Academics: Majors and Programs

Biology Major Requirements

A major in biology consists of 42 semester hours of coursework in biology. The course of study for the major in biology (B.S.) is described below.

Required Courses

Bio 110 - Biological Communities, Evolution and Biodiversity, (4)
Bio 115 - Organismal Form and Function (4)
Bio 120 - Cellular Biology (4)
Bio 125 - Molecular Biology (4)
Bio 285 - Sophomore Seminar (1)
Bio 485 - Senior Seminar (1)

Elective Courses

Students must complete a total of 24 elective credits in biology, including at least one course from each of four organizational levels (Population, Organismal, Cellular and Molecular), and at least one course from each of three skills emphases (Literacy, Experimental, Analytical/technical). Elective courses designated in each of these categories will be published prior to registration each semester. 

Elective credits may also be filled by other appropriate courses such as:

  1. upper level biology courses (300 or higher) at other AUC institutions
  2. up to 4 hours of coursework in other disciplines relevant to biology training (examples might include History of Medicine, Biostatistics, Biomedical Ethics, Epidemiology, etc).
  3. up to 4 hours of elective credit through independent research, Bio 487, with approval of a faculty supervisor and the department chair.

All biology electives taken outside of the biology department or at AUC institutions must receive prior approval from the department chair.

Cognate Courses:

Biology majors must complete the following cognate courses with a grade of C or better:


One year of general chemistry with lab (CHE 111, CHE 111L, CHE 112, CHE 112L)
One year of organic chemistry with lab (CHE 231, CHE 233L, CHE 232, CHE 234L)


Two semesters of mathematics selected from the following: MAT 211, MAT 212, MAT 205.


One year of general physics with lab (PHY 111, PHY 112)

Computer Science

One semester of Computer Science for science major