You will stand out in a biology major if you have beforehand knowledge of chemistry, physics, maths, stats, genetics, molecular & cell biology, and ecology – to name a few.
A major in Biology has widescale application and unlimited scope even in the times to come. It is the perfect discipline for you if you are interested in learning about living beings and their ecosystems. It all sounds very simple but if you do not meet the prerequisites for Biology major program, getting admission into the course gets difficult.
Some subject areas that you must have already studied to get into a Bio major are the basic science – physics, chemistry math. In addition to these, you must not be alien to topics like cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, and evolution.
Course programs do not expect you to have a mastery in these topics, rather you just need to be aware of what these topics are and what role they play in biological processes.
Further, depending on your interest, you can study organisms at a micro or macro level. With a Biology Majors, you can pursue a career in dentistry, medicine, and allied health sciences.
What Are The Biology Major Prerequisites You Need To Fulfil?
Biology Major involves understanding living organisms, their characteristics, and their functions. Students will employ an integrative approach, wherein they spend time in the classroom learning concepts and practicing them in the research lab.
As part of the programs, students will work independently and collaboratively on the research projects and in the lab to analyze the results, conduct several studies, and present their findings. Students will also gain a solid Biology foundation, which prepares them for a career in environmental studies and health or opts for graduate-level programs.
Whatever you pick, some pre reqs for Biology major will come in handy. We will discuss them one by one below.
Biology and Physics relate to the laws of nature to understand the universe’s behavior and matter. Sans time, space, and energy, the primary components comprising the universe, it would have been impossible for living organisms to exist.
Physics has helped several biologists in explaining and researching various biological events. Moreover, several biologists see the relevance and value of physics and how it can inform biological research, not only in the analysis but also in the methods and concepts.
Some physics concepts that form vital prerequisites for Biology degrees include equilibrium, RC circuits, dimensional analysis, and harmonic oscillation. You could take up an online course to brush up your knowledge of physics as well.
Typically, every Biology Major must possess a working knowledge of chemistry. Many even refer to chemistry as the language of Biology. Some chemistry understanding that can help in your journey includes a rudimentary level of chemical knowledge and molecular areas of Biology.
Top Biology faculty believes you must have studied chemistry for at least a year and a half to undertake a Biology Major. Hence, it is crucial to have basic knowledge of chemistry.
Of all the science Majors, Biology requires minimum mathematical training as it has the minimum mathematical application. A medical professional or a Biology Major should be able to think mathematically – use clear logic patterns, interpret quantitative information, and analyze graphical information.
Thus, a solid mathematical background in core areas of statistics, probability, linear algebra (systems of equations, matrices, vectors), calculus, and computer programming can amplify your chances of success in the Biology Major.
Hence, math is one of the Biology degree prerequisites. In-depth knowledge of statistics and calculus is mandatory because these are vital for performing and understanding scientific research. Some schools recommend Biology Majors take Calculus 1 and 2 classes. Thus, it is something you cannot ignore.
Biology Majors take several science-based courses, which prepare them to work for a higher degree or in this field. Because Biology Majors work with data to perform experiments and register the results, fundamental statistics knowledge is another one of the topics you must have some knowledge about.
Consequently, Biology programs offer biostatistics, that is, statistics applied to Biology, where you get well-versed with regular statistical concepts, such as probability, distribution, data visualization, hypothesis testing, mean and variance, and more.
But, as a Biology Major, you must focus your learning on applying statistical procedures and concepts to biological phenomena.
5. Genetics and Molecular Biology
The next subject area you must know about beforehand is molecular Biology and genetics. Firstly, it helps to know about the organization of genetic material and its nature in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. In addition, you must be well-acquainted with the chromatin structure, the gene’s fine structure, different kinds of genes, overlapping, gene amplification, and split genes.
Moreover, polyprotein, polytene chromosome, mitochondrial & plastid genomes, C – Value paradox, assembled, and nested genes learning is also beneficial for Biology Majors.
Furthermore, DNA replication, its mechanism, and types of DNA polymerases are also important prerequisites for Biology degree. Accessory proteins and enzymes involved in DNA replication, telomeres replication, and their significance are other essential topics. Get well-acquainted with DNA repair and damage and the differences in eukaryotic and prokaryotic DNA regulation and replication.
Some other genetics and molecular Biology topics that help a Biology Major include transcriptional factors, tRNA, rRNA, RNA, and mRNA processing, their editing and transport, types of RNA polymerases, mechanism of transcription, and promoter-polymerase interactions.
Also comprehend protein targeting, translational machinery, leader sequences, translation regulation, trans mechanism of initiation, co, and post-translational modifications, and genetic code.
6. Cellular Biology and Development
Cell Biology and Development is a diverse group of technologies and disciplines interlinked by a common goal of understanding the behavior and nature of cells and how they work together to organize an organism. It is a new discipline, but one of the crucial Biology Major prerequisites.
As part of this, you must be well-versed in the function and structure of the cells and how they interact to yield a complex organism that emerges from a fertilized egg. Moreover, this learning provides students an intensive training that prepares them for graduate programs like Biology Major.
7. Evolution and Biodiversity
Biodiversity implies the variety of life on Earth. It comprises ecosystem diversity, genetic diversity within each species, and species diversity. As part of this learning, you study the evolutionary processes. They maintain and generate genetic and organismal diversity, Biology and evolutionary relationships within the specific organismal groups, and patterns of species biodiversity in time and space.
It is one of the essential Biology degree prerequisites, wherein theme members perform research on different biodiversity aspects from both conversation-related and evolutionary perspectives. Current research on adaption comprises the genetic basis of adaptation, the evolution of flower shape in response to animal pollinators, and the maintenance and evolution of mating and sociality systems.
Lastly, another aspect of genetic diversity and species domain will also prove beneficial for Biology Majors. It includes the conservation and systematics Biology of various organisms like fish, vascular plants, vertebrates, and lichens and the study of biological diversity related to human sustainability and well-being.
8. Ecology and Behavior
The list of prerequisites for Biology will be incomplete without including ecology and behavior. It is another one of the top aspects that every Biology Major should be well-versed with. As part of it, you will study the relationship among living beings, forced, which impacts their evolution, and behavior patterns.
Do All Courses Have The Same Prerequisites?
Different universities or online courses may have different prerequisites needed to opt for a Biology major.
We have discussed the general prerequisites for a Biology Major. However, we cannot deny that this is an inclusive list. So, several other requirements might exist, unique to the university wherein you opt for this course.
Below, we will address the prerequisites list for three of the top Universities. If you wish to excel in the class or simplify your journey of excellence, understanding these prerequisites can streamline the process:
- Biology Major Requirements for University of Pennsylvania
- Biology Major Requirements for University of California, Los Angeles
- The Undergraduate Major in Biology for Stanford University
To Sum Up…
Sometimes prerequisites are inevitable to get into a program. But sometimes they are just optional. However, it will always be beneficial for you to have some background knowledge about the subject you wish to major in and this applies to any field of study, not only Biology. So, if you have the knowledge of Biology Major prerequisites, going for higher studies becomes much easier.