The Biological Sciences major prepares students for employment in diverse fields such as biotechnology, health fields, government, science education, research, and forensic science. This degree is intended for students interested broadly in the area of biology. By selection of suitable courses, in consultation with your academic advisor, any specific area of biology can be emphasized. Students are encouraged to complete at least four courses with laboratory work in any of the biology departments.
To review graduation requirements for the major, please refer to the Major Requirements Worksheet for your catalog year. To look up your catalog year and keep track of graduation requirements, review your Academic Requirements Report on Student Admin. Catalog year is found at the top of your Academic Requirements Report. The requirements below are for the 2019 – 2020 catalog year.
Students can obtain a B.S. or B.A degree. The B.S. degree is generally recommended for students planning a scientific career in biology, but the B.A. degree allows a richer liberal arts program and provides good preparation for many careers, including subsequent graduate study. Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus are not required for the B.A degree.
Students must complete at least 36 credits of 2000-level or higher courses in EEB, MCB, or PNB, of which at least 6 credits must be at the 3000-level or above, with an average GPA of 2.0 or higher.
The 36-credit group includes courses from the biology core and writing in the major requirements below. Students may apply no more than 3 independent study credits and 8 transfer credits toward their 24-credit group.
Note: PNB 2264 and 2265 (and PNB 92501, non-equivalent transfer credit) CANNOT count towards the 36-credit group.
Introductory Biology Courses:
- BIOL 1107 Principles of Biology I (4 cr.)
- BIOL 1108 Principles of Biology II (4 cr.) or BIOL 1110 Intro to Botany (4 cr.)
Cells and Molecules Core Requirement:
- MCB 2000 Introduction to Biochemistry (4 cr.) or
- MCB 2210 Cell Biology (3 cr.) or MCB 2215 Honors Cell Biology (3 cr.) or
- MCB 2610 Fundamentals of Microbiology (4 cr.)
Ecology Core Requirement:
- EEB 2244 or 2244W General Ecology (4 cr.)
Evolution Core Requirement:
- EEB 2245 or 2245W Evolutionary Biology (3-4 cr.)
Genetics Core Requirement:
- MCB 2400 Human Genetics or MCB 2410 Genetics (3 cr.)
Physiology Core Requirement:
- PNB 2250 Animal Physiology (3 cr.) or
- PNB 2274 and 2275 Enhanced Human Physiology & Anatomy (8 cr. total)
Writing in the Major: complete at least one of the following:
- BIOL 3520W Ethical Perspectives in Biological Research and Technology
- EEB 2244W General Ecology
- EEB 2245W Evolutionary Biology
- EEB 3220W Evolution of Green Plants
- EEB 3244W Writing in Ecology
- EEB 4230W Methods of Ecology
- EEB 4276W Plant Anatomy
- EEB 4896W Senior Research Thesis in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- EEB 5335W Vertebrate Social Behavior
- MCB 3022W Human Disease and the Development of Therapeutic Agents
- MCB 3602W Introduction to Bioinformatic Tools for Microbial Genome Annotation
- MCB 3841W Research Literature in Molecular and Cell Biology
- MCB 3842W Current Investigations in Cancer Cell Biology
- MCB 3843W Research Literature in Comparative Genomics
- MCB 3845W Microbial Diversity, Ecology and Evolution
- MCB 3996W Research Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology
- MCB 4026W Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
- MCB 4997W Honors Research Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology
- PNB 3120W Scientific Writing in Neurobiology
- PNB 3263WQ Investigations in Neurobiology
- PNB 3264W Molecular Principles of Physiology
- PNB 4296W Senior Research Thesis in Physiology and Neurobiology
*or any other BIOL, EEB, MCB, PNB W course
Related Courses for Catalog Year 2018 & Earlier:
Complete at least 12 credits of 2000-level or higher related courses.Pick courses from this list of pre-approved Biology Relateds.
Please view the list of pre-approved related courses on your Academic Requirements Report on Student Admin. Students may also choose courses not included in the pre-approved list, but you must obtain advisor approval.
Additional Notes and Restrictions:
- BIOL 1107 & 1108 (BIOL 1110 may be used in place of BIOL 1108) are required for students with Catalog Year 2012 and after. BIOL 1107 & 1108 can be taken in either order.
- Math 1131 & 1132 (Calculus I and II) are the only math requirements for the B.S. degree. Students typically start the calculus sequence during their sophomore year.
- CHEM 2443 & 2444 (Organic Chemistry) are not required but many biology students (especially those on the pre-med/pre-dental track) take these courses, which can count as related courses (catalog year 2018 and prior). CHEM 2443 is not recommended for first semester freshmen.
- Physics is typically taken in junior year and is required for the B.S. degree.
- A maximum of 8 2000-level or above transfer credits in EEB, MCB, or PNB can count towards the 36 credits in the major.
- A maximum of 3 independent study credits from EEB 3899, MCB 3899, MCB 3989, MCB 4989, or PNB 3299 can count toward the 36 credits in the major.
- Use the BIOL Requirements Worksheet, General Education Audit Sheet, and Major Sample Sequence to keep track of general education requirements & major requirements. These forms list the specific requirements for each catalog year.