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Undergraduate Program

BA in Biology

We require students to maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in the major, excluding allied field courses. See the advising page for information on how to declare your major, who your program advisor is, double majors, double degrees, petitioning for exceptions and more.

Information regarding preparing for a medical or health profession can be found on the advising page.

Major Requirements (effective for the class of 2019)

If you are in the class of 2018 and have questions about the major requirements please meet with your advisor.

Introductory Courses (3 Courses)

Select one of the following:

  • BIO 110: Principles of Biology I
  • BIO 112: Perspectives in Biology I (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)

Select one of the following:

  • BIO 111 and BIO 117P: Principles of Biology II with lab
  • BIO 113 and BIO 117P: Perspectives in Biology I with lab (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)
  • BIO 115: Introduction to Organismal Evolutionary Biology (not offered after spring 2017; may use if taken)

Select one of the following:

  • BIO 190 and BIO 198P: The Human Genome with lab
  • BIO 198 and BIO 198P: Principles of Genetics with lab

Laboratory Experience: 1.5 Laboratories (2–3 Courses)

  • BIO 117P: Introductory Biology Lab II
  • BIO 198P: Principles of Genetics Lab
  • One half-lab from the UPBM Laboratories List (BCH 208, BIO 225, BIO 268, MBI 221W, and usually BIO 395 are 4-credit and count as 2 labs)

Advanced Courses (2 Courses)

Choose one of the following:

  • BIO 205: Evolution
  • BIO 219 Genomics of Quantitative Traits
  • BIO 253: Computational Biology
  • BIO 260: Animal Behavior
  • BIO 263: Ecology

Plus one of the following:

  • BIO 202: Molecular Biology
  • BIO 204: Principles of Human Physiology
  • BIO 210: Molecular Cell Biology
  • BIO 226: Developmental Biology
  • BIO 250: Introduction to Biochemistry
  • BIO 252: Principles of Biochemistry

Diversification Elective (3 Courses)

Select three courses from BIO diversification elective list.

Ancillary Requirements (6 Courses with Indicated Labs)

Both of the following:

  • CHM 131: Chemical Concepts I (lab included)*
  • CHM 132: Chemical Concepts II (lab included)*

One of the following organic chemistry courses:

  • CHM 203/207: Organic Chemistry I with lab*
  • CHM 171/173: Freshman Organic Chemistry I with lab*

Note: Satisfactory completion of CHM 171/173 and 172/210 freshman organic chemistry series with labs in conjunction with AP credit for CHM 131 fulfills the chemistry requirements.

One of the following physics courses:

  • PHY 113: General Physics I (lab included)*
  • PHY 121: Mechanics (lab included)
  • PHY 141: Mechanics (Honors) (lab included) 

One of the following calculus I courses:

  • MTH 141: Calculus I
  • MTH 161: Calculus IA*
  • MTH 171Q: Honors Calculus I

One of the following statistics courses:

  • STT 212: Applied Statistics for the Biological and Physical Sciences*
  • STT 213: Elements of Probability and Math Statistics
  • STT 214: Biostatistics

*AP credit will also be accepted for this course. See our advising page for more information about AP credit.

Upper-Level Writing (ULW) Requirements (2 Courses)

All biology majors must complete two ULW courses. Although students are strongly encouraged to complete both ULW requirements by taking biological sciences courses (BIO, BCH, MBI, NSC), an upper-level writing course within a natural sciences discipline may also be used to meet one of the requirements.

Writing courses within the humanities and social sciences cannot be applied to the biology major. See the upper-level writing requirement page for more information on which courses satisfy this requirement.

Preparing for Medicine/Health Professions

Graduate and medical degree programs in the health professions frequently have admissions requirements that include two semesters in general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, and calculus. Some programs may have additional requirements such as biochemistry and/or microbiology.

For detailed information on premed course requirements, academic planning, and the MCAT, visit the Health Professions Advising website.