Sample Schedules for Completing the Biological Sciences BS Degree

Typical Four-Year Degree Sample Plan

The link below provides a sample plan for the BS degree in Biological Sciences (BIS). This is just one example of a schedule of coursework that will allow students to complete the degree in four years. There are many other possibilities; in addition, course offerings are subject to change and the suggested courses may not be available as listed. Students should work with their BASC adviser during the mandatory advising period to come up with an individual plan that suits their needs and interests.

To complete the course of study in four years, it will be necessary to take 2-3 science/math courses simultaneously during several quarters. As shown in the sample, we recommend that Freshmen start with BIS 2A and CHE 2A in the Fall Quarter. Students that do well should try to add a third science or math class in Winter Quarter; math is recommended because it is a prerequisite for other preparatory or upper division coursework required for the BIS major. Students that are not able to handle three science/math courses in Winter should return to a lighter load, but realize that they may need to use summer sessions to complete the degree in four years. Summer session courses are limited and so meeting with a BASC adviser to evaluate revised study plans is strongly recommended.

Link to the Sample Plan for the BS degree in Biological Sciences (BIS)

Sample Plan for Completing the Four-Year Degree in Three Years

Some students may desire to complete the BIS BS degree in less than four years. However, completing a Biological Sciences degree in three years is not recommended for most students for the reasons below. Students interested in attempting this must meet with a BASC adviser to form an individual plan. The three-year plan linked below is just a sample.

  • Only students with exceptional ability and study habits should consider this plan. The preparatory and depth courses for BIS majors are challenging and build upon one another. Students normally need time to practice and assimilate material in prerequisite courses to effectively learn material in subsequent courses.  Completing the major in three years would not allow this for the majority of students.
  • A key aspect of the educational experience for Biological Sciences majors is carrying out internships and/or research outside of the classroom, over multiple quarters. Such experience is needed for students to directly obtain employment upon graduation, or to be competitive for admission to professional and graduate programs. The heavy course load during the year and summer required to finish in three years makes it difficult to obtain the necessary in-depth experience.
  • A three-year schedule is time-intensive and should only be considered by students who do not need outside employment while attending the University.
  • Course offerings are subject to change and the suggested courses may not be available as listed; summer offerings of science courses are limited. Students must evaluate course offerings each quarter and work with BASC advisers to optimize their schedule.

Link to the Sample Four-Year and Three-Year Plans for the BS degree in Biological Sciences