Biology Major Study Away Advising Guide

The Global Education Office and the Biology Department have compiled the following information for Biology majors to assist in planning for a semester of study away. Students should let their Academic Advisor know as soon as possible about their plan to study away so they can help fit this experience into the student’s graduation plan.

Academic Planning Prior to Going Away

Successfully Complete the Following Courses Before Studying Away

In order to be eligible to study away, students in the Biology major must successfully complete the following courses at Allegheny prior to studying away:

  • FS-101, FS-102 OR SWS-105 *wording TBD 
  • BIO 219/220
  • BIO 221,
  • FS BIO 201
  • CHEM 120
  • CHEM 122 (completion of CHEM 231, a fall-only course, is also strongly recommended)

When should I study away?

Students in the Biology major may study away in either semester of their junior year. The Biology major requires a two-semester senior project, and therefore students cannot study away in the senior year. Introductory coursework in biology and chemistry needs to be completed in the first and second years.

Allegheny’s graduation requirements state that a student’s final 16 semester credit hours before graduation must be taken in academic residence on campus, therefore study away during the second-semester senior year is not allowed without the permission of the Dean’s Exemption Committee.

Plan Around Your Junior Seminar/Senior Project

Since junior year is most suitable for study away for Biology majors, students will have to select their junior seminar with the study away in mind. Biology junior seminars are offered in both the fall and spring terms, so students who study away in their junior year must take their junior seminar in the term they remain on campus that year. Each spring (roughly mid-to late March), the Biology department has a meeting for rising juniors (current sophomores) to learn about the junior seminars being offered the following year. Students are asked to complete an online form with their junior seminar preferences AND any information on study away. Students should be sure to indicate the semester they intend to study away AND to prefer only junior seminars for the semester they will be on campus.

Each spring, the Biology department has a meeting for rising seniors (current juniors) to discuss the senior project process. Students are asked to complete an online form with their senior project’s 1st and 2nd-second preferences. Students who are off campus during the spring semester may, depending on their availability and time zone, attend the meeting remotely or email the chair or their advisor with any questions. Study away students should still complete the online form by the stated deadline.

Biology majors may NOT complete study away in their senior year, as doing so would disrupt the two-semester senior comprehensive research project.

Courses that Must Be Taken on Campus

The following courses in the Biology major cannot be taken during a study away program: 

  • BIO 580 Junior Seminar
  • BIO 600/610 Senior Project
  • Check with Pre-Health Advising before enrolling in molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, or anatomy coursework during study away. Pre-medical programs may not require specific versions of these courses (though they may be recommended for MCAT preparation), but other allied health programs may have specific course requirements.

How Studying Away Counts Towards the Major

Students in the Biology major should focus on coursework for the upper-level electives section of the major (areas A, B, and C) while studying away.

There is no limit on the number of credits from study away that can transfer back towards the Biology major.

Suggested Programs for Biology Majors in the Biology Department

The following is a highlighted list of sponsored study away programs that have approved coursework for the Biology Major: