Bachelor of Science in Biology
The following are the different requirements that must be met for this degree.
Review available Elective Biology Courses
Required Courses for a BS in Biology
- Biology 240 – Cells and Genetics (1st Required)
- Biology 260 – Organismal Biology (2nd Required)
- Biology 280 – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (3rd Required)
- 36 hours in Biology (including 3 required courses)
- Total of 68 hours in the Natural Sciences (36 of the 68 are the biology courses)
- Chemistry 111
- Chemistry 113
- Chemistry 114
- Chemistry 121
- Chemistry 221
- Chemistry 231
- Chemistry 255
- 2 semesters of Math
- 8 hours from the Natural Science Department's courses other than Biology and Chemistry (e.g. geological and environmental science, physics)
At least one of the following courses must be taken:
- Biology 301
- Biology 332
- Biology 340
- Biology 343
- Biology 374
- Biology 380
- Biology 422
- Biology 432
Suggested Progression of Classes (BS in Biology)
Although there are many possible pathways to obtain your biology degree, many students will find that
completing introductory biology and chemistry during the first two years is extremely helpful, and
for B.S.-seeking students, may be essential to completing all of the requirements in a 4 year plan of study.
Completing the introductory biology and chemistry courses early also creates more flexibility in your
later coursework. Your "breadth" requirements for general education at Hope College can span as many semesters
as you wish; sampling some of the variety in other disciplines is a valuable thing to do starting early in your freshman year.
Careful planning with your advisor will open possibilities for you to study abroad (consider Animal Behavior in Australia,
Immunology in Scotland, or Ecology in Kenya!), and/or to complete an off-campus internship (Centers for Disease Control,
Argonne National Laboratory, Shedd Aquarium, and Brookfield Zoo are just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities actually
accomplished by recent Biology alumni) or a semester or more conducting research at Hope College or elsewhere!
Your Freshman Year
- Biology 240 (Cells and Genetics & Lab)
- Chemistry 111 and 113 (General Chemistry I)
- First Year Seminar
- Biology 260 (Organismal Biology)
- Chemistry 121 and 114 (General Chemistry II)
- During the First Year:
- Mathematics (e.g. Calculus I or II or Statistics – 1 or 2 courses), general education electives such as Health Dynamics, Foreign Language, English 113.
Your Sophomore Year
- Biology 280 (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
- Chemistry 221 & 255 (Organic Chemistry and Lab I)
- Upper Level Biology Elective
- Chemistry 231 and 256 (Organic Chemistry and Lab II)
- For students who will be seeking admission to medical, dental or veterinary professional
programs – General Physics & Lab I (Physics 121 & 141) should be taken this semester.
- During the second year:
- Declare your major as soon as appropriate, continue general education electives, explore research,
internship, and off-campus options in biology, and begin to focus in areas of biology that interest you the most.
Include electives in other areas of science that may constitute interdisciplinary fields you might want to explore
further (e.g. computer science (computational modeling), GES (environmental science), neuroscience, biochemistry,
allied health professions, mathematical biology. For the B.S. in biology, note that a minimum of 2 semesters of
mathematics courses is required, and an additional 8 credits in natural science (other than biology and chemistry,
and other than the first 2 years of chemistry listed above) are required.
Being able to cross disciplinary boundaries is of ever-increasing value to biologists!
- Your junior and senior years:
- continue general education electives, explore research, internship, and off-campus options in biology
(students pursuing a B.A. have greater flexibility to be able to do one or more of these options during
their final years at Hope), and begin to focus in areas of biology that interest you the most.
Include electives in other areas of science that may constitute interdisciplinary fields you might want
to explore further (e.g. computer science (computational modeling), GES (environmental science),
neuroscience, biochemistry, allied health professions, mathematical biology.
Consider whether you will want to pursue a graduate degree (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) and begin attending
workshops and meetings designed to help students explore graduate school and career options.
Internship experience, in particular, may be the most important thing you can do to begin moving
into a specialized biology career.
We believe that students learn best by doing biology so it is equally important that we
provide new and interesting ways for you to do exactly that. The programs below are only available
at Hope College, so you won't find these anywhere else.
Unique Biology Programs