In addition to fulfilling all University requirements  and requirements for either the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences or the College of Letters and Science, students must fulfill the following requirements for the Biology Major.

1. Mathematics

Math 171: Calculus with Algebra & Trigonometry I (5 cr) and Math 217: Calculus with Algebra & Trigonometry II (5 cr) OR Math 221: Calculus & Analytic Geometry I (5 cr)


Math 222: Calculus and Analytic Geometry (4 cr) OR Stat 301: Intro to Statistical Methods (3 cr), OR Stat 371: Intro to Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences (3 cr)

2. Chemistry

a. General Chemistry
Chem 103 and 104: General Chemistry (4 cr, 5 cr) OR Chem 109: Advanced General Chemistry (5 cr)

b. Organic Chemistry
Chem 343: Intro Organic Chemistry (3 cr) and Chem 344: Intro Organic Chemistry Lab (2 cr) and Chem 345: Intermediate Chemistry (3 cr)

3. Physics

Physics 103 and 104: General Physics (4 cr each) OR Physics 201 and 202: General Physics (5 cr each) OR Physics 207 and 208: General Physics (5 cr each)

BIOLOGY COURSES  (The total number of credits in sections 4, 5, and 6  below must equal at least 31. Fulfilling minimum credits under each section does not guarantee reaching 31.)

4. Introductory Biology

Option A:

Biology/Botany/Zoology 151 and 152: Intro Biology (5 cr each) plus one foundational course.

Option B:

Biocore 381: Evolution, Ecology & Genetics (3 cr), Biocore 383: Cellular Biology (3 cr), Biocore 485: Organismal Biology (3 cr), and Biocore 587: Biological Interactions (3 cr)

AND two of the following laboratory courses:

Biocore 382: Evolution, Ecology & Genetics Lab (2 cr), Biocore 384: Cellular Biology Lab (2 cr), Biocore 486: Organismal Biology Lab (2 cr)

(Students who use Biocore 382 and 384 to fulfill the introductory biology requirement can use Biocore 486 to fulfill the intermediate lab or field course requirement described in part 5. Biocore courses fulfill both introductory and foundational course requirements.)

Biocore is highly selective and based on applications due in mid-March.

Option C:

Biology/Zoology 101: Animal Biology (3 cr), Biology/Zoology 102: Animal Biology (2 cr), Biology/Botany 130: General Botany (5 cr) plus one foundational course.

Advancement Placement: If your AP Biology exam score was 4 or 5, you may be able to place out of some introductory courses. See the AP policy document.

Foundational Courses
(The course used to satisfy this requirement does not count toward requirement #5. A second course taken from this list will count toward requirement 5.)

Agronomy/Hort 338: Plant Breeding & Biotechnology Biochem 501: Introduction to Biochemistry
Botany/Genetics/Zoology 466: General Genetics Biochem 508: General Biochemistry II
Microbio 470: Microbial Genetics & Molecular Machines Bmolchem 503: Human Biochemistry (discontinued)

(Students are best prepared for graduate study or professional school by taking both a genetics course and a biochemistry course.)

5. Intermediate/advanced Biology (13 credits minimum)

A minimum of three courses at the intermediate/advanced level, selected from three of the five areas listed below, are needed to satisfy the biology breadth requirement. These courses must include one or more lab or field courses with a total of 3 hours or more per week of laboratory/field instruction. At least one course must be from category “a” or “b” and at least one course must be from category “c” or “d.” The third required course may be selected from any of the five categories not previously chosen. The course or courses used to satisfy any category must be at least, or add up to, 2 credits. Overall, the courses taken should span plant, animal and microbial biology topics.

In accumulating other biology credits toward the total credits required for their degree, students, in consultation with their advisors, will have the opportunity to specialize or to take many biology intermediate/advanced courses of interest to them. Most courses listed below have prerequisites that would be satisfied by the general requirements of the Biology Major. Other courses may also be appropriate and can be approved on a case-by-case basis.

NOTE: The following lists of courses are subject to modification.

a.Cellular and Subcellular Biology

b.Organismal Biology


d.Evolution and Systematics

e.Applied Biology, Agriculture and Natural Resources

6. A Laboratory or Field Research Experience (2 credits minimum)

Additional laboratory or field research experience is required. Two credits of directed study or research-based senior thesis in a biological science discipline can count. With advisor approval, these courses can also fulfill the CALS requirement for a capstone experience. 699 credits received simultaneously or prior to introductory biology (section 4 above), such as those received for Biology 152, cannot fulfill these requirements. Also, experiences that are focused on teaching assistance, even if the course number used is a 699 course, are not appropriate. This requirement can also be fulfilled with one or more intermediate/advanced laboratory or field biology courses involving a total of at least of 3 hours/week of lab or field instruction beyond that done for requirement 5. “Hours/week” refers to a normal 16-week semester and courses taken in other formats may be substituted where the total time commitment is equivalent. However, only a subset of the lab/field courses automatically fulfills the CALS requirement for a capstone experience. See capstone policy and list of approved courses.

The credits taken for requirements 5 and 6 must equal at least 15 and satisfy college requirements for 15 course credits in the major in residence.