The Biology BA Program: Academic Requirements

There are two categories of requirements for all biology majors: biology courses and basic science support courses. General Biology I and II, Cell Biology, and the five upper-level electives in the “biology courses” category must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Students must attain at least a 2.0 (C) GPA in courses used to satisfy the requirements for the major, including the “biology courses” category (excluding the senior project) and the “basic science support courses” category. Students majoring in biology may choose a concentration, but one is not required.

In addition to meeting general degree requirements, all BA majors in biology must complete the following courses:

Biology Courses

  1. BIO 1550/General Biology I
  2. BIO 1551/General Biology I Lab
  3. BIO 1560/General Biology II
  4. BIO 1561/General Biology II Lab
  5. BIO 1880/Biology Freshman Seminar
  6. BIO 2890/Biology Program Seminar
  7. BIO 3530/Cell Biology (successful completion of BIO 3530 is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology electives, except BIO 3850)
  8. Five upper-level biology electives, as follows; these must include at least one at the 4000 level and at least four lab studies, taken either in conjunction with lecture courses or as separately registered lab courses:
    1. One of the following courses in biological mechanisms:
      BIO 3160/Genetics
      BIO 3170/Developmental Biology
      BIO 3250/Animal Physiology
      BIO 4620/Molecular Biology
    2. One of the following courses in biodiversity and ecology:
      BIO 3360/Microbiology
      BIO 3430/Vertebrate Zoology
      BIO 3440/Invertebrate Zoology
      ENV 3120/General Ecology
    3. Three additional upper-level biology electives
  9. BIO 3890/Biology Junior Seminar
  10. BIO 4990/Senior Project
    If a student elects to conduct a senior project in an area other than the life sciences, two additional biology courses are required.

Basic Science Support Courses

  1. CHE 1550/General Chemistry I
  2. CHE 1551/General Chemistry I Lab
  3. CHE 1560/General Chemistry II
  4. CHE 1561/General Chemistry II Lab
  5. CHE 3310/Organic Chemistry I
  6. CHE 3311/Organic Chemistry I Lab
  7. CHE 3320/Organic Chemistry II
  8. CHE 3321/Organic Chemistry II Lab
  9. One of the following courses:
    MAT 1500/Calculus I
    MAT 1520/Computer Science I
    MAT 1600/Introductory Statistics
    MAT 3680/Informatics in Biology and Medicine
    PSY 2320/Behavioral Statistics

Additional notes for biology majors:

  1. Many students will want to study additional mathematics. Graduate schools generally require Calculus I; professional schools may require either Calculus I or Statistics.
  2. A year of physics is highly recommended (PHY 1510–1511/Introductory Physics I with lab and PHY 1520–1521/Introductory Physics II with lab). Professional and graduate schools generally require physics.
  3. Some professional and graduate schools may not accept high school AP courses as substitutes for college introductory science courses (e.g., General Biology, General Chemistry, Introductory Physics).

For updates during 2013–2015, please visit

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