Departments & Programs


Major in Biology—B.S.

The B.S. in biology is designed to provide students with a rigorous general background in the sciences to prepare them for graduate or professional school or for science-related jobs at the bachelor's degree level. The more extensive requirements in chemistry, mathematics, and physics have been selected to optimize students' future opportunities.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following Foundations, Intensive Writing, Foreign Language, and Breadth of Inquiry requirements:

  1. Writing, same as for B.A. degree (Intensive Writing, English Composition).
  2. Mathematics, fulfilled by major.
  3. Foreign language, three semesters in the same language, or equivalent proficiency. Culture studies courses are not required.
  4. One Critical Approaches to the Arts and Sciences course—students are advised to choose a course that will serve as one of the required arts and humanities or social and historical studies courses listed below.
  5. Arts and humanities, two courses.
  6. Social and historical studies, two courses.
  7. Natural and mathematical sciences, fulfilled by major.
Major Requirements

Students must complete the following course work with a minimum grade of C– in each course:

  1. L111 Foundations of Biology: Diversity, Evolution, and Ecology (3 cr.), L112 Foundations of Biology: Biological Mechanisms (3 cr.), and L113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.).
  2. L211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.).
  3. L311 Genetics and Development (3 cr.).
  4. L318 Evolution (3 cr.).
  5. Three additional lecture courses at the 300 or 400 level. T312, L322, T322, L490, and L499 do not count for lecture or laboratory credit.
  6. Three additional laboratory courses at the 300–400 level. T312, L322, T322, L490, and L499 do not count for lecture or laboratory credit.
  7. Two of the advanced lecture courses (300–400 level) and two of the advanced laboratories (300–400 level) must be taken on the Bloomington campus.

Note: L111 and L112 can be taken in either order. L112 and CHEM C117 are prerequisites of L211, which is the prerequisite of L311 and L318.

Consult with the Biology Undergraduate Advisors for a current list of acceptable lecture and laboratory classes.

Additional Requirements

Students must also complete with a minimum grade of C– in each course:

  1. Chemistry C117, C341, C342, and C343. For those planning professional school, this sequence is recommended: C117, C341, C342, C343, and N330.
  2. Physics P201-P202 or P221-P222.
  3. Mathematics M211 or M215 (or M119 and M120).
  4. One of the following statistics courses: Mathematics K310, Psychological and Brain Sciences K300 or K310, Liberal Arts and Management Program L316, Statistics S300, or SPEA-K 300. (Note that although SPEA-K 300 fulfills the statistics requirement, it does not count toward College of Arts and Sciences credit hours if the total hours allowed outside the College have been met.)
Students are urged to discuss with the academic advisors in Jordan Hall A115 the selection of electives and requirements to meet their specific career goals.