO
PHY 141 or
  CHM 220
PSY 2509
300-level BIO
300-level BIO
PHY 142 or
  CHM 221
BIO capstone7
300-level BIO
PHY 143A10
  or CHM 221
BIO/CHM 4755
 2 BIO 360
CHM 3408
MTH 1514
BCM 365
PSY 250
MTH 1524
BCM 465
CHM 3418
BIO/CHM 4755
 
Students entering with credit for BIO 151 & 152, CHM 141 & 142 and a year of organic chemistry or physics
Biology BS1 Biochemistry BA2
YearFallWinterSpring YearFallWinterSpring
1 BIO 251
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
MTH 1514
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
MTH 1524
BIO 253
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
CHM 210
 1 BIO 251
CHM 220 or
  PHY 141
MTH 1514
BIO/CHM 4755
BIO 252
CHM 221 or
  PHY 142
MTH 1524
CHM 222 or
  PHY 143A10
CHM 210
2 300-level BIO6
300-level BIO
PSY 250
300-level BIO
300-level BIO
BIO capstone7
300-level BIO
BIO/CHM 4755
 2 BIO 360
CHM 3408
BCM 365
PSY 250
BCM 465
CHM 3418
BIO/CHM 4755
 

Research experience is required for all BIO and BCM majors. Taking BCM 465 or 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:

1For the purposes of this plan, it is assumed that students will be seeking a BS degree in Biology, the degree appropriate for those continuing to graduate or professional programs following graduation.

2For the purposes of the plan, it is assumed that students will be seeking a BA degree in Biochemistry. A BS degree adds requirements for statistics and three advanced BIO or CHM electives (see catalog for options).

3Students should complete BIO 151 & 152 and CHM 141 & 142 this 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.

4Assumes the student has successfully completed pre-calculus but has not taken calculus. Students with weaker math backgrounds should take MTH 140, MTH 141 and MTH 152 instead.

5BIO and BCM 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. This course can be taken in any term.

6BIO students seeking the BS need at least 27 total credit hours above the 200-level and 37 total credit hours in biology.

7A 400-level Biology "capstone" course is required; it may be taken any term so long as pre-requisite requirements are met. Some courses may be offered only in alternate years. The capstone course meets the GenEd requirement for a Leadership, Ethics and Values ACR seminar.

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

9A student wishing to finish in two years who does not enter with credit for calculus would likely have to overload (take >12 hours, resulting in an additional fee) one term.

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.