Fulfilling the GER with Biology

Foundations Distributional Requirements: Science 

The Foundations' Distributional Requirements aim to expose students to a variety of disciplines, approaches, and skills as part of their liberal arts education at Barnard. These requirements include taking two courses in science, one of which must include a lab. However, this requirement is flexible, and the two science lectures no longer need to be taken from the same discipline as was the case for the Nine Ways of Knowing curriculum. In order to take a lab course in the biology department that satisfies the science lecture requirement, you must take the co- or pre-requisite lecture. 

Scores of 4 or 5 in AP/IB tests may count towards degree credit, but do not fulfill the science distributional requirement. 


What Biology courses can I use to complete the GER?

You can complete the Science Lecture and Lab requirement by choosing classes entirely within Biology with any one of the following sets of courses:

1. BIOL BC1002 + BIOL BC1012 (lab and lecture) in the Fall, then BIOL BC1001 (lecture only) in the Spring

2. BIOL BC1002 + BIOL BC1012 (lab and lecture) in the Fall, then BIOL BC1502 (lecture only) in the Spring or BIOL BC1500 (lecture only) in the subsequent Fall

3. BIOL BC1001 (lecture only) in the Spring, then BIOL BC1500+1501 
(lab and lecture) in the Fall or BIOL BC1502+1503 (lab and lecture) in the subsequent Spring

5. Either combination of 1500-level lecture with lab in Spring/Fall + the subsequent 1500-level lecture

Do I need to take the Biology courses in a particular order?

Students who take BIOL BC1002+BIOL BC1012 in the Fall, can choose to continue with BIOL BC1001 in the Spring (to fulfill the Science GER) or move to BIOL BC1502+BIOL BC1503 in the Spring (to fulfill Biology/Neuroscience major and/or pre-health requirements); however, those pursuing the major/to fulfill pre-health requirements must then also take BIOL BC1500+BIOL BC1501 in the subsequent Fall semester before taking the BIOL BC2100 Mendelian & Molecular Genetics lecture course. 

Both the 1000- and 1500-level Biology courses can be taken in any order (you can start with the Fall OR the Spring course first; the labs are co- or pre-requisites).

What Biology courses should I use to complete the GER if I am Pre-Health?

Pre-Health students MUST take the complete 1500-level Biology sequence to fulfill the pre-health requirement. If you feel that you have a weak Biology background you should speak to a member of the Biology department about taking BIOL BC1002+BIOL BC1012 as preparation for the 1500-level series.

I received AP or IB credit for Biology. How do I complete the GER?

AP or IB credit in Biology will be applied towards your degree as credit, but it does not exempt you from any GER requirements.

I received AP or IB credit for Biology, but my Psychology major requires two semesters of lab. What Biology course can I take to complete the Psychology major requirement?

Because AP credit does not apply toward GER requirements and therefore does not apply toward the science GER requirement, our recommendation is that you take the complete 1500-level series. However,  you have the option of taking BIOL BC1002 with lab, and BIOL BC1502+BIOL BC1503. You should speak to a member of the Psychology Department about your options.

What about experiments on animals?

There are no dissections or experiments that harm animals in either 1000-level laboratory course.  Therefore, it is possible to complete the Science GER with BC1002 followed by BC1001 and not do any invasive or harmful experiments on animals.