Major & Minor Requirements

Biological Sciences Major Requirements

The Biological Sciences Major includes nine Biological Sciences courses (at least seven of which must be taken at Wellesley) and two Chemistry courses.  


Nine Biological Courses

Microscope field and student working in the background
Two Introductory Courses
-One course in Cellular and Molecular Biology:
BISC 110, 110P, 112, 112Y, 116
-One Course in Organismal Biology:
BISC 111, 111T, 113, 113Y

Four 200-Level Courses* 
Note: 200-Levels are in Groups
-At least one course in Group I Cell Biology
     (BISC 219, BISC220)
-At least one course in Group II Systems Biology
     (BISC 203, BISC 207, BISC 216)
-At least one course in Group III Community Biology
     (BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 204, BISC 209, BISC 210, BISC 214, BISC/ES 247)  
4) Another 200-level Biology Course (from any grouping)
Two 300-Level Courses* At least one course must include laboratory and this course must be taken at Wellesley College
One Elective Course* This ninth course can be any level Biology course; with additional course option EXTD 225, EXTD 226
*Please note Independent Research for credit is encouraged, but is not counted towards the major requirements. (BISC 250, 250H, 350, 350H, 355, 360, 365, 370)
Two Chemistry Courses
CHEM 105, 105P, 116, 120 or higher. (Additional chemistry beyond the two required units is strongly recommended or required for certain 300-level Biology courses.)
See the Course Catalog for more information. 
See Minor Requirements for information about the Biological Sciences Minor.
See Learning Goals for Biology's Philosophy and Learning Goals. 
Recommended Courses:
Four courses in chemistry, including 1 semester in organic chemistry
Those applying to graduate school may need to include physical chemistry or biochemistry
Two courses in physics
Two courses in math: statistics, calculus
Independent Research is strongly recommended
Other Notes
Several courses can be counted towards the major requirements and fulfill the College distribution requirements: BISC 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 198, ANTH/BISC 274, BISC/PHIL 232. (BISC 107, 108, and 109 as laboratory science courses; all other electives in the list, as non-laboratory science courses.)
The following course can be counted towards the major requirement and fulfill the Data Literacy (formerly QR overlay) course component.  The Data Literacy courses are: BISC 109, 111, 111T, 113, 113Y, 198, 201.
The College requires that no course is double-counted between two majors or between a major and a minor. When any BISC course is counted towards a non-BISC minor, the student needs to make up for that course by taking an additional biology course towards their BISC major. The elective course must be approved by the advisor.