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Major Requirements

Students Jumping

As of Block 1, 2011, there are two ways to complete the new Biology Major; students enrolled prior to fall 2011 may also still utilize the requirement for the former Biology major.

All students enrolling at CC as of fall 2011 must declare one of two tracks.  The first option is the Organisms, Ecology, and Evolution (OEE) track, and the second option is the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) track.  Both tracks are appropriate for students considering a variety of careers from education to medicine; talk to your advisor to sort out which track will work best for you. Some “old” courses will no longer be offered, however, and the new substitutes for those courses are clearly indicated. For example, BY210 is no longer offered, so students completing the old major must A) have completed BY210 with a C- or higher before the Fall of 2011 or B) earn a C- or higher in BY131.  Similarly, BY361 has been replaced with BY231

The two Biology Major tracks share many courses in common.  A first-year student embarking upon a Biology major is advised to enroll in courses that are common to both tracks.  Taking courses intended for entry-level students in both tracks will help you meet faculty and students who will help you decide which track is best for you.

Classes
Required by OEE?
Required by MCB?

1 unit from BY101, BY105, 106 (108/109), 107

yes

yes

A second unit from BY101, BY105, 106 (108/109), 107

yes

no

BY131

yes

yes

BY231

either BY280 or BY231

yes

BY208

yes

no

CH107

yes

yes

CH108

yes

yes

CH250

yes

yes

CH251

no

yes

2 units of math

yes (1 calc & 1 stats or math modeling)

yes

  • Students should declare the Biology major before the end of the sophomore year (but there are no restrictions on declaring earlier).  To declare the major, you need a faculty advisor in the Biology department with whom you confer before declaring.  See checklist of important items, Appendix I in the Majors' Handbook.
  • Each fall a REQUIRED meeting of all prospective and declared majors will be announced in Block 1 or 2.  Topics will include:
    • Introduction of new faculty and staff.
    • Discussion of graduation requirements including the required seminar abstracts, senior exams, and optional graduation with distinction or senior thesis.
    • Discussion of graduate school applications and employment opportunities in biology.
    • Other important announcements.
  • Students enrolled at CC in 2011-12 or later MUST choose the new Biology major with one of two tracks: Organisms, Ecology, and Evolution (OEE) or Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).  The tracks have many courses in common, so first-year and sophomore students who have not decided on one track or the other should enroll in courses that count toward both tracks.  Use the checklists in Appendix I of the Majors' Handbook to track your progress in the major.  Ultimately, it is your responsibility to know all departmental and college requirements and regulations. 
  • All Biology majors (OEE, MCB, “old”) must complete the senior capstone experience.  The senior capstone experiences have several components including completing a senior capstone course in the last two semesters prior to graduation, attending departmental seminars, writting abstracts describing seminars attended, and successfully passing the Biology ETS or GRE subject exam (see details in the “Senior Capstone Experience” section of the Majors' Handbook).  The GRE exam must be taken in November or December, while the ETS exam is offered early in Blocks 3 and 6.  It is highly recommended to take the ETS exam during Block 3, in case you do not pass and therefore have to take it a second time in Block 6.
  • Biology majors have the option of writing a senior thesis and attempting to graduate with distinction (see details in the Majors' Handbook).  Read the handbook in detail to make sure that you complete all requirements on time if you are attempting to graduate with distinction.  There are many assignments that students pursuing distinction must complete on time, such as registering for a senior thesis by the end of Block 2 of the senior year. Appendix VIII in the Majors' Handbook contains a checklist for those attempting to graduate with distinction.
  • Majors should also attend Biology Day each spring (see Biology Day section in the Majors' Handbook).