BSc Life sciences: All you need to know
Image source: Life sciences crawford

If you chose biology in intermediate and didn’t have mathematics, you will be told by people that the only good career you can pursue is medical. Chances are high that you are one such student who has just encountered a tough luck in NEET and is exploring alternatives. Well, that is how 90% of the students end up studying life sciences.

Read on to find out the ground reality and clear some popular misconceptions about the course.

Course Structure

As the name suggests, the course is a combination of three basic sciences of life: botany, chemistry, and zoology. It a “programme” course reintroduced in 2015 after being scraped off from the FYUP scheme of the university.

For each discipline, you will need to study 4 core courses and 2 discipline-specific¬†electives. Added to that, two ability enhancement subjects in the first year and skill enhancement courses for the next years. (Don’t worry, they’re just fancy names given to some papers you’ll have to study in the course).

How is it different from an Honors course?

Lifesciences is “around the world in 80 days”, while an honors course is “stopping at a place for an in-depth¬†knowledge”. As a life sciences student, you’ll be covering a lot of syllabi of 3 disciplines¬†rather than an exhaustive study of one.

Unlike honors courses, it does not have a Generic Elective (GE). This means 4 papers in each semester. (Honors students have 4 papers in I year, 5 in II year, and 3 in final year). The syllabus of the “core course” is very similar to the GE of honors students.

How hectic does it get?

Many students join this course with the aim of appearing for medical entrances next year. However, this attempt is largely unsuccessful as the schedule is time intensive. There are practical classes, regular internals, and never-ending assignments. If you wish to pursue it seriously, this course will make you well adept at time management, multi-tasking, and mentally strong!

The Life sciences edge

Pursuing a bachelors having such a diverse curriculum definitely has its own set of benefits. A life science graduate is eligible to appear for all possible biology-related post graduate entrance exams. From the core disciplines (zoology or botany) to the technical ones (biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, biomedical sciences, etc), a life science graduate is never short of options after graduation. Many students start preparing for IIT JAM right from the second year.

Even as a student, many candidates start working as a part-time research scholar!

If you’ve achieved a really high percentage in boards, you might even be eligible for the¬† DST INSPIRE scholarship. Read more about it here.

Is it better than an honors course?

There is no comparison between life sciences and an honors course. It is quite unfair to compare the two courses. While life sciences offers diversity and knowledge about 3 subjects together, an honors course provides extensive knowledge about one. It is the same as asking ” which is bigger: 1 kg or 1 km? “.

Word of Caution

One of the core disciplines of the course is Chemistry. However, if you wish to pursue masters in Chemistry, things can be a bit troublesome. One needs to compulsorily study mathematics in one of the semesters for a PG in Chemistry in DU, which isn’t possible with this course.

Also, if you wish to appear for GRE and pursue higher education in Ivy League colleges, a 3-year undergrad course isn’t exactly what you should do. The basic requirement of any Ivy League college is 4-years of education post standard 12th.

Bsc Life sciences: Everything you need to know
Image source: ra2studio/Shutterstock

Making the right choice

Make a choice according to your interests. Dr. Jugnu Jain, the founder of Sapien Biosciences,¬†chose life sciences out of her “equal love for Botany and Zoology”. Life sciences is an exhaustingly beautiful course which nurtures students academically as well as outside the academic sphere. It comes with a lot of challenges and hence prepares you well for those ahead.

The syllabus of the course can be downloaded from here.

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