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Bachelor of Science in Biology

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Majors and Concentrations

Bachelor’s degree requirements in biology are modified as necessary. Current requirements are available in the UBP office and online. Major programs are offered in biochemistry, biology, human biology, and microbiology. Students may choose to concentrate in a range of specialties in the biological sciences, such as botany, cellular biology, developmental biology, environmental biology, ecology, entomology, genetics, marine biology, molecular biology, neurobiology, paleontology, physiology, systematics, or zoology (invertebrate or vertebrate).

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Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Biology

General College Requirements

Satisfied by completing 33 hours from the following:

Written Communication - Core Skills and Critical Inquiry.  

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature and Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU. 
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent transfer course.

Argument & Reason - Core Skills and Critical Inquiry. Satisfied by COMS 130, COMS 131 (Honors), COMS 230, PHIL 148, PHIL 149, PHIL 310, or 1 year of high school speech or debate with B-level performance or above. Entering freshmen should consider 100-level options.

Western Civilization - Exploration of One's Own and Diverse Culture. Satisfied by HWC 204, or HWC 114 (Honors), and HWC 205, or HWC 115 (Honors). Advising Alert: Requires sophomore-level standing. Courses at other universities may have the same title but may not meet this requirement.

Principal Course and/or Second Language Requirements. Satisfied by 5 courses/15 hours with a minimum of 1 course in social sciences and a minimum of 1 course in the humanities. (No more than 1 course may be taken in each topical subgroup from the principal course list.) Three additional courses selected from the social sciences or humanities principal course list and/or second language courses.

 

 

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Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 26-27 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

General Biology Requirements. Satisfied by completing 17-18 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major hours and GPA calculations.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Course Requirements. Satisfied by completing 18 hours of course work below.

  • Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 412.
  • History & Diversity of Organisms. Satisfied by BIOL 413.
  • Principles of Ecology. Satisfied by BIOL 414 or BIOL 514.
  • Laboratory Methods in Ecology. Satisfied by BIOL 415.
  • Introduction to Systematics. Satisfied by BIOL 550.
  • Introduction to Biostatistics. Satisfied by BIOL 570.
  • Senior Seminar in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 599 (must be taken in senior year).

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Required Electives, Laboratory, and Seminar. Satisfied by completing 13 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher which include at least 3 hrs. of laboratory credit and 2 hrs. of a seminar or topics course (BIOL 419, 420, 499, 701). Courses listed above which have not been used to fulfill the above requirements may be used as electives. No more than 3 hrs. of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement with no more than 2 hours of BIOL 424 being applied towards the laboratory requirement.

  • Seminar. Satisfied by completing 2 hours of seminar or topics course (BIOL 419, BIOL 420, BIOL 499, or BIOL 701).
  • Laboratory. Satisfied by completing 3 hours of laboratory courses. No more than 2 hours of BIOL 423/424 count toward lab requirement.
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Electives. Satisfied by completing 8 hours from BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423/424 allowed toward elective requirement.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 48 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of   hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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Cellular Biology

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 31-32 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

General Biology Requirements. Satisfied by completing 21 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Cellular Biology major hours and GPA calculations.

Cellular Biology Course Requirements. Satisfied by completing 19 hours of course work below.

  • Cell Structure & Function. Satisfied by BIOL 416.
  • Biology of Development. Satisfied by BIOL 417.
  • Laboratory in Cell Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 426.
  • Senior Seminar in Cell Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 599. Must be taken in senior year.

Cell Biology Electives. Satisfied by completing 9 hours from the following: BIOL 400, BIOL 402, BIOL 435, BIOL 503, BIOL 504, BIOL 512, BIOL 513, BIOL 570, BIOL 646, BIOL 673, BIOL 688, BIOL 719, BIOL 752, BIOL 755, BIOL 756

Seminar/Laboratory Requirements. At least 2 hours of laboratory credit (BIOL laboratories numbered 400 or higher) and 2 hours of a seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, 420, 499, 701).

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 44 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of    hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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Genetics

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 28-29 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

*Students planning to enter graduate school (particularly those interested in applying molecular techniques) or medical school are advised to also enroll in CHEM 626/627.

General Biology Requirements. Satisfied by completing 24 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Genetics major hours and GPA calculations.

Genetics Course Requirements.  Satisfied by completing 15 hours of the following:

Genetics Required Electives, Laboratory, and Seminar. Satisfied by completing 8 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher, including at least 3 hrs. of lab credit and 2 hrs. of a seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, 420, 499, 701). Courses listed above which have not been used to fulfill the above requirements may be used as electives. No more than 3 hrs. of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement with no more than 2 hours of BIOL 424 being applied towards the laboratory requirement.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 47 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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Neurobiology

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 31-32 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

General Biology Requirements. Satisfied by completing 21-23 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Cellular Biology major hours and GPA calculations.

Neurobiology Course Requirements. Satisfied by completing 15-16 hours of course work below.

  • Cell Structure and Function. Satisfied by BIOL 416 or BIOL 536.
  • Biology of Development. Satisfied by BIOL 417.
  • Biology Laboratory. Satisfied by BIOL 405, BIOL 426, or BIOL 427.
  • Introduction to Neurobiology. Satisfied by BIOL 435.
  • Advanced Neurobiology. Satisfied by BIOL 650
  • Senior Seminar in Neurobiology. Satisfied by BIOL 599. Must be taken in senior year.

Neurobiology Required Electives. Satisfied by completing 12 hours of course work below.

Additional Biology Electives. Satisfied by choosing any BIOL course at the 400-level or above. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 48 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of    hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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Organismal Biology

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 28-29 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

General Biology Requirements. Satisfied by completing 18 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Organismal Biology major hours and GPA calculations.

  • Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 150 or BIOL 151.
  • Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 152 or BIOL 153.
  • Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by BIOL 350.
  • Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 412.
  • Introductory Biochemistry. Satisfied by BIOL 600.

Organismal Biology Course Requirements. Satisfied by completing 21 hours of course work below.

  • Physiology of Organisms. Satisfied by BIOL 408..
  • Physiology of Organisms Laboratory. Satisfied by BIOL 409.
  • History/Diversity of Organisms. Satisfied by BIOL 413.
  • Senior Seminar in Organismal Biology. Satisfied by BIOL 599. Must be taken in senior year.
  • Choose 1 course. Satisfied by choosing 1 course from the following: BIOL 416, BIOL 414, or BIOL 550.

Students must take at least 1 course from each of the following three groups.

Development & Morphology. Satisfied by choosing 1 course from following: BIOL 417, BIOL 440, BIOL 510, BIOL 528, BIOL 708, or BIOL 545.

Function. Satisfied by choosing 1 course from following: BIOL 435, BIOL 503, BIOL 506, BIOL 526, BIOL 716, BIOL 606, BIOL 644, BIOL 646, BIOL 652, BIOL 667, BIOL 673.

Diversity. Satisfied by choosing 1 course from following: ANTH 440, BIOL 400, BIOL 401, BIOL 494, BIOL 500, BIOL 505, BIOL 509, BIOL 512, BIOL 521, BIOL 711, BIOL 529, BIOL 709, BIOL 533, BIOL 540, BIOL 583, BIOL 783, BIOL 592, BIOL 792, BIOL 593, BIOL 603, BIOL 610, BIOL 613, BIOL 622, BIOL 640.

Genetics Required Electives, Laboratory, and Seminar. Satisfied by 10 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher, including at least 2 hrs. of lab credit and 1 hr. of a seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, 420, 499, 701). Courses listed above which have not been used to fulfill the above requirements may be used as electives. No more than 3 hrs. of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement with no more than 2 hours of BIOL 424 being applied towards the laboratory requirement.

Organismal Biology Electives. 7 hours required. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423/424 allowed toward elective requirement.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 49 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 41 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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Teaching Biology

General Science Requirements. Majors must complete the following 28-29 hours of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.

Teaching Biology Course Requirements. Satisfied by completing 30-31 hours of course work below.

Teaching Biology Required Electives and Laboratory. Satisfied by 7 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher which include at least 4 hours of laboratory credit. Courses listed above which have not been used to fulfill the above requirements may be used as electives. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement with no more than 2 hours of BIOL 424 being applied towards the laboratory requirement.

  • Laboratory. Satisfied by completing 4 hours of biology laboratory courses. Some course limits apply, including no more than 2 hours of BIOL 423/424 allowed toward Lab requirement.
  • Teaching Biology Elective. Satisfied by completing 3 hours of BIOL course work. BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423/424 allowed toward Elective requirement.

Teaching Biology Education Requirements. Students who are seeking classroom certification must complete the following requirements through the School of Education.

  • Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics I. Satisfied by LA&S 290.
  • Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics II. Satisfied by LA&S 291.
  • Knowing and Learning in Mathematics & Science. Satisfied by C&T 360.
  • Classroom Interactions in Mathematics and Science. Satisfied by C&T 366.
  • Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum. Satisfied by C&T 448.
  • Project-Based Instruction in Mathematics & Science. Satisfied by C&T 460.
  • Student Teaching. Satisfied by C&T 500.
  • Special Topics Seminar. Satisfied by C&T 598.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 37 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 29-30 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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