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Undergraduate Program

BS in Biology: General 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.

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

Major Requirements

Introductory Courses (3 Courses)

Select one of the following:

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

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 111L: Principles of Biology II with Lab
  • BIOL 113L: Perspectives of Biology II with Lab (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 198/198P: Principles of Genetics with Lab
  • BIOL 190/198P: The Human Genome with Lab

Laboratory Experience: (2 courses)

BIO 198P:  Principles of Genetics Lab

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 225: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Lab
  • MBI 221W: Microbiology Lab
  • BIOL 268: Lab in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology
  • BCH 308: Biochemistry Lab and Critical Analysis
  • NSCI 203: Lab in Neurobiology
  • #### 395: Independent Research - requires track coordinator approval

Core Courses (3 Courses)

BIOL 250L: Intro to Biochemistry with Lab

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 205: Evolution
  • BIOL 260: Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 263: Ecology
  • BIOL 267: Human Evolutionary Genetics

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 204:  Principles of Physiology
  • BIOL 210:  Cell Biology
  • BIOL 226: Developmental Biology

Advanced Electives (3 Courses)

Select three courses from the BSG advanced electives list.  At least one of the advanced electives must have a strong emphasis on reading and analyzing articles from the primary literature, as determined by the track coordinator. Visit the Primary Research Course Website for current examples of such courses.   

The list of primary research courses is currently in development. Students are encouraged to ask the major advisor about courses that are not on the list they are interested in taking.  

Note:  courses taken to fulfill “Core” requirements cannot also be used to meet the primary literature requirement. 

Ancillary Requirements (9 Courses with Indicated Labs)

The following general chemistry I course

  • CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts I (lab included)*

One of the following general chemistry II courses:

  • CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts II (lab included)*
  • CHEM 171: First Year Organic Chemistry I*

One of the following organic chemistry I courses:

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

One of the following physics I or programming courses:

  • PHYS 113: General Physics I (lab included)
  • PHYS 122: Electricity and Magnetism (lab included)
  • PHYS 142: Electricity and Magnetism (Honors) (lab included)
  • CSC 161: The Art of Programming
  • CSC 171: The Science of Programming

One of the following calculus I courses:

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

One of the following calculus II courses:

  • MATH 142: Calculus II*
  • MATH 162: Calculus IIA*
  • MATH 172: Honors Calculus I*

One of the following statistics courses:

  • BIOL 214: Biostatistics
  • STAT 212: Applied Statistics I

Select two of the following ancillary electives:

  • Math: MATH 150, 163, 164,or 165
  • Computer Programming: BIOL 208, CSC 161, 170, or 171
  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 204 with associated lab, 208, or 172/210
  • Physics: PHYS 114, 122, or 142 or 113, 122, or 142 if not already taken)
  • Statistics: STAT 201, 216, or 277
  • Earth and Environmental Science: EESC 201

*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 (BIOL, BCH, MBI, NSCI), 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.