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Haverford College
Department of Biology

Major Requirements in Biology

  1. Both semesters of Biology 200a and 200b. Successful completion of a one credit natural science course (which includes a laboratory experience) at Haverford, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore College is a prerequisite for enrolling in Biology 200a.
  2. A minimum of a one credit chemistry course (with associated lab).
  3. At least one semester of advanced coursework (200 level or higher) in a natural sciences department other than Biology. Courses cross-listed in Biology may not be counted toward this requirement.
  4. Two semesters of the junior laboratory, Biology 300a and 300b.
  5. Four half-semester 300-level advanced topics courses (selected from Biology 301-315 and 331-332). Occasionally, an upper-level course from Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore may substitute for one or two of the half semester lecture courses, but only with the specific permission of the student's major advisor. Students are encouraged to take additional topics classes beyond the minimum of four to enhance their biology experience.
  6. One half-semester 350-level seminar course in the Haverford Biology Department (chosen from Biology 350-365; no substitutions permitted). Students may take additional seminar courses to enrich their knowledge of the discipline.
  7. A minimum of two 400-level Senior Research Tutorial credits, generally taken over both semesters of the senior year, including active participation in weekly lab meetings and submission of a notebook and a thesis describing the progress and results of the project. The tutorial may be taken for single or double credit each semester.
  8. Senior Department Studies, Biology 499.

Alternative curricula within the major are offered to students interested in interdisciplinary studies within the science division. These are encompassed within the Areas of Concentration in Biochemistry; Biophysics;, Neural and Behavioral Sciences (NBS), and Scientific Computing. In these interdisciplinary programs, a student may major in Biology and take an enhanced selection of courses to fulfill the requirements of the Biology Major and their concentration. Further information is given under individual program descriptions for the relevant Areas of Concentration. Also, equivalencies for certain major requirements may be granted by the Department to Biology majors participating in study away programs during the junior year, depending upon the specific program and coursework undertaken.

In addition to the required courses, the Biology Department strongly recommends a year of physics, a course in probability and statistics, and advanced coursework in chemistry (through Physical Chemistry or equivalent).