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Biology Major & Minor

Studying biology gives you the tools to understand and think critically about how life works and evolves at all different levels, from molecules to cells, to organisms, to ecosystems. A degree in biology also serves as a gateway for careers in healthcare, research, teaching or scientific journalism. Studying biology at Richmond means:


 

Biology
Major

The Biology Major

Note: The grade point average of the coursework in biology and chemistry must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.7).

For the Bachelor of Science Degree

14 units, including
  • BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory
  • BIOL 200 Integrated Biological Principles I
  • BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II
  • Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and four with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take three of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL 350 (taken twice for 0.5 U each), BIOL 395 (1 Unit) or completion of BIOL 406 (summer undergraduate research) or by the dept chair's approval of an external summer research program.
  • MATH 212 Calculus II or MATH 232 Scientific Calculus II
  • CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory
  • CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry II

Quantitative-physical science, two units chosen from:
Note: Only one unit of the quantitative-physical science requirement may be satisfied by an introductory statistics class (either MATH 209, PSYC 200, or BIOL 320)

  • CMSC 150 Introduction to Computing
  • CMSC 155 Introduction to Scientific Computing
  • CMSC 221 Data Structures with Lab
  • CMSC 222 Discrete Structures for Computing with Lab
  • MATH 209 Introduction to Statistical Modeling
  • MATH 219 Introduction to the Design of Experiments
  • MATH 330 Mathematical Statistics
  • PHYS 127 General Physics 1 or PHYS 131 General Physics with Calculus I or PHYS 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 2 with lab.
  • PHYS 128 General Physics 2 or PHYS 132 General Physics with Calculus II
  • PSYC 200 Methods and Analyses
  • BIOL 320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (may count only for quantitative –physical science requirement or 300 level additional unit in biology, but not both)

Completion of the 2 semester IQS course meets the quantitative-physical science requirement for the BS in Biology

Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major/minor. Prerequisites do not count toward the major/minor unless otherwise noted.

For the Bachelor of Arts Degree

11 units, including

  • BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training I with Laboratory
  • BIOL 200 Integrated Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 202 Integrated Principles of Biology II
  • Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and four with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take three of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL 350 (taken twice for 0.5 U each), BIOL 395 (1 Unit) or completion of BIOL 406 (summer undergraduate research) or by the dept chair's approval of an external summer research program.
  • CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math and Research Training II with Laboratory
  • CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry II

For both the B.A. and the B.S. degree

Credit may not be earned toward the Biology major for the following combinations of courses due to significant overlap

  • BIOL 200 in combination with BIOL 201, BIOL 205, or BIOL 217
  • BIOL 202 in combination with BIOL 207, BIOL 217, or BIOL 225

Approved Courses for the Biology Major and Minor

All 200- and 300-level courses may be used to meet major or minor requirements with the following exceptions:

  • BIOL 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • BIOL 350 Undergraduate Research
  • BIOL 370 Women In Science
  • BIOL 387 Biology Seminar
  • BIOL 388 Individual Internship
  • BIOL 389 Independent Study
  • BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I
  • BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II
  • BIOL 395 Honors Research
Biochemistry (CHEM 326) may count toward the major or minor as a non-lab 300-level biology course.
Biochemistry with lab (CHEM 327) may count toward the major or minor as a lab-based 300-level biology course.
Minor

The Biology Minor

6 units, including

  • BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory I
  • BIOL 200 Integrated Biological Principles I
  • BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II
  • Two additional units in Biology, at least one with lab, and at least one at the 300 level elected from approved 300-level courses
  • CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math, and Research Training II
Credit may not be earned toward the Biology minor for the following combinations of courses due to significant overlap
  • BIOL 200 in combination with BIOL 201, BIOL 205, or BIOL 217
  • BIOL 202 in combination with BIOL 207, BIOL 217, or BIOL 225

Approved Courses for the Biology Major and Minor

All 200- and 300-level courses may be used to meet major or minor requirements with the following exceptions:
  • BIOL 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • BIOL 350 Undergraduate Research
  • BIOL 370 Women In Science
  • BIOL 387 Biology Seminar
  • BIOL 388 Individual Internship
  • BIOL 389 Independent Study
  • BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I
  • BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II
  • BIOL 395 Honors Research
Biochemistry (CHEM 326) may count toward the major or minor as a non-lab 300-level biology course.
Biochemistry with lab (CHEM 327) may count toward the major or minor as a lab-based 300-level biology course.