Changes in Biology General Education Courses begins Spring 2018
This pertains to the Natural Sciences component of the Mason Core:
For at least 45 years, Biology has offered the sequence BIOL 103-104 to satisfy the university general education requirement for a laboratory science. Some time ago, the university general education core requirements (Mason Core) changed such that the minimum requirement for students was one course with a laboratory and a second course with or without a laboratory. Nevertheless, Biology continued to offer both BIOL 103 and 104 with a required laboratory since many colleges maintained the two semester laboratory requirement. However, when the College of Humanities and Social Sciences changed their science requirement to match that of the university general education plan (one course with a laboratory, one course without), the enrollment in Biology began to decline from 384 in Spring of 2015 to 258 in Spring of 2017.
Students who completed BIOL 103 and who wanted to continue in Biology, but did not wish to take a second course with a lab, had no options. Accordingly, the Department of Biology has made the following changes effective Spring Semester 2018:
BIOL 104 will be replaced by two separate courses. BIOL 107 will replace the lecture portion of BIOL 104. BIOL 106 will replace the laboratory portion of BIOL 104. A student may take BIOL 107 without taking 106. However, a student wishing to take the course with a laboratory must register for both BIOL 106 and BIOL 107. In the unusual case of a transfer student coming in with a lecture course equivalent to BIOL 107 (or 104 under the old system), that student may take 106 alone, but should consult with the Department of Biology before registering.
Both 106 and 107 will satisfy the science general education requirement along with BIOL 103.