Bachelor's Degrees in Biology

Students in the Biology teaching lab

The Department of Biology offers two bachelor’s degrees:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree provides students with a general background in biology and provides flexibility with fewer requirements for quantitative and physical science courses.
  • The Bachelor of Science degree is an intensive biology option that provides students with a strong background in several areas of biology and is recommended for students pursuing a career in research.

Details of the requirements for each degree are available through the University Bulletin.

Core biology courses are taken by students pursuing either the BA or the BS.  BIOL 14, 15 and 16 can be taken in any order:

  • Cells and Organisms, BIOL 15b (typically offered every semester)
  • Genetics and Genomics, BIOL 14a (typically offered every semester)
  • Evolution and Biodiversity, BIOL 16a (typically offered every fall)
  • General Biology Laboratory, BIOL 18b (offered in the fall, after taking BIOL 15b)
  • General Biology Laboratory, BIOL 18a (offered in the spring, after taking BIOL 18b and BIOL 14a)

Required chemistry courses are taken by students pursuing either the BA or the BS.

  • General Chemistry I and II, CHEM 11a and 11b or CHEM 15a and 15b
  • General Chemistry Laboratory I and II, CHEM 18a and 18b or CHEM 19a and 19b
  • Organic Chemistry I and II, CHEM 25a and 25b
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory I and II, CHEM 29a and 29b

Biology electives: A full list of courses in this group can be found in the University Bulletin.

  • Bachelor of Arts requires 12 credits of biology electives (three 4-credit courses)
  • Bachelor of Science requires 16 credits of biology electives (four 4-credit courses)

General science or biology electives: A full list of courses in this group can be found in the University Bulletin.

  • Two additional electives from biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, math, or physics are required for either Bachelor’s degree (for a total of five elective courses for the BA, or six for the BS).

Quantitative electives: A full list of courses in this group can be found in the University Bulletin.

  • Bachelor of Arts requires one quantitative elective.
  • Bachelor of Science requires two quantitative electives.

Physics is required for students pursuing the BS, but not for those pursuing the BA.

  • PHYS 10a and 10b or PHYS 11a and 11b or PHYS 15a and 15b
  • Physics lab: PHYS 18a and 18b or PHYS 19a and 19b