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Chicago Biology Major

RomanticismRomanticism Posts: 298Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2010 in University of Chicago
Hi everyone! I was wondering if any current/past Chicago students could comment on the rigor of the biology major. How difficult is it? What is the average GPA or what what GPA's do people generally have? How much time/effort is generally necessary to succeed? Would it be good preparation for someone hoping to enter the bio-tech field upon graduation? Thanks in advance!
Post edited by Romanticism on

Replies to: Chicago Biology Major

  • dangrabbitttdangrabbittt Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    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!!
  • mifunemifune Posts: 2,756Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences within the concentration, dangrabittt! I may quite possibly be a Biological Sciences major at Chicago next school year. (The college selection is more tentative than the path of study.)
  • lordofthespidermlordofthespiderm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    In the first bio class i took this quarter, (180s sequence), the average grade on the midterm was a B-, and the mean was a low B. if that gives you any idea.
  • kitkatkatiekitkatkatie Posts: 474Registered User Member
    that sounds heavenly.... how does biological chemistry or biophysics fit into the bio major? I'm not interested in just doing bio. I'd like to mix a bit of chem or physics in with it.
  • JHSJHS Posts: 14,150Registered User Senior Member
    the average grade on the midterm was a B-, and the mean was a low B

    Does this make sense? Did you mean that the median grade was a B-?
  • lordofthespidermlordofthespiderm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    yeah sorry, the median.
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