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Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Pictured | Keegan Berndsen | Biological Sciences | Elkhart, Indiana (hometown)
Clubs and Volunteer Activities | Vice President, Delta Sigma Phi

Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) students receive a rigorous grounding in biology that provides a starting point for careers in private industry, with non-profit or government organizations, teaching at the secondary level, or some health professions (e.g., physician assistant or physical therapy). Students have the opportunity to couple their biology education with a minor (e.g., business, environmental studies, sustainability studies, or psychology) that supports their career aspirations. To help foster student success, faculty provide high-quality academic and career advising throughout the student’s time at IU South Bend.

The curriculum includes up-to-date content in a wide variety of elective courses as well as education in the process of scientific discovery, with emphasis on reading scientific literature, writing about and presenting scientific information, designing scientific studies, and collecting, manipulating, and analyzing scientific data. Many students also work closely with faculty on independent research projects that teach valuable laboratory and field skills and increase success in applications for post-graduate employment or admission to professional programs. Compared to the BS degree, the B.A. places less emphasis on the cognate disciplines of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and because of this, students seeking to enter M.S. or Ph.D. programs or medical, pharmacy, dental, or veterinary school or other healthcare-related professional programs are advised to earn the B.S. rather than the B.A.

Academic Advising

Students planning to major in biological sciences should contact an academic advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences before their first semester to develop a plan for their academic course of study. College policy on advising requires that students meet with their academic advisors at least once each year; biology majors meet with their advisors prior to each semester’s enrollment. Advising holds are reset following advising appointments. To determine the name and contact information for your advisor, see One.IU.

Degree Requirements (120 cr.)
Degree Map >>

Students receiving the Bachelor of Arts degree must complete 120 total credit hours including:

  • MATH courses for the B.A. in Biology fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirements
  • BIOL-L 403 Biology Seminar fulfills the Visual Literacy requirement and is required for all Biological Sciences majors

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours at the 300– or 400–level
  • Biology courses and all courses required for the minor must be completed with a grade of C– or higher.
  • All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted.

Major Requirements (40-42 cr.)

Biological Science
  • BIOL-L 101 Introduction to Biological Sciences 1 (5 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 102 Introduction to Biological Sciences 2 (5 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL-L 311 Genetics
  • BIOL-L 403 Biology Seminar

  • CHEM-C 105 Principles of Chemistry I
  • CHEM-C 106 Principles of Chemistry II
  • CHEM-C 125 Experimental Chemistry I (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 126 Experimental Chemistry II (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lecture 1


Select one from the following:

  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics 1 (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 221 Physics 1 (5 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • MATH-M 119 Brief Survey of Calculus 1
  • MATH-M 215 Calculus I (5 cr.)

Elective Requirements (18 cr.)

Students must complete at least 18 additional credit hours of elective Biological Sciences courses. This coursework must include at least two laboratory classes, at least one course from the Organismal courses area, and at least one course from the Cellular courses area.

Organismal Courses
  • BIOL-B 300 Vascular Plants
  • BIOL-L 304 Marine Biology
  • BIOL-L 308 Organismal Physiology (5 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 318 Evolution
  • BIOL-L 342 Tropical Marine Biology Field Course
  • BIOL-L 473 Ecology
  • BIOL-L 474 Field and Laboratory Ecology (2 cr.)
  • BIOL-Z 373 Entomology
  • BIOL-Z 383 Laboratory in Entomology (2 cr.)
  • BIOL-Z 460 Animal Behavior
  • PHSL-P 262 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 (4 cr.)

Cellular Courses
  • BIOL-L 280 Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • BIOL-L 312 Cell Biology
  • BIOL-L 313 Cell Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL-L 317 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL-L 321 Principles of Immunology
  • BIOL-L 323 Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL-M 430 Virology Lecture
  • MICR-M 310 Microbiology
  • MICR-M 315 Microbiology Laboratory (2 cr.)

Other Elective Options
  • BIOL-L 391 Special Topics in Biology (2-3 cr.)
    May be used in either course area depending on the topic; and may be used as a laboratory course if the course includes a laboratory component
  • BIOL-L 490 Individual Study (1-6 cr.)
    May be used as one laboratory class as long as the student completes at least 2 credit hours of laboratory or field-based research on the same project

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.