Schools, Departments & Programs


Major in Biology—B.S.

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

Required Courses

Students must complete General Education requirements and the following Foundations, Intensive Writing, Foreign Language, Breadth of Inquiry, Critical Approaches, and Public Oral Communication requirements:

  1. Writing, same as for B.A. degree (English Composition, CASE Intensive Writing).
  2. Mathematics, fulfilled by major.
  3. Foreign language, three semesters in the same language, or equivalent proficiency.
  4. One Critical Approaches course.
  5. Arts and humanities, two courses.
  6. Social and historical studies, two courses.
  7. Natural and mathematical sciences, fulfilled by major.
  8. One Public Oral Communication course.
  9. Culture courses are not required.
Major Requirements

Students must complete a total of 30 hours in Biology, including the following core courses, 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 (3 cr.)
  4. L318 Evolution (3 cr.)
  5. Three additional lecture courses at the 300 or 400 level (See the approved course list for Biology majors). BIOL L322, X371, X473 and X490 do not count for lecture or laboratory credit.
  6. Three additional laboratory courses at the 300 or 400 level (See the approved course list for Biology majors). BIOL L322, X371, X473 and X490 do not count for lecture or laboratory credit.
  7. Two of the advanced lecture courses (300 or 400 level) and two of the advanced laboratories (300 or 400 level) must be taken on the Bloomington campus.
  8. Consult with the Biology Undergraduate Advisors for a current list of approved lecture and laboratory classes.

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

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Area of Concentration Option

As an alternative to the upper-level requirements listed above (in numbers 5–8), students may choose one of the following three transcriptable Areas of Concentration (AoCs).  AoCs help students develop additional expertise in specific areas of Biology and may require additional coursework, for a minimum of 36 credit hours.

  1. Biology of Disease
  2. Integrative and Organismal Biology
  3. Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

To fulfill AoC requirements courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C–.

Additional Requirements

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

  1. CHEM C117-C127, C341, C342, and C343. For those planning professional school, this sequence is recommended: C117-C127, C341, C342, C343, and N330.
  2. PHYS P201 and P202 or P221 and P222.
  3. One of the following statistics courses: MATH K310, PSY K300 or K310, LAMP L316, STAT S300 or S303, or SPEA-K 300. (Note that, although SPEA-K 300 fulfills the statistics requirement, it does not count toward the College of Arts and Sciences credit hour requirement.)
  4. MATH M211 or M215 (or M119 or V119 and M120) or an approved mathematics course.
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.