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Being Bio


Jae Maeng

As Fall Break has just ended, it’s time to start planning for my class schedule for the Spring Semester. As a Junior, its almost graduation time and I’ve had to monitor fairly closely what classes I need to take in order to graduate within four years. I’m in a slight pickle because I didn’t really think about requirements during my first two years at Vandy and took a bunch of random classes for fun such as… Country Music. (No regrets though)
But, I’ll still be able to graduate in time. Its just going to require lot of Biology classes to meet my major requirement. Anyways, since I’m a biology major, I’ve had to learn a lot about what classes I need to take and I figured some of y’all are probably interested in Biology or maybe just learning about how majors work.
A quick run down: so, you must have a major to graduate from college. No major = No degree. All majors have different specific requirements but in general they follow the same structure such as required number of hours, specific required classes and specialization in a subcategory.

The specifics for Biology are as follows:

  • Specialization in one of three specialized major
    -Biological Sciences
    -Molecular and Cellular Biology
    -Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
  • A minimum of 30 hours of Biology
  • Specific required classes

I am currently on the Biological Sciences (BioSci) tract and each of the specializations have different course requirements for the major. The ones for my major are:

  • Introductory Biology
  • Intermediate Biology Courses (Evolution, Genetics, Biochemistry etc.)
  • Laboratory Courses
  • Seminar/Independent Studies

There is a lot of leniency within the requirements which is very helpful in planning out your schedule. For example, there are a few different “intermediate” courses that you can choose from depending on what you want to take. Also, doing independent research such as at a different lab (like I’m doing now) can count for credit hours towards your major. All in all, its not very difficult to meet all the requirements as long as you stay on top of what classes you want to take. Also, your major adviser is very helpful and is always willing to meet with you in order to schedule out your future classes.

If you want to look more in-depth into other majors or classes you can look here. It’s very informative and does a good job in explaining majors and specific classes.


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