<p>Can anyone speak to the culture of the science department at Butler ~ particularly in Biology & Biochemistry? Are the students ultra-competitive/cut-throat? Tell me about grade inflation/deflation.</p>
Hi, I’m a current Biology major with minors in chemistry and neuroscience. The biology department is very tight knit, in my opinion. We are with each other for very many classes so you get to know everyone very fast. Students are moderately competitive. I don’t find it overwhelming, but sometimes it is obvious that we are always pushing to do well. Some may call that a bad thing, but I find it good. The biggest divide would be between regular biology majors and someone in the pre-med/pt/pa/etc majors. We take some of the same classes but there are different attitudes when students are focused solely on healthcare versus biology as a whole.
There is much more competition when students get to organic chemistry. That is the “make it or break it” course (if you choose to study chemistry in addition). It can become very awkward if your friend/roommate passes and you don’t.
Grade inflation depends on the professors. If you have a newer prof or one that hasn’t taught that course in a while, they will be more likely to partake in grade inflation. I haven’t noticed a huge divide between profs teaching the same subject though. For example, I had a “bad” prof for one course and the “best” prof for another, but I don’t feel that the knowledge gained in either classes was noticeably greater or weaker than students who had other instructors.
The best advice I would have for an incoming student to biology would be to keep an open mind. I myself want to stay in healthcare, but it is pretty important to not downplay the botany/ecology courses as “irrelevant”. You can easily get on profs or students’ bad sides for thinking very linearly. We are very much a community and want to support and strengthen each other. Since there is such a broad range of topics in biology it is important to recognize other people’s values that may be different from your own.
As a whole the biology department is very prideful of its students and a great community to learn and experience life. I have learned so many skills and gained new attitudes about science here.
I hope this helped!