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.S. Degree in Biology

General Education Requirements

In addition to degree and major requirements for all plans and subplans, all students must complete the KU Core.

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

General Science Requirements (29-32)
Majors must complete the following general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.
Biology Orientation Seminar. Satisfied by:
BIOL 105Biology Orientation Seminar1
Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry I
Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Chemistry II. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry II
Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I, Honors
Introductory Biochemistry. Satisfied by:3
Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures
Calculus. Satisfied by one of the following:4-6
Calculus I
   and Calculus II
Calculus I
Calculus I, Honors
Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:4-5
College Physics I
General Physics I
   and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics I Honors
Physics II. Satisfied by one of the following:4
College Physics II
General Physics II
   and General Physics II Laboratory
General Physics II Honors
Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Requirements (29)
Satisfied by completing 29 hours from courses below. These additional science courses are included in the Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology major hours and GPA calculations.
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors
Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Organismal Biology
Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Physiology of Organisms. Satisfied by:
BIOL 408Physiology of Organisms3
Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 412Evolutionary Biology4
Principles of Ecology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 414Principles of Ecology3
or BIOL 514 Principles of Ecology, Honors
History & Diversity of Organisms / Systematics. Satisfied by one of the following:3
History and Diversity of Organisms
Introduction to Systematics
Introduction to Biostatistics. Satisfied by:
BIOL 570Introduction to Biostatistics3
Senior Seminar in EEOB. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (in EEOB. Must be taken in senior year.)1
Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Required Electives, Laboratory, and Seminar (18)
Satisfied by completing 18 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher, including at least 4 hrs of lab credit and 2 hrs of seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, BIOL 420, BIOL 499, BIOL 701). No more than 5 hrs of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can by applied to the elective requirement, with no more than 2 hrs of BIOL 424 being applied to the laboratory requirement. The Undergraduate Biology Program must approve exceptions to these elective requirements.12
Laboratory. Satisfied by completing at least 4 hrs of laboratory courses. No more than 2 hrs of BIOL 424 can count toward lab requirement.4
Seminar. Satisfied by completing at least 2 hours of the following seminar or topics course:2
Topics in: _____
Seminar: _____
Introduction to Honors Research
Topics in: _____

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 47 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.

 

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

General Science Requirements (34-37)
Majors must complete the following general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.
Biology Orientation Seminar. Satisfied by:
BIOL 105Biology Orientation Seminar1
Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry I
Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Chemistry II. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry II
Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I, Honors
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory. Satisfied by:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Organic Chemistry II. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry II, Honors
Calculus. Satisfied by one of the following:4-6
Calculus I
   and Calculus II
Calculus I
Calculus I, Honors
Statistics. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Introduction to Biostatistics
Elementary Statistics
Statistics in Psychological Research
Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:4-5
College Physics I
General Physics I
   and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics I Honors
Physics II. Satisfied by one of the following:4
College Physics II
General Physics II
   and General Physics II Laboratory
General Physics II Honors
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Requirements (34-35)
Satisfied by completing courses below. These additional science courses are included in the MCDB major hours and GPA calculations.
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors
Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Organismal Biology
Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics, Honors
Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:4
Evolutionary Biology
Laboratory in Genetics / Cell Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:2-3
Laboratory in Genetics
Laboratory in Cell Biology
Cell Structure and Function. Satisfied by:
BIOL 416Cell Structure and Function3
or BIOL 536 Cell Structure and Function (Honors)
Biology of Development. Satisfied by:
BIOL 417Biology of Development3
Introduction to Neurobiology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 435Introduction to Neurobiology3
Senior Seminar in MCDB. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (in MCDB. Must be taken in senior year.)1
Introductory Biochemistry. Satisfied by:
BIOL 600Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures3
Advanced Neurobiology / Gene Expression / Molec. Biology Cancer. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Advanced Neurobiology
Gene Expression
The Molecular Biology of Cancer
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Required Electives (12)
Satisfied by 12 hrs of any BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher; no more than 3 hrs of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be used to fulfill the elective requirement.12

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 46 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.

 

Teaching Biology

General Science Requirements (28-31)
Majors must complete the following general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.
Biology Orientation Seminar. Satisfied by:
BIOL 105Biology Orientation Seminar1
Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry I
Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Chemistry II. Satisfied by one of the following:5
General Chemistry II
Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors
Organic Chemistry I. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I, Honors
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory. Satisfied by:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Calculus. Satisfied by one of the following:4-6
Calculus I
   and Calculus II
Calculus I
Calculus I, Honors
Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:4-5
College Physics I
General Physics I
   and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics I Honors
Physics II. Satisfied by one of the following:4
College Physics II
General Physics II
   and General Physics II Laboratory
General Physics II Honors
Teaching Biology Course Requirements (32)
Satisfied by completing 32 hours of course work below.
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:
BIOL 150Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology4
or BIOL 151 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors
Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by one of the following:
BIOL 152Principles of Organismal Biology4
or BIOL 153 Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors
Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by one of the following:
BIOL 350Principles of Genetics4
or BIOL 360 Principles of Genetics, Honors
Evolutionary Biology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 412Evolutionary Biology4
Principles of Ecology. Satisfied by:
BIOL 414Principles of Ecology3
Cell Structure & Function. Satisfied by one of the following:
BIOL 416Cell Structure and Function3
or BIOL 536 Cell Structure and Function (Honors)
Research Methods. Satisfied by:
BIOL 598Research Methods3
Senior Seminar. Satisfied by:
BIOL 599Senior Seminar: _____ (must be taken in senior year)1
Choose 1 Course. Satisfied by one of the following:3
History and Diversity of Organisms
Introduction to Systematics
Choose 1 Course. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Microbiology
Fundamentals of Microbiology, Honors
Physiology of Organisms
Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures
Teaching Biology Required Electives and Laboratory (7)
Satisfied by 7 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher which include at least 4 hours of laboratory credit. Courses listed above which have not been used to fulfill the above requirements may be used as electives. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423 Non-Lab Independent Study and/or BIOL 424 Independent Study (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirement with no more than 2 hours of BIOL 424 being applied towards the laboratory requirement.
Laboratory. Satisfied by completing a minimum of 4 hours of biology laboratory courses numbered 400 or higher. Some course limits apply, including no more than 2 hours of BIOL 423/BIOL 424 allowed toward Lab requirement.4
Teaching Biology Elective. Satisfied by completing a minimum of 3 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423/BIOL 424 allowed toward Elective requirement.3
Teaching Biology Education Requirements (16-25)
Students who are seeking classroom certification must complete the following requirements through the School of Education.
Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics I. Satisfied by:
LA&S 290Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics I1
Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics II. Satisfied by:
LA&S 291Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics II1
Knowing and Learning in Mathematics & Science. Satisfied by:
C&T 360Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science3
Classroom Interactions in Mathematics and Science. Satisfied by:
C&T 366Classroom Interactions in Mathematics and Science3
Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum. Satisfied by:
C&T 448Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum3
Project-Based Instruction in Mathematics & Science. Satisfied by:
C&T 460Project Based Instruction in Mathematics and Science3
Student Teaching. Satisfied by:
C&T 500Student Teaching in: _____1-6
Special Topics Seminar. Satisfied by:
C&T 598Special Course: _____1-5

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 a minimum of 39 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.

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.