May 30, 2024  
2014-2015 Catalog 
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology - General Emphasis, BS

Department of Biology, College of Science and Engineering

95-96 credits


Biology is the study of living things, an academic endeavor with a basic research focus on seeking answers to questions rather than on applying biological knowledge to solve problems. As scientists, biologists have two prime motivations: (1) intellectual curiosity about biological systems, and (2) the philosophy that creating and disseminating reliable knowledge has intrinsic worth. Thus, we intend for our intensive academic program to stimulate our students’ curiosity and appetite for life-long learning about biology.

The biology curriculum provides an effective combination of knowledge in areas that students can apply to many careers. The supporting courses for the Biology major in math, physics, and chemistry, along with the biology core curriculum at the 200-level and 300-level, plus one 400-level course in evolution, fulfill the goals of a liberal arts education. In 400-level courses students not only pursue interests more specifically, but begin to integrate and apply knowledge, and develop the skills and abilities to pursue careers of their choosing.

The integrated conceptual foundation in biology, the critical thinking skills, quantitative problem-solving abilities, leadership with team-building skills, and scientific research skills students obtain from lecture and laboratory courses in the B.S. Biology curriculum ultimately are critical for post-baccalaureate studies and future job performance. We expect that students who graduate with a B.S. or B.A. in Biology can apply their education to a variety of jobs across careers.

Why Consider a General Emphasis in the Biology Major?

This degree program allows students to develop an upper-division curriculum tailored to meet their educational needs with the help of their faculty advisor. A diploma granted under this major will indicate “Bachelor of Science”; official transcripts will indicate Biology – General Emphasis.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Joann Otto
Biology 315

Program Coordinators for Advising
Maren Brinson and Keeley Mathews
Biology 315

 Sample Careers

Botanist | Ecologist | Biology Educator | Marine Scientist | Biotechnologist | Laboratory Technician | Physician Assistant | Pharmacist | Dentist | Medical Doctor

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs. Phase I students are students who have declared their intent to major in biology and are in the process of completing the introductory biology (BIOL 204, 205, 206) and general chemistry (CHEM 121, 122, 123) series. Admission to Phase II is based on academic performance in the introductory courses. Students must achieve an average grade of 2.9 or higher in their introductory biology and general chemistry courses before they can advance to Phase II and begin taking upper-division coursework.

Major requirements include 76-77 credits of foundational courses in biology, chemistry, physics and math, and 19 upper division biology depth and elective credits. Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400-level biology courses for biology majors.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major courses.


Depth Requirements:


4-7 credits to make 95-96 (76-77 credits of basic requirements plus 19 upper-division biology depth and elective credits). No more than 3 credit hours combined in BIOL 395, 496 and 498 and no more than 4 credit hours combined in BIOL 494 and 495 can be applied to this category. Additional biology elective credits can be taken to fulfill University graduation requirements:

           ❑ Any 300 or 400-level biology course under advisement.