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.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Because biology study requires preparation in other sciences, students should begin meeting major requirements in the first year. It is particularly important to take CHEM 130 and CHEM 135 in the first year and, for several majors, to take CHEM 330, CHEM 331, CHEM 335, and CHEM 336 in the second year. Ideally, most majors should also take BIOL 150 and BIOL 152 during the first year, as well as BIOL 105. Students who have taken BIOL 100 and BIOL 102, have earned an A or B in both courses, and have decided to major in a biological science should consult a UBP advisor to request permission to substitute BIOL 100 and BIOL 102 for BIOL 150.

 

Majors and Concentrations

Bachelor’s degree requirements in biology are modified as necessary. Current requirements are available in the UBP office and online. Major programs are offered in biochemistry, biology, human biology, and microbiology. Students may choose to concentrate in a range of specialties in the biological sciences, such as botany, cellular biology, developmental biology, environmental biology, ecology, entomology, genetics, marine biology, molecular biology, neurobiology, paleontology, physiology, systematics, or zoology (invertebrate or vertebrate).

Requirements for the B.A. Major in Human Biology

The curriculum builds from a broad background of general science courses and adds depth in a set of 5 specialized disciplines. Courses in the disciplines emphasize topics related to humans and provide a solid understanding of each field of knowledge.

For general requirements for the B.A. degree, see CLAS General Education Degree Requirements on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements page.

Students must choose 1 concentration from the 5 areas:

  • Anthropology
  • Applied behavioral science
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Speech-language-hearing
General Science Requirements (34)
Majors must complete the following 34-hour minimum of general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.34
Introduction to Human Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:
Introduction to Human Evolutionary Biology
Biology Orientation Seminar. Satisfied by:
Biology Orientation Seminar
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors
Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:
Principles of Organismal Biology
Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors
Calculus. Satisfied by one of the following:
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Calculus I
Calculus I, Honors
Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:
General Chemistry I
Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Chemistry II. Satisfied by one of the following:
General Chemistry II
Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors
Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:
College Physics I
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
Statistics. Satisfied by one of the following:
Introduction to Biostatistics (Recommended for the Anthropology and Biology Concentrations)
Statistics in Psychological Research (Recommended for the Psychology Concentration)
Elementary Statistics
 

Anthropology

Anthropology Concentration (13)
Majors must complete the following 31 hours. These additional science courses are included in the Human Biology-Anthropology major hours and GPA calculations.
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory. Satisfied by:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Cell Structure & Function. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Cell Structure and Function
Cell Structure and Function (Honors)
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Senior Seminar in Human Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year)1
Anthropology Concentration Categories (18-21)
Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 categories (18-21 hours required):18-21
Category 1: Human Anatomy and Physiology
Biology of Development. Satisfied by:
Biology of Development
Anatomy and Physiology. Satisfied by completing 9 hours from the following:
Biology of Human Nutrition
Human Osteology
Human Reproduction: Biology and Behavior
Laboratory in Cell Biology
Advanced Human Anatomy
Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures
Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory
Mammalian Physiology
Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Category 2: Human Population Biology
Satisfied by completing 9 hours from the following:
Human Variation and Evolution
Anthropological Genetics
Origins of Native Americans
Contemporary Health Issues in Africa
Population Dynamics
Category 3: Human Adaptation and Evolution
Satisfied by completing 9 hours from the following:
Human Adaptation
Controversies on the Living and the Dead
Topics in Biological Anthropology: _____
Evolution of Human Diseases
Human Paleontology: Fossil Apes to Australopithecus
Human Paleontology: Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens
Category 4: Human Biology and Behavior
Satisfied by completing 9 hours from the following:
Anthropology of Sex
Human Behavioral Genetics
Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Biological Bases of Human Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
The Psychology of Language

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 31 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Applied Behavioral Science

Applied Behavioral Science Concentration (15)
Majors must complete the following 33 hours. These additional science courses are included in the Human Biology-Applied Behavioral Science major hours and GPA calculations.
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science. Satisfied by:
ABSC 100Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science3
Development. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Introduction to Child Behavior and Development
Child Development
Research Methods & Application. Satisfied by:
ABSC 308Research Methods and Application4
Senior Seminar in Human Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year.)1
Applied Behavioral Science Concentration Categories (18-19)
Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 categories (18-19 hours required):18-19
Category 1: Applied Behavioral Science
Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy. Satisfied by:
The Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy
Applied Behavioral Science. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following courses:
Community Leadership
Building Healthy Communities
Building Healthy Communities, Honors
The Behavioral Treatment of Children with Autism
Behavioral Approaches in Working with Adolescents
Independent Living and People with Disabilities
Category 2: Development: Typical and Atypical
Child Behavior and Development. Satisfied by:
Advanced Child Behavior and Development
Development: Typical and Atypical. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Developmental Psychopathology
Applied Developmental Psychology
Biology of Development
Category 3: Biology of Behavior
Physiology of Organisms. Satisfied by:
Physiology of Organisms
Biology of Behavior. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Biology of Human Nutrition
Introduction to Neurobiology
Advanced Human Anatomy
Brain Diseases and Neurological Disorders
Mammalian Physiology
Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Behavioral Genetics
Behavioral Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Category 4: Evolution, Culture, and Behavior
Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:
Evolutionary Biology
Evolution, Culture, and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Human Evolution
The Rise of Civilization
Human Reproduction: Biology and Behavior
Cultural Dynamics
Human Biogeography, Honors
Introduction to Systematics
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Comparative Animal Behavior

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Biology

Biology Concentration (14)
Majors must complete the following 32 hours. These additional science courses are included in the Human Biology-Biology major hours and GPA calculations.
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory. Satisfied by:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Physics II. Satisfied by one of the following:4
College Physics II
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Senior Seminar in Human Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year.)1
Biology Laboratory Electives. Course selections from the following categories must include at least 3 hours of laboratory credit, 400 level or above.
Biology Concentration Categories (18-20)
Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 categories listed below. (18-20 hours required) (Course selections must include at least 3 hours of laboratory credit, 400 level or above.)18-20
Category 1: Development and Genetics
Biology of Development. Satisfied by:
Biology of Development
Development and Genetics. Satisfied by completing 6 hours from the following:
Developmental Psychopathology
Human Growth and Development
Laboratory in Genetics
Cell Structure and Function
Cell Structure and Function (Honors)
Human Genetics
Behavioral Genetics
The Molecular Biology of Cancer
Child Development
Cognitive Development
Language Development
Language Development
Anatomy and Physiology
Mammalian Physiology. Satisfied by:
Mammalian Physiology
Anatomy & Physiology. Satisfied by completing 6 hours from the following:
Biology of Human Nutrition
Human Osteology
Introduction to Neurobiology
Advanced Human Anatomy
Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures
Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory
Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Category 3: Evolution, Ecology, and Adaptation
Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:
Evolutionary Biology
Evolution, Ecology, and Adaptation. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Human Variation and Evolution
Human Evolution
Human Adaptation
Population Dynamics
Human Biogeography, Honors
Principles of Ecology
Evolutionary Ecology
Evolutionary Psychology
Category 4: Human Disease
Fundamentals of Microbiology. Satisfied by one of the following:
Fundamentals of Microbiology
Fundamentals of Microbiology, Honors
Human Disease. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Evolution of Human Diseases
Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory
Immunology
Immunology Laboratory
Bacterial Infectious Diseases
Bacterial Infectious Diseases Laboratory
General Virology
Virology Laboratory
Microbial Genetics
Microbial Genetics Laboratory
Human Genetics
Medical Entomology
The Molecular Biology of Cancer
Total Hours32-34

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 32 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Psychology

Psychology Concentration (13)
Majors must complete the following 31 hours. These additional science courses are included in the Human Biology-Psychology major hours and GPA calculations.
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory. Satisfied by:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Research Methods. Satisfied by:
PSYC 200Research Methods in Psychology3
Senior Seminar in Human Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year.)1
Psychology Concentration Categories (18)
Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 categories listed below. (18 hours required)18
Category 1: Evolution, Adaptation and Health
Satisfied by completing 9 hours selected from the following:
Evolutionary Psychology
Health Psychology
Human Variation and Evolution
Human Evolution
Human Adaptation
Anthropological Genetics
Human Behavioral Genetics
Biology of Human Nutrition
Evolution of Human Diseases
Evolutionary Biology
Human Genetics
Category 2: Human Development
Child Development. Satisfied by:
Child Development
Child Development, Honors
Human Development. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Cognitive Development
Developmental Psychopathology
Advanced Child Behavior and Development
Biology of Development
Category 3: Human Cognition and Language
Cognitive Psychology. Satisfied by:
Cognitive Psychology
Human Cognition & Language. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Sensation and Perception
Human Memory
Language Development
The Psychology of Language
Language Science
Language Development
Category 4: Neuroscience
Satisfied by completing 9 hours selected from the following:
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Human Reproduction: Biology and Behavior
Introduction to Neurobiology
Brain Diseases and Neurological Disorders
Behavioral Genetics

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 31 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Speech-Language-Hearing

Speech-Language-Hearing Concentration (12)
Majors must complete the following 30 hours. These additional science courses are included in the Human Biology-Speech-Language-Hearing major hours and GPA calculations.
Physics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
The Physics of Speech
College Physics II
Research Methods. Satisfied by:
SPLH 660Research Methods in Speech-Language-Hearing3
Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Senior Seminar in Human Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year.)1
Speech-Language-Hearing Concentration Categories (18-19)
Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 categories (18-19 hours required).18-19
Category 1: Development and Genetics
Biology of Development. Satisfied by:
Biology of Development
Development and Genetics. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Human Growth and Development
Laboratory in Genetics
Cell Structure and Function
Cell Structure and Function (Honors)
Human Genetics
Behavioral Genetics
Child Development
Cognitive Development
Undergraduate Seminar in: _____
Seminar in: _____
Language Science
Language Development
Category 2: Anatomy and Physiology
Mammalian Physiology. Satisfied by:
Mammalian Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Advanced Human Anatomy
Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Principles of Speech Science
Principles of Hearing Science
Category 3: Neuroscience
Physiology of Organisms. Satisfied by:
Physiology of Organisms
Neuroscience. Satisfied by completing 6 hours selected from the following:
Introduction to Neurobiology
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Undergraduate Seminar in: _____ (Neural Bases of Speech & Voice)
Undergraduate Seminar in: _____ (Speech Motor Control)
Category 4: Research Practicum
Satisfied by completing 9 hours selected from the following courses:
Undergraduate Seminar in: _____ (Circuit Theory & Bioinstrumentation)
Laboratory/Field Work in Human Biology (various topics)
Directed Study in Speech-Language-Hearing

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Sample 4-year plans for the BA degree in Human Biology with concentrations in the following can be found here: Anthropology, Applied Behavioral Science, Biology, Psychology, and Speech-Language-Hearing, or by using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Undergraduate majors are eligible to graduate with honors in biology if they fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete all course work required for the appropriate degree in biology.
  2. Achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 overall and 3.5 in the major.
  3. Complete BIOL 499 Introduction to Honors Research with a grade of B or higher.
  4. Complete BIOL 699 Biology Honors Research Colloquium with a grade of B or higher.
  5. Complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in an area appropriate to the degree sought.
  6. Submit an honors thesis to the honors committee once the research is complete and present the results of the completed research at the honors research symposium.

Students majoring in Human Biology with Anthropology, Applied Behavioral Science, Psychology, or Speech-Language-Hearing concentrations will follow the honors requirements for their respective concentration department.

Specific guidelines and intent forms are available in the Undergraduate Biology Program office and online. Candidates must declare their intent to graduate with honors at least 2 semesters before graduation.

Study Abroad

Consult an advisor at least 4 months before undertaking study abroad. Consult the Office of Study Abroad, 108 Lippincott Hall, for information about study in one of the many countries (e.g., Scotland, Australia, Switzerland) with special arrangements with KU.