General Information for First Year Students

There are several pathways through the major.  One or more of the foundation courses in Biology (181, 182) are prerequisites for the advanced NS&B courses offered by the Biology Department. Although not legislated as prerequisites, NS&B213 and NS&B laboratory courses provide important conceptual and practical background for independent research in the junior and senior years.

A recommended course sequence for students with a strong background in science would include BIOL181 and  BIOL182 (and associated labs) along with introductory chemistry in the first year. Other students may wish to take the Introductory Chemistry Sequence in the first year prior to the Introductory Biology sequence.  In the sophomore year, one would take NS&B 213. The other required courses and research tutorials would be spread out over the last two years.

It is possible to take several of the NS&B courses that are cross-listed with Psychology without having taken introductory Biology for students with AP Psychology credit. These courses include NS&B 220 - Introduction to Cognitive Psychology and NS&B 222 - Sensation and Perception.

The major has some flexibility to handle late starts. However, to be accepted as a major in March of the sophomore year, a student must have already completed, with satisfactory grades, either Biology 181 or NS&B 213, and must have completed at least one additional full-credit course listed under "Foundation and Core Courses." For example, a student who has completed Biol 181 and Psych 105 would be able to enroll as a major; a student who has completed Chem 141 and Psych 105 would not.  While a late start such as that given in the first example would still allow completion of the major, it would restrict the possibilities for independent research and the range of options for upper-level courses both in and outside the major. Students are therefore encouraged to get started on the program early.