Biology - BS

This worksheet is a planning tool and enrollment guide for use during your enrollment appointment. The first section (in purple) identifies the required major related courses and Cluster One GenEd course you need to enroll in your first semester. The green area contains courses that are required for your major but are optional for the first semester. If you do not enroll in the optional courses your first semester you will do so in a later semester. The last section lists GenEd course options you may add to your schedule to create a final schedule of 13-16 credit hours, unless indicated otherwise in the Departmental Recommendations instructions. The worksheet should be saved and printed with your identified selections for use during your enrollment appointment.

Departmental Recommendations:

1. Enroll in 13-16 credit hours your first semester.

2. Enroll in BIO 140.

3. If your JMU CALC Math Placement Exam (MPE) score is 23 or higher OR your JMU STAT MPE score is 16 or higher, enroll in CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L. If your MPE scores are less than this, enroll in a MATH course based on your CALC MPE score. Do NOT enroll in CHEM and MATH.

4. Enroll in either MATH 233E (recommended for the biology major) or MATH 231. Contact your biology advisor if you desire further information. MATH 233E is a new offering with a modeling approach and emphasis on life science applications.

5. Consider enrolling in the strongly recommended BIO 110, Freshmen Symposium in Biology.

6. Enroll in either a Human Communications OR Critical Thinking Cluster One course.

7. Add one additional General Education course (WRTC 103 is highly recommended for students who will not have credit for it) to create a schedule of 13-16 credit hours.

8. If you are interested in Pre-professional Health Preparation, refer to the information in Module 3 under Special Student Categories for information on selecting General Education courses.


Math Placement Exam Score: This major requires a calculus and a statistics course. You need to know your MPE CALC score to determine your first year math placement. You also need to know your STAT MPE to determine if you take CHEM your first semester. Enter your CALC and STAT scores in the fields below so you may determine whether you begin with CHEM or MATH, and if MATH, so you may determine your recommended mathematics course using the information below. The MyMadison system will not allow you to enroll in a course other than your placement recommendation.

                             CALC         STAT         How to find your MPE scores


Required First Semester Courses

Major Requirements:

Course/Subject/Number/Course Title Credits


Enroll in BIO 140*.

*Track I Honors Scholars should enroll in BIO 140H
BIO 140 Foundations in Biology I
The foundations of the cellular molecules, structures, and processes that sustain life in the contexts of evolution will be explored. Topics will include structure and function; information flow, storage and exchange; pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and systems biology. The lab experience will allow students to participate in science as it is practiced and will prepare students to be scientifically and quantitatively literate.
Major Cognate Requirement: The major cognate course you enroll is dependent on your JMU Math Placement Exam (MPE) scores. If your CALC MPE score is 23 or higher OR your STAT MPE score is 16 or higher, then you should enroll in CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L. If your MPE scores are lower, you should enroll in the Mathermatics course as indicated by your CALC MPE score.


Enroll in both CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L IF your CALC MPE score is 23 or higher OR your STAT MPE score is 16 or higher.



Enroll in ONE of these courses based on your MPE CALC score.

MPE Score Course
30 - 45 MATH 235
23 - 29 MATH 233E*
18 - 22 MATH 233E* + MATH 199**
23 - 29 MATH 231*
18 - 22 MATH 231* + MATH 199**
15 - 17 MATH 155***
< 15 MATH 156***
(may take MATH 155 @ Advisor's discretion)
The MyMadison system will not allow you to enroll in a math course higher than your placement level or a Chemistry course if you do not meet the requirements.
CHEM 131 General Chemistry I - 3 cr hrs
CHEM 131L General Chemistry Lab - 1 cr hrs
MATH 235 Calculus I - 4 cr hrs
MATH 233E* - A Modeling Approach to Calculus - 3 cr hrs
MATH 233E* + MATH 199** - A Modeling Approach to Calculus* - 4 cr hrs
MATH 231* Calculus with Functions* - 3 cr hrs
MATH 231* + MATH 199** Calculus with Functions - 4 cr hrs
MATH 155 College Algebra*** - 3 cr hrs
MATH 156 College Algebra*** - 3 cr hrs
*Both Math 233E and Math 231 are appropriate for biology majors. However, the preferred course is Math 233E, a new calculus offering with an emphasis on mathematical modeling. If Math 233E is filled, you may enroll in Math 231 . Contact your biology advisor for further information.
**MATH 199 is a gateway co-requisite designed to assist students who want to start calculus but need to review fundamental mathematics to be successful in MATH 233E or MATH 231. Students will be registered for a total of 4 credit hours. The course is self-study-based and the only required meetings are drop-in proctored test-taking on Friday evenings. Grades are completely determined by the number of semester weeks that pass before the student successfully completes all of the exams. Once the exams are passed the student is no longer required to attend on Friday evenings.  Students whose schedules prevent them from attending Friday sessions need to register for MATH 155.
***MATH 155 and MATH 156 are prep courses for calculus. These classes do not fulfill your GenEd or major math requirement. The course material is identical, the difference is MATH 156 meets 4 times a week while MATH 155 meets 3 times a week. MATH 155 may be taken instead of MATH 156 at Advisor's discretion.

Cluster One Requirement:

Critical Thinking OR Human Communications

Check the boxes of all the courses that interest you, but only enroll in ONE of these courses for your first semester. You will take the other in your second semester. The MyMadison system will not allow you to enroll in both a critical thinking and a human communications course.                                

BUS 160 Business Decision Making in a Modern Society
HIST 150 Critical Issues in Recent Global History
ISAT 160 Problem Solving Approaches in Science and Technology
SMAD 150 Mediated Communication: Issues and Skills
PHIL 120 Critical Thinking
PHIL 150 Ethical Reasoning
SCOM 121 Human Communication: Presentations
SCOM 122 Human Communication: Individual Presentations
SCOM 123 Human Communication: Group Presentations

Optional Major Courses:

BIO 110 Freshmen Symposium in Biology:

Strongly Recommended. An orientation course including introduction to the biology/biotechnology curriculum, how to access library resources, how to read and write scientifically, time management and study skills, how to access campus student resources, how to become involved in undergraduate research, and discussion of biology career options.


BIO 110 Freshmen Symposium in Biology

General Education - Cluster One Writing

If you do not have credit for WRTC 103 through AP, IB, CIE, or dual enrollment credit, we strongly recommend you take WRTC 103 or WRTC 100 your first semester.


Cluster One Writing (C1W)

You may want to consider adding a writing course to your first semester schedule. Answer the following questions to see your writing course recommendation. Each course is 3 credit hours.

Do you have, or are you waiting for, college writing credit from AP, IB, CIE, or high school dual enrollment credit? Answer by clicking the appropriate button below.

You indicate you have or are waiting for credit for writing. Proceed to the other GenEd clusters to select classes to create a full schedule. If you are not awarded credit for writing you may enroll in it next semester.

You indicated you are not waiting for writing credit. Consider enrolling in WRTC 103 this fall semester.

WRTC 103 Critical Reading and Writing


Optional General Education Courses

You may have a full schedule of 13-16 credit hours based on the requirements above. If you need additional courses to reach a full schedule, select from the General Education program courses on the remaining pages of the worksheet and add them to your schedule when you enroll. You do NOT need to enroll in a course from every cluster. Only select from within the cluster areas to supplement your schedule.

To facilitate a faster search of open classes within a specific cluster area, use the cluster area code (e.g. C2HQC). A tutorial on conducting cluster area searches is available at

Pre-professional Health preparations students should refer to the Special Student Categories in Module 4 for information on General Education enrollment.

Cluster Two- Arts and Humanities

Identify as many courses that interest you but, if you enroll in a course from this cluster, do not enroll in more than one course per cluster area. Each course is 3 credit hours.

Human Questions and Contexts (C2HQC)
AMST 200 Introduction to American Studies
ANTH 205 Buried Cities and Lost Tribes
HIST 101 World History to 1500
HIST 102 World History since 1500
REL 102 God, Meaning, and Morality
HUM 250 Modern Perspectives (options include: Greek, Renaissance)
HUM 251 Modern Perspectives (options include: Enlightenment, Romanticism, Human Rights)
HUM 252 Global Cultures
PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy
REL 101 Religions of the World
Visual and Performing Arts (C2VPA) ARTH 200 Art in General Culture
ARTH 205 Survey of World Art I: Prehistoric to Renaissance
ARTH 206 Survey of World Art II: Renaissance to Modern
MUS 200 Music in General Culture
MUS 203 Music in America
MUS 206 Introduction to Global Music
THEA 210 Introduction to Theatre

Cluster Four: Social and Cultural Processes

Identify as many courses that interest you but, if you enroll in a course from this cluster, do not enroll in more than one course per cluster area.

The American Experience -

Do you have, or are you waiting for, credit for U.S. History or U.S. Government? Answer by clicking the appropriate button below.


You indicated you have credit, or are waiting for credit results, for U.S. Government or U.S. History, proceed to the other GenEd clusters to select classes to create a full schedule.


Select from the Cluster Four American Experience courses below. All are 4 credit hours.

HIST 225 U.S. History
POSC 225 U.S. Government - Do NOT enroll in this class and POSC 220 from the Global Experience.


The Global Experience (C4GE)
ANTH 195 Cultural Anthropology
ECON 200 Macroeconomics
POSC 200 Global Politics - Do NOT enroll in this class if you have credit for POSC 225 or are planning to take POSC 225.
SOCI 110 Social Issues in a Global Context

Cluster Five: Individuals in the Human Community

Identify as many courses that interest you but, if you enroll in a course from this cluster, do not enroll in more than one course per cluster area. All courses are 3 credit hours.

Wellness Domain (C5WD) HTH 100 Personal Wellness - This course has a 15-hour physical activity requirement of your choice for the semester.
KIN 100 Lifetime Fitness and Wellness - This course is one lecture meeting per week and one physical activity meeting per week. Fitness options include swim conditioning (must be a swimmer), indoor cycling, cardio/strength, yoga, boot camp and others. See the NOTES section of the class when enrolling to identify the fitness option.
Socioculutral Domain (C5SD) PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 160 Life Span Human Development
SOCI 140 Microsociology : The Individual in Society
Once your have made your selections, save and print this worksheet for use during your enrollment appointment.