BS in Biological Sciences: Cell and Developmental Biology (BCD) Track

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.

To begin the major declaration process for BS in Biological Sciences: Cell and Developmental Biology, please use this link to access our departmental form.

Major Requirements

Students planning to major in the biological sciences should take BIOL 110L and 111L (or 112L and 113L), and CHEM 131-132 in their first year, and BIOL 198 or 190 and CHEM 203/207 in the fall of their second year.

Introductory Courses (Three Courses)

One of the following:

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

One of the following:

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

Plus BIOL 198: Principles of Genetics

Laboratory Experience (Two to Three Courses)

Select one half lab from UPBM laboratories list; BIOL 111P/117P (Not offered after spring 2018; must use if already taken) and BIOL 198P are highly recommended.

Plus one of the following:

  • BIOL 268: Lab in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology (usually taken junior year)
  • BIOL 228A&B IGEM I&II (International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Course Series)
  • #### 395: Independent Research Biological Science Courses

Advanced Courses (Five Courses)

One of the following:

  • BIOL 250: Introduction to Biochemistry (note BIOL 250P lab is not required for major)
  • BIOL 250L: Introduction to Biochemistry with lab (last offered spring ’21)
  • BIOL 252: Principles of Biochemistry


  • BIOL 210: Cell Biology
  • BIOL 226: Developmental Biology

Plus two of the following:

  • BIOL 206: Eukaryotic Genomes
  • BIOL 220: Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL 222: Biology of Aging
  • BIOL 243: Eukaryotic Gene Regulation
  • BIOL 278: Biochemical Mechanisms of Cellular Processes
  • INTD 447: Signal transduction
  • MBI 473: Immunology

Diversification Elective (One Course)

Select one from the BCD diversification electives list, which must be approved by the track coordinator. The diversification elective should be outside of the BCD major track.

Ancillary Requirements (Nine Courses with Indicated Labs)

Both of the following general chemistry courses*:

  • CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts I with Lab
  • CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts II with Lab

One of the following organic chemistry I courses:

  • CHEM 203/207: Organic Chemistry I with Lab
  • CHEM 171/173: First Year Organic Chemistry I with Lab

One of the following organic chemistry II courses:

  • CHEM 204/208: Organic Chemistry II with Lab
  • CHEM 172/210: First Year Organic Chemistry with Lab

*Satisfactory completion of CHEM 171/173 and 172/210 first year organic chemistry series with labs in conjunction with AP credit for CHEM 131 fulfills the chemistry requirements.

One of the following physics I courses:

  • PHYS 113: General Physics I with Lab
  • PHYS 121: Mechanics with Lab
  • PHYS 141: Mechanics (Honors) with Lab

One of the following physics II courses:

  • PHYS 114: General Physics II with Lab
  • PHYS 122: Electricity and Magnetism with Lab
  • PHYS 142: Electricity and Magnetism (Honors) with Lab

One of the following calculus I courses:

  • MATH 141: Calculus I
  • MATH 161: Calculus IA
  • MATH 171Q: Honors Calculus I

One of the following calculus II courses:

  • MATH 142: Calculus II
  • MATH 162: Calculus IIA
  • MATH 172Q: Honors Calculus II

One of the following ancillary electives:

  • Math: MATH 164, 165, 235 or other upper-level math with advisor approval (MATH 143 is not acceptable)
  • Statistics: STAT AP, 180, (formerly Stat 212), 190 (formerly Stat 213), 201 or other upper-level statistics course with advisor approval (STAT 211 is not acceptable)
  • Computer programming: BIOL 208, CSC 161, 170, 171, ECE 114 or other computer programming course with advisor approval (CSC 108 and 110 are not acceptable)

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

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

Biochemistry majors are also welcome to take CHEM 210W: Organic Chemistry Lab II to fulfill part of this requirement. All other majors need permission from their biology advisor.

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.

Diversification Electives List

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for prerequisites and official course descriptions.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact your major advisor for consultation on course selections and approval of other biological sciences courses not listed.

  • BIOL 202: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 204: Principles of Human Physiology
  • BIOL 219L: Genomics of Quantitative Traits
  • BIOL 225: Lab in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • BIOL 228A&B: iGEM I&II International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Course Series
  • BIOL 257L: Applied Genomics
  • BIOL 259L: Applied Population Biology
  • BIOL 260: Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 399: Communication Engagement Practicum (four credit version only)
  • IND 408: Biochemistry
  • MBI 220: Introduction to Microbiology
  • MBI 221W: Microbiology Laboratory
  • MBI 414: Pathogenesis of Microorganisms
  • NSCI 201: Basic Neurobiology
  • NSCI 241:Neurons, Circuits, and Systems
  • NSCI 243: Neurochemical Foundations of Behavior
  • NSCI 245: Sensory and Motor Neuroscience
  • NSCI 251: Neurobiology of Sleep
  • BIOL 205: Evolution
  • BIOL 217L: Principles of Human Anatomy (BIOL 217P lab required/should not take BIOL 217 if BME 258 is taken)
  • BIOL 228A&B: iGEM I&II International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Course Series
  • BIOL 253L: Computational Biology
  • BIOL 255: Behavioral Endocrinology (check availability)
  • BIOL 261W: Genetic Research A
  • BIOL 263: Ecology*
  • BIOL 267: Human Evolutionary Genetics
  • BCH 208: Biochemical and Molecular Biology Techniques
  • BCH 412: Advanced Topics in Biological Macromolecules
  • BME 258: Human Anatomy (should not take BME 258 if BIOL 217L was taken)
  • BME 468: Introduction to Structure and Analysis of Biomolecules
  • EESC 201: Evolution of the Earth
  • EESC 207: Principles of Paleontology
  • EESC 220: Geobiology
  • MBI 404: Intro to Emerging Pathogens
  • MBI 421: Microbial Physiology and Genetics
  • MBI 456: General Virology
  • NSCI 203: Lab in Neurobiology
  • NSCI 244: Neuroethology
  • NSCI 246: Biology of Mental Disorders
  • NSCI 249: Developmental Neurobiology
  • NSCI 250: Acquired Brain Disorders
  • NSCI 252: Functional Neuroanatomy
  • NSCI 415: Neuroscience of Neuroprosthetics