Biology (BS)


The Department of Biology offers a degree program that prepares 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 that 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 with a major in Biology, students must earn a minimum of 39 credit hours in applicable course work in biology and 20 of the 39 credit hours must be completed at Detroit Mercy. 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 C1 with BIO 1210)
    • BIO 1210 General Biology Laboratory I (2 credits) (meets Core C1 with BIO 1200)
    • BIO 1220 General Biology II (3 credits)
    • BIO 1230 General Biology Laboratory II (2 credits)

     Core Biological Competencies (15 credits)

    • BIO 2600 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (3 credits)
    • BIO 2700 Genetics (3 credits)
    • BIO 2900 Biostatistics (3 credits) (meets Core B2)
    • One of the following:
    • BIO 4990 Biology and Social Issues (3 credits) (meets Core IT1)

    Additional Requirements for all Biology Majors (14+ credits)

    • Three additional biology laboratories (beyond BIO 1210,  BIO 1230BIO 2310, BIO 2330, and BIO 2420) (6 credits)
    • Biology Electives (additional courses from BIO 2600-4999) to reach a minimum of 39 biology credits (8+ credits) which include: 
      • Any of the above-listed courses in which the student has a special interest, or that are recommended by professional schools.
      • Examples of additional biology electives: Microbiology, Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Histology, Developmental Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology, Animal Behavior, Human Anatomy, Human Genetics, Principles of Neurophysiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology.  With special permission, juniors and seniors may elect directed studies courses. However, a maximum of 2.0 credits total of BIO 4900/BIO 4920?BIO 4930 may count toward the 39 Biology credits required.  

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

    Required Supporting Courses (30-31 credits)

    • MTH 1400 Elementary Functions (3 credits) or MTH 1410  Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (4 credits) (meets Core B1)
    • CHM 1070 General Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM 1080 General Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM 1100 Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
    • CHM 1120 Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
    • CHM 2250 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
    • CHM 2260 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
    • CHM 2270 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
    • 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)
    • ETH 3580 Health Care Ethics (3 credits) (meets Core F1)

    Students are encouraged to take a higher-level mathematics course if inclined. Many of 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.

    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.

    Other Requirements


    Optional Concentration - Applied Genetics

    The Applied Genetics concentration 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.

    Required Courses 

    • BIO 4200 Evolution (3 credits)
    • BIO 4740 Cellular and Molecular Biology (3 credits)

    Laboratory courses (choose 2)

    • BIO 2710 Genetics Laboratory (2 credits)
    • BIO 3201 Applied Metagenomics (3 credits)
    • BIO 3950 Advanced Microbial Phage Genomics: SEA-GENES (4 credits)
    • BIO 4750 Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab (2 credits)

    Elective Course (choose 1)

    Contact Jacob Kagey, Ph.D., ( 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 Biopsychology (3 credits)

    Choose 1 of the following (if not used above)

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

    Choose 2 of the following (if not used above and 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 Chemistry and Biochemistry (3 credits)
    • PYC 2010 Research Methods I (3 credits)
    • PYC 2020 Research Methods II (3 credits)
    • PYC 3080 Biopsychology Laboratory (3 credits)
    • PYC 3090 Perceptual and Cognitive Processes (3 credits)
    • PYC 3100 Perceptual and Cognitive Process Laboratory (3 credits)

    Contact Rachelle Belanger, Ph.D., ( for more information.


    Optional Concentration - Biology Research

    The Research concentration within the Biology major is designed for students who are interested in pursuing further research in graduate school or careers in industry, medicine, and science education. A research concentration will offer students an opportunity to read and explore scientific literature, develop hypotheses, design and implement experiments, collect and analyze data and communicate their findings. The Research concentration involves both course-based research experiences and mentored laboratory research experiences. Students will gain experience problem solving by using the scientific method.

    The concentration is a minimum of nine credits and must include six credit hours from courses 3000+ level or higher.

    Inquiry-based laboratory or course-based undergraduate research experience (at least 2 credits)

    • BIO 2710 Genetics Laboratory (2 credits) 
    • BIO 3201 Applied Metagenomics (3 credits) 
    • BIO 3510 Histology Laboratory (2 credits) 
    • BIO 3950 Advanced Microbial Phage Genomics: SEA GENES (4 credits) 
    • BIO 4490 Ecology Laboratory (2 credits) 
    • BIO 4640 Physiology Laboratory (2 credits) 
    • BIO 4750 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory (2 credits) 
    • CHM 1150 Research in Chemistry Lab (1 credit)
    • CHM 2310 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credits)
    • CHM 3880 Quantitative Analysis Laboratory (1 credit)

    Laboratory Research (3-7 credits):

    Each student must take at least three academic semesters and/or summers of mentored research, and it must include the preparation and presentation of a thesis.

    • BIO 4920 Directed Studies: Laboratory Research (1-2 credits)
    • BIO 4930 Directed Studies: Advanced Laboratory Research (1-2 credits) 
    • SCIE 4998 Undergraduate Research Thesis I (0-1.5 credits)
    • SCIE 4999 Undergraduate Research Thesis II (0-1.5 credits)

    • CHM 3980 Introduction to Undergraduate Research (1-2 credits)
    • CHM 4980 Undergraduate Research (1-2 credits)
    • SCIE 4998 Undergraduate Research Thesis I (0-1.5 credits)
    • SCIE 4999 Undergraduate Research Thesis II (0-1.5 credits)
    • SCIE 4980 Undergraduate Research (0 credits)
    • SCIE 4998 Undergraduate Research Thesis I (0-1.5 credits)
    • SCIE 4999 Undergraduate Research Thesis II (0-1.5 credits)

    • HON 4997 Honors Thesis Proposal (1 credit)
    • HON 4998 Honors Thesis Approval (1 credit)
    • HON 4999 Honors Thesis Defense (1 credit)

    Research Portfolio (0 credits; Pass/Fail):

    Each student must prepare and submit a research portfolio containing the products from each of the courses in the research concentration. These include the presentations, reports, posters, research proposal, research reflections, final thesis, and final presentation. The research portfolio is the full story of the student's research trajectory and achievements. The portfolio is evaluated by the Research Concentration Committee.

    Total Credits: 9 credits

    Contact Rachelle Belanger, Ph.D.,  ( or Jacob Kagey, Ph.D., ( for more information.


    Early Acceptance Program with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) has developed a special Early Acceptance Programs (EAP) with select community colleges, undergraduate colleges and universities that grant qualified students a provisional early acceptance to LECOM’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Detroit Mercy is an “undergraduate affiliated college” with the College of Osteopathic Medicine. High school seniors and current Detroit Mercy students with less than 65 earned undergraduate credit hours may apply through LECOM for EAP consideration. Students enrolled in the EAP may be exempt from taking the MCAT. Additional requirements must be met for final acceptance to LECOM including interviewing, maintaining a minimum cumulative overall and science GPA and activity engagement, and submitting a final application to LECOM. 

    Criteria for enrollment in the EAP for High School applicants:

    • An official SAT (≥ 1240) and/or ACT (≥ 26) score and a high school unweighted GPA ≥3.50 is required to participate in the EAP. The SAT and/or ACT score must be from a single exam (no super scoring). SAT or ACT scores earned after a high school diploma has been received, will not be accepted.

    Criteria for enrollment in the EAP for current Detroit Mercy students:

    • They have not accumulated more than 65 Post-Secondary credit hours.
    • They meet the ACT/SAT requirements shown for High School Students.
    • They meet the high school GPA requirements; or,
      o they have completed at least 30 credit hours as a full time student:
      o they have a Post-Secondary cumulative overall GPA of 3.40 or higher each semester prior to making an application; and
      o they have a Post-Secondary cumulative science GPA of 3.20 or higher

    For the 4+4 program, students complete all degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology (120 credits) before matriculating to LECOM. The student must have a provisional letter of acceptance in the EAP before starting their third year at the undergraduate institution. Upon completing four years of undergraduate study and meeting certain GPA and other requirements, they enter LECOM the following July. LECOM graduates receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. 

    Specific Requirements for remaining in the EAP program include:

    • A cumulative GPA of 3.40 and a science GPA of 3.20 from the first semester. LECOM will calculate and review the enrolled student’s Cumulative Overall GPA and the Cumulative Science GPA in February and July of each year. All Post-Secondary courses, including repeated courses, and grades will be used to determine the cumulative overall GPA and cumulative science GPA. The science GPA does not include Math but does include Biology, Chemistry and Physics along with other courses designated as science courses by AACOMAS, AADSAS, AACPMAS, or PharmCAS.
    • If a student fails a class, even a non-required class, the student will be removed from the EAP.
    • All required classes must be taken at Detroit Mercy. If the student has already completed the required classes at a non-affiliated school, the student will need to retake the course or complete a higher-level course to fulfill the requirement. LECOM reserves the right to accept transfer credits from non-affiliated schools to fulfill LECOM requirements on a case-by-case basis.
    • The number of transfer credits from a Post-Secondary Institution not affiliated with LECOM may not exceed 65 credit hours.
    • Students are required to complete English (6 credits), behavioral science (6 credits), physics with a lab (4 credits), biology with two labs (at least 8 credits), general chemistry with two labs (8 credits), organic chemistry with two labs (8 credits), biochemistry (3 credits), and genetics (3 credits). No final grade lower than C accepted.
    • LECOM strongly recommends completing upper level biology courses including in physiology, microbiology with lab, cell biology, histology, and immunology.
    • LECOM may accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits for the English and Behavioral Science courses, if the student scores a four (4) or five (5) on the AP exam. AP credits will not be accepted for the required science courses.
    • CLEP may not be used to satisfy any of the minimum requirements.
    • Credit for Pass/Fail courses will not be accepted.
    • Students have 30 days to report academic or conduct violations to LECOM.
    • Students must pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in a biological or physical science.

Program Contact Information

Jacob Kagey, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biology
Office: Life Sciences 101
Telephone: 313-993-1181