Biological Sciences Sample Schedule

Making your Way through the Biology Curriculum

A total of 39 biology credit hours are required to complete the biology major. The following courses are required for all biology majors: Contemporary Issues in Biology (BI 111), Genetics – Fundamentals (BI 210), Cellular and Molecular Biology – Fundamentals (BI 220), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Fundamentals (BI 230), Biostatistics (BI 250), Biology Seminar (BI 299), and the senior Biology Capstone (BI 480).  The Fundamentals courses serve as prerequisites for all other majors-level biology courses.  Beyond these required courses, the biology curriculum affords students a fair amount of flexibility in completing the major requirements.  Please view the major in biology page for a complete description of the requirements for the major.

Your First Year

The vast majority of incoming freshman biology majors take a standard suite of courses during their first year of study.  Students typically enroll in the following:

Fall SemesterSpring Semester

BI 111 Contemporary Issues in Biology (1 cr.)
BI 210 Genetics – Funds. (4cr.)

BI 220 Cellular and Molecular Biology – Fund. (4 cr.)

CH 105 General Chemistry w/ lab (5 cr.)

CH 106 General Chemistry w/ lab (5 cr.)

FYS 101 First Year Seminar (3 cr.)

FYS 101 First Year Seminar (3 cr.)

Foreign language (3 – 4 cr.) OR Core requirement (3 cr.)

Foreign language (3 – 4 cr.) OR Core requirement (3 cr.)
Total: 16-17 CreditsTotal: 15-16 Credits

Please note that the Chemistry courses are full year sequences that must be taken in order and that they are not offered out of sequence – i.e. CH 105 is only offered in the fall semester.  Similarly, BI 111 is only offered in the fall semester and is only open to biology majors.  Students joining the major in their sophomore year or later are exempt from taking BI 111; however, they must make up the hours with an additional biology elective credit hour to complete the major.
There are occasions when it is advisable for an incoming major to take courses other than the standard load.  Your advisor will help you choose alternate courses if necessary.

Beyond Your First Year

During their second year, students will typically take BI 230 in fall semester and BI 250 in the spring semester.  After completing this course, students may take any biology electives.  Additionally, students must take the Biology Seminar course (BI 299, 1 cr.) in the spring semester of your sophomore year (or second year in the major). It is recommended that you take at least one biology elective at the 300-level or above each semester following your sophomore year.  You will need to complete roughly five electives, four of which must be lab-based, with a C- or better to meet the requirements for the major (please view the major in biology page for specific details). Finally, all biology majors must complete the Biology Capstone course (BI 480) in their senior year.
Biology majors interested in post-graduate study in the health professions or graduate training in biology are strongly encouraged to complete a full year of Organic Chemistry (10 credits) and a full year of Elementary Physics (10 credits).  The majority of biology majors complete Organic Chemistry in their sophomore year and Physics in their junior year although it is not mandatory to follow this schedule.  Your advisor will work with you to determine the best schedule for your circumstances.
It is important to remember that as a student of Butler University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), there are course requirements outside of your major that you must also satisfy to graduate.  You must complete the University Core Curriculum requirements as well as the LAS foreign language requirement (minimum requirement is two courses at the 200-level or above).  Biology majors are encouraged to work to complete their foreign language requirement starting in their freshman year.  Courses required for the Core Curriculum need not be taken immediately but rather, it is recommended that you schedule them throughout your time at Butler.