Biology Special Recommendations


Biology Special Recommendations  - Applies for '15 class

Should I take an introductory Biology course my first semester?

YES - If you are planning to be a Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular biology (BMB) or Health Science major, are interested in the Neuroscience minor, or if you are planning to attend medical school immediately after college. Students planning to go to Veterinary school should follow the Biology major recommendations.

Optional-with special considerations

  • If you are planning on a Psychology or Environmental Studies major: These majors require 2 semesters of a natural science with labs, but you are not required to take Biology nor are you required to begin the natural science courses in your first semester. However, please note:
  • Students interested in Environmental Science who plan to do the BS degree should take at least one course in either Biology (111 or 113), Chemistry (105 or 107), or Physics (103) their first semester.
  • Non-Biology majors interested in Neuroscience should take Biology 110 their first semester.
  • If you're planning on an Education minor, you need to take all four Biology core courses (Bio 111-112-211 and 212) for your certification.


  • For students interested in other majors: All Gettysburg students need to take two science classes to graduate (and at least one of these courses must have a laboratory component). You can fulfill this goal of our curriculum by taking an introductory course in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, or Physics. You are not required to take a science class in your first semester, but it is a good idea to complete this requirement by the end of your sophomore year.

Which biology course is best for me?

Bio 101 (Basic Biology - Fall course) is geared towards non-science majors who do not intend to take Bio 112.  It makes no assumption about your science background and is a stand-alone course. It has a weekly lab component.

Bio 102 (Biological basis of Disease - Spring course) is geared towards non-science majors. It makes no assumption about your science background- it has no prerequisite. It has an "every other week" lab component.

Bio 103 (Plants and Society - Fall course) is geared towards non-science majors. It makes no assumption about your science background and is a stand-alone course. It has NO lab component.

Bio 110 (Introduction to molecules and cells - Fall course) is geared towards students who are planning to major in Health sciences, minor in Neuroscience, or go into medicine or other health-related field.  It assumes some HS science background and that you plan to take Bio 112. It has a weekly lab component.

Bio 111 (Introduction to ecology and evolution - Fall course) is geared towards students with a strong science background and is best suited for Biology, BMB, and Environmental Studies majors. It has a lab component.

Bio 113 (Introduction to Phage Biology - Fall course) is a research-intensive course geared towards science students.  It can substitute for either Bio 110 or Bio 111 for any major.  It has a lab component and assumes students will also sign up for Bio 114 (Phage Genomics) concurrently with Bio 112 in the spring.  Open to a limited number of students by application only.

Bio 112 (Form and Function - Spring course) is required for Biology, BMB, Health Science majors, pre-med students, and has a pre-requisite of Bio 110 or 111 or 113.

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Transfer Student Resources

Residential & First-Year Programs:  Allison Schofield,

Registrar's Office: Lindsay Arlington,

Office of Academic Advising: Dean GailAnn Rickert,