Sep 22, 2020  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog

Pre-Biology, A.S. (General Transfer)

Academic Program Code:  560

This academic program lays the foundation for students to transfer to 4-year colleges and universities to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences.  It can serve as a starting point for students interested in a general biology major and also for students who know what discipline within biology they are interested in.  Majoring in biology will prepare students to pursue a career in research, teaching, or the allied health sciences.  By declaring this Pre-Major, students are on track to graduate with an Associate of Science degree from GRCC and transfer to a 4-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences.

General Education Courses

Select a minimum of 40 credit hours of course work from the General Education course list. Course work must be selected as directed in the areas below.

English Composition and Communications


Select two (2) Humanities General Education Electives from two (2) different subject areas. Only one (1) Foreign Language course can be used for the Humanties requirement.

Social Sciences

Select two (2) Social Sciences General Education Electives from two (2) different subject areas.

General Education Total Credit Hours

40 (minimum)

Program Elective Courses

Select a minimum of two (2) courses from the list below. Courses should be selected based on your identified program or major at the 4-year transfer institution that you plan to attend. For assistance, please see a GRCC advisor or faculty member, in addition to viewing the “Transfer Notes” section below.

Open Elective Courses

In addition to the above coursework, you may need to take other GRCC courses to reach the 60 credits required for your degree. For maximum transferability, all courses should be selected based on your identified program or major at the 4-year transfer institution that you plan to attend. The number of elective credit hours that you will need to complete this Pre-Major will depend on the number of credit hours that remain in order for you to reach the 60 credits needed to graduate. For assistance in developing an academic plan, please see a GRCC advisor or faculty member.

Total Credit Hours


Transfer Notes

Be aware that many 4-year institutions limit the number of credits that you can transfer from GRCC, and have final determination regarding the transferability and applicability of GRCC courses.  Contact the 4-year institution to which you intended to transfer for assistance with course selections and verification of the transferability and applicability of courses/credits.  It is recommended that you meet with an advisor to review the requirements for this program and have any questions about transfer answered prior to completing this degree program at GRCC.

In What Order Should I Take Classes?

Please select courses from the Priority I list.  Select courses based on the number of credits you are taking in the semester, for example, if you are a part time student you do not have to take all of the courses listed.  If you are unable to schedule Priority I courses, move to and select from the list of Priority II, Priority III, and Priority IV courses.

Priority I Priority II  
Priority III Priority IV  

NOTE: This priority schedule assumes the student is prepared to take the courses listed. If prerequisites are required, additional semesters may be required to complete this degree.

Meet with an Academic Program Advisor and consult My Degree Path for specific degree requirements.

Essential Abilities/Technical Standards

  1. Essential judgment skills to include: ability to identify, assess, and comprehend scientific observations of the natural world for the purpose of problem solving and coming to appropriate conclusions which include distinguishing between correlation and causation.
  2. Essential physical/neurological functions to include: ability to use the senses of seeing, hearing, touch, and smell to make correct observations, judgments, and conclusions regarding the world of biological sciences.  Students must be able to meet physical expectations in order to safely engage in the practice of learning biological science, especially in the laboratory and field settings.  Behaviors that demonstrate essential neurological and physical functions include, but are not limited to observation, listening, understanding relationships, writing, and psychomotor abilities consistent with course and program expectations. 
  3. Essential communication skills to include: ability to communicate effectively with fellow students, faculty, and all members of the Biological Sciences department. Skills include verbal, written, and nonverbal abilities as well as information technology skills consistent with effective communication.
  4. Essential emotional coping skills: ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the practice of science learning and investigation as determined by professional standards of practice.
  5. Essential intellectual/conceptual skills to include: ability to measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to engage competently in the safe practice of learning biology.
  6. Other essential behavioral attributes: ability to work collaboratively in group learning activities in lecture class and as a team member in both laboratory class and in a field setting.

Grand Rapids Community College strives to be more than ADA compliant. We strive to be accessible and welcoming to all students of all abilities. After reviewing the Essential Abilities/Technical Standards for this program; your responsibilities as a student entail determining if you can complete all associated coursework either:

A. With Accommodation. I am otherwise qualified to meet the same academic standards as any other student entering the program. However, based on a medically documented condition or diagnosis, I would qualify for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). I will meet with Disability Support Services on campus to arrange those accommodations in an interactive process with the department of Biological Sciences.

B. ​Without Accommodation. I am able to complete the program without need for reasonable accommodation or modification. In the event my medical documentation reveals otherwise or a condition manifests that would necessitate an accommodation; it is my responsibility to inform a responsible authority figure within the department of (field of study) and work with Disability Support Services to see if a reasonable accommodation or modification can be made