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Biology Undergraduate Program

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Why study biology?

Study biology because undergraduates should have the opportunity to explore the breadth of biology that allows them to succeed in their chosen paths beyond the university.

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Undergraduate Programs

The KU Undergraduate Biology program administers the

  • B.A. and B.S. in biochemistry,
  • B.A. in biology,
  • B.S. in biology (cell biology),
  • B.S. in biology (ecology and evolutionary biology),
  • B.S. in biology (genetics),
  • B.S. in biology (neurobiology),
  • B.S. in biology (organismal biology),
  • B.S. in biology (teaching biology),
  • B.A. in human biology (anthropology),
  • B.A. in human biology (applied behavioral science),
  • B.A. in human biology (biology),
  • B.A. in human biology (psychology),
  • B.A. in human biology (speech-language-hearing science),
  • B.A. and B.S. in microbiology, and
  • B.S. in molecular biosciences (KU Edwards Campus).

Courses for Nonmajors

BIOL 100 Principles of Biology, BIOL 110 Microorganisms in Your World, BIOL 116 Introduction to Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 120 Insects in Your World, and BIOL 215 Plants Through Time offer undergraduate nonmajors an introduction to biology and biological facts or concepts. A laboratory, BIOL 102, supplements BIOL 100. Honors sections (BIOL 101/BIOL 103) are offered for students with superior academic records. Except when specifically listed in the major requirements, these courses do not count toward a biology major.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for biology.

Double Majors

Students may earn degrees in a biological science and an area outside biology by meeting the requirements of both degree programs and taking at least 15 hours of courses unique to each major.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Undergraduate Biology Program encourages independent study and participation in faculty research programs. Consult an adviser or the KUUB website, to find a faculty sponsor for research or independent study. After receiving permission, the student may enroll in that faculty member’s section of BIOL 424 Independent Study for the number of hours specified by the faculty member. Three independent study hours can be applied to elective requirements in the major. Independent study is required for graduation with departmental honors. By special arrangement with a faculty member, students may earn independent study credit by participating in research programs offered by other units (e.g., faculty members in the School of Medicine or the Program in Experimental and Applied Ecology).

Student Organizations

Biology clubs allow students to interact with faculty and students while expanding their interest in biology. The biology majors advisory committee—part of the KU biology club—advises the KUUB director on all undergraduate issues and provides a forum for concerns and suggestions.

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Biology Courses by Topics

For a list of biology courses by topics, see Degrees.

Related Biology Courses

A biological course from departments outside the Biology Undergraduate Program may count toward a B.A. degree (up to 4 hours of credit). Check with a biology faculty adviser to determine whether nonbiology courses are acceptable to satisfy biology degree requirements.

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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees  in ecology and evolutionary biology, botany, and entomology. In addition, students may concentrate in ecology and evolutionary biology by seeking a B.S. in biology.

Botany

A bachelor’s degree with a major in botany is not offered, but the student may obtain a degree in biology with emphasis in botany. Any course in the plant sciences numbered 699 or below is appropriate for the undergraduate emphasis. For those planning to go on for advanced degrees, the following courses are recommended:

Entomology

Students interested in entomology should pursue the B.A. in biology, selecting BIOL 500 Biology of Insects as an elective. Select additional courses in consultation with an entomology adviser. The following courses are recommended for students interested in entomology but not majoring in biology:

For those in microbiology and fields related to medicine:

Evolutionary Biology

Students may concentrate in ecology and evolutionary biology by seeking a B.A. in biology or a B.S. in biology (concentrations in ecology and evolutionary biology, genetics, or organismal biology).

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Molecular Biosciences

The Department of Molecular Biosciences offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry and biophysics; microbiology; and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.

The B.S. degree in molecular biosciences is offered on the KU Edwards Campus.

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