Courses

There are many possible pathways to a degree in the biological sciences. Your pathway can be unique, individualized and tailored to your own interests and passions.

Our students are identifying and solving current and future biological problems. You can’t predict what discoveries you will make, but it’s a safe bet that you’ll learn something new.

View full course information in the catalog 

Suggested progression of courses

B.A. 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 that doing so 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, complete an off-campus internship or spend a semester or more conducting research at Hope College or elsewhere. 

Your Freshman Year

Fall

Spring

During the first year

  • Mathematics (e.g. Calculus I or II or Statistics)
  • General education electives such as Health Dynamics, foreign language, English 113
Your Sophomore Year

Fall

  • Upper-level biology elective

Spring

  • Upper-level biology elective

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).

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.

B.S. 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 four-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, complete an off-campus internship or spend a semester or more conducting research at Hope College or elsewhere. 

Your Freshman Year

Fall

Spring

During the first year

  • Mathematics (e.g. Calculus I or II or Statistics)
  • General education electives such as Health Dynamics, foreign language, English 113
Your Sophomore Year

Fall:

Spring:

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 two semesters of mathematics courses is required, and an additional eight credits in natural science (other than biology and chemistry) 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, 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.