Overview

The B.S. degree is recommended as preparation for medical school, veterinary school, dental school, masters and Ph.D. programs in biology, careers in biological research, conservation and environmental management, and teaching at the high school and college level. Three options are available for students to specialize within Biology.

Curriculum Requirements

Biology Core Courses22
Two semesters of introductory biology plus labs are required, usually taken in the first year:
General Biology
General Biology Laboratory
Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory I
Evolution and Biodiversity
Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory
Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory II
Select one of the following three Options for upper level required biology core courses:
Option One: This option is recommended for students interested in medical school, other health sciences, cell, molecular and developmental biology.
Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Comparative Physiology
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Option Two: This option is recommended for students interested in ecology, evolution, biodiversity and conservation.
Genetics
Evolutionary Biology
Ecology
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Comparative Physiology
Option Three:
Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Ecology
Comparative Physiology
Additional BIL electives12
At least three credit hours of additional BIL electives must be at the 400-level or higher
At least one BIL elective must be a CAPSTONE course. Capstone courses can be located in Class Search under "Additional Search Criteria", subheading "Class Attributes". All seminars in Biology (BIL 374, BIL 375 and BIL 402) are capstones.
Two biology laboratory or field courses beyond <BIL 151 or BIL 153> and <BIL 161 or BIL 163> are required as part of the additional BIL electives. Approved laboratory/field courses at the 300 level or higher in departments other than Biology (e.g., BMB, MIC, MSC, NEU) can be counted towards this lab requirement. Check with the Department of Biology to confirm that a specific course is allowed to fulfill this requirement.
Up to eight credit hours toward the major may be selected from courses with a biological topic and numbered 300 or higher in MBE, MES, MSC, or OCE.
A maximum of two credit hours of the following may be applied towards the major
Readings in Biology
Readings in Biology
A maximum of six credit hours of the following may be applied towards the major. (Only one of these may be counted towards the lab/field course requirement.)
Projects in Biology
Projects in Biology
Projects in Biology
A maximum of three total credit hours from the following courses may be applied towards the major. Any course in this list may be taken only once to count towards the major. However, these courses may be taken additional times for general elective credit only.
Workshop Leaders in Biology I 1
Workshop Leaders in Biology II
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Training in Biology
PRISM Teaching Fellow
Chemistry
Three semesters (16 credits) of chemistry are required for the biology major.16
Principles of Chemistry
and Chemistry Laboratory I
Introduction to Structure and Dynamics
and Chemical Dynamics Laboratory
Organic Reactions and Synthesis
and Organic Reactions and Synthesis Laboratory
Statistics or Computer Language/Programming
Select one statistics or one computer language/programming course from the following: 23
Advanced Biostatistics
Environmental Statistics
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics for Non-Majors
Computer Programming I
Physics
Select one of the following Options:10-11
Option One:
College Physics I
and College Physics Laboratory I
College Physics II
and College Physics Laboratory II
Option Two:
University Physics I for the Sciences
and College Physics Laboratory I
University Physics II for the Sciences
and College Physics Laboratory II
Option Three:
PHY 211
PHY 106
University Physics I for PRISM
and College Physics Laboratory I
5
PHY 212
PHY 108
University Physics II for PRISM
and College Physics Laboratory II
5
Option Four:
PHY 221University Physics I3
PHY 222
PHY 224
University Physics II
and University Physics II Lab
4
PHY 223
PHY 225
University Physics III
and University Physics III Lab
4
Minor1-16
Total credit hours for the minor will vary by department.
The CHM requirement for the BS in biology fulfills either 12 or 15 (depending on which option is selected) of the 16 credits necessary for the minor in Chemistry. To complete the minor in Chemistry, only 1-4 additional credits in CHM are required beyond those necessary for the BS in Biology.
Additional Required Courses
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
ENG 106Writing About Literature and Culture3
or WRS 106 First-Year Writing II
or WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM
MTH 161Calculus I (This course will fulfill the quantitative skills proficiency requirement.)4
MTH 162Calculus II4
Language Courses3-9
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
People and Society Cognate9
Electives0-25
Total Credit Hours120
1

A maximum of one credit hour may be applied towards the major or minor.  These courses may be taken more than once each for general elective credit only, but only two credits from these options may count towards the major or minor.

2

This will fulfill the mathematics/statistics/computer programming requirement under the College of Arts and Sciences General degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science. 

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
BIL 150 General Biology 4
BIL 151 or 153 General Biology Laboratory
or Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory I
1
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
 Credit Hours17
Spring
BIL 160 Evolution and Biodiversity 4
BIL 161 or 163 Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory
or Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory II
1
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 4
CHM 205 Chemical Dynamics Laboratory 1
WRS 106, 107,
First-Year Writing II
or First-Year Writing II: STEM
or Writing About Literature and Culture
3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours17
Year Two
Fall
BIL 250 or 255 Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
3
CHM 222 Organic Reactions and Synthesis 4
CHM 206 Organic Reactions and Synthesis Laboratory 2
Language 101 3
Statistics or Computer Science Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate Course 3
 Credit Hours18
Spring
BIL 250 or 255 Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
3
BIL 330 or 320 Ecology
or Evolutionary Biology
3
BIL 374, 375,
Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
1
BIL Lab (note: Some BIL labs are available for WRI credit. Check course listings for more information.) 1-2
Language 102 3
People and Society Cognate course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours17-18
Year Three
Fall
BIL 250, 255,
Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
or Comparative Physiology
3
BIL 330 or 320 Ecology
or Evolutionary Biology
3
PHY 101, 201,
College Physics I
or University Physics I for the Sciences
or University Physics I for PRISM
4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
People and Society Cognate course (WRI) 3
Language 2XX 3
 Credit Hours17
Spring
Biology Lab/Field course 1-3
PHY 102, 202,
College Physics II
or University Physics II for the Sciences
or University Physics II for PRISM
4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
Arts and Humanities Cognate (WRI) 3
Elective 6
 Credit Hours15-17
Year Four
Fall
BIL Elective 3
Biology Lab/Field course 1-3
BIL Elective 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Elective (WRI) 3
BIL 375, 374,
Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
1
 Credit Hours14-16
Spring
BIL Elective 3
BIL Elective 1
Elective (WRI) 3
People and Society Cognate 3
Elective 1-3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours14-16
 Total Credit Hours129-136

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will, through a required core of courses including laboratories, demonstrate a broad knowledge base in Biology.
  • Students will, through exposure to biological concepts, inquiry-based learning and biological research, develop the ability to think critically and to formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Students will, through courses intensive in research presentations, develop presentation skills sufficient to communicate scientific information to professional and public audiences.
  • Students will, through exposure to biological concepts, inquiry-based learning and biological research, develop the ability to think critically and understand proper application of the scientific method.