Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Biology, B.A.

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The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology provides flexibility in the study of biology and is recommended for students preparing for secondary certification, dual majors, physician assistant or nursing programs or those planning to pursue graduate work outside of life sciences (e.g., law, M.B.A., psychology, public policy, or some areas of environmental studies). The flexibility of this program is also suitable for students transferring from other colleges who wish to pursue a degree in Biology. Graduates from our Bachelor of Arts program also pursue professional degrees in medicine, dentistry or optometry.  

Program Learning Outcomes

1.  Students will have the knowledge base and intellectual (conceptual) framework to use reasoning and problem-solving skills to; (1) read critically, (2) evaluate support for competing hypotheses, and (3) critique experimental design.
2.  Students will have the laboratory and inquiry skills and technical ability to formulate hypotheses, design and run experiments using instruments to test their hypotheses, and analyze and interpret the results. They will be able to build on earlier work to design further experiments.
3.  Students will be able to communicate biological ideas from literature or their own laboratory investigations to audiences of biologists and non-biologists in a variety of formats including written reports, poster and oral presentations.
4.  Students will recognize the importance of scientific integrity and ethical research and applications of biology to science policy. They will be able to work independently and in teams for life-long learning.
5.  Students will be able to demonstrate a broad and diverse background in biology and related sciences and a strong foundation for graduate and professional programs of study or employment.
6.  Students will recognize evolution as the central tenet of biology, which explains the unity and diversity of life and interrelatedness of levels of biological organization.

General Education Requirements (30-46 Credits)

Prerequisite coursework may be required to satisfy certain General Education courses and will count as elective credit.

Total Credits Required to Complete Major: 59-61

A grade of C- or better is required for each of the courses in your major, excluding electives.

Electives in Biology including the following:

  1. Two additional laboratory courses.
  2. A minimum of 18 credits at the 300-level or above.
  3. No more than 4 credits from the following may count for elective credit:  BIOL 395 , BIOL 396 , BIOL 397 , BIOL 398 , BIOL 399 .

Related Requirements: (26-28 Credits)

Biology Other Requirements:

Minimum Competence Requirement 

To graduate with a biology major, students must attain a grade of C- or better in all required biology courses, excluding electives. A grade of C- must be achieved in any course before it can be used as a prerequisite for another course. A student may only repeat a required biology course or related requirement once for major credit and the course must be taken at the next offering of the class. If a student does not earn at least a “C-” on the second taking of the class, she, he, or they will not be able to complete the major.

Department Writing Requirement

Students must demonstrate writing skills to the satisfaction of the Biology department. These skills will be evaluated in laboratory reports and in written assignments in 200- and 300-level biology courses.


Sample Course Map

For Students who Matriculated prior to Fall 2022: please select the bulletin year in which you entered the college (matriculated) at the top right of this page.

Curriculum Map


Total Credit Hours: 120

Program notes: CHEM 119  and BIOL 116  are both 2-credit labs; generally students take one in the fall and one in the spring, in either order. Students typically take their mathematics courses in their first year, but this is not required. Several biology electives have BIOL 222   or BIOL 335   as a prerequisite. Consequently, putting off either of these courses beyond the above recommendations can limit the choice of electives later.  Although not required in the sophomore year, we recommend taking the BIOL 204 BIOL 216 , or BIOL 223   laboratory course in the second year to fulfill a requirement of graduation. An alternative chemistry lecture sequence for chemistry majors that might be appropriate for students with strong chemistry backgrounds can be substituted for the courses listed here.

Electives in Biology: Fifteen credits must include (1) two additional biology laboratory courses (of which only one can be at the 200-level)  (2) a minimum of 15 credits at the 300-level or above.

Note: Variation in the order of courses is possible, depending upon prereqisties.  Consult course information in the bulletin or your academic advisor to customize your eight semester plan.  

KEY - Participation in a Global Society (PGS)


Sub Areas

Abbreviation Definition
DPP Diversity, Pluralism, Power
WCV World Cultures & Values
CGC Contemporary Global Challenges
CAI Creativity & Innovation
SST Sustainability

Learning Areas

Abbreviation Definition
HUMA Humanities
SOSC Social Science


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