Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.

Academic Requirements

To graduate with a BA in Biological Sciences, the student must complete all courses covered under major requirements for a BA in Biological Sciences with a grade of C or better. All prerequisites for Biology (BIOL) courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in a lower-division (100- or 200-level) BIOL course may repeat the course two additional times on a space-available basis. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in an upper-division (300- or 400-level) BIOL course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a BIOL course are required to complete all components of that course during the semester in which the course is retaken. When repeating a course with a lecture and laboratory component, both components must be repeated. Students enrolled in a BIOL laboratory must attend lab the first week of class or they may be administratively dropped.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Core Courses
BIOL A108Principles and Methods in Biology6
BIOL A242Fundamentals of Cell Biology3
BIOL A243Experiential Learning: Cell Biology and Genetics4
or BIOL A273 Experiential Learning: Ecology and Evolution
BIOL A252Principles of Genetics3
BIOL A271Principles of Ecology3
BIOL A288Principles of Evolution3
BIOL A492Undergraduate Seminar1
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
STAT A252Elementary Statistics3-4
or STAT A253 Applied Statistics for the Sciences
or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
Upper-Division Program Electives18
Complete a minimum of 3 credits from four of the five subject areas. A minimum of 6 credits must be experiential learning courses from two subject areas. *
Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Experiential Learning: Microscopical Tissue Technique
Human Genome
Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology of Cancer
Metals in Biology
Experiential Learning: Molecular Biology
Microbial Biology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
Microbial Biotechnology
Microbial Genetics
Ecology and Evolution
Marine Mammal Biology
Animal Behavior
Experiential Learning: Animal Behavior
Fish Ecology
Wildlife Population Dynamics and Management
Conservation Biology
Tundra and Taiga Ecosystems
Biological Oceanography
Physiological Plant Ecology
Ecological and Conservation Genetics
Marine Biology
Spatial Ecology
Exploration Ecology
Experiential Learning: Exploration Ecology Field Study
Evolutionary Ecology
Population Genetics and Evolutionary Processes
Microbial Ecology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Ecology
Diversity and Organismal Biology
Vertebrate Biology
Experiential Learning: Vertebrate Biology
Plant Biology
Experiential Learning: Plant Biology
Marine Invertebrate Biology
Marine Mammal Biology
Plant Diversity and Evolution
Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Microbial Biology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
Microbial Diversity
Principles of Animal Physiology
Experiential Learning: Animal Physiology
Principles of Plant Physiology
Experiential Learning: Plant Physiology
Behavioral Endocrinology
Comparative Animal Physiology
Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology
Fish Physiology
Physiological Plant Ecology
Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Microbial Physiology
Additional Upper Division Electives
Experiential Learning: Biostatistics
Experiential Learning: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
Selected Lecture Topics in Biology
Selected Laboratory Topics in Biology *
Instructional Practicum: Laboratory
Independent Study in Biology
Individual Research *
Senior Thesis
Total Credits52-53

Several courses are listed in more than one area. Each course can only count toward the credit requirement in one area. BIOL A498 and BIOL A490L credits may not be counted toward the experiential learning minimum requirement. 

A total of 124 credits is required for the degree, 42 credits of which must be upper division. 


All BA Biological Sciences majors are required to submit their completed ePortfolios during the semester they intend to graduate. EPortfolios are used for the purpose of program assessment only.

Biological Sciences Exit Examination

All BA Biological Sciences majors are required to complete a nationally standardized exit examination during the semester immediately prior to or during the semester they intend to graduate. There is no minimum score required for graduation. 

Honors in Biological Sciences

Undergraduate biological science majors may be recognized for exceptional performance by earning departmental honors in biology. In order to receive honors, a student must meet each of the following requirements:

  1. Meet the requirements for Graduation with Honors.
  2. Meet the requirements for a BA in Biological Sciences.
  3. Earn a grade point average of 3.50 or above in the major requirements.
  4. During the senior year of their academic program, the student must gain faculty approval for and complete, with a grade of B or better, a senior thesis research project, with enrollment in BIOL A499. Biological science faculty members must approve the project proposal and final written report.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts in the biological sciences: evolution; structure and function relationships; information flow, exchange and storage; transformation of energy and matter.
  • Apply the process of science and construct knowledge through observations, experimentation, quantitative reasoning and hypothesis testing.
  • Read, analyze and synthesize primary literature, and communicate scientific concepts and data in written and oral form.