Explore your interests in biology at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

The biology major has a three-course introductory sequence: BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function, BIOL 135: Ecology, Evolution, and Society, and BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function. Prospective biology majors should plan to start the introductory sequence during their first or second year, beginning with either BIOL 130 or BIOL 135. Note: First-year and second-year students enrolling in BIOL 130 are also required to concurrently enroll in a 1-unit course, BIOL 131: Biology Learning Teams. Most intermediate-level biology courses require completion of BIOL 150, so students wishing to take intermediate-level biology courses in the second year should also aim to complete BIOL 150 during the first year (Note: BIOL 130 is a prerequisite for BIOL 150). Students should plan to take BIOL 280: Experimental Design and Statistics in their second year.

New students should not take more than one natural science laboratory course per term.

AP/IB Credit and Advanced Placement

Students who have earned AP or IB credit in biology are exempt from BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function and BIOL 131: Biology Learning Teams, but not the other introductory courses in the major. 

Students without AP/IB credit can opt to take a departmental exemption exam for either BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function and/or BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function if they feel well qualified based on previous coursework. Contact the biology department chair, Judith Humphries (judith.humphries@lawrence.edu), for more information. Meanwhile, students with a strong background in chemistry who pass the online chemistry placement exam can skip CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity and begin with CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics (CHEM 116 is a requirement for the biology major). 

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective biology majors can consult with any of the following biology faculty about serving as a major advisor:

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the biology minor. Instead, biology minors are encouraged to consult with the department chair or other biology faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the biology program, we invite you to contact the department chair.