Department of Biological Sciences

BS in Biology: General Biology concentration

Career Options

Our alumni have found careers in biological and medical research laboratories, field biology, and biotechnology companies. Other students have furthered their education by entering graduate, medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, and law schools, as well as schools for allied health professions.

The biology specialization offers the broadest exposure to the various sub-disciplines of biology through an examination of life from the molecular to the community level. Besides taking foundation courses that survey the full range of biology, plus genetics and evolution, students also take courses in three major areas of biology: organismal biology, ecology, and cellular and functional biology. Students interested in veterinary medicine should pursue this track. Students graduating in this track will have the broadest opportunities to further their educations either in graduate or professional schools or to pursue any of a number of careers in the biological sciences, such as lab technicians and state biologists.

The minimum number of credits (in addition to the University's Core curriculum) required for the major: 70. A grade of C- or higher is required for all courses listed below.

All of the following are required:
     BIO 105, 106 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology
     BIO 201 Genetics
     BIO 217 Evolution

One lecture/laboratory combination from each of the following three areas: AREA 1: Organismal Biology
     BIO 205 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
     BIO 231 Botany
     BIO 291 Ornithology
     BIO 335 Entomology
     BIO 351 Invertebrate Zoology
     BIO 353 Vertebrate Zoology
     BIO 361, 362 Parasitology and Laboratory
     BIO 405, 406 Animal Behavior and Laboratory

AREA 2: Ecology
     BIO 331, 332 Ecological Principles and Field Ecology
     BIO 337 Marine Ecology
     BIO 383 Plant Ecology
     BIO 403, 404 Comparative Animal Physiology and Laboratory
     BIO 415, 416 Microbial Ecology and Laboratory

AREA 3: Cellular and Functional Biology
     BIO 281, 282 Microbiology and Laboratory
     BIO 305, 306 Developmental Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 321, 322 Neurobiology and Laboratory
     BIO 381 Plant Physiology
     BIO 401, 402 Animal Physiology and Laboratory
     BIO 409, 410 Cell and Molecular Biology and Laboratory

In addition to BIO 105, 106, 107, 109, 201, 217, and one lecture/laboratory course from each of the three stipulated areas, biology majors are required to take either two additional biology lecture courses or one biology lecture/laboratory course, with prefix numbers of 200 or above.

The biology major must also satisfactorily complete all of the following:

Chemistry (16 credit hours)
     CHY 113, 114, 115, 116 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Laboratory
     CHY 251, 252, 253 Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I

Physics (10 credit hours)
     PHY 111, 114, 112, 116 Elements of Physics I and II and Laboratory
     or PHY 121, 114, 123, 116 General Physics I and II and Laboratory

Mathematics (8 credit hours)
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences

In addition, students must fulfill the University Core curriculum requirements, including a Capstone course in the major.

Recommended Course Sequence

Because the biology curriculum includes many support courses (chemistry, physics, math) that need to be taken in addition to biology courses, the Department offers a suggested plan of study, shown below. There is no guarantee that every course listed will be offered when the student wants the course. Students should consult their academic advisors regularly as well as the Tentative Schedule of Biology courses listed on the Department of Biological Sciences website to establish a graduate planner appropriate to your individual needs.

Year 1Credits
Fall semester 
     BIO 105 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology3
     BIO 106 Laboratory Biology1.5
     CHY 113 Principles of Chemistry I3
     CHY 114 Laboratory Techniques I1
     ENG 100 College Writing3
     EYE 1XX Entry Year Experience3
  
Spring semester 
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology4.5
     CHY 115 Principles of Chemistry II3
     CHY 116 Laboratory Techniques II1
     MAT 152 Calculus A4
     Core curriculum course3
  
Year 2 
Fall semester 
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology3
     BIO 201 Genetics3
     CHY 251 Organic Chemistry I3
     CHY 252 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences4
  
Spring semester 
     BIO 217 Evolution3
     BIO XXX Area requirement3-5
     CHY 253 Organic Chemistry II3
     Core curriculum course3
     Core curriculum course3
  
Year 3 
Fall semester 
     BIO XXX Area requirement3-5
     PHY XXX Elements of Physics I or General Physics I4
     PHY 114 Introductory Physics Laboratory I1
     Core curriculum course3
     Core curriculum course3
  
Spring semester 
     BIO XXX Area requirement3-5
     Physics XXX Elements of Physics II or General Physics II4
     PHY 116 Introductory Physics Laboratory II1
     Core curriculum course3
     Core curriculum course3
  
Year 4 
Fall semester 
     BIO XXX elective(s)variable
     Core curriculum course3
     Core curriculum course3
  
Spring semester 
     BIO XXX elective(s)variable
     BIO Capstone course3

Note: Total credits must add up to 120, with a minimum of 70 credits required for the general biology major. Suggested schedule is based on 8 semesters (4 years) with approximately 15 credits per semester. Needing to meet the English or Math proficiency requirements in your first year will alter and possibly lengthen your coursework beyond 4 years. Summer courses can reduce course load during the year.