Students identify trees along a transect.

Students in BCOR 102, Ecology & Evolution, identify and measure trees along a transect.

BioCore provides life science basics for ten UVM majors. 

The BioCore curriculum consists of a series of introductory biology courses covering all aspects of basic biology, including molecular biology, physiology, biodiversity, genetics, ecology, and evolution.  This interdisciplinary series, jointly run by the Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), serves majors primarily in Animal Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biological Science, Environmental Science, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Plant Biology, Neuroscience, and Zoology, as well as students in the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program.

For first-year students, the BioCore program offers small lecture sizes (48 students maximum) to promote interaction with professors and to facilitate the transition between high school and college-level science.  Explore all BioCore Courses and current offerings.

BioCore (BCOR) Courses and Semesters Offered:

CourseCredits   Fall  SpringSummer
BCOR 1400 (formerly 011): Exploring Biology 14X X
BCOR 1450 (formerly 012): Exploring Biology 24 XX
BCOR 1425 (formerly 021): Accelerated Biology4X  
BCOR 2300 (formerly 101): Genetics3XXX
BCOR 2100 (formerly 102): Ecology & Evolution4XX 
BCOR 2500 (formerly 103): Molecular & Cell Biology4 X 
BCOR 2505: Molecular & Cell Biology, lecture only3XX 
BCOR 3000 (formerly 189): Biology in Practice1XX 
BCOR 4494 (formerly 197): Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship1XX 
BCOR 2995/3995 (formerly 198/298): Undergraduate Research1-18XX 

Learning Goals of the BioCore Series

Following completion of introductory level BioCore courses, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate how biological processes work using the appropriate terminology.
  2. Recognize and employ mathematical formulations of biological processes and interpret results.
  3. Identify hierarchical relationships in biology.
  4. Recognize steps of the scientific method.
  5. Convert data into a summary figure, identify pattern, and use pattern to support a conclusion

Following completion of intermediate-level BioCore courses, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the process of science through observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing, and draw inferences from biological datasets to develop conclusions.
  2. Compare the different levels of biological organization in a biological system from micro- to macroscopic.
  3. Examine a biological system using a quantitative approach.
  4. Evaluate and articulate the contribution of biology to society.


BioCore (BCOR) Student Support

Academic support

If you are having trouble in a BioCore (BCOR) course, there are two avenues of support beyond meeting with your instructor or Teaching Assistant.

  • Tutoring: UVM's Center for Academic Success offers free tutoring to all undergraduate students. Through the Tutoring Center, students set up appointments with peer tutors. 
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI): Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a drop-in, free, voluntary, group-based study system led by an upperclass student who has already taken (and done well in!) the course.  Each session is different, and statistics show that students who participate regularly have a better understanding of the material and receive higher grades.  SI is offered for Exploring Biology, Genetics, Ecology & Evolution (Fall only) and Molecular & Cell Biology.  The SI instructor will have posted study session information on the course BrightSpace page.

Personal Support

If you are enrolled in a BCOR course and are having personal difficulties that are preventing you from attending class or completing work, please contact any or all of the following: the course instructor, your advisor, the BioCore program co-directors, and the Student Services office for your College (links below). Student Services will have a procedure for documenting student illnesses and other emergencies and will review your situation and inform course faculty via email as to whether any accommodations should be made.

students conducting stream diversity lab

Accelerated Biology option

UVM offers BCOR 1425, Accelerated Biology, a one-semester alternative to the BCOR 1400/1450 introductory biology series designed for first-year students with especially strong preparation from high school.  Students who have high scores on the biology placement exam and/or who receive AP Biology scores of 5 or 4 (or equivalent) may be invited to enroll in the accelerated course.  All incoming life science students should complete the biology placement exam during orientation.


State-of-the-art facilities for your classes

BioCore laboratory classes are held in the James M. Jeffords building.