North Central College
Majoring in the Life Sciences
[Biology Student]

     North Central College offers two main majors in the life sciences: Biology and Biochemistry. For each of these majors, students can choose to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

     In Biology, the BA degree is intended primarily for secondary education majors or transfer students who are unable to take all of the support courses for a BS degree. In Biochemistry, both degrees provide appropriate preparation for employment or post-graduate study, with the BS adding additional experience.

The majors at a glance:

Introductory BiologyBIO 151 and 152BIO 151 and 152
Sophomore CoreBIO 251, 252 and 253BIO 251 and 252
Chemistry core:
CHM 141 and 142
CHM 141 and 142
CHM 220, 221 & 222
CHM 210
CHM 141 and 142
CHM 220, 221 & 222
CHM 210
CHM 340 or 341
BCM 365
MTH 141 or
PSY 250
through MTH 152
PSY 250 or MTH 342
through MTH 152
through MTH 152
PSY 250 or MTH 342
PhysicsrecommendedPHY 141, 142 & 143A or 143C (143A recommended for med school)
or PHY 115 & 116 (summer option)
Advanced electivesBIO or BCM courses
in areas of interest
to meet credit hour requirement
noneAny three of:
BIO 242, 301, 302, 320, 340, 416, 430, 440; CHM 340, 341, 405, 410, 425
CapstoneBIO 405, 416, 430, 440 or BCM 465BCM 465
Credit hours34 hours, including
  ≥7.5 hours at 300 level
37 hours, including
  27 hours ≥ 200 level
  ≥7.5 hours at 300 level
47.75 total credit hours
in biology and chemistry
Research experienceResearch course (BIO 405, 416, 430, 440 or BCM 465), summer research or other independent project
Research seminarBIO/CHM 475 (2 terms as participant, 1 as presenter)

Minors and additional options in the life sciences:

Typical course schedules:

These generic schedules are intended only to help you plan your academic program; all students should discuss with their academic advisors how to tailor schedules to their individual abilities and needs. Students intending to apply to medical school (also dental, veterinary and similar programs) should complete both organic chemistry and physics no later than spring of their junior year. New transfer students who have not yet taken college biology and chemistry should follow the first-year schedule.

First yearBIO 151 and 152, CHM 141 and 142
MTH 151 (or 140 & 141), 152 (for Biology BS or Biochemistry)
ENG 115 and IDS 125 (or ENG 125, if ACT English > 27)
FYE 100
Second yearBIO 251, 252 and 253
Organic chemistry or Physics
Analytical chemistry and/or Statistics
Organic chemistry
Physics (could also be taken in third year)
BIO 251 and 252
Analytical chemistry and/or Statistics
Third yearAdvanced BIO courses in area of specialization
Organic chemistry or Physics
Physics (if not completed second year)
Molecular biology and/or Biochemistry
Physical chemistry (if Physics completed)
BIO or CHM electives (for BS)
Fourth yearAdvanced BIO courses in area of specializationMolecular biology and/or Biochemistry
Advanced topics (BCM 465)
Physical chemistry
BIO or CHM electives (for BS)

Links to schedule-planning resources