Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Majoring & Minoring

The Biology Department offers majors and minors for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. The Department also supports Interdisciplinary majors in Animal Behavior and Environmental Studies and provides core natural science laboratory courses for all students.

Each years, several students in our department pursue further education (either a Master’s or a Ph.D.) in various graduate school programs.  Others go on to get professional degrees in the medical, dental or veterinary fields.  We strive to support those professional goals through curriculum planning assistance, testing information, and career guidance.

MAJOR - Click for basic degree plans

Requirements for a major in Biology for the BS and BA degrees are:

A. Introductory Courses 
50-102 Cell Biology 
50-112 Biodiversity 
50-122 Genetics and Evolution 
50-162 Genes and Molecules 
50-222 Methods in Ecology and Evolution 
50-232 Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

NOTE: Biology majors must have completed Biology 50-102, 112, 122, 162, 222 and 232 with a grade of at least C- before enrolling in any additional above-introductory level Biology course.


B. Any five (BA) or six (BS) of the following courses, with the additional requirements that: (a) a minimum of three (BA) or four (BS) of the courses selected must include a laboratory component and (b) at least one course must be taken from each of the subdisciplines of cellular/molecular, organismal, and population biology.

Cellular and Molecular:
50-374 Biology of Reproduction; 50-474 Cellular Physiology; 
50-484 Microbiology; 
50-573 General Biochemistry I & Laboratory (571); 
50-583 General Biochemistry II OR 50-583 General Biochemistry II & Laboratory (581); 
50-864 Fundamentals of Immunology; 
50-874 Molecular Biology

50-324 Botany; 
50-354 Neurobiology; 
50-364 Comparative Vertebrate Morphology; 50-384 Human Anatomy; 
50-394 Endocrinology; 
50-424 Organ Physiology; 
50-444 Invertebrate Ecology; 50-454 Tissue Mechanics

50-314 Genetics; 
50-334 Evolution; 
50-414 Global Change Biology; 
50-434 Ecology

C. Upon recommendation of the advisor, up to two of the following courses may be substituted for courses in B above. Four credit hours of Introduction to Research may substitute for only one of the required laboratory courses in B above. These courses do not count under any specific subdiscipline.

50-303, 304 Selected Topics 

50-973 Introduction to Independent Research 

50-983 Honors Biology

D. The capstone experience includes successful completion of integrative courses in cellular/molecular, organismal and ecology/evolutionary biology and participation in the Biology Senior Assessment.  As a content assessment of the major, seniors take the Major Field Test in Biology as part of the Biology Senior Assessment.  At this time, the Biology Department pays for the students to take this test.

Bachelor of Science

In addition to A, B, and C above, those taking the BS degree must also complete:

  • Mathematics: 52-154 (Calculus I) and 52-114 (Statistics)
  • Chemistry: First-year sequence (51-154 and 51-164 or 51-174 and 51-214)
  • Both semester of the Organic Chemistry sequence (now 51-544 and 51-554)
  • Along with a year of Physics (53-154, 53-164)

Bachelor of Arts

In addition to A, B, and C above, those taking the BA degree also must complete:

Chemistry: First-year sequence (51-154 and 51-164, or 51-174 and 51-214), and First semester Organic Chemistry 51-554 and 52-114 (Statistics)


A minor in Biology must include: 50-102, 112, 122, 162; and enough courses from “B” above to total 12 semester hours above the introductory level. Methods classes for a particular area (Ecology and Evolution or Cell/Molecular) are required for upper-level courses. At least one of these courses must include a laboratory component.

NOTE: For continuing students that do not switch to the new curriculum, please consult your specific catalog and direct questions about your degree plan to your academic advisor.

Please note that the 2010-2011 Catalog omitted the additional upper-level biology course required for a BS versus a BA (6 courses; 4 with lab for BS versus 5 courses, 3 with lab for a BA).