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Requirements for Majors

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

Honors versions of each degree are available.

The Biological Sciences impact almost every aspect of modern life and interface with a multitude of fields and disciplines including the basic sciences and medicine, social sciences, law, and engineering. The study of biology provides an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers.

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Arts
Biology Teaching

Bachelor of Science
Biology Teaching

Minors Available

Students may opt to also take a minor in one of two areas

Minor of
Biology Teaching

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Minor of  Integrative
Human Biology

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University General Education
& Bachelors Requirements

Biology majors are required to complete all of the University's intellectual exploration and Bachelor degree requirements for science majors:

Colleges and departments can make changes to majors, minors, and certificates once a year so it is critical for students to familiarize themselves with all degree requirements associated with their catalog year.  The responsibility for complying with all regulations rests with the student.


The Science Core

Biology majors (Biology BA/BS) must complete 72 credits of science, including a “Science Core” (math, physics, and chemistry) consisting of:

  • 2 semesters of Calculus [(Math 1170 and 1180) or (Math 1210 and 1220)]
  • 2 semesters of General Physics [(Phys 2010 or 2110 or 2210) and (Phys 2020 or 2220 or 2220)]
  • 2 semesters of General Chemistry with labs (Chem 1210, 1215, 1220, and 1225)
  • 1 semesters of Organic Chemistry (Chem 2310)*

Note: some professional schools require completion of 2 semesters of organic chemistry with labs prior to admission. Students planning to apply to those programs are encouraged to take Chem 2315, 2320, and 2325, which will count towards the requirement for 72 credits of science.

For Advanced Placement (AP) Credits please see your academic advisor.

Ancillary science requirements for the Biology Teaching degrees differ slightly.

Biology Teaching Degree Information

Biology Curriculum


    Biology majors are required to take BIOL 1610, BIOL 1615, BIOL 1620, BIOL 1625 which serves as an introduction to the breadth of Biology. BIOL 1610 is a pre-requisite for many Biology courses. Students who receive a score of 4 or higher on the Biology AP exam will receive credit for BIOL 1610.

    IB Higher Level score of 5 or above will receive credit for BIOL 1610.


    *Depending on your emphasis you might have different emphasis specific core courses. Please see an Academic Advisor for more information

    Biology majors* must complete 36 credits of approved Biology courses, including a "core" curriculum consisting of six courses (18-20 credits):

    • BIOL 1620: Fundamental Principles of Biology II formally known as 2010: Evolution and Diversity of Life(3 credits)
    • BIOL 2020: (3 credits) or BIOL 2021 (4 credits): Principles of Cell Biology/Science
    • BIOL 2030: Principles of Genetics(3 credits)
    • BIOL 3410: Ecology and Evolution(3 credits)
    • BIOL 3510: Biochemistry I(3 credits)
    • BIOL "Form and Function:" Choose one of several "F&F" courses (3-4 credits)

    *Biology core requirements for the Biology Teaching degrees differ slightly.

    Biology Teaching Worksheet


    In addition to their core classes, Biology majors* complete at least 18 credits of electives selected from a catalog of over 1000 courses see (Biology Course List) with topics spanning the breadth of Biology from atoms to ecosystems. Students may select their Biology electives to suit their individual interests and career goals, with the following restrictions. Electives must include the following:

    • At least 12 credits of upper division Biology courses (numbered 3000-level or higher);
    • At least two 5000-level Biology courses (≥ 2 credits each)
    • Four courses with approved laboratory component, totaling 5 lab units


Emphases for Biology Majors

Following the Biology Fundamental Series, many students elect to complete one of the optional eight emphases in different fields of Biology.

While students electing to complete an emphasis must fulfill all requirements for a Biology major (including Gen Ed and Bachelors requirements, the Science Core, Biology Core, and Biology elective requirements; see the majors worksheet), they choose their Biology electives to fulfill requirements of their emphasis.

Students who want to design a more flexible degree program can still pursue a BA/BS in Biology without an emphasis.


Major Requirements BEFORE Fall 2019
Major Requirements STARTING Fall 2019
Biology BS/BABiology BS/BA with no emphasis
Anatomy & Physiology Emphasis Biology BS/BA with an Anatomy & Physiology Emphasis
Biochemistry EmphasisBiology BS/BA with a Biochemistry Emphasis
Cell & Molecular EmphasisBiology BS/BA with a Cell & Molecular Emphasis
Environmental & Organismal EmphasisBiology BS/BA with an Ecology, Evolution, and Environment Emphasis
Biology BS/BA with a Genetics & Genomics Emphasis
Biology BS/BA with a Microbiology Emphasis
Biology BS/BA with a Neurobiology Emphasis
Biology BS/BA with a Plant Biology Emphasis


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