New Student Orientation (NSO) Guide for Scholar Students
First Year Penn State Schreyer Scholars and parents, welcome to the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department otherwise known as the BMB Department. The information provided here will assist you in planning your course schedule for freshman year. Many of you will register for these courses when you participate in New Student Orientation during the summer before you start at Penn State. Information about courses and scheduling are provided through LIONPATH using the "Class Search" and "Schedule Builder" tools.
The BMB department has 5 possible majors:
1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry Option
2. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology Option
4. Biotechnology, General Option
5. Biotechnology, Clinical Laboratory Science Option
Most Scholars choose Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Microbiology because these two majors prepare students for graduate school and medical school. The Biotechnology options are geared towards training students for entering the work force following completion of their undergraduate work. Information about each major and course requirements are provided here. Since the course requirements are essentially the same in the first year for each major, you can easily change major during your first year.
To help you select courses, we have prepared separate Recommended Academic Plans and inventories of Course Requirements. These guides are designed for non-Scholars students, but are suitable for Scholars after taking the following into consideration:
- Scholars must complete 21 honors courses by the end of the sophomore year. Honors courses commonly taken in the first year include: Math 140H, Math 141H, and honors sections of Chemistry 110, 111, 112, 113, and 210 (if you place out of Chem 112). 400-level courses also count as honors.
- Scholars are required to take English/CAS 137H in the fall and English/CAS 138T in the spring; both are honors courses. These courses are taken in lieu of English 30 or 15.
For many courses, you have a choice between an honors version and a regular version. Generally, the honors courses offer small class sizes and opportunities to explore a subject more deeply than is done in the regular course. If you like the subject matter, the honors version is probably your better choice. However, don't feel that your education is compromised by taking the regular version of a course. Both the honors and regular versions of the course will adequately prepare you for your major.
One of the greatest challenges in selecting courses is identifying a set that have no time conflicts. Obviously, you can't attend two courses that meet at the same time. You'll find the schedule of courses essential for choosing courses. Some of you will have advanced credit which will increase the number of scheduling options available to you. All of you will have electives to choose. Since the number of choices can be somewhat overwhelming, the following schedule serves as a foundation. More information pertaining to this schedule and various options are provided below. A typical schedule for Fall semester could be:
- PSU 016: BMB, MICRB, or BIOTC (1 credit)
- English/CAS 137H (fall, 3 credits) and 138T (spring, 3 credits)
- Math 140 or 140H (4 credits)
- Chem 110 or 110H (3 credits)
- Chem 111 or 111H (1 credit)
- General education course (3 credits): Arts elective (GA), Humanities Elective (GH), or Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS)