Major changes: Biology and creative writing revise course requirements

Ellie Lowe, Contributing Writer

The University’s Biology and English–Creative Writing departments have made a number of changes to their major curriculum.

The Biology department has developed a new set of classes to help engage first year students with other students in their major and to foster their problem solving and hypothesis-driven experimental design skills. The new curriculum includes new classes such as Biology 201 and Biology 202, which focus on critical thinking and laboratory skills, respectively. These classes will be reserved for Animal Behavior, Biology, Cell Biology/Biochemistry and Neuroscience majors. One of the main goals for this new curriculum is to demonstrate that different disciplines in biology are not exclusive from each other.

This change does not affect students who are currently Biology or Biology-affiliated majors unless they have taken the courses out of order of the current curriculum. Next semester will be the last semester Biology 205 (Introduction to Molecules and Cells) and Biology 207 (Genetics) is offered. The spring semester of 2022 will be the last time that Biology 208 (Principles of Ecology and Evolution) is offered. Biology 206 (Organismal Biology) will no longer be offered after this semester.

“I am very excited about these new changes. We have been developing this new core sequence for many years and we feel it is coming just in time to help ease the transition to our Biology and affiliated majors for the incoming class that has been so heavily affected by the pandemic,” said Professor of Biology and Department Chair Ken Field. “These new classes will give Bucknell students a more supportive transition to our rigorous curriculum and also provide a more integrated perspective on the discipline of Biology.”

The English department has also made some changes to its Creative Writing major. The Creative Writing major will continue to require nine credits, but the types of courses required have changed slightly. Creative Writing students will be required to take less Literary Studies courses and instead they will take a new Literary Ethics course. These Literary Ethics courses aim to bridge the gap between creative writing and real-world issues. One potential new class under the new Literary Ethics requirement would be a class on how writers challenge the status quo and how this impacts and makes a difference in the world. The goal of this change is to help students become better writers both on paper and in the world by creating environments that are inclusive and encourage students to have conversations about their creative work. 

For students who are currently Creative Writing majors they will have the option to either continue with the previous major requirements or transition into the new requirements for the Creative Writing major. 

“We think this growth in the idea and practice of Creative Writing at Bucknell will enhance the presence and effectiveness of the English Department as a whole,” Director of the Creative Writing Department Chris Camuto said.

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