Molecular and Cellular Biology Track
(Download the checklist here.)
If you maintain a sufficiently high grade point average (GPA) in all your courses and in at least 10 courses taken to fulfill the biology major, you may be eligible to graduate with distinction. Graduating with distinction requires planning ahead as early as the sophomore year; please see section in the Handbook on “Senior Thesis and Graduation with Distinction in Biology.”
I. One unit in Introductory Organismic Biology:
- BY105 (Biology of Plants)
- BY106 (Biology of Animals); no credit after BY108 or BY109
- BY107 (Biology of Microbes)
- BY108 or BY 109 - no longer offered, but students who took the course prior to fall 2011 may count that unit.
AP/IB credit may only count towards a lower level elective, but cannot replace one of these courses.
II. BY131 Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
If you have an AP Biology score of 5 or IB HL Biology score of 5, we recommend that you take BY131. If you have an IB HL Biology score of 6 or 7, talk to a Biology advisor (Professors Bertrand, Huang, Killian, or Lostroh) about whether you should take this course.
III. BY231 Genetics
IV. Four units in Chemistry
- CH107 (General Chemistry)
- CH108 (General Chemistry II)
- CH250 (Structures of Organic Molecules)
- CH251 (Reactions of Organic Molecules)
Check with the Chemistry department to find out if AP or IB credit can fulfill the CH107/108 requirement.
V. Two units in Mathematics:
- MA117 (Probability and Statistics)
- MA125-6 (Pre-Calculus and Calculus)
- MA126 (Calculus I)
- MA127 (Calculus I and II, Accelerated)
- MA129 (Calculus II)
- MA217 (Probability and Statistical Modeling)
- BY220 (Biostatistics and Experimental Design)
- MA256/BY256 (Mathematical Modeling in Biology)
- EV228 (Analysis of Environmental Data)
- AP or IB credit recognized by the registrar in calculus
- AP or IB credit recognized by the registrar in statistics
Note: BY220 counts as EITHER an elective or a unit of math. BY256/MA256 counts as EITHER an elective or a unit of math. Neither course can itself satisfy BOTH a unit of biology elective credit and a unit of math.
VI. Six approved Biology electives
- Three must be Biology (BY) courses with BY231 (or BY361) as a pre-requisite. BY309, BY409, or BY499 may count toward this requirement provided that you completed BY231 prior to the independent study and the supervising professor agrees
- One unit of elective credit may be CH241 or CH382
- One unit of elective credit may be PY297, or SC120, or SC207, or SC321
- One unit must be an approved senior capstone course
- Any BY course except BY100 and BY104 may count as an elective
- BY101 (FYE) counts as one unit of lower-level elective
- BY220 counts as EITHER an elective or a unit of math. BY256/MA256 counts as EITHER an elective or a unit of math. Neither course can itself satisfy BOTH a unit of biology elective credit and a unit of math.
- It is possible to petition the department to ask for other courses to count as electives.
VII. Senior capstone experience …During your junior and senior years, you must:
- Complete attendance at five Biology seminars, summarize each in an abstract, and submit each abstract electronically to your advisor no later than the first Monday of the block following the block in which the seminar occurred. Students are strongly advised to begin turning in abstracts, as soon as they declare their major, during their junior year.
- Successfully pass the Biology ETS exam or the Biology GRE exam or the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry GRE exam.
- Register to take the 2-hour ETS Major Field Test in Biology early in Block 3 or early in Block 6, the only two times Biology offers the exam. It is best to take the ETS exam in Block 3, in case you do not pass the exam. In the recent past, 20-25% of students did not pass the exam the first time! See the “Senior Capstone” section in the Majors' Handbook on advice to prepare for this exam and links to sample questions.
- Alternatively, you can take the Biology GRE in the fall, but we strongly recommend that you take the ETS exam instead. You must list Colorado College as a recipient of the GRE scores.
- Complete a senior capstone course as one of your five electives, in the last two semesters prior to graduation (course options vary from year to year), in one of the following ways:
- BY 499 (Senior Thesis; required to graduate with distinction)
- BY 409 (Advanced Research in Biology)—IF it meets the requirements described in the section on “Senior Capstone” in the Majors' Handbook.
- An approved Senior Capstone course (see “Senior Capstone” section in the Majors' Handbook for list of approved courses).
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