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Biology Degree (B.S.)

Why Major in Biology?

The Biology Department fosters in all students an understanding of and curiosity about the living world and biological processes, an appreciation of how scientific knowledge is acquired, and the ability to apply your knowledge and skills to generate and address new questions.

What makes us great

  • You can publish and present at conferences
  • We stress communication and professionalism to build your confidence and preparation
  • We have a biology club
  • Our low faculty/student ratio and strong support system provide mentorship and guidance
  • We have expert faculty in many biology disciplines to help you explore options
  • We offer professional development night for networking and exploring careers
  • Our independent research students have 24 hour access to labs
  • We offer team taught courses with Environmental Science
Requirements for the Biology Degree

Common Core Courses

Courses in the Laboratory Science section of the Common Core are BIOL 0102 - Environmental Biology, BIOL 0104 - Human Biology, BIOL 0106 - Biology Today, and BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I. The 100-level courses (BIOL 0102, BIOL 0104, and BIOL 0106) do not satisfy requirements for the Biology Major and should not be taken by students majoring in Biology.  MATH 0105  and MATH 0108 each satisfy the traditional mathematics area of the Common Core.  BIOL 0278 satisfies the applied analytical reasoning area of the Common Core.  Both math courses should be selected with guidance from faculty advisor.

    Requirements for the Biology Major - 63 Credits

    To earn a major in Biology, students must successfully complete all Introductory Courses, Biology Seminars, Required Chemistry Courses, Upper Division Courses, and Elective Courses as described below.

      Introductory Biology/Math Courses

      • BIOL 0128 - General Biology II
      • BIOL 0129 - General Biology I
      •  Two of the following Math core courses:
      • MATH 0105 - Calculus I
      • MATH 0108 - Elementary Statistics
      • BIOL 0278 - Biostatistics


      BIOL 0128 and BIOL 0129 DO NOT have to be taken in sequence, but should be taken in the first year.  MATH 0105  and MATH 0108 each satisfy the traditional mathematics area of the Common Core and BIOL 0278 satisfies the applied analytical reasoning area of the Common Core.  Both math courses should be selected with guidance from faculty advisor.

        Biology Seminars

        Three 1-credit seminars as follows:

        • BIOL 0180 - Introductory Seminar in Biology
        • BIOL 0280-0289 - Biology Seminar
        • (Biology education students must take BIOL 0289 for this requirement.)
        • BIOL 0380 - Senior Seminar


        The first-year seminar serves as an introduction to the field of biology, research methods, career opportunities; assists students in integrating the knowledge gained in individual biology and cognate courses; and helps documents the student's progress toward meeting the departmental learning goals.  A topical seminar (BIOL 0280-0289 is typically taken during the junior or senior year) and focuses on specific topics, while the Senior Seminar requires the presentation of a portfolio documenting the student's progress toward meeting the departmental learning goals.

          Required Chemistry Courses

          Two semesters of chemistry may be used to satisfy the Science requirement of the Common Core.

          • CHEM 0109 - General Chemistry I
          • CHEM 0111 - General Chemistry II
          • CHEM 0201 - Organic Chemistry I
          • CHEM 0203 - Organic Chemistry II

          Upper Division Biology Courses

          ONE course from each of the following areas:



            • BIOL 0230 - Evolution



            • BIOL 0201 - General Ecology or
            • BIOL 0202 - Conservation Biology



            • BIOL 0203 - Genetics or
            • BIOL 0205 - Cell Biology or
            • BIOL 0223 - Microbiology



            • BIOL 0211 - Plant Biology or
            • BIOL 0221 - Comparative Physiology or
            • BIOL 0227 - Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy or
            • BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I or
            • BIOL 0239 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II or
            • BIOL 0333 - Organismal Neurobiology

            Elective Courses

            A minimum of 15 additional credits in Biology above the 100-level (excluding internships), selected with guidance from the faculty advisor.  These 15 credits must include the following:

            • 6 credits of BIOL 0377 - Research Experience  (3 of these credits may be satisfied by BIOL 0399 - Independent Research )
            • 3 additional credits at the 300-level ( BIOL 0377 - Research Experience or other 300-level biology)
            • 6 additional credits of 200 or 300-level biology electives

              Recommended Courses

              If students are interested in graduate or professional school, a year of calculus and a year of physics is strongly recommended. Students should discuss their academic and career goals with their faculty advisor to identify appropriate coursework.

                Additional Graduation Requirements

                All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .

                  Clubs & Organizations

                  Biology Club

                  The Biology Club affords an opportunity for students of the biological sciences.