Transfer Students

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Welcome to the University of Iowa and the Department of Biology! Below are some tips and guidelines to help you have a successful transition to the department. Transfer students have a variety of backgrounds, academic preparation and coursework so it is always important to speak with the Biology Academic Advisor ( about your individual situation.

Transfer Guides

Transfer Guide for B.S. and B.A. in Biology

Transfer Guide for B.S. in Neuroscience

Transfer Guide for B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

Many transfer students discover after transferring to the department that it will take longer than they realized to graduate. This is because transfer students often take the wrong set of courses before coming to UI. Science courses are sequential so it is very important that you take the correct classes in the right order. The following guideline should be followed by all Biology Major Transfer Students no matter where they are coming from:

  1. Complete the first year sequence of Chemistry (equivalents for CHEM: 1110 and CHEM: 1120 Principles of Chemistry I and II)
  2. Complete a calculus course (equivalent for MATH: 1460 Calculus for the Biological Sciences or MATH: 1850 Calculus I or MATH: 1550 Engineer Math I Single Variable Calculus)
  3. Complete the full sequence for Introductory of Biology (only the full sequence of classes from your current institution will transfer as equivalent to BIOL: 1411 Foundations of Biology and BIOL: 1412 Diversity of Form & Function). Most schools have a 2-course sequence but some have a 3-course or even 4-course sequence for Introductory Biology. Individual Introductory Biology courses will not transfer as a major course requirement.
  4. Complete the Intermediate II level of a world language. Four years of one world language in High School will fulfill this requirement.
  5. Complete Organic Chemistry I (equivalent for CHEM: 2210 Organic Chemistry I) unless you are planning pre-Vet, pre-Med, Pre-PA or Pre-Dental. If you need more organic chemistry than what the major requires it is better to take it all at one institution.
  6. If additional time allows, complete a Physics course (equivalent for PHYS: 1511 College Physics I or PHYS: 1611 Introductory Physics I).

Click here to review course equivalents. Additional questions about course equivalents should be directed to Admission.

Additional Tips for Transfer Students

  • Save some General Education/Core classes. It is hard to manage a full-time load of all science courses. Most students find it more manageable to mix their science curriculum with some core classes. There are a many choices in diverse and interesting subjects at Iowa! 
  • Wait on Microbiology. Most Microbiology courses transfer as equivalent to a Pharmacy or Nursing Microbiology at UI, and those courses do not count in any life science major. If you would like to take a Microbiology course, wait until you get to UI so it will count toward your program of study.
  • Statistics courses from a community college or an Introductory Statistics course from a 4-year college will not count in the major. Biology majors take Biostatistics, which is a junior level course.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology courses do not count in the Biology major.