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Changing to Current Curriculum FAQ

 

  1. What are the requirements of the new majors?
  2. How do I switch to the new majors?
  3. Which of the new majors is best for my career plans?
  4. How will changing my major affect my general education requirements (GFR or GEP)?
  5. What changes have been made to the BIOL minor program?
  6. Shouldn’t pre-medical students be enrolled in a Biology B.S. major?
  7. When will the new curriculum take effect?
  8. Will all courses required for the old curriculum continue to be taught?
  9. Which courses will be phased out? When will they be phased out?
  10. Can any courses from the old curriculum be used to satisfy requirements for new courses in the new curriculum?
  11. Will I be able to count courses in Anatomy & Physiology or Microbiology toward major requirements?
  12. What changes are being made in required studies of quantitative analysis?
  13. Does the new curriculum include Honors College courses?

  1. What are the requirements of the new majors? 
    All requirements are listed on course requirement worksheets available for each of the programs: BIOL B.A.BIOL B.S. and BIOL minor.
  2. How do I switch to the new majors?
    Those students who are not placed in the new majors because they entered UMBC before Fall 2010 can apply to change to the new majors by submitting a form to override the default decision based on their date of entry. Please consult the switching to the new majors page for more details.
  3. Which of the new majors is best for my career plans? 
    The new majors have been designed to meet the needs of different groups of students. The new BIOL B.A. is less research intensive and involves fewer laboratory classes. It is especially appropriate for students planning professional training X (dental, medical, pharmacy, veterinary). The BIOL B.A. would also be appropriate for students planning training in an allied health X field (nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, etc.). Because the BIOL B.A. requires significantly fewer credits, it is also more appropriate for students whose career plans do not fit into any of these categories. X For exmple, a student may wish to combine training in Biological Sciences and Visual Art to prepare for a career in scientific illustration, for instance. The new BIOL B.S. is an experimental major and is designed for those students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. or Masters in the science X or students planning a career as a research technician X in academia or business.
  4. How will changing my major affect my general education requirements (GFR or GEP)? 
    Changing from the old to new B.A. will have no effect on your GFR or GEP requirements. However, changing from the B.S. to the B.A. will affect your Language or Culture requirements. Under the GFR requirements (for those who began higher education before Fall 2007) B.S. students may substitute one Langugae or Culture (L or C) with a course in mathematics. Under the GEP requirements (for those beginning on or after Fall 2007) the B.S. students must complete one Culture course while B.A. students must complete two. In either case, changing from the B.S. to the B.A. will require completion of an additional L or C course.
  5. What changes have been made to the BIOL minor program? 
    The old BIOL required completion of BIOL 100 and BIOL 301, both of which are being phased out. The new major replaces these two courses with the BIOL 141/BIOL 142 series. Also, the old BIOL minor program required completion of the BIOL 100L Concepts of Biology Laboratory, which is to be phased out. The new minor replaces BIOL 100L with the new BIOL 300L laboratory course.
  6. Shouldn’t pre-medical students be enrolled in a Biology B.S. major? 
    No. This is a misconception. The American Association of Medical Colleges confirms that students are admitted to medical school at similar rates regardless of their major. In fact, applicants with a humanities B.A. are actually more likely to be admitted than those with a Biological Sciences degree (50% versus 42% in 2009). The average science, non-science and total GPA of matriculants is not significantly different by major nor are the average MCAT scores. While it is true that students who do not major in Biology or other science still must achieve similar GPAs in their science classes, enrolling in a degree program in which you can achieve your best possible overall GPA should improve your chances of admission. Don’t be fooled into enrolling in the “most difficult” possible major and achieving a GPA that disqualifies you from admission (remember, difficulty has more to do with the talents and abilities of the student than the topic of the major).
  7. When will the new curriculum take effect? 
    It will take effect starting in the Fall semester of 2010, with some elements phased in during Spring 2010 and Fall 2011 (including new laboratory courses). All Freshmen beginning study on or after that date will be required to complete the new curriculum. Continuing students can chose to pursue the old curriculum or to transfer to one of the new programs (BIOL B.A.BIOL B.S. or BIOL minor).
  8. Will all courses required for the old curriculum continue to be taught? 
    No, but they will be phased out over several semesters allowing continuing students to meet major requirements. After the courses are phased out, equivalencies will be established to allow students to satisfy the requirements of the old majors by taking new courses in the new majors. During the phasing out of the old courses students continuing in the old majors should make the effort to take these classes before they are phased out.
  9. Which courses will be phased out? When will they be phased out?  
    The courses BIOL 100 (Concepts of Biology), BIOL 100L (Concepts of Experimental Biology), BIOL 301 (Evolution & Ecology) and BIOL 303L(Cell Biology Laboratory) are the only courses that will be phased out. BIOL 100 and BIOL 301 will be replaced by a two-semester introductory biology series, BIOL 141 (Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms) and BIOL 142 (Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution). BIOL 100L will be replaced for majors by the new BIOL 300L core laboratory course to be offered for the first time in Fall 2011. BIOL 303L will be replaced by a projected Cell & Developmental Biology Laboratory. The old courses will be phased out by the Fall 2010 semester (a detailed schedule is available).
  10.  Can any courses from the old curriculum be used to satisfy requirements for new courses in the new curriculum? 
    Yes, when continuing students change from the old to the new majors some completed courses can satisfy requirements for new courses. The requirements for BIOL 141 and BIOL 142 can be satisfied by previously completed BIOL 100 and BIOL 301, respectively. (BIOL 301 taken during the 2010-2011 academic year can be used to satisfy the BIOL 142 requirement although you are encouraged to enroll in BIOL 142 when it is presented starting in Spring 2011.) Previously completed BIOL 303L would satisfy the requirement for BIOL 300L.
  11. Will I be able to count courses in Anatomy & Physiology or Microbiology toward major requirements? 
    Yes, in the new curriculum these courses can be used toward the Junior-level elective requirements. The combination of BIOL 251 and BIOL 252(Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II) will satisfy this elective for the BIOL B.A. degree. BIOL 275 (Microbiology) can be used toward this requirement for either the BIOL B.A. or the BIOL B.S. degree.
  12. What changes will be made in required studies of quantitative analysis? 
    The new curriculum has additional requirements in Mathematics & Statistics or Computer Science. The BIOL B.A. has two required courses:STAT 350 (Statistics with Applications in the Biological Sciences) and either MATH 151 (Calculus & Analytical Geometry I) or MATH 155(Elementary Calculus I). The BIOL B.S. has two required courses, STAT 350MATH 151, plus an elective course from this list: MATH 152(Calculus and Analytical Geometry II), MATH 221 (Introduction to Linear Algebra), STAT 414 (Environmental Statistics), STAT 420 (Statistics for Bioinformatics), STAT 454 (Applied Statistics), or CMSC 201 (Computer Science I for Majors).
  13. Does the new curriculum include Honors College courses? 
    Yes, honors sections of the first two core courses will be offered as BIOL 141H and BIOL 142H. These courses are available only to students in the Honors College. Students will meet for one hour per week with a faculty member and explore course issues in greater depth.