Undergraduate Programs Secretary Deborah Herholtz
114 Life Sciences Complex
David M. Althoff, Katie Becklin, John M. Belote, Carlos Castañeda, Samuel H.P. Chan, Heather Coleman, Steve Dorus, Scott E. Erdman, Thomas P. Fondy, Douglas A. Frank, Jason D. Fridley, Jannice Friedman, Anthony Garza, Paul Gold, Sarah Hall, James A. Hewett, Sandra J. Hewett, Robin Jones, Donna Korol, George Langford, Katharine Lewis, Jessica MacDonald, Eleanor Maine, Susan Parks, Melissa Pepling, Scott Pitnick, Ramesh Raina, Surabhi Raina, Mark Ritchie, Kari A. Segraves, Robert Silver, Melody Troeger Sweet, Joseph T. Tupper, Roy Welch, Michele Wheatly, Jason R. Wiles
Students majoring in biology establish a general background in the discipline through a series of first-year/sophomore-level core courses that preview the major sub-disciplines of biology. This introductory program is followed by courses that allow the student to focus on more advanced material.
The major in biology leads to either the B.A. or the B.S. degree. The B.S. degree is intended for students interested in graduate study in biological science or the health professions (medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine). In addition to biology requirements, students pursuing the B.S. degree in biology take general and organic chemistry, and mathematics through calculus. Students are also encouraged to gain practical experience and academic credit through the University Honors Program, the Community Internship Program, or departmental research. Students may also receive a B.S. in biology with emphasis on environmental sciences.
The B.A. degree is intended for students who wish to pursue technical or science-related careers that do not require a graduate or professional degree, or careers outside of biology in which a background in science may be useful, such as science writing, business, or law. Although the first- year/sophomore-level core biology course requirements for the B.A. and the B.S. degrees are similar, there are key differences for the B.A. in the first-year courses required and fewer additional courses in chemistry and mathematics are required relative to the B.S.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. Be able to recognize and distinguish theories, concepts and principles from the major sub-fields of biology
2. Be able to analyze and synthesize more specific and advanced concepts in selected areas of biology
3. Apply skills in the nature and practice of science
4. Utilize oral communication skills relevant to biological sciences
5. Utilize written communication skills relevant to biological sciences
6. Apply quantitative methods to solve problems in the biological sciences
B.S. Degree Requirements (57 to 59 credits)
Upper Division Courses in Biology
Students in the B.S. program complete an additional 22 credits of upper division coursework in Biology with a minimum of 6 of the 22 credits being laboratory credits. Students may complete these 6 credits through any combination of laboratory courses offered in Biology, except the combinations of BIO 316 - Anatomy and Physiology I for Biology Majors and BIO 317 - Anatomy and Physiology II for Biology Majors or BIO 463 - Molecular Biotechnology and BIO 464 - Applied Biotechnology . By petition, laboratory courses with significant biological relevance offered by other departments may also be counted toward the requirement. One upper division elective course must include a significant focus on communication skills experience and at least one upper division elective course must be taken in each of two distribution areas, Ecology/Evolutionary Biology and Cell/Molecular Biology.
To Declare and Complete the B.S. Major in Biology
To declare and complete the B.S. major in Biology, students must:
Earn a C+ or better in a General Biology course (BIO 121 or BIO 123 or accepted AP);
- AND -
Either earn a C+ in one of the four 300-level core courses (BIO 305 , BIO 326 , BIO 327 , BIO 345 ) or have a 3.0 cumulative GPA any time after the first semester.
Non-Departmental Requirements (19-21 credits)
The B.S. degree requires, in addition to completion of the Biology Department requirements, (1) two semesters of general or inorganic chemistry with laboratory; (2) one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory; (3) and one of the following two-course sequences in mathematics: two semesters of calculus (MAT 285 /MAT 286 or MAT 295 /MAT 296 ) or one semester of calculus (MAT 295 ) and a 300- to 500-level statistics course.
Students intending to enroll in an advanced program in the health professions (e.g., medical school) or a graduate program in biology will also need to take an additional semester in organic chemistry and two semesters of physics.
Environmental Sciences with B.S. in Biology (62 to 66 credits)
Students complete the first-year/sophomore core curriculum in biology (BIO 121 , BIO 305 , BIO 345 ), 6 credits of introductory earth science courses, an upper-division laboratory, the senior capstone seminar, plus 24 credits of upper-division courses, at least 15 of which are in biology; the remainder can be from geography, earth science, and civil engineering. In addition, 17 to 19 credits in cognate sciences and mathematics courses are required. To declare and complete B.S. major in Biology with Environmental Sciences Focus, students must earn grades of C+ or better in the two required core courses for the major - BIO 305 and BIO 345 .