not rigorous at all
really depends on what bio track you decide to take and what courses you decide to take. If you take the AP-5 sequence, it is quite rigorous. But if you take 180s or 190s series, it's pretty relaxing. Also the truth is, if you take your upper level course on ur 3rd year, most classes give 40%+ As to the students. If you count A to B+, possibly 70-75% gets over 3.3. I won't name specific courses here, but I never received a grade lower than A-(even when I did way below avg on one mid-term) on the upper level courses(meaning courses you take after AP-5 seq or 190s or 180s track). I don't recommend you only doing bio-major. Bio-major is possibly the most less-rigorous science major out there. you only need to take 5-upper level. Most people take 7-8 courses(taking more actually boosts your GPA for most people). Grading is quite generous (unless you don't study, it's quite hard to get below B or B-). No need to get intimidated. If you are a pre-med, PLEASE start preparation on your 1st year(meaning getting information and so on). You need to have a strong determination to go to med school starting your first year and need to plan accordingly. Take the mcats by your 3rd year in school. MCATS tests requires only shallow knowledge of science. If you are good at verbal, there is really not much to study(that is given that you study hard in your science courses). Solve as much problem as you can, and take the test. No one told me that on my 1st year, and had no clue as to how to prepare for med-school. I had to do everything on my 4th year. Chicago is a very very good-school, but it is a good school only if you make it to be. Your recommendation from a renowned professor will have more weight than what others get from a lesser reputable universities. You need to take advantage of that and if you are aiming for medschool that is probably why you chose uchicago over others. If you are still deciding between Chicago vs other schools, I will say getting a high GPA is easier than what most people say it is. If you really dedicate 2hours a day for a class, any uchicago student can achieve an A. Most people think grades are strictly abased on curve. From my experience as a TA, if most students do well, A is given to 30-40% of the class(A- to 5%, to my surprise A- was not given much) B to 30-50%. So if the class generally have a high average on the tests an do well, 90% gets above B. A very very small percentage gets a C in bio courses. When I turned in the grades I did not see a single D. A test average of 35/100 was a C-. Given that it is not a multiple choice test, writing anything on the test will earn you a C-. That's how fair the grading has got and inflated the grades got in Chicago. So, you can get by college getting C- or Cs, and not know anything about biology and get a bio major. So don't get intimidated!!