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.
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.
KU Edwards Campus
The undergraduate program in molecular biosciences is offered in its entirety only at the KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213. This program is designed for students who have earned an associate’s degree or equivalent hours and wish to complete the upper-level courses necessary for a bachelor’s degree.
Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Molecular Biosciences
The program offers students a strong background in genetics, microbiology, cell biology, and biochemistry, as well as laboratory skills in genetics and microbiology. Graduates have entered medical school, dental school, and graduate school with high success rates. Contact the CLAS undergraduate advisor on the Edwards Campus, Sandra Leppin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 913-897-8511, for more information.
General Education Requirements
In addition to degree and major requirements, all students must complete the KU Core.
|General Science Requirements (33-37)|
|Majors must complete the following general science requirements that serve as foundational courses for this major.|
|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 331||Organic Chemistry I Laboratory||2|
|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|
and Calculus II
|Calculus I (Calculus I)|
|Physics. Satisfied by one of the following:||8-9|
|Option 1: College Physics|
|College Physics I|
and College Physics II
|Option 2: General Physics|
|General Physics I|
and General Physics I Laboratory
|General Physics II|
and General Physics II Laboratory
|Statistics. Satisfied by one of the following:||3-4|
|Introduction to Biostatistics|
|Statistics in Psychological Research|
|Molecular Biosciences Course Requirements (30-31)|
|Molecular & Cellular Biology. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 150||Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology||4|
|or BIOL 151||Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors|
|Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 152||Principles of Organismal Biology||4|
|or BIOL 153||Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors|
|Principles of Genetics. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 350||Principles of Genetics||4|
|or BIOL 360||Principles of Genetics, Honors|
|Fundamentals of Microbiology. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 400||Fundamentals of Microbiology||3-4|
|or BIOL 401||Fundamentals of Microbiology, Honors|
|Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 402||Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory||2|
|Laboratory in Genetics. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 405||Laboratory in Genetics||2|
|Cell Structure & Function. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 416||Cell Structure and Function||3|
|or BIOL 536||Cell Structure and Function (Honors)|
|Molecular Biology Laboratory. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 430||Laboratory in Molecular Biology||3|
|Introductory Biochemistry. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 600||Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures||3|
|Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory. Satisfied by:|
|BIOL 601||Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory||2|
|Senior Seminar in Molecular Biosciences (1)|
|BIOL 599||Senior Seminar: _____ (Must be taken in senior year. Offered only at the Edwards Campus.)||1|
|Molecular Bioscience Required Electives (12)|
|Satisfied by completing 12 hours of BIOL courses numbered 400 or higher, including at least 2 hours of a seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, BIOL 420, BIOL 421, BIOL 701). 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.||12|
|Seminar. Satisfied by completing at least 2 hours of the following seminar or topics courses:|
|Topics in: _____|
|Topics in Molecular Biosciences: _____|
|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:
Satisfied by 43-44 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.
Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the B.S. in Molecular Biosciences. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website.
The Molecular Biosciences major is only available at the Edwards campus in Overland Park, KS. The Edwards Campus only offers Junior/Senior level courses (300+). Lower level courses (100-299) may need to be taken at the KU Lawrence campus or transferred in from another institution. Please consult an academic advisor for more assistance.
|Goal 2.1 Written Communication (First Course, 2 Crs Required)||3||Goal 2.1 Written Communication (Second Course, 2 Crs Required)||3|
|CHEM 130 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy, General Science Requirement)1||5||MATH 115 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning, General Science Requirement)1||3|
|BIOL 150 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)2||4||BIOL 152 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)||4|
|Goal 2.2 Communication||3||CHEM 135 (General Science Requirement)3||5|
|Goal 3 Humanities||3||Goal 4.1 US Diversity||3|
|MATH 116 (General Science Requirement)1||3||CHEM 335 (General Science Requirement)3||3|
|CHEM 330 (General Science Requirement)||3||BIOL 400 (Major Requirement)5||3|
|CHEM 331 (General Science Requirement)||2||BIOL 402 (Major Requirement)5||2|
|BIOL 350 (Major Requirement)4||4||BIOL 416 (Major Requirement)6||3|
|Elective (Total Hours)||1|
|Goal 3 Social Science||3||Goal 5 Social Responsibility and Ethics||3|
& PHSX 216 (or PHSX 114, Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, General Science Requirement)
& PHSX 236 (or PHSX 115; General Science Requirement)
|BIOL 405 (Major Requirement)4||2||BIOL 600 (Major Requirement)5||3|
|BIOL 400+ (Major Requirement)7||3||BIOL 400+ (Major Requirement)7||3|
|Elective (Total Hours) (Elective hours vary depending on which PHSX is taken)||2-3||Elective (Total Hours)||3|
|Goal 4.2 Global Awareness||3||BIOL 599 (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)6||1|
|MATH 365, BIOL 570, or PSYC 210 (General Science Requirement)3||3-4||BIOL 430 (Major Requirement)6||3|
|BIOL 400+ (Major Requirement)7||1||BIOL 400+ (Major Requirement)7||3|
|BIOL 601 (Major Requirement)4||2||Elective (300+, if needed) (Total Hours)||3|
|BIOL 419, 420, 421, or 701 (Major Requirement)7||2||Elective (Total Hours)||3|
|Elective (Total Hours)||3||Elective (Total Hours)||3|
|Total Hours: 120-123|
Requires MATH ACT scores of 26+, a comparable SAT or KU Math Placement Exam score, or credit for a MATH 101 or MATH 104 equivalent course. MATH 125 can be taken instead of MATH 115 and MATH 116 to fulfill the B.S. Molecular Biosciences math requirement.
Concurrent or prior enrollment in CHEM 130 is required.
Twelve hours of BIOL 400+ level elective and seminar courses, including at least 2 hours of seminar/topics course (BIOL 419, BIOL 420, BIOL 421, BIOL 701). No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423 and/or BIOL 424 (combined) can be applied towards the elective requirements.
All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete 120 total hours of which 45 hours must be at the Jr/Sr (300+) level.
The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.
Undergraduate majors are eligible to graduate with honors in biology if they fulfill the following requirements:
- Complete all course work required for the appropriate degree in biology.
- Achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 overall and 3.5 in the major.
- Complete BIOL 499 Introduction to Honors Research with a grade of B or higher.
- Complete BIOL 699 Biology Honors Research Colloquium with a grade of B or higher.
- Complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in an area appropriate to the degree sought.
- 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.
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.