Biology (BS)

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This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2018–Spring 2019 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Bachelor of Science in Biology (BIOLBS CEL; BIOLBS ECO; BIOLBS GEN)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Department: Biology

Program Information

There are two undergraduate degree programs offered in the Biology Department, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology. 

Bachelor of Science degrees are designed so that students get a particularly strong background in their area of interest in biology, cell/physiology, or ecology, but still have some flexibility to take courses of interest. Compared to the BA degree, the BS degree requires more science, both in biology and in another field (physics or geosciences), a specific calculus course, and one less course in a foreign language.  Each of the tracks in the BS degree also requires courses specific to the field of interest. BS degrees are valuable for students wanting to find employment in a biological field without further formal education, for students planning to attend graduate or professional school, and for students who hope to become teachers. 

Completion of this degree requires work to be submitted for the department’s Learning Outcomes Measurement. For details, contact the department.

Degree Summary

General Education Requirements 131
(10 hours of General Education requirements may be satisfied through coursework required by the degree program)
College/School Requirements13-15
Program/Major Requirements 164-70
Track Requirements23-45
Minimum Total Hours121

Specific coursework information can be found on the Degree Requirements tab.


Accelerated BA-BS/MS in Biology

Students who wish to pursue an accelerated non-thesis master's degree in Biology (BA-BS/MS) will be allowed to apply up to nine (9) hours of coursework taken for graduate credit while enrolled as an undergraduate. An additional twenty-four (24) hours of graduate coursework will constitute the minimum number of credit hours for obtaining the non-thesis masters in the accelerated program.


Early Start Program (Jointly with the College of Education and Human Development)

The Master of Arts in Teaching program in conjunction with the undergraduate programs in Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics offers a comprehensive and professionally-focused program leading to an additional degree of MAT Middle or Secondary Education. This early start program enables superior students to receive two degrees within five years. A total of 148 credits are required for the dual degrees: 121 credits of coursework devoted toward the baccalaureate degree and 36 credits toward the MAT, with nine hours double-counted. This program will be available for students who are entering their junior year. They may take graduate level courses in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) in their 4th year of study.

The current qualifications for the joint degree program have been agreed upon by discipline faculty from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Development. The criteria vary by discipline. Students enrolling in the accelerated program will be non-thesis students and must adhere to all policies pertaining to Graduate Students. All interested students must submit an application to the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) MAT program and meet the admission criteria.

Departmental Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Science in Biology requires the following: 

  • Completion of BIOL 240, BIOL 242 and BIOL 244 with a grade of C or better
  • Completion of MATH 111 with a grade of C or better OR placement into a mathematics course above the level of MATH 111 on the basis of either the University of Louisville mathematics placement examination or ACT/SAT score
  • A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. 

The Application for Major form can be found on the Arts & Sciences Advising Center website: louisville.edu/artsandsciences/advising/apply.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements *31
The following courses are required by the program and can satisfy the respective General Education Requirement:
BIOL 240Unity of Life - S3
BIOL 244Principles of Biology Laboratory - SL2
MATH 205Calculus I - QR4
CHEM 201General Chemistry I - S3

*All degrees require the completion of the University-wide General Education Program (link provided above).  To complete the degree in the minimum number of hours listed on the Overview tab, some hours from the General Education Requirements must be satisfied by courses defined by the unit and/or program. If additional hours taken within the program also satisfy General Education requirements, students may need to take additional electives to satisfy the minimum hours required for the degree. 

College/School Requirements

Arts & Sciences Requirements
GEN 100Student Success Center Orientation1
or GEN 101 Arts and Sciences Orientation
Foreign Language 16-8
Electives in Humanities or Social Sciences at the 300-level or above 26
WR - two approved courses at the 300 level or above 3
Minimum Total Hours13-15

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Biology
BIOL 240Unity of Life - S 43
BIOL 242Diversity of Life3
BIOL 244Principles of Biology Laboratory - SL 42
BIOL 329Cellular and Molecular Biology3
BIOL 330Genetics and Molecular Biology3
BIOL 331Genetics and Molecular Biology: Laboratory2
BIOL 363Principles of Ecology3
BIOL 409Evolutionary Biology (CUE)3
Completion of one of the tracks15-30
Biology Electives (to reach a minimum total of 48 hours in Biology) 512-14
Supporting Courses
MATH 205Calculus I - QR 44
BIOL 350Biostatistics (or advisor-approved statistics course)3
CHEM 201General Chemistry I - S 43
CHEM 202General Chemistry II - S3
CHEM 207
CHEM 208
Introduction to Chemical Analysis I - SL
Introduction to Chemical Analysis II - SL
2
CHEM 209Introduction to Chemical Analysis III1
CHEM 341Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 343Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
Electives 6(varies)
Minimum Total Hours55-57

Only 60 hours in the major department may be applied toward the Bachelor of Arts Degree.

At least 50 of the total minimum hours required must be at the 300 level or above. 

Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing one of the following:
Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research (WR)
Evolutionary Biology
Biology of the Cell
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
Global Change Ecology
Developmental Biology
Microbial Physiology
Biology Internship
Medicinal Plant Biochemistry
Experimental Design and Analysis

BS in Biology Tracks

Track in Genetics/Subcellular (BIOLBS GEN)

Organic Chemistry
CHEM 342
CHEM 344
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
Track Requirements
Select 3-4 hours from the following:3-4
Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research (WR)
Biotechnology Methods
BIOL 415Biology of the Cell 3
or BIOL 542 Gene Structure and Function
BIOL 540Intermediary Metabolism3
or CHEM 445 Survey of Biochemistry
Select one of the following:3-4
General Microbiology
Microbiology Laboratory
Histology
Developmental Biology
Principles of Physiology
Supporting Courses
Select one of the following sequences:6-8
Fundamentals of Physics I - S
Fundamentals of Physics II - S
Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL
Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL
OR
Geology for Scientists and Engineers
Geomorphology
AND select one from the following:
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Climate Science
Biogeography
Minimum Total Hours23-27

Track in Cellular/Physiology (BIOLBS CEL)

Organic Chemistry
CHEM 342
CHEM 344
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
Track Requirements
BIOL 465Principles of Physiology3
Select 3 courses from the following:9-12
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
General Microbiology
Microbiology Laboratory
Histology
Evolutionary Biology
Biology of the Cell
Endocrinology
Evolutionary Medicine
Chronic Disease Biology
BIOL 540Intermediary Metabolism3
or CHEM 445 Survey of Biochemistry
Supporting Courses
Select one of the following sequences: 6-8
Fundamentals of Physics I - S
Fundamentals of Physics II - S
Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL
Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL
OR
Geology for Scientists and Engineers
Geomorphology
AND select one from the following:
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Climate Science
Biogeography
Minimum Total Hours26-31

Track in Ecology (BIOLBS ECO)

Ecology Core Curriculum:
BIOL 401Advanced Ecology3
BIOL 562Ecosystems Ecology3
BIOL 563Population and Community Ecology3
Select at least one course from each of the following three categories:
Plant Ecology3
Plant Biology
Plant Taxonomy & Ecology
Chemical Ecology
Animal Ecology3
Vertebrate Zoology
Animal Behavior
Entomology
Ornithology
Environmental Physiology
Systems and Evolutionary Ecology3
Evolutionary Ecology of Disease
Global Change Ecology
Ecology of Urban and Suburban Landscapes
Conservation Biology
Select two additional courses from any of the three categories above6
Biology electives at the 300 level or above6
Supporting Courses
PHYS 221
PHYS 222
PHYS 223
PHYS 224
Fundamentals of Physics I - S
Fundamentals of Physics II - S
Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL
Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL
8
Select any two of the following options:6-7
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Geology for Scientists and Engineers
Climate Science
Biogeography
Geomorphology
Urban Demography and GIS
Minimum Total Hours44-45

Flight Plan


Track in Genetics/Subcellular

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
BIOL 240 Unity of Life - S 3
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
CHEM 207 Introduction to Chemical Analysis I - SL 1
CHEM 208 Introduction to Chemical Analysis II - SL 1
 Hours15-16
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
BIOL 242 Diversity of Life 3
BIOL 244 Principles of Biology Laboratory - SL 2
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
CHEM 209 Introduction to Chemical Analysis III 1
 Hours15-16
Year 2
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
CHEM 341 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 343 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
BIOL 329 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
 Hours15
Spring
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
CHEM 342 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 344 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
BIOL 330 Genetics and Molecular Biology 3
BIOL 331 Genetics and Molecular Biology: Laboratory 2
 Hours16
Year 3
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
PHYS 221
Fundamentals of Physics I - S
or Geology for Scientists and Engineers
3
PHYS 223 Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL ( (if taking PHYS 221)) 1
BIOL 363 Principles of Ecology 3
Select one of the following: 3-4
Undergraduate Research  
Undergraduate Research (WR)  
Biotechnology Methods  
 Hours15-16
Spring
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
BIOL 350 Biostatistics 3
Select one or two of the following as appropriate: 3-4
Fundamentals of Physics II - S  
Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL ( (only if taking PHYS 222))  
Climate Science  
Introduction to Remote Sensing  
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems  
BIOL 465 Principles of Physiology 3
BIOL 415
Biology of the Cell
or Gene Structure and Function
3
 Hours15-16
Year 4
Fall
BIOL 409 Evolutionary Biology 3
CHEM 445
Survey of Biochemistry
or Intermediary Metabolism
3
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
Biology Electives 6
 Hours15
Spring
Select one or two of the following as appropriate: 3-4
General Microbiology  
Microbiology Laboratory ( (only if taking BIOL 357))  
Histology  
Developmental Biology  
Biology Elective 3-4
Biology Elective 3-4
Humanities or Social Science Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15-18
 Minimum Total Hours121-128

Track in Cellular/Physiology

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
BIOL 240 Unity of Life - S 3
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
CHEM 207 Introduction to Chemical Analysis I - SL 1
CHEM 208 Introduction to Chemical Analysis II - SL 1
 Hours16
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
BIOL 242 Diversity of Life 3
BIOL 244 Principles of Biology Laboratory - SL 2
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
CHEM 209 Introduction to Chemical Analysis III 1
 Hours16
Year 2
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
BIOL 329 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
CHEM 341 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 343 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
 Hours15
Spring
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
BIOL 330 Genetics and Molecular Biology 3
BIOL 331 Genetics and Molecular Biology: Laboratory 2
CHEM 342 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 344 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
Biology Elective 3
 Hours16
Year 3
Fall
BIOL 363 Principles of Ecology 3
BIOL 540
Intermediary Metabolism
or Survey of Biochemistry
3
Select one or two of the following as appropriate 3-4
Fundamentals of Physics I - S  
Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL (only if taking PHYS 221)  
Geology for Scientists and Engineers  
Geomorphology  
Humanities or Social Science WR Course (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
 Hours16
Spring
BIOL 350
Biostatistics
or Statistics for Psychology
3
BIOL 465 Principles of Physiology 3
Cellular/Physiology Track Course 3-4
Select one or two of the following as appropriate: 3-4
Fundamentals of Physics II - S  
Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL (only if taking PHYS 222)  
Climate Science  
Biogeography  
Introduction to Remote Sensing  
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems  
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
 Hours15-17
Year 4
Fall
BIOL 409 Evolutionary Biology 3
Cellular/Physiology Track Course 3-4
Biology Electives 6
General elective 3
 Hours15-16
Spring
Cellular/Physiology Track Course 3-4
Biology Elective 3-4
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
Humanities or Social Science WR Course (300 level or above) 3
 Hours12-14
 Minimum Total Hours121-126

Track in Ecology

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
CHEM 207 Introduction to Chemical Analysis I - SL 1
CHEM 208 Introduction to Chemical Analysis II - SL 1
BIOL 240 Unity of Life - S 3
 Hours15-16
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
CHEM 209 Introduction to Chemical Analysis III 1
BIOL 242 Diversity of Life 3
BIOL 244 Principles of Biology Laboratory - SL 2
 Hours15-16
Year 2
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
BIOL 329 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
Ecology Supporting Course (one of the following): 3-4
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
 
Introduction to Remote Sensing  
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems  
Geology for Scientists and Engineers  
Climate Science  
Biogeography  
Geomorphology  
Urban Demography and GIS  
 Hours13-14
Spring
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
CHEM 342 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 344 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
BIOL 330 Genetics and Molecular Biology 3
BIOL 331 Genetics and Molecular Biology: Laboratory 2
 Hours16
Year 3
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
BIOL 363 Principles of Ecology 3
Plant, Animal, or Systems and Evolutionary Ecology elective 1 3
PHYS 221 Fundamentals of Physics I - S 3
PHYS 223 Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL (only if taking PHYS 221) 1
 Hours16
Spring
BIOL 350
Biostatistics
or Statistics for Psychology
3
Plant, Animal, or Systems and Evolutionary Ecology elective 2 3
Biology elective (300 level or above) 3
Ecology elective 1 3
PHYS 222 Fundamentals of Physics II - S 3
PHYS 224 Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL (only if taking PHYS 222)) 1
 Hours16
Year 4
Fall
BIOL 401 Advanced Ecology 3
BIOL 402 Advanced Ecology Lab 2
BIOL 409 Evolutionary Biology 3
Plant, Animal, or Systems and Evolutionary Ecology elective 3 3
Biology elective (300 level or above) 3-4
Humanities/Social Science Elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours17-18
Spring
BIOL 562 Ecosystems Ecology 3
BIOL 563 Population and Community Ecology 3
Ecology elective 2 3
Humanities/Social Science Elective (300 level or above) 3
Ecology Supporting Course (one of the following): 3
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
 
Introduction to Remote Sensing  
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems  
Geology for Scientists and Engineers  
Climate Science  
Biogeography  
Geomorphology  
Urban Demography and GIS  
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours123-127

Degree Audit reports illustrate how your completed courses fulfill the requirements of your academic plan.  What-if reports allow you to compare the courses you have completed in your current academic plan to the courses required in another academic plan.  For both reports, please consult with your advisor before editing your course schedule.

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  1. Log into your ULink account.
  2. Click on the Student Services tab.
  3. Next, click on "View my Academic Advisement Report" to run a Degree Audit report in the Undergraduate Advising area. 
  4. To create a What-if report, click on "Create a What-if Advisement Report."

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