The biology major at Longwood provides training in many areas of the biological sciences so that graduates may pursue graduate study or careers in research, industry, teaching, medicine, dentistry, or allied health fields. To ensure that students have a broad background in the diverse field of biological sciences, each student must take the following courses: Integrative Biology, Introduction to Genetics and Cell Biology, Introduction to Ecology and Evolution, Sophomore Seminar, Senior Capstone in Biology, and Senior Assessment. In addition, students will take one course from each of three areas (Cell and Molecular; Ecology and Evolution; Organismal) and upper-level elective courses.
Students may take a maximum of 5 credits total in internship (392, 492, 494) and research (BIOL 496, BIOL 497) courses for quality points (A, B, and C grades). Beyond 5 credits, such courses must be taken on a pass/fail basis and will not count toward requirements for the major or minor. Please note: 40 hours of internship/research experience equals 1 university credit hour.
No grade below C- in biology courses is accepted for graduation requirements in the biology major or minor.
Students interested in pursuing health-related professions should become familiar with selected professional school(s) early in their academic career as course requirements for individual schools vary. Typical courses required for admission into most professional schools include: at least 8 credits of Biology coursework, 8 credits of General Chemistry, 8 credits of Organic Chemistry, 6 credits of English, 6 credits of Math (with at least 1 course in statistics), and 8 credits of Physics. Although a biology degree is not an entrance requirement for most professional school programs, the majority of applicants are from life science majors. Furthermore, the four-year biology major curriculum already includes the courses that are typically required and will prepare students for the required admissions exams (MCAT, DAT, or GRE), usually taken after completing their junior year. Please note that the MCAT exam includes the topics of Biochemistry, Sociology, Psychology, and Statistics. Students who intend to take the MCAT are strongly encouraged to choose coursework in these topics for electives within the biology major or for general education classes. As minimal preparation, students should complete all required courses by the end of their junior year. Students should also invest a substantial amount of time preparing for the requisite admission exam.
For admission into graduate or professional school, students should have a strong GPA and score competitively on the admissions exam. To be a viable candidate for admission to a medical/dental/veterinary/allied health professions school, students must also demonstrate firsthand experience in their chosen area of study. This can be accomplished by “shadowing” a clinician whereby a pre-professional student observes and assists practicing health professionals or through volunteer or paid work in a hospital, clinic, or other health setting. Course credit can be obtained for these experiences by registering for 392, 492, or 494 Internship in Biology. Please note: 40 hours of internship experience equals 1 university credit hour.
The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences also maintains articulation agreements with several clinical lab programs within Virginia for students interested in certification/licensure in medical technology and/or clinical lab sciences. These curricula may require transfer to another institution for part of the undergraduate program of study.
The Biology Major is a four-year BS degree program. Therefore, a transfer student can expect to spend a minimum of three years within the biology program. A student planning to transfer to Longwood’s biology program is encouraged to contact the Chair of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences for questions about the student’s transfer plans.