Declaring the Biology Major

Students intending to major in Biology should plan to complete at least one semester of introductory Biology in Year 1. Prospective majors should also complete the required introductory courses in Math and Chemistry by the end of Year 2. All students must have completed 1 course in Biology before being permitted entry into the major. Students seeking an exception to this rule for any reason should speak with the Department. Successful applicants to the major will have satisfied the above requirements in addition to having a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their major coursework at the time of declaration.

All students must declare a major by the end of Year 2, however students may declare Biology sooner if they have completed a minimum of 1 course in Biology and other introductory science/math coursework that is applicable to the Biology major requirements.

The following steps must be taken to complete the declaration process:

  • Create a PennInTouch worksheet for the Biology major.
  • Review your worksheet and choice of major with your pre-major advisor and ask that your pre-major advisor change the status of your PennInTouch worksheet to official.
  • Complete and submit the Student Information Form and Course Sequence Worksheet to the Biology Academic Office (Leidy Labs, Room 102). Please note that on the Course Sequence Worksheet, you should list the semester and year in which you either completed a course requirement or intend to complete a course requirement in the future. Course sequence worksheets for concentrations can be found on the concentration webpages.
  • Await an email with information about your assigned major advisor.
  • Schedule an appointment and meet with your assigned major advisor, who will then sign-off on your Course Sequence Worksheet.
  • Submit the signed Course Sequence Worksheet to Leidy 102, after which the major will be added to your student records.

Inquiries about the status of your application should be made to bio-undergraduate@sas.upenn.edu

Transfer students usually state their choice of major upon admission to the University. This does not automatically admit them to the Biology major. Transfer students must have at least one grade for a Penn Biology major course before applying to the major.