Prospective Students

As you explore our web site, we hope that you will discover all the great reasons to come to Gettysburg:

  • Close collaboration between students and faculty.
  • A major with breadth and depth, offering a solid grounding in biological principles as well as a diversity of courses.
  • Opportunities for research on and off campus.
  • Access to equipment rarely available to undergraduate students at larger institutions.
  • A supportive environment to do great work

If you have any questions about our Biology program, contact the Department at

Information about first semester courses

Intro Biology Special Recommendations (PDF)

Biology majors: Prospective majors should note that Introductory Biology and Chemistry are year-long sequences that can only be started in the fall. In their first year, prospective majors should take Biology 111 in the fall and Biology 112 in the spring. Since Chemistry is required for the Biology major, students who are sure of their intent to major in Biology should enroll in Chemistry 105 or 107 along with Biology 111 in the first semester. This permits a better integration of chemistry into upper level biology courses. Students may, however, delay chemistry until their second year and still complete the Biology major.  Students who start their Biology major as sophomores need to take both Biology (111-112) and Chemistry 105/107-108) that year. A mathematics course (calculus or statistics) is required for the Biology major and should be completed in the first or second year.

Additional information

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology majors: Students planning a major in the interdisciplinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program should take Biology 111 and Chemistry 105 or 107 in the fall semester. Since Mathematics 111-112 is required for the major, consideration should be given to enrolling in Math 111 during the first year. For advising help contact professor Steve James (

Premedical students: Students planning to attend medical or veterinary school immediately after college should have completed Biology 111-112 (or Biology 110-112 if not majoring in Biology), Chemistry 107-108, Chemistry 203-204, and Physics 103-104 (or 109-110 or 111-112) by the end of the junior year. This will prepare students to take the Medical College Admissions test (MCAT) at this time. In order to keep this rigorous schedule, students should give careful consideration to planning their first year courses. While medical schools require that students must have taken these courses to gain admission, they do not require any particular major.

Information about AP credit

Students who successfully pass the Princeton Advanced Placement Examination (Level 4 or 5) may receive credit for one or two Biology 100-level courses as general elective credit toward graduation (but typically not as substitute for Biology 110, Biology 111, or Biology 112). Most students who wish to major in Biology forego AP credit and enroll in Biology 111/112. Decisions on the course of action appropriate for any particular student are made in the Fall of the first year in consultation with the student's academic advisor.