Jul 22, 2024  


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Professors: M. Campbell, Case, Dorcas, Hales, Lom (Chair), Paradise, Peroni, Putnam, Raymond, Stanback, Wessner
Associate Professors: Bernd, Hay, Sarafova
Assistant Professors: Barsoum, El Bejjani, Smith
Lecturer: McNally
Affiliated Faculty: Heyer (Mathematics), Myers (Chemistry), Ramirez (Psychology)


The Biology Department recommends Biology 111-114 for students who are in pre-medical studies or plan to major in Biology or another science. Biology 106-109 and 111-114 fulfills the distribution requirement for a natural science and Biology 102-104 and 263 fulfill the distribution requirement for liberal studies. Biology 107 credit is granted to students who score 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam, or a 6 or 7 on the IB Biology exam.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

Students who participate in the School for Field Studies in a non-Western country receive cultural diversity credit for Biology 384. Cultural diversity credit is also given for the summer program in Zambia (Biology 368 or 369).

Major Requirements

The biology major requires eleven courses. This total includes three introductory courses (Chemistry 115 and Biology 111/113 and 112/114) plus eight advanced biology courses numbered 200 or above. Of the eight biology courses numbered 200 or above, at least three advanced laboratory courses must be completed from the following list with at least one from each of the two groups: Group A (201, 202, 208, 303, 306, 307, and 333 or BIO 309 + 343); Group B (212, 216, 222, 241, 305, 311, 317, 321, 323, and 331). Seven of the eleven courses required for the biology major must be Davidson courses taught by Davidson College faculty members.

Chemistry 201/202; Mathematics 111(or 112)/113/160; 111(or 112)/110; or 112/140; and Physics 120/220 or 130/230 are also strongly recommended for biology majors.  Pre-medical students should consult with the Premedical Director when choosing basic science classes.

Honors Requirements

The departmental honors program is designed to promote individual excellence through directed independent study and research. Twelve courses are required in the major.  Students should plan their programs with their faculty advisers such that the combination of courses and research meets, in general, the balance of courses specified for the major. A research proposal should be submitted for departmental action and research results must be presented in writing and orally by the deadlines specified in the biology department handbook.  The recommendation of the department regarding honors or high honors will be based upon quality of the course work, research, and presentation.

Additional information and examples of past theses can be found at the Biology Student Thesis Information Site.

School for Field Studies

Davidson College is affiliated with the School for Field Studies, enabling students to participate in a semester-long or month-long program studying environmental issues.  Students must apply for acceptance to the School for Field Studies.  Permission of instructor is required. 

The semester and summer programs concentrate on international environmental issues at one of six SFS centers:  Turks and Caicos Islands; Bhutan; Costa Rica; Australia and New Zealand; Panama; Tanzania, or Kenya.  Semester program students receive major credit for Biology 381, 382, and 383, and course credit for Biology 384.  Summer program students receive course credit for Biology 385.

Biology Courses

All biology courses are open to all students, regardless of major. Bio 100-110 do not fulfill biology major requirements. Biology 111/113 and 112/114 serve as the entry courses to the major and are recommended for pre-medical students. 200 and 300-level biology courses give students access to a broad range of biological knowledge and technical skills. Stressing problem-solving and critical thinking, these courses are appropriate for any student who has completed the prerequisites but they are not limited to biology majors. Topical, discussion-based seminar courses (260s, 360-367, 390s) and research courses (250s, 350s, and 370s) often require permission to register.  

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