How to choose your first Biology course at Dartmouth
The Biology curriculum is designed with numerous points of entry. We encourage students to choose their first Biology class to match their interests and background. For the 2021 Fall term, there are several choices: Biology 11 (introductory course for majors), or one of four foundation courses: Biology 12 (Cell Structure and Function), Biology 14 (Physiology), Biology 16 (Ecology), or Biology 19 (Honors Cell Structure and Function for first term students). For many, the decision will be to whether to take Biology 11, or a foundation course.
Here are some considerations regarding these choices.
Biology 11 versus a Foundation Course
1. Subject matter. Choose a course that is of high intellectual interest to you. Nothing begets academic success like being genuinely interested in the subject matter. Read the course descriptions for Biology 11; each offering has a different intellectual theme customized by individual faculty to be timely and engaging. Biology 11 generally spans a broader spectrum of the science of biology than individual foundation courses. The content of the foundation courses is designed to cover core knowledge within specific topic areas.
2. Workload. Both Biology 11 and the foundation courses have rigorous fast-moving lectures associated with technical readings and problem solving. The foundation courses also have a laboratory component, which substantially increases the contact hours and makes the foundation courses considerably more demanding than Biology 11.
3. Probability of scholastic success. Biology 11, by virtue of not having a laboratory component, permits students to spend more hours per week gaining a mastery of material covered during class sessions.
This honors introduction to cell biology is for students with a strong background in biology and chemistry who are interested in majoring in Biology. This course will discuss fundamental topics, including protein targeting, the cytoskeleton, membrane transport, cellular energetics, the cell cycle, and signal transduction. The course will emphasize experimental strategies to understand eukaryotic cell function, and the laboratory will provide hands-on experience in modern cell biological techniques, including microscopy, cell fractionation, and protein
purification. Biology 19 is the prerequisite equivalent of Biology 12.
Biology 19 is open only to first-year students and enrollment is limited to 24 students in the Fall of 2021.
Invitation to enroll will be based on
1) Performance on the Biology Placement Exam (accessed via Canvas site).