Undergraduate Program

Upper-Level Writing (ULW) Requirement

UPBM majors require successful completion of two upper-level writing (ULW) courses. Although students are strongly encouraged to complete both ULW requirements by taking biological science courses (BIO, BCH, MBI), ULW courses within a natural science discipline may also be used to meet one of the requirements, i.e.: CHM 210w. Writing courses within the humanities and social sciences may not be applied to UPBM majors.

While some of the UPBM majors allow students to select their upper-level writing courses, others have specific writing courses that need to be taken.

Majors that allow students to select their own ULW course:

Majors that do not allow students to select their own ULW course:

Please refer to the major requirements page of your intended major for more information on individual requirements.

For the majors who have flexibility in the selection of their ULW courses there are four ways to meet this requirement - by taking:

See below for further details on each.

Half-Credit (0.05) Add-On Writing Courses

Concurrent or previous enrollment in parent lecture course with permission of instructor is required.

Note: All interested students should email the instructor for permission and IPC for online registration.

Two-Credit (2.00) Writing Intensive Courses

Instruction of these courses are collaborated between the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Center and the Department of Biology faculty. Registration of a parent lecture course is not required.

Note: All interested students should email the instructor for permission and IPC for online registration.

Four-Credit (4.00) Labs with ULW Component Included

In these courses the upper-level writing component is included and registering a separate writing course is not required.

Independent Research Biology Science (395w)
Independent Study (391w)

Students may complete their requirement (one or both) by registering for 395w, Independent Research, or 391w, Independent Study. These courses must be within a discipline of the biological sciences (BIO, BCD, IND, MBI, NSC, PHP...) and require completion of a final report that has gone through multiple revisions with the instructor.

In such an independent study course, a student works closely with a faculty member and naturally engages in an intense writing process that exceeds the minimal criteria outlined below. The work centers around the research interest of the mentor. Note that copies of the final written work are submitted to the UPBM program office and are available to the public.

In many cases, major advisors may request a copy of the final report to review it before it is applied to a biology major. Be sure to ask your major advisor about their specific requirements.