Department of Biology Biology-Chemistry Major - Advice

Biology-Chemistry Requirements and when to take them

This page will help you see what courses you should take and when you should take them.  There are two basic things you should keep in mind

FIRST - REQUIRED COURSES.  FIRST PRIORITY – You must complete the required courses to obtain your degree in Biology or Biology-Chemistry.  You should take courses shown in bold letters at the times stated here or there will be trouble fitting those courses in later.  Elective Biology courses have a little more latitude regarding when you can take them  NOTE: required courses are determined by your major, so look in the College Catalogue where the required courses are listed.

SECOND - YOUR FIELD.  There are many fields in Biology or Biology-Chemistry at SJC.  Each has a set of "specialty" courses that prepare you for that field.  Look at the Biology Home Page for your area of interest.  This will help you know what Major, Track and Minor to take.

Here is a very helpful guide for your planning and registration.


FRESHMAN YEAR (if you want fewer hours do NOT drop chemistry, instead save math electives for Sophomore year
Fall - 4h Biol 111 (general), 4h Chem 121 (general), 6h Core 1, one of precalculus, Calculus 1 or Math342 Statistics
Winter - 4h Biol 112 (general), 4h Chem 122 (general), 6h Core 2, and one of Psych225 Statistics, Calculus or Biol elective

 - Precalculus and Calculus 1 – Calculus 1 is needed for Physics if you had no Calculus in high school
 -  more electives are at the bottom of this page

Fall - 4h Bio 225 (CVA), 4h Chem 233 (organic), 6h Core 3, 3h precalculus or calculus, or elective
Winter - 4h Chem 234 (organic), 6h Core 4, and 7-8h from Bio. or Chem: Bio 337 (required) Chem. 246 or Calculus 1


NOTE: Bio 337 Genetics and Chem. 246 Quantitative Analysis are both required and this is a good time to get at least one

ELECTIVES The following courses can be taken in sophomore or in junior or senior year – NOTE pay attention to the College Catalogue, some courses are offered every other year.
Fall - Calculus 1 if you don't have it yet

Winter - Basic Microbiology, Calculus 1
 -  more recommendations are further down this page


JUNIOR & SENIOR YEAR - NOTE pay attention to the catalogue, some courses are offered every other year.
Fall - Chem. 379 Biochemistry (required)

Winter – Chem 246 Quantitative Analysis (required), Bio 337 Genetics (required)
Cores 5-10
Physics I & II – best done in junior year
Work on getting your required courses

ELECTIVES NOTE pay attention to the college catalogue, some courses are offered every other year.
recommendations are in the next section


*Only Biology Majors taking the Health Therapy Minor can count Human Anatomy & Physiology (HAP) for the biology or biology chemistry major.


1. BIOLOGY ELECTIVES base these on what you want to do with your “Biology-Chemistry” Degree (e.g. if you want to go to medical school you will want to get courses like Histology, Microbiology and Human Medical Physiology)

FRESHMAN – Amphibian Research (can take up to 3 years), Intro Forensic Science, Statistics
SOPHOMORES – Ecology, Entomology, Introductory Microbiology, Animal Behavior, Invertebrate Zoology, Evolution,
    Ichthyology-Herpetology, Ornithology-Mammalogy, Independent Study
JUNIORS AND SENIORS - Advanced Microbiology, Advanced Forensic Science, Conservation Biology, Human Medical
    Physiology, Biochemistry, Histology, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Junior Biology Research, Senior Biology Research

2. CHEMISTRY ELECTIVES  In addition to biology electives above are the following chemistry electives for jr & sr: Physical Chemistry I & II, Medicinal Chemistry, Instrumental Methods of Analysis, Seminar in Chemistry,
Research in Chemistry

3. MINOR - BIOLOGY-CHEMISTRY MAJORS - There is no minor required.

BIOLOGY-CHEMISTRY MAJORS KEEPING TRACK of the courses you've taken and those you still need - click here for a checklist

Biology Home page