Requirements

  • Entry to Biology 120 Organismal Biology

    (required for Biology and Neuroscience Majors and Minors, and health professions)

    Entering first-year students interested in introductory biology (BIOL 120: Organismal Biology) must take a science placement test to assess quantitative skills upon arrival on campus in August. This test consists of 20 basic algebra problems and is an established measure of readiness and likelihood of success in introductory Biology and Chemistry courses.  A score of 13/20 or better on the test is required for placement into BIOL 120 and CHEM 115: Chemistry I (see sequences below).  Students with scores of 12/20 or lower will be placed into CHEM 114: Foundations of Chemistry in the Spring Semester of the first year (see sequences below). The Biology Major can be completed successfully in four years through either of the sequences described below. 

    Students wishing to enter BIOL 120 and CHEM 115 in the fall of their second year and who have not completed CHEM 114 must take the science placement test in the spring of their first year.  Students who do not score 13/20 or better at this time may retake the placement test at the start of the Fall Semester. However it is not possible to complete a Biology Major in three years starting with CHEM 114 in the second year.

    Consult your advisor or the chair of the Biology Department for further explanation.

    Major and Minor in Biology

    Requirements for the Major:

    At least 8 credits in Biology, 2 credits in Chemistry, and 1 credit in Mathematics, as follows:

    • Biology 120: Organismal Biology – Taken concurrently with Chemistry 115
    • One of the Core Biological Inquiry courses (Biology 130-149) – Normally taken in spring of the first year
    • Biology 220: Ecology and Evolution (prerequisites: Biology 120 and Chemistry 115)
    • Biology 221: Molecules, Genes, and Cells (prerequisites: Biology 120 and Chemistry 116)
    • Three biology courses at the 300-level, at least two of which must be taken at Lake Forest College. At least two courses must include a laboratory component.  Choose from at least two of the three subject areas (see subject area table for upper level courses below):
      • Cellular and molecular biology
      • Organismal biology
      • Ecology and evolution
    • A senior studies course 
      • For non-thesis students: a Senior Seminar (topics change each semester)
      • For students engaged in senior thesis research: two course credits of Biology 494: Senior Thesis

    The following courses outside of the Biology Department are also required for the Major in Biology:

    • Chemistry 115 – Taken concurrently with Biology 120
    • Chemistry 116
    • Biology 150 (Reasoning and Statistical Inference in Biology) or Mathematics 110 (Calculus I) or Mathematics 150 (Introduction to Probability and Statistics) – completed by the end of the sophomore year (highly recommended prior to Biology 220).  Other applied statistics or mathematics courses may be counted for the biology major on a case-by-case basis.

    To graduate with a major in biology, a grade of C- or better is required for all courses counted toward the major.  Additionally, students must earn at least a C average (2.0) in all courses counted towards the major.

    Additional courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics or statistics, and physics are strongly recommended for biology majors, particularly for those who anticipate applying to graduate schools and programs in the health professions (medical, dental, veterinary and others).

    Subject area Table for Upper Level Courses. 

    The three upper level courses for the major must come from at least two subject areas.

    Course

    Cell/Molecular

    Organismal

    Ecology/Evolution

    320 Microbiology

    x

    x

     

    322 Molecular Biology

    x

     

     

    324 Advanced Cell Biology

    x

     

     

    325 Topics in Advanced Cell Biology

    x

     

     

    330 Applied Data Analysis for Biologists

     

    x

    x

    340 Animal Physiology

    x

    x

     

    342 Developmental Biology

    x

    x

     

    344 Animal Behavior

     

    x

    x

    346 Molecular Neuroscience

    x

    x

     

    352 Molecular Genetics

    x

     

     

    360 Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration

    x

    x

     

    362 Mechanisms of Brain Dysfunction

    x

    x

     

    370 Ecology

     

     

    x

    372 Pharmacology

     x

     

     

    373 Community Ecology

       

    x

    374 Biogeography

       

    x

    375 Conservation Biology

     

     

    x

    384 Plant Biology

     

    x

    x

    389 Evolution

     

     

    x

     

    Requirements for the Minor:

    At least 6 credits in biology and 2 credits in chemistry

    • Chemistry 115 and 116
    • Biology 120: Organismal Biology – Taken concurrently with Chemistry 115
    • One of the Core Biological Inquiry courses (Biology 130-149) – Normally taken in the spring of the first year
    • Biology 220: Ecology and Evolution
    • Biology 221: Molecules, Genes, and Cells
    • Two biology courses at the 300-level

    To graduate with a minor in biology, a grade of C- or better is required for all courses counted toward the minor.  Additionally, students must earn at least a C average (2.0) in all courses counted towards the minor.

    Biology Major Course Sequences

    Chemistry 115/Biology 120 Introductory Sequence

    (students with score of 13/20 or better on the science placement test)

    First Year

    Fall: BIOL 120, CHEM 115

    Spring: One course from the BIOL 130-149 series, CHEM 116,

    (BIOL 150, MATH 110, or MATH 150 to be completed by the end of the second year)

    Second Year

    Fall: BIOL 220

    Spring: BIOL 221

    (BIOL 150, MATH 110 or MATH 150 to be completed by the end of the second year)

    Third and Fourth Years

    Three 300-level biology electives plus a Senior Seminar or Senior Thesis

    Chemistry 114 Introductory Sequence

    (students with score of 12/20 or lower on the science placement test)  

    First Year

    Spring: CHEM 114

    (BIOL 150, MATH 110 or MATH 150 to be completed by the end of the second year)

    Second Year

    Fall: BIOL 120, CHEM 115

    Spring: One course from the BIOL 130-149 series, CHEM 116

    (BIOL 150, MATH 110, or MATH 150 to be completed by the end of the second year)

    Third Year

    Fall: BIOL 220

    Spring: BIOL 221

    Fourth Year

    Three 300-level biology electives plus a Senior Seminar or Senior Thesis

     

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