Biology is a popular science major worldwide, and it acts as a great building block if you are wanting to go on to certain careers, whether science or health care.
However, many new students are hesitant to choose biology as their major, as they are worried it might be hard, and that it could be too much to handle in college.
So, is biology a hard major?
Whether biology is a hard major or not depends on where your strengths lie. Generally, it is considered to be a more forgiving major compared to physical sciences, as it is not as math-intensive, and it is more about conceptualizing facts on living things.
It does help to know more about the major you are considering before signing up, just to make sure that it is the right option for you, and that you’ll handle your major.
Is A Major In Biology Hard?
Biology is by no means an easy major, and you will have to put in some work to get through. With that said, it is not as hard as some other science majors such as physical sciences, such as Chemistry. Students best suited for Biology are naturally curious, great note-takers, and typically interested in pursuing a medical career.
A biology major centers around conceptualizing and understanding biology facts, and many of these ideas are observable. So if this is how you are inclined to think and see the world, then it should not be such a shock to the system.
However, a major in Biology has extensive lab work, difficult vocabulary, and a lot of demanding concepts to memorize.
You do need to keep in mind that it can be hard if you do not have much experience in biology or studying the science. Students will need to learn some basics and ways of thinking to be able to better get along with the major.
All majors come with their challenges, but if biology is something you are genuinely interested in, and you are dedicated to working hard, then it should be a good challenge, and it will definitely be doable.
What Are The Hardest Classes As A Biology Major?
There are some other courses you will need to take along with your biology major, and some of these can be easily manageable, but others can be considerably challenging.
A biology major encompasses quite a range of different classes that you need to take, and here are the ones that you can expect to be the most difficult:
- Human Physiology
- Calculus I
- General Chemistry II
- General Physics II
- Organic Chemistry
- Comparative Anatomy
There could be some other courses that would come up as a requirement for your biology major, especially if you are heading towards a certain concentration, so make sure to check this before committing.
What To Know Before Choosing Biology As A Major
Before jumping headfirst into a major, it is always a good idea to know what to expect, just to make sure that you are fully prepared.
One thing many students worry about when taking a biology major is that they do not have all the right prerequisites to do well, and while this might hinder you slightly, with hard work and time studying, you should overcome this well.
For a biology major, there are a few things you should know about how you would need to apply yourself during the courses.
The first thing to understand is that biology is based on observation. You will use the scientific method for almost every aspect of biology, and it is all based on fact, observation and evidence. This means you will not have to write opinion-based pieces like you would in other majors.
Secondly, it is important to know that biology is a multi-disciplinary major, and a background in other sciences such as math, physics and chemistry will definitely help you out. But this can be built on as you work through your major.
Many students prefer biology as it does not require a large amount of mathematics and formulas, even though there are some, compared to other majors. It is about understanding and observation, and then interpreting this through science.
What Will You Learn During A Biology Major?
Biology as a major means you will be learning about living organisms, and how they interact with their environments. This covers such a wide range of living organisms, from single-cells to animals to humans, and everything in-between.
While a biology course will differ slightly between colleges, there are running similarities between them, so you can expect a course to cover the following:
- Cell functions, structures and regulation
- Life chemistry including cellular components and enzymes
There is obviously a whole lot more that goes into this, but this gives you a general idea of what to expect and what to be prepared for in a biology major.
You can also expect to run different experiments and observe results through theories and evidence, which is such a great skill to have.
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Is Biology A STEM Major?
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), covers all subjects and majors that fall into these categories. Biology therefore does qualify as a STEM major.
Biology is considered to be one of the more manageable STEM majors, compared to physics or chemistry, but this also depends on who you are, your interests and your style of learning.
What Makes Biology A Hard Major?
While biology is a manageable major for students, there are definitely going to be some harder sections, as it is a college course. Like with all courses, biology comes with some new ideas and concepts, and ways of learning, that you will have to get used to.
The first difficulty you might find in biology is the amount of memorizing you will have to do. This does become easier when you understand all of the concepts, but you will have to remember different names, different processes, when reactions take place and more.
Next, there is quite a lot of new language that comes with biology, and the terminology might take some time for you to get used to, especially if you are new to the biology field.
Lastly, some students do battle with how all of it connects to each other, and all the different links between the subjects. This will eventually get easier as you learn more on the subject.
What Makes Biology An Easy Major?
Referring to biology as an easy major is not right, as there are definitely challenges that it brings and no college course can be considered easy, but there are some elements of a biology major that do come easier, and which can be beneficial compared to some other majors.
One of the main benefits is that you will not need to use a large amount of mathematics for biology. Sure there is some math that comes into it, but it is not an overwhelming amount and with some hard work, it is manageable.
Most of biology is also made easier through understanding concepts, and then the rest comes naturally. By memorizing all the initial things you need to know, everything will make a lot more sense after that.
You’ll also do well in biology if you are a visual learner, as so much of the course is visual, and studying actual reactions in front of you.
Just with doing the hard work and spending the required time needed, biology can be a fun, interesting subject that has so many benefits.
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What Careers Can Biology Lead To?
Enjoying the major you are doing is so important with being successful in it, and you definitely need to be interested and passionate about what you are learning, but it is also important to make sure you have a career path to follow with the major you have chosen.
There are actually a large number of careers you can follow when majoring in biology, which makes it such a popular course to take.
Here are some of the most popular careers following a biology major:
- College Professor
- Biological Technician
- Biomedical Engineer
- Forensic Scientist
- Dental Hygienist
- High School Teacher
- Public Health Educator
- Registered Nurse
- Wildlife Biologist
Keep in mind that you will also need to find out what other courses are required for these professions, as some are different from others and require more focussed courses, such as a veterinarian, but all of them can be achieved with a major in biology.
Is A Biology Major Harder Than A Nursing Major?
It isn’t really fair to compare a biology major to a nursing major, as they are different courses with different structures.
However, some consider biology to be slightly easier or more manageable than nursing, as it is more based on theory and evidence, whereas nursing is based on practical training and physical tasks.
In nursing, you will train to assist in surgeries, provide first aid, general nursing tasks, prescription transcription, some office administration, and more, whereas this is not required in a biology major.
Biology does have more science to it, and a lot of understanding and memorizing goes into getting through the course.
Some people do better with the physical training, whereas others prefer the more theoretical, scientific approach to learning, and which course you choose will also depend on where you want to land up after college.
If you are wanting to become a registered nurse, then a nursing major is obviously something you would need to do.
Do You Need A Lot Of Time To Dedicate To A Biology Major?
All college courses require time dedication outside of class time, but some do require more than others. You need to be prepared to spend the amount of time needed to be successful in your major.
When it comes to a biology major, how much time you need outside of lecture time will depend on your understanding of the subject, and how quickly you can memorize things.
Generally, you should be prepared to dedicate at least an hour a day of extra work on your biology major. Going over recent topics learned, better understanding the course material, and properly cementing these ideas in your mind is the best way to study.
This might seem like a lot of time to dedicate to your major every day outside of class time, but it will really help you in the long run. You will find you do not need to cram a whole semesters course in the day before an exam, as you would have memorized and learned everything already.
Your time spent going over everything every day is an investment, and you will definitely thank yourself for doing so.
Is A Chemistry Major Harder Than A Biology Major?
A biology major is in no way easy, but it is generally accepted that chemistry is a harder course. With biology, you can get by with memorizing the vocabulary and concepts, and applying this to new ideas, but this isn’t true for chemistry.
Chemistry is definitely more math-intensive and there are many, many challenging concepts that come up. You need to be able to critically analyze and understand underlying principles of chemistry and apply them to your work, which can be difficult to get used to.
Is Biology Just About Memorization?
Much of biology is about memorization, but this is not all that goes into it. There is a lot of memorization that needs to happen. Especially in the beginning with all the different vocabulary and concepts, but the major goes much further than this.
You will need to apply what you know to different scenarios and theories, and conduct experiments to prove your thoughts. There is also a considerable amount of lab work that goes into a biology major, which many people enjoy.
Is Biology A Hard Major?
You cannot go into a college major expecting it to be easy, but some are less intensive and difficult than others.
When it comes to biology, you should not consider it an easy major, but it isn’t generally considered to be one of the harder STEM majors around.
You just need to be prepared to apply yourself, spend the time needed to study and progress, and really just enjoy what you are doing. You will definitely find some parts harder than others, but it is a rewarding course that can be so enjoyable for the right student!