Undergraduate Schedule

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Biology Schedule Planning

  • Most students interested in biology elect to take Bi 8 and Bi 9 in their first year, to open access to the widest range of biology electives.
  • Students may place out of the option requirement to take Bi 8 by passing an exam and then earning a passing grade in Bi/Ch 111 instead.  The exam for placing out of Bi 8 is given late in the fall term of freshman year if specifically requested by students who have an unusually strong background in biology, e.g., substantial research experience.  Some students who score a 5 on the advanced placement exam in biology may also qualify to take the exam.  The placement exam is given by direct arrangement between the interested students and the faculty teaching Bi 8.
  • Bi 10 is not required for the biology option but is commonly taken by biology students to meet the Institute introductory laboratory requirement.
  • Prerequisites listed for individual biology courses are advisory, not compulsory.  They indicate the kind of background that is assumed for the work level of the course.  They may be waived if the instructor gives explicit permission.
  • Ch 24 and Ch 25 are strongly recommended for students interested in postgraduate work in biology, as physical chemistry is required by most graduate programs.
  • Additional courses of potential interest to biology majors include Ge 11b, BE 159, BE/APh 161, BE/ChE 163, BMB/Ch 178 and advanced geobiology courses.
  • Undergraduates are generally welcome to take 200-level courses with the instructor's permission or strong preparation, unless otherwise indicated.

Also See:
            Tracks and Course Matrix (for concentrations of study within biology)
            Registrar ( for class schedules, catalog, academic calendars)

Typical Course Schedule (required courses and representative examples of electives)


First Year

  • Ma 1abc Freshman Mathematics
  • Ph 1 abc Freshman Physics
  • Ch 1ab General Chemistry
  • Ch3a Chemistry Lab
  • Freshman Humanities
  • CS 1 Intro to Computer Programming
  • Bi 8 Intro to Molecular Biology
  • Bi 9 Cell Biology
  • Bi 10 Introductory Biology Lab


Second Year

  • Ma 2 Differential Equations
  • Ma 3 Intro to Probability and Statistics
  • Ph 2ab Sophomore Physics
  • Ch 41abc Organic Chemistry
  • Introductory Social Sciences
  • Advanced Humanities
  • Bi 122 Genetics
  • Bi 117 Developmental Biology
  • Bi/CNS/NB 150 Intro to Neuroscience
  • Bi/BE 101 Order of Magnitude Biology
  • Bi 22 Undergraduate Research


Third Year

  • Advanced Humanities
  • Advanced Social Sciences
  • Additional HSS
  • Bi 145ab Tissue and Organ Physiology
  • Bi/Ch 110 Intro to Biochemistry
  • Bi/BE 24 Technical Communication (fall or spring)
  • Bi/BE 118 Morphogenesis Developmental Systems OR
  • Bi/BE 182 Gene Network Design
  • Bi/Ch 111 Biochemistry of Gene Expression
  • Be/APh 161 Physical Biology of the Cell
  • Bi/CNS/NB 164 Tools of Neurobiology
  • Bi 158 Vertebrate Evolution
  • Bi 188 or 190 Human OR Systems Genetics


Fourth Year

  • Additional HSS
  • Bi 114 Immunology
  • Bi/BE 129 Biology and Treatment of Cancer
  • Bi 90 Undergraduate Thesis
  • Bi 192 Intro to Systems Biology
  • Bi/BE 103 Data Analysis in Biological Sciences
  • Bi/NB/BE 155 Neuropharmacology
  • Bi 189 The Cell Cycle
  • Bi/CNS/NB 152 Neural Circuits
  • Bi 214 Stem Cells

Bioengineering Schedule Planning

To view a typical course schedule for Bioengineering, click here.

For core Institute requirements for all options, click here.

For a complete list of BBE courses, click here.

To give feedback on courses and for other undergraduate resources please go to the Biology Undergraduate Study Advisory Committee (BUSAC) website, click here.

The Undergraduate Biology Option advisor is Professor Bruce Hay.

The Undergraduate Bioengineering Option advisor is Professor Justin Bois.