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Sophomore Plan of Study

Invert bio field trip 2017

Applying to be a Biology Major

Students are introduced to the study of biology at Swarthmore by taking Biology 001, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biology 002, Organismal and Population Biology. Either course may be taken first. A diversity of advanced courses, some offered in alternate years, affords the student the opportunity of building a broad biological background while concentrating, if he or she chooses, in some specialized areas such as cellular and developmental biology, animal or plant physiology, microbiology, neurobiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, or ethology.


Students must submit a Sophomore Plan of Study during the second semester of their sophomore year to the Registrar. This application includes a list of the biology courses the student plans to take during the next two years as well as a short essay explaining the rationale for the sequence and selection of courses and seminars. The department chair and the academic coordinator provide information about the major at a presentation scheduled by the Student Affairs Division early in the spring semester before the sophomore applications are due.

Planning Resources

To help you plan your Sophomore Plan of Study please consult the following resources:

2023 Sophomore planning information session for Biology majors and minors ( presentation video, slides)