Major Course Sequence

Our Biology majors follow a diverse set of career paths after graduation from Transylvania University. In response to this, we have developed three Biology tracks (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB); Molecular and Cellular Biology; and Biology (MCB)). All biology majors take four core biology courses (Integrated Concepts of Biology: Molecules and Cells, Integrated Concepts of Biology: Organisms and Ecosystems, Biologist’s Toolkit ½ credit, and Capstone in Biology ½ credit), at least 2 semesters of chemistry, and either calculus or statistics.  The additional 9 courses in the major are determined by the track the student chooses to follow. We recommend all first year students to complete the Integrated Concepts of Biology sequence (Bio 1204/6), which can be taken in any order, and begin the general chemistry sequence.  

In the sophomore year, students enroll in Biologist’s Toolkit (BIO 2042) which will prepare them to take upper-level courses in the major.  Students should also continue on allied course requirements and begin taking upper-level biology courses.

In the junior year, students should choose biology electives based on their declared track and in consultation with their advisors.  Students in the Biology and EEB tracks are encouraged to choose up to three courses in other natural science fields as electives in the major.  Students in the MCB track should complete the organic chemistry sequence.  

All biology students are encouraged to participate in research via independent study, summer research with a Transylvania faculty member, or through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at another institution that may serve as the basis of their senior capstone project the following year.

In the senior year, students complete advanced biology coursework, enroll in Capstone in Biology and complete other allied courses.  Students who have completed an approved research experience will formally present the results of their work via poster or oral presentation and writing a scientific paper including a literature review.  Students who have not yet completed a research experience will propose an hypothesis can be explored via publicly available data sets, test the hypothesis with the available data, and present their work as an oral or poster presentation and a written scientific manuscript.

Recommended Sequence of Courses for Biology Major

First Year
We advise all prospective Biology majors to start their biology core course sequence in their first year.  At a minimum, complete BIO 1204 and BIO 1206 in the first year.  It is advised, but not required, that a student also start their General Chemistry sequence in year one.  However, if math skills require refreshing, then it is appropriate to focus on Calculus in the first year and postpone General Chemistry to the sophomore year. 
Fall TermWinter Term May Term
BIO 1204 Integrated Concepts of Biology: Molecules and Cells ORBIO 1206 Integrated Concepts of Biology: Organisms and Ecosystems OR 
BIO 1206 Integrated Concepts of Biology: Organisms and EcosystemsBIO 1204 Integrated Concepts of Biology: Molecules and Cells 
MATH 1304 Calculus I ORCHEM 1065 Chemistry II OR
MATH 1144 Elementary Statistics ORMATH 1304 Calculus I OR 
CHEM 1055 Chemistry I MATH 1144 Elementary Statistics  

Sophomore Year
Initiate or continue taking the allied courses. 
Fall TermWinter Term May Term
BIO 2042 Biologists’ Toolkit (1/2 credit) (or in Winter term)2000-level BIO elective2000-level BIO elective
Complete CHEM/MATH*Complete CHEM/MATH* 
*Biology majors should complete all required allied courses by the end of the sophomore year.

Junior Year
Fall TermWinter Term May Term
2000 or 3000-level BIO elective2000 or 3000-level BIO electiveScience elective**
3000 or 4000-level BIO elective3000 or 4000-level BIO elective 

Senior Year
In the senior year, the Biology major is expected to take Capstone in Biology.  Since Capstone is taught both Fall and Winter Term, meet with an advisor to determine which term is best for your schedule.
Fall TermWinter Term May Term
BIO 4432 Capstone in Biology (1/2 unit) (or in Winter term)Science elective** 
Science elective**  

** Three science electives may come from biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, or mathematics
Biology majors wishing to declare a minor in secondary education (for teaching certification) are advised to consult the director of education program as soon as possible.