Biology Major Requirements

Students interested in pursuing the Biology major may do so by following either Track 1 or Track 2. Track 1 is a one semester lecture introduction to the major and is designed for students with a strong foundation in high school Biology and Chemistry. The BIOL 1121 lecture covers topics similar to those found in BIOL 1101, but in greater detail and at a quicker pace.

Track 2 is the more standard two semester introduction to the major. Biology 1101 covers topics in cellular and molecular biology and genetics, and BIOL 1102 covers topics in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. 

To make a request to apply for the Biology major, please log-in to Path@Penn, select Path forms, then choose "Declare/Update Field of Study". Also, fill out the Student Information form and Course Sequence worksheet and submit it to the following link. If interested in pursuing a concentration, find the corresponding course sequence worksheet here.

*Sophomores and Juniors, when submitting your declaration request on Path@Penn, please do so for the Spring 2024 semester.

*Please note: Requests will not be reviewed until all materials are submitted.


Course Requirements for the Biology Major


Biology majors should complete the following introductory sequences by the end of the sophomore year:


Introductory Biology (2-3 CUs)

Track 1 (2 CUs): BIOL1121, BIOL1123 and BIOL1124 (BIOL 1121 and 1123 should be taken together) [BIOL121, 123 and BIOL 124]
Track 2 (3 CUs): BIOL1101 and BIOL1102 [BIOL 101 and 102]

Chemistry (2 CUs) (Courses with attribute ABIC)

CHEM1011 or 1012 or 1151 with 1101 (1.5 CUs) [CHEM101 or 115 with 053]
CHEM1021 or 1022 or 1161 with 1102 (1.5 CUs) [CHEM102 or 116 with 054]
CHEM2411 (1.5 CU) [CHEM 241 & 244]
CHEM2421 (1.5 CU) [CHEM242 & 249]


Additional Chemistry and/or Physics (2 CUs)

PHYS0101 or 0150 or 0170 (1.5 CUs) [PHYS 101 or 150 or 170]
PHYS0102 or 0151 or 0171 (1.5 CUs) [PHYS 102 or 151 or 171]
Any CHEM from the above list


Calculus and/or Statistics (2 CUs)

MATH1400 (1 CU) [MATH 104]
MATH1410 (1 CU) [MATH 114]
STAT1020 or STAT1110 or BIOL2510 (1 CU) [STAT102 or 111 or BIOL446]


Completion of the major requires:


Intermediate Biology (3-4 CUs)

Track 1: Must take 4 courses, one from each of the four groups

Track 2: Must take 3 courses from three different groups

Group 1: BIOL2810 or BIOL2010 or CHEM2510 (1 CU) [BIOL204 or 205 or CHEM 251]
Group 2: BIOL2210 (1 CU) [BIOL 221]
Group 3: BIOL2311 or BIOL2140 or BIOL2110 or 3310 (1 CU) [BIOL 210 or 231 or 251 or 215]
Group 4: BIOL2410 or BIOL2610 (1 CU) [BIOL 230 or 240]

Four Additional Biology Courses (4 CUs) (Courses with attribute ABXD)

Must take 4 courses from the following options

NRSC1110 or BIOL1604 [BIOL 109 or 140]
Additional BIOL2000, BIOL3000, 4000, or 5000 level courses
Up to 2 Approved Extra-Departmental Courses for biology majors (see restrictions)