FAQ's for Biology Majors

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can core courses count as electives? Yes, any core course taken in addition to the 3 cores required for the major may count as an 1100+ elective.
  2. I took Biology 1101 and 1102. Can Bio 1101 count as an elective? Yes, Biology 1101 will count as a lower level elective.
  3. Can Independent Study/honors count as an elective? No, independent study/honors courses do not count toward the 8 courses needed for the Biology major. They do of course count for Bowdoin credit.
  4. How do I know if a course I plan to take somewhere other than Bowdoin, whether abroad or in the US, summer or academic year, can count as credit toward my Biology major/minor? You need to make an appointment with Pam Bryer before you take the course to determine what, if any, credit may be given. You will need to bring as much information to the meeting as possible, including a course description, syllabus, and textbook information (if available).
  5. I want to take the physics (or math, or chemistry) required for the Biology major during the summer. How do I get that approved by the Biology department? You need to get approval from the Physics (or Math or Chemistry) Department before you take that course. That department will need to see a course description, syllabus, etc. to determine if the course you plan to take is equivalent to its Bowdoin counterpart. If that Department approves the transfer of credit then the Biology Department will approve the course for the Biology major.
  6. I took a course that can be counted toward the Biology major Credit/D/Fail before I decided I wanted to major in Biology. May I count that course toward my major? No, all courses required for the major, including the chemistry, math and physics required courses must have a letter grade.
  7. I received a D in orgo and am not doing so well in one of my Biology courses. If I receive a D in that Biology course will I be able to still count it toward one of my 8 courses for the major? No, only one D is allowed in all courses required for the major. That includes the physics, chemistry, and math requirements. In addition, that one D must be offset by an A or B grade in another course required for the major.
  8. I think I have most of my requirements done for my Biology major/minor. How can I be sure I’m on track? You should always check in with your advisor, but you also may check with Pam Bryer. She goes over the transcripts of all Biology majors and minors several times during the year to check on student progress. At the beginning of your senior year you will receive a letter from her listing the courses you will need to complete during your senior year in order to complete the major/minor.