B.A. Completion Schedule
A sample schedule for completion of the B.A. in biology
This best way to complete a major in Biology in 4 years is to begin the BIOL and CHEM courses immediately. It is not a good idea to simply "get all your general education courses out of the way." This is a recipe that ensures you will need 5 or 6 years to graduate. The schedule listed below is one of many sensible, economical means to completing the degree in 4 years. (And you can simply consider that this suggested schedule gets your science generals "out of the way.")
This sample schedule begins with a Fall semester. Because of sequencing issues, starting in the Spring semester practically guarantees that a student will be here for at least 4.5 years.
This is only a sample schedule. Variations are possible and probable; it is rare that two students follow exactly the same path. However, the scheduling of the BIOL, CHEM, and PHYS courses in years 1 and 2 are a must if one wishes to graduate in 4 years. The ordering of the Molecular and Cellular, Organismal, and Population courses listed below are flexible. The only requirement is that the student completes one Molecular and Cellular section course, two Organismal section courses, and two Population section courses. These are listed as "upper division course" in the sample schedule provided.
The biology curriculum consists of three parts: the "intros" (100-level and 200-level), the "upper divisions" (300 and 400-level), and the "electives." Note that individuals that participate in a research program are exempted from the electives. A student must take 5 intros, 5 upper divisions, and either two electives or an equivalent level of research credit. There is room for additional coursework.
This sample curriculum includes a minor (Option I) in Chemistry. There are lots of variations of this curriculum. By default, all biology majors receive a concentration in Physical Science. For graduation, a student must direct their additional general education coursework to complete either a minor (the usual is Chemistry) or two additional concentrations.
Be sure to consult the MSU catalog to ensure that courses you take belong to the General Education curriculum (see pp. 28-30, 2006-2008 edition). You'll be unpleasantly surprised if you assume that all courses are considered part of the curriculum.