Biology Advising Guide
Today, genetic information and the manipulation of biological processes affect everybody in economic, legal, and philosophical as well as biological terms. We want Dickinson graduates to be world leaders in having the background to grasp these issues, the competence to access new information, and the motivation to do both. The Biology department uses introductory biology laboratory courses, known as the “BioDiscovery” series, to accomplish these goals.
Courses appropriate for prospective majors
The following information is a general guide to beginning course work in Biology. The Biology department strongly encourages any student interested in enrolling in a Biology course as the beginning of a potential major in Biology to contact the department chair, Professor Charles Zwemer, for additional information.
The college requires that all students complete two laboratory science courses as part of the distribution requirements. We strongly recommend that this requirement be at least partly completed by students during their first year.
Beginning the introductory biology sequence as a first-year student is particularly important for students considering a major in Biology or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (B&MB) and students in the Pre-Health Program.
The Biology department offers four introductory 100-level "BioDiscovery" courses (no prerequisites) in each semester. Completing two of these courses the first year is an effective way to satisfy the laboratory science requirement or begin the Biology or B&MB major. To encourage introduction to a broad range of biology topics, it is recommended that students who complete two introductory Biology courses at Dickinson enroll in one course of the following (Biology 122, 125, 126, or 127) and one course of the following (Biology 120, 121, 123, 124, or 129).
The department does not recommend taking two BioDiscovery courses in the same semester. In addition, we also strongly recommend that prospective Biology or B&MB majors begin the chemistry sequence in the first year. Depending on placement, this sequence begins with CHEM 131, General Chemistry with Lab, or CHEM 141, Accelerated General Chemistry with Lab. Both courses are taught only in the fall semester of each year.
Introductory courses that fulfill distribution requirements
Any of the BioDiscovery courses, BIOL 120-129
For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Biology.
Advanced Placement for Biology courses
A student who has completed the AP exam in Biology with a score of 4 or 5 will receive credit for one introductory biology course. Such a student will need to take one additional introductory biology course before becoming eligible for upper level biology courses.
Careers: A Biology major prepares the individual for entering the work force, for graduate school in the biological sciences, and for the health professions. Recent graduates are active in industry, research, teaching, medicine, and dentistry.
Further Information: Members of the Biology department welcome inquiries from students at all levels and from academic advisors who may wish additional information. Please call the department academic coordinator, Janice Wiss (x1329) or Jann Ernst (x1296).