Biology Major Frequently
Asked Questions (updated 10/2017)
Q. Which courses
should I take first?
following one of our suggested CU Biology Major Coursework 4-Year Plan. If you have
questions meet with your Academic Advisor.
Q. Which courses
should not be taken together?
A. The Biology
Major is challenging and several courses are historically very difficult for
students. Ideally, we recommend students take no more than 2 science courses
together in any semester. Courses with labs require a lot more time. Organic
chemistry, Human Anatomy, and Genetics are historically difficult for students;
we do not recommend taking these at the same time. Consider following one of
our suggested CU Biology Major Coursework 4-Year Plan.
Q. Which electives should
A. Biology is a
very broad field and so the elective choices are very diverse (i.e., ecology,
cell, molecular). If you are unsure about the field of biology that you would
like to pursue in a career, we suggest taking diverse electives so you can be
exposed to many aspects of biology. This should help you to narrow your
interests down and help you choose a career. If you know what you want to do
when you graduate, work with your Advisor or Biology Faculty Member to choose
electives. If you already know that you wish to apply to a graduate or
professional program after graduation, review the course requirements to apply
to the program and choose your electives based on those requirements. Speak
with your Advisor or Biology Faculty Member if you have any questions!
Q. Which Bio Major
classes are offered online?
A. We have offered
the following classes online: General Biology I BIOL2051 (lecture only),
General Biology II BIOL2061 (lecture only), Principles of Ecology BIOL3411,
General Genetics BIOL3832, Cell Biology BIOL3611, Intro to Evolution
BIOL3445. They are not offered online every
semester or in a consistent pattern. I would not suggest waiting to take them
until they are offered online; they are offered each semester on campus.
Q. How do I know when
a specific course will be offered?
A. We offer the
required biology courses (Gen Bio, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, Cell) every
semester (fall, spring and summer). We offer Microbiology, Anatomy and
Physiology every fall and spring semester. Upper division biology elective
course are not offered in specific patterns. There are always many upper
division biology electives to choose from. I recommend searching in the
Schedule Planner in UCDAcess for BIOL courses which will list all biology courses offered
for a semester. If you search for specific electives, you may be frustrated
that a specific course is not offered in that particular semester and you may
miss out on unique offerings that you would not have searched for.
Q. I tried to
register for a course but it wouldn’t let me because I don’t have the prerequisite.
What does that mean?
courses build upon prior knowledge. Each course has specific prerequisites
which must be completed before taking the course. You will be blocked from
registering if you have not completed the prerequisites. The prerequisites have
been decided by the instructors for the course and ensure that you have the
necessary background to succeed in the course. You will not be able to take a
course without completing the prerequisite. If you have completed the prerequisites
at another institution but they are not in the CU Denver system, contact the Biology
Q. I am interested in
attending graduate school after I complete my bachelor’s degree. What should I
A. Get to know
your professors! This will be useful for several reasons: a) Get some research experience , b) They know lots of
things about graduate school and programs, c) You will need great letters of
recommendation from some of your instructors. It is difficult for them to write
these if they don’t know you.
Q. I am interested in
a career in health. What classes should I take?
A. There are many
different paths for a career in health (i.e., nursing, medical doctor, public
health worker, medical laboratory technician). CU Denver has a Health Professions Advising center. I suggest reviewing the information on their website
and meeting with one of their advisors to discuss possible careers and the
requirements and pathways to achieve those careers.
Q. What classes do I
have left to take before I can graduate?
A. Stop in to see
your Advisor. You can also review your Degree Audit in UCDAccess. If you are
confused about how to read your audit or you think there is something incorrect
in your audit, contact your Advisor.