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Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Brad HardwickPictured | Brad Hardwick | Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)
Club Affiliation | Dungeons and Dragons Club at IU South Bend

Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (BA) 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 BA places less emphasis on the cognate disciplines of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and because of this, students seeking to enter MS or PhD programs or medical, pharmacy, dental, or veterinary school or other healthcare-related professional programs are advised to earn the BS rather than the BA.

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 Fundamental Literacies: Quantitative Reasoning requirement
  • BIOL-L 403 Biology Seminar fulfills the Extended Literacies: Visual Literacy requirement and is required for all Biological Sciences majors
  • The laboratory science requirement is fulfilled by required biology courses.

  • 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 (34 cr.)

Biological Science (19 cr.)
  • 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
    Fulfills Extended Literacies: Visual Literacies

Chemistry (13 cr.)
  • 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

Physics (5 cr.)

Select one from the following:

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

Mathematics (3-5 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • MATH-M 119 Brief Survey of Calculus 1
    Fulfills Fundamental Literacies: Quantitative Reasoning
  • MATH-M 215 Calculus I (5 cr.)
    Fulfills Fundamental Literacies: Quantitative Reasoning

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 334 Biology of Cancer
  • BIOL-L 335 Introduction to Nanomedicine
  • BIOL-L 338 Introduction to Genomics
  • BIOL-L 342 Tropical Marine Biology Field Course
  • BIOL-L 391 Special Topics in Biology (1-3 cr.)
  • 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 two credit hours of laboratory or field-based research on the same project
  • BIOL-L 497 Internship in Biology (1-3 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
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.