Explore the Biology Major (BA)

Calvin’s bachelor of arts in biology major places less emphasis on research, allowing you to combine the program with other majors like psychology, business, international development studies or education. As a biology student at Calvin, you will explore what it means to be a Christian scientist, take a wide variety of courses, ranging from immunology to anatomy to cellular biology, and learn about how to think about the world from a biological perspective.

Course Requirements 2014-2015

  • Take four introductory courses to vie you a broad base in biology.

  • Choose four upper level courses to fit your specific interests in the field of biology.

  • Have the opportunity to complete a second major.

  • Take a capstone course to explore what it means to be both a Christian and a scientist.

Course requirements (2014-15)

(35 semester hours)

  • BIOL-123 The Living World: Concepts & Connections
  • BIOL-224 Cellular & Genetic Systems
  • BIOL-225 Ecological & Evolutionary Systems
  • BIOL-250 Research Design & Methodology
  • BIOL-295 Biology Seminar (taken twice, one concurrently with BIOL-250)
  • Four from:
    • BIOL-311 Field Botany
    • BIOL-313 Paleontology
    • BIOL-321 Genetics and Development
    • BIOL-323 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
    • BIOL-325 Biotechnology
    • BIOL-331 Comparative Animal Physiology
    • BIOL-332 Plant Physiology
    • BIOL-333 Immunology and Hematology
    • BIOL-335 Cell Physiology
    • BIOL-336 General Microbiology
    • BIOL-338 Animal Behavior
    • BIOL-341 Entomology
    • BIOL-344 Vertebrate Biology
    • BIOL-345 Ecosystem Ecology and Management
    • BIOL-346 Plant Taxonomy
    • BIOL-364 Global Health, Environment, & Sustainability
    • BIOL-385 Internship in Biology
    • BIOL-390 Independent Study
    • BIOL-399 Undergraduate Research
    • CHEM-324 Biochemistry II
    • An approved interim, three of which must have a laboratory component (Chemistry 383 fulfills the laboratory component for Chemistry 324)
  • One from:
    • BIOL-395 Perspectives in Biology
    • BIOL-396 Perspectives in Medicine
  • Completion of an externally-normed test ( for example the biology major field test)


(15-17 semester hours)
  • CHEM-103 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM-104 General Chemistry II
  • MATH-145 Biostatistics
  • One from:
    • CS-106 Intro Scientific Computation & Modeling
    • CHEM-253 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
    • CHEM-261 Organic Chemistry I
    • GEOL-151 Introductory Geology
    • MATH-132 Calculus for Management, Life & Social Sciences
    • MATH-171 Calculus I
    • PHYS-223 Physics for Health Sciences
    • PSYC-333 Brain & Behavior

Honors: You must complete three courses in biology with honors, submit an honors thesis, and earn a minimum 3.5 GPA in the major to satisfy the college’s honors program.

  1. The honors section of 123 The Living World: Concepts and Connections.

  2. Two honors courses must be taken from courses numbered 313-364 (excluding 354), the details of which will be worked out by the student and instructor at registration for the courses.


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