Biology Major & Minor

Learn more about the requirements for a major or minor in biology.

  • Bachelor of Science

    The Bachelor of Science Degree

    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).

    The B.S. degree in Biology provides a broad foundation in the biological sciences, and requires competency in closely related scientific disciplines and mathematics. It prepares students to integrate the natural and quantitative sciences.

    14 units, including:

    • BIOL199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • BIOL200 Integrated Biological Principles I

    • BIOL202 Integrated Biological Principles II

    • Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and three with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take two of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL394  (taken twice for 0.5 unit each), BIOL395  (1 unit) or completion of BIOL406  (summer undergraduate research) or by the department chair's approval of an external summer research program.

    • CHEM141 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics or CHEM192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • CHEM205 Organic Chemistry I

    • CHEM206 Organic Chemistry II

    • Quantitative-Physical Science Requirement

      • MATH211 Calculus I and two additional units chosen from the following three categories (must be chosen from two different categories):

      • Category 1:

      • Category 2:

        • DSST189 Introduction to Statistical Modeling

        • DSST289 Introduction to Data Science

        • PSYC200 Methods and Analyses

        • BIOL320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (BIOL320 may count only for quantitative–physical science requirement or 300 level additional unit in biology, but not both)

      • Category 3:

        • CMSC150 Introduction to Computing

        • PHYS127 General Physics 1 or  PHYS131 General Physics with Calculus I

        • GEOG260 Introduction to Geographic Information

    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.

    Please note that CHEM326 (Biochemistry) and may only count towards a Biology degree (major or minor), BMB degree (major), or a Chemistry degree (major or minor), but not for two or more of these.

  • Bachelor of Arts

    The Bachelor of Arts Degree

    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).

    The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree provides excellent training in biology while allowing the student flexibility to integrate interests in other academic disciplines with their biology coursework.

    14 units, including:

    • Biology Courses:

    • BIOL199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • BIOL200 Integrated Biological Principles I

    • BIOL202 Integrated Biological Principles II

    • Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and three with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take two of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL394  (taken twice for 0.5 unit each), BIOL395  (1 unit) or completion of BIOL406  (summer undergraduate research) or by the department chair's approval of an external summer research program.

    • Chemistry Courses:

      • CHEM141 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics or CHEM192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

      • CHEM205 Organic Chemistry I

    • Quantitative-physical science, one unit chosen from:

      • PHYS127 General Physics 1 or  PHYS131General Physics with Calculus I

      • PSYC200 Methods and Analyses

      • BIOL320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (BIOL320 may count only for quantitative–physical science requirement or 300 level additional unit in biology, but not both)

      • GEOG260 Introduction to Geographic Information

    Students pursuing a B.A. will work with their advisors to identify three or more thematically-linked courses outside of the sciences that demonstrate a thoughtful connection between their biology interests and another scholarly area (e.g., supporting study in science journalism, science and religion, bioethics, art in the sciences, history of science, etc.).  Only one of these courses may be counted towards another major, minor, or general education requirement.  The student, after consulting with their advisor, will prepare a brief rationale explaining their selection of courses and how their proposed B.A. plan of study applies to their post-graduate interests and objectives.

    Please note that CHEM326 (Biochemistry) and may only count towards a Biology degree (major or minor), BMB degree (major), or a Chemistry degree (major or minor), but not for two or more of these.

  • Minor

    The Biology Minor

    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).

    Six units, including:

    • BIOL199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • BIOL200 Integrated Biological Principles I

    • BIOL202 Integrated Biological Principle II

    • Two additional units in Biology, at or above the 200 level, at least one with lab

    • CHEM141 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics or CHEM192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • 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:

    Please note that CHEM326 (Biochemistry) and may only count towards a Biology degree (major or minor), BMB degree (major), or a Chemistry degree (major or minor), but not for two or more of these.