Jun 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major, B.A.

Department of Biology  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Department of Biology degree program provides students with the conceptual framework to examine living organisms from the molecular level to entire ecosystems. Students in both the Biology Major, B.A. and Biology Major, B.S. gain comprehensive knowledge of biological principles as well as the analytical skills and laboratory and field-based scientific training necessary to pursue graduate studies, conduct contemporary biological research, or directly enter the workforce. These majors allow students the flexibility to tailor their coursework toward a particular discipline of interest. The difference between the majors is in the amount of chemistry and mathematics required. Students should consult with a faculty advisor for degree planning towards field-specific career or post-baccalaureate goals. 

Student Outcomes

  • I.1.  Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to interpret and apply the principles of cell biology. 
  • I.2.  Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to interpret and apply the principles of Molecular Biology & Genetics.  
  • I.3.  Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to interpret and apply the principles of Organismal Biology.  
  • I.4   Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to interpret and apply the principles of Population Biology, Evolution, and Ecology.  
  • II.1.  Biology graduates will demonstrate proper use and understanding of a broad range of biological techniques.  
  • II.2.  Biology graduates will use knowledge and observations to formulate hypotheses, identify relevant variables, and design experiments to test hypotheses. 
  • III.1.  Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to locate and critically analyze sources of biological information.  
  • III.2.  Biology graduates will demonstrate the ability to communicate concepts in biology using the vocabulary of the discipline.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “C-“  or better is required for each BIO prefix course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences.

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.

Required Non-Biology Courses: 11-12 credits

All students must complete the following courses. To use CHE 1100 or CHE 1800 for the General Studies Natural and Physical Sciences requirement, students must take the corresponding lab (CHE 1150 or CHE 1801, respectively). 

 The Math course may count toward the Quantitative Literacy General Studies requirements.

Select one of these options: 4-8 credits

Option 1

Option 4

One of the following two courses

Biology Electives: 17-21

Biology courses selected from the 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level series, and approved by faculty advisors in the Biology Department, must be completed to bring the total of biology courses approved for the major to 40 semester hours.

Upper division course requirements

At least 21 semester hours of the major (including General Genetics and General Ecology) must be 3000- and 4000-level BIO courses approved by the Biology Department faculty.

Senior Experience: 3 credits

  • Senior Experience course

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Non-Biology Courses 12 credits
Biology Major Required Courses 19-23 credits
Biology Electives 17-21 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 29-42 credits
Total for the Biology Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.