Biology (BS)


The Department of Biology offers degree programs which prepare its graduates for a wide variety of careers. While many graduates become physicians or dentists, others employ their knowledge of biology as physician assistants, research scientists or educators. Their competency leads to important contributions to society based on a program which includes personal instruction by scholars in their field, strong laboratory resources and experiences, and broad coverage of the various areas of biology.

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    Program Learning Outcomes

    Graduates of this program will be able to:

    1. read, understand, and critically interpret primary biological literature in multiple disciplines of biology.
    2. design, conduct, statistically analyze, and communicate (in writing and orally) biological research through inquiry-based experiences.
    3. recognize and understand ethical principles of fundamental and applied science and practice in society.
    4. understand and apply broad concepts of ecological and evolutionary theory as well as their underlying principles and mechanisms.

    Degree Requirements - Bachelor of Science with a Major in Biology (120 credits)

    To obtain a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology, students must earn a minimum of 39 credit hours in applicable course work in biology. The following are the minimal specific course requirements:

    General Biology Sequence (10 credits)

    A grade of "C" or better for each course in this sequence is a prerequisite to all other biology courses in the department for Biology majors.

    • BIO 1200 General Biology I (3 credits) (meets core objective C1 with BIO 1210)
    • BIO 1210 General Biology Laboratory I (2 credits) (meets core objective C1 with BIO 1200)
    • BIO 1220 General Biology II (3 credits)
    • BIO 1230 General Biology Laboratory II (2 credits)

    Form and Function (3 credits)

    Choose one of the following courses:

    • BIO 2600 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (3 credits)
    • BIO 4510 Plant Form and Function (3 credits)
    • BIO 4630 Physiology (BIO 2600 is a prerequisite) (3 credits)

    Biological Systems (3 credits)

    Choose one of the following courses:

    Cell Biology and Genetics (6 credits)

    Choose two of the following courses:

    Additional Requirements for all Biology Majors (17+ credits)

    • BIO 2900 Biostatistics (3 credits) (meets core objective B2)
    • BIO 4990 Biology and Social Issues (3 credits) (meets core objective IT1)
    • Three additional BIO Labs (beyond BIO 1210 & 1230) (6 credits)
    • Biology Electives* (additional courses from BIO 2600-4999 to reach min. of 39 BIO credits) (5+ credits)

    *After completing the general Biology sequence, additional Biology electives (in BIO 2600 - BIO 4999) may be chosen from the following:

    • Any of the above-listed courses in which the student has a special interest, or which are recommended by professional schools.
    • Examples of additional biology electives: Histology, Developmental Biology, Immunology, Animal Behavior, Human Anatomy, Human Genetics, Principles of Neurophysiology, Pathophysiology, Invertebrate Zoology, Laboratory Research Basics. With special permission, juniors and seniors may elect directed studies courses.

    Biology majors must also complete the University Core Curriculum requirements and the following science and mathematics courses:

    Required Science and Mathematics (27-28 credits)

    • MTH 1400 Elementary Functions (3 credits) or MTH 1410 Calculus 1 (4 credits) (meets core objective B1)
    • CHM 1070 General Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM 1100 Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
    • CHM 1080 General Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM 1120 Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
    • CHM 2270 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM 2250 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
    • CHM 2260 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
    • CHM 2290 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)
    • PHY 1300 General Physics I (3 credits)
    • PHY 1310 General Physics Lab I (1 credit)
    • PHY 1320 General Physics II (3 credits)
    • PHY 1330 General Physics Lab II (1 credit)

    * Students are encouraged to take a higher-level mathematics course if inclined. These chemistry and physics courses, or their equivalent or higher courses, are required by professional schools of medicine and dentistry.

    Note that chemistry courses (including labs) require a "C" or better to move on to the next course in the sequence.

    Not all professional schools of medicine or dentistry recommend specific additional biology courses. Those that do, suggest courses such as comparative anatomy, histology, embryology, or genetics.

    Other Requirements


    Core Curriculum

    In addition to the courses required for this program listed above, the student must also fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum for this program.

    Some of these courses may be satisfied by courses in your program.  Please review your Degree Evaluation or consult your academic advisor for more information.


    Optional Concentration - Applied Genetics

    The Applied Genetics concentration, associated with the BS Biology, is designed to equip students with a broad landscape of the applications of genetics in biology and medicine. As indicated below, the courses within the concentration demonstrate the continuously expanding applications of genetics into other fields of biology and medicine. Students completing this concentration will have a foundational understanding of the manner in which genetics is no longer a stand-alone discipline but touches on many areas of active research. Through laboratory and lecture courses in this concentration students will be exposed to different sub-disciplines in genetics including classical genetics, human genetics, molecular genetics, and bioinformatics.

    The concentration is a minimum of 13 credits.

    • BIO 2710 Genetics Laboratory (2 credits)
    • BIO 3400 Cancer Biology (3 credits) or BIO 3750 Human Genetics (3 credits)
    • BIO 4200 Evolution (3 credits)
    • BIO 4740 Cellular and Molecular Biology (3 credits)
    • BIO 4750 Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab (2 credits)
    • BIO 3201 Applied Metagenomics (3 credits)
    • BIO 3950 Advanced Microbial Phage Genomics: SEA-GENES (4 credits)

    Contact Dr. Jacob Kagey ( for more information.


    Optional Concentration - Neuroscience

    The Neuroscience concentration focuses on the scientific investigation of behavior, neurological and mental processes as well as provides students with basic scientific skills training. A concentration in neuroscience will offer students an opportunity to learn about theory and research on the brain and nervous system from a number of perspectives. Students will come to understand how developments in biology, psychology, chemistry and related fields alter knowledge and research techniques in the other fields. This cross-disciplinary concentration is not housed within a single department but, rather, is directed and taught primarily by faculty in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Psychology.

    The concentration is a minimum of 12 credit hours, a minimum of three credit hours in PYC, and six credit hours from 3000+ level or higher.

    Choose 1 of the following

    • BIO 3800 Principles of Neurophysiology (3 credits)
    • PYC 3070 Psychobiology (3 credits)

    Choose 1 of the following

    • BIO 2840 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
    • BIO 3800 Principles of Neurophysiology (3 credits)
    • CHM 4740 Recent Advances in Biochemistry (3 credits)
    • CHM 4600 Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery (3 credits)

    Choose 2 of the following (at least one course must be PYC)

    • BIO 2840 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
    • BIO 3800 Principles of Neurophysiology (3 credits)
    • BIO 4350 Fundamentals of Pharmacology (3 credits)
    • CHM 4600 Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery (3 credits)
    • CHM 4740 Recent Advances in Biochemistry (3 credits)
    • PYC 2010 Research Methods I (3 credits)
    • PYC 2020 Research Methods II (3 credits)
    • PYC 4070 Advanced Psychobiology (3 credits)
    • PYC 4080 Advanced Psychobiology Laboratory (3 credits)
    • PYC 4090 Perceptual and Cognitive Processes (3 credits)
    • PYC 4100 Perceptual and Cognitive Process Laboratory (3 credits)

    Total Credits: 12 credits

    Six credits must be 3000 level or higher.

    Contact Dr. Rachelle Belanger ( for more information.

Program Contact Information

Program Chair: Dr. Stephanie Conant
Life Sciences 101
Telephone: (313) 993-1181