A major in Biology offers a student both the theory and experience to prepare for either postgraduate work or bachelor-level entry jobs in industry or teaching. The requirements for the Biology major emphasize the course requirements for medical, dental, physical or occupational therapy and other professional schools. By carefully selecting biology electives, undergraduates may prepare with an appropriate concentration for the particular field in which to continue their studies in graduate school or an allied health licensure program.


The majority of Biology majors are involved in a pre-professional program, with the remainder entering industry or governmental occupations. Biology-related jobs include those with environmental and health regulatory agencies, consulting firms, research laboratories, and health-related industries, such as pharmaceutical sales.



Biology Course Sequence
The curriculum of the Biology major includes this major course sequence:

 Code Course Credit
 BIOL 170 & 170L Introduction to Ecology and Evolution and Lab 4
 BIOL 204 Botany 4
 BIOL 207 General Zoology 4
 BIOL 208 Introduction to Cellular, Genetic and Molecular Biology 4
 BIOL 223SI Oral Presentation in the Biological Sciences 3
 BIOL 499 Senior Seminar 1
                                                                                Subtotal:​ 20​


AND the following required allied courses:  

 Code Course Credit
CHEM 103 General Chemistry I 4
CHEM 104​ General Chemistry II​ 4​
​CHEM 301/L Organic Chemistry I/Lab​ 4​
CHEM 302/L Organic Chemistry II/Lab 4
PHYS 111 Principles of Physics I 4
PHYS 112​ Principles of Physics II​ 4​
MATH 140 Calculus I 4
MATH 141
   or MATH 206
Calculus II
Statistical Methods in Science
                                                                                Subtotal:​ 32


ADDITIONALLY, students must complete 24 credit hours of upper division courses numbered 300 or above, two courses of which must be writing intensive (BIOL /MSC xxxWI), earning a minimum C- in at least one WI course, chosen from the following categories:

Choose at least one course (minimum 3 credit hours):

 Code Course Credit
 BIOL 301WI  Microbiology  4
 BIOL 302  Invertebrate Zoology  4
 BIOL 303  Vertebrate Biology  4
 BIOL 304WI  Ichthyology  4
 BIOL 305  Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy  5
 BIOL 312 Plant Taxonomy 4
 BIOL335/336 Marine Mammal Biology and Lab 3/1
 BIOL 406  Advanced Ornithology  4
 MSC 407WI  Marine Botany  4

Choose at least one course:

 Code Course Credit
 BIOL 306 Comparative Vertebrate Embryology 5
 BIOL 314 Evolution 3
 BIOL 320WI Human Ecology, Infectious and Zoonotic Disease 
 BIOL 404 Ecology 4
 BIOL 412WI Physiological Ecology 4
 BIOL 417WI Conservation Biology 4
 BIOL 434WI Animal Behavior 3
 MSC 310WI Marine Ecology 4
 MSC 406WI Biological Oceanography 3

Choose at least one course:

 Code Course Credit
 BIOL 308 Principles of Immunology 4
 BIOL 309 Animal Physiology 4
 BIOL 402WI Cell Biology 4
 BIOL 409​ Pharmacology and Toxicology​ 3​
 BIOL 425 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology I 4
 BIOL 426WI Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology II 4
                                                                                 Subtotal:​ 9-14​
 XXX xxx​ The remaining 10-15 credit hours to total 24 credit hours may be chosen from any upper division course in BIOL or MSC. SEE NOTES BELOW for additional information on selecting these courses.  ​
                                                                                 Subtotal:​ 15-10​
​                                                                                       Total: 76​


BIOLOGY MAJOR Important Notes:

  • Courses BIOL 170, 204, 207, 208 and 223SI serve as prerequisites for biology courses numbered 300 and above. Please refer to course descriptions for specific prerequisites lists.
  • A minimum grade of “C-” is required of Biology majors in any course utilized as a prerequisite.
  • No more than four (4) credit hours each and no more than eight (8) credit hours total of the remaining upper level division courses may come from the following three categories: 
    • Independent Study (BIOL/MSC 387, 388, 487, 488)
    • Departmental Honors (BIOL/MSC 397, 398, 498, 498)
    • Internship (BIOL/MSC 490) 
  • Biology majors must take an exit exam designated by the department during their senior year as part of BIOL 499.
  • Students who wish to double major in Biology and Marine Science or Biology and Biochemistry will only be allowed to double count those courses specifically required for both majors. Upper division electives may not be counted toward both majors simultaneously.
  • Students interested in professional school (medical, dental, etc.) should review the Pre-Professional program description. 
  • Students who wish to pursue careers in medical technology should complete a major in Biology with the following upper division electives of BIOL 301WI Microbiology, BIOL 308 Immunology, BIOL 425 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology I, and BIOL 426WI Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology II.  Application for medical technology internships and programs should be made in consultation with an academic advisor.
  • Students majoring in Biology are encouraged to pursue course studies in computing sciences.
  • Students wishing to pursue Biomedical Engineering should refer to the Engineering section of the catalog.   




A Biology minor consists of the following courses:


Code Course Credit
BIOL170 & 170L Introduction to Ecology and Evolution and Lab 4
BIOL 204 Botany 4
BIOL 207 Zoology 4
BIOL 208 Introduction to Cellular, Genetic and Molecular Biology 4
BIOL xxx​ ​Two (2) additional BIOL courses numbered 300 and above must be chosen for a minimum total of 20 credit hours. 4​




Students who plan to teach Biology on the secondary level should complete the education minor in consultation with the School of Education early in their academic careers to determine the specific requirements.


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