Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences includes a single core program of coursework with two areas of study. Completing courses from the cellular and molecular biology area prepares students for professional careers in areas such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. Completing courses from the organismal, ecology and evolutionary area prepares students for careers in environmental, organismal and evolutionary biology. A wide selection of electives is available to all students, including courses offered under BIOL A490, which is a selected topics course. It is imperative that students consult their academic advisors within the Department of Biological Sciences to determine which electives are most appropriate to their career interests. Some of these elective courses are offered periodically, depending on demand. Refer to course descriptions to identify these courses.

Admission Requirements

  • Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.
  • Declare the major (see major requirements below) and select one of two options: biological sciences or microbiological sciences. To choose an option, students must meet with an advisor. To schedule the advising session, contact the Department of Biological Sciences.

Academic Requirements

To graduate with a BS in Biological Sciences, the student must complete all courses covered under major requirements for a BS 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 or Microbiology (MBIO) course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a BIOL or MBIO 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 or MBIO laboratory or experiential learning course must attend the lab or course the first week of class or they may be administratively dropped.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Biological Sciences Option

Required Support Courses
CHEM A105
A105L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHEM A106
A106L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHEM A321Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM A322Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM A323LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
MATH A251Calculus I4
MATH A252Calculus II4
STAT A253Applied Statistics for the Sciences4
or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
Select one of the following options:8
Option 1:
Basic Physics I
and Basic Physics I Laboratory
Basic Physics II
and Basic Physics II Laboratory
Option 2:
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
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
Upper-Division Program Electives24
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: Microbial Biotechnology
Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology of Cancer
Metals in Biology
Experiential Learning: Molecular Biology
Immunology
Microbial Biology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
Microbial Biotechnology
Microbial Genetics
Virology
Ecology and Evolution
Astrobiology
Marine Mammal Biology
Animal Behavior
Experiential Learning: Animal Behavior
Fish Ecology
Wildlife Population Dynamics and Management
Biogeography
Conservation Biology
Ecotoxicology
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
Geomicrobiology
Diversity and Organismal Biology
Vertebrate Biology
Experiential Learning: Vertebrate Biology
Plant Biology
Experiential Learning: Plant Biology
Ichthyology
Marine Invertebrate Biology
Marine Mammal Biology
Plant Diversity and Evolution
Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Microbial Biology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
Microbial Diversity
Physiology
Principles of Animal Physiology
Experiential Learning: Animal Physiology
Principles of Plant Physiology
Experiential Learning: Plant Physiology
Behavioral Endocrinology
Neurophysiology
Chronobiology
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
BIOL A497
Independent Study in Biology
Individual Research *
Senior Thesis *
Principles of Biochemistry I
Principles of Biochemistry II
Biochemistry Laboratory
Total Credits83

 Microbiological Sciences Option

Required Support Courses
CHEM A105
A105L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHEM A106
A106L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHEM A321Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM A322Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM A323LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
MATH A251Calculus I4
MATH A252Calculus II4
STAT A253Applied Statistics for the Sciences4
or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
Select one of the following options:8
Option 1:
Basic Physics I
and Basic Physics I Laboratory
Basic Physics II
and Basic Physics II Laboratory
Option 2:
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
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
MBIO A340Microbial Biology3
MBIO A342Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology4
MBIO A410Microbial Physiology3
MBIO A452Microbial Genetics3
Upper-Division Program Electives11
Complete a minimum of 3 credits each from the Host-Microbe Interactions subject area and the Microbial Diversity and Environmental Microbiology subject area. A minimum of 2 credits must be experiential learning courses from one of the three subject areas.*
Host-Microbe Interactions
Immunology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
Virology
Microbial Diversity and Environmental Microbiology
Microbial Diversity
Microbial Ecology
Microbial Biotechnology
Experiential Learning: Microbial Ecology
Geomicrobiology
Additional Upper-Division Electives
Astrobiology
Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
Selected Lecture Topics in Biology
Selected Laboratory Topics in Biology
Instructional Practicum: Laboratory
BIOL A497
Independent Study in Biology
Individual Research
Senior Thesis
Principles of Biochemistry I
Principles of Biochemistry II
Biochemistry Laboratory
Total Credits83
*

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 in the Biological Sciences and Microbiological Sciences option. CHEM A443 credits may not be counted toward the experiential learning minimum requirement in the Microbiological Sciences option.

A total of 121-125 credits is required for the degree, 42 credits of which must be upper division.

ePortfolio

All BS 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 BS 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 BS 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.