Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    May 15, 2021  
Courses of Study 2020-2021

General Biology

In the Biological Sciences program .

In addition to the concentration requirements outlined below, all students must complete the Biological Sciences foundation requirements:

The General Biology concentration provides an opportunity for students who wish to explore several biological disciplines instead of concentrating on only one specific area of biology for in-depth study. Students obtain a breadth of knowledge by taking coursework from at least three different concentrations and are exposed to advanced topics by taking a minimum of two upper-level courses. Laboratory coursework beyond the core course required for the major must also be completed.

General Biology is a particularly good choice for students whose interests lie within more than one established concentration. It also is an appropriate program for students who are not ready to select one focused area for study, by providing guidelines for students who are trying to identify an area of interest. Students in the General Biology concentration are advised by faculty in any of the biology departments. The flexibility of the concentration allows virtually endless combinations of courses to satisfy the requirements, limited only by the scope of the student’s interests and creativity in designing a course of study.

This concentration provides a suitable background for students who desire to continue their studies in human or veterinary medicine, or in graduate-level study in biology (most likely in the area the student focuses on for advanced study). It is also ideal preparation for careers in teaching, business, or law requiring broad knowledge of the field of biology.

General Biology Requirements

  • All requirements need to be taken for letter grade unless the course is offered S/U only.  Exceptions need to be approved by the student’s faculty advisor via the Biological Sciences petition.
  • A grade of D- or better must be obtained to count course for concentration.
  • A minimum of 13 credits of concentration requirements.


The concentration in general biology requires a minimum of 13 credit hours in addition to courses counted toward requirements 1–9 in Concentrations and Requirements. These 13 credits must include:


One course from each of three different concentrations in biology. Only those courses specifically listed as fulfilling a concentration requirement are acceptable. Any course substitutions must be approved by the students faculty advisor.


A laboratory course, a field course or a course with a laboratory component. BIOG 1500  and BIOMG 2801  do not fulfill this requirement. Many courses may be used, including but not limited to: BIOG 4990 , BIOAP 4130 , BIOEE 2740 , BIOMI 2911 , BIOMG 4400 , BIONB 3240 , BIONB 4300 , NS 3420 PLBIO 2410  . Other courses may be used and students should seek approval from their faculty advisor for the course they plan to use to fulfill this requirement.


A minimum of two upper-level (3000 and above) courses of 2 or more credits each listed for any of the other 13 concentrations with a significant biology content (students should seek approval from faculty advisor).


In general, students should select courses that qualify for the other 13 concentrations to fulfill the Gen Bio requirements. However, students can discuss other courses with significant biology content with their faculty advisor and if the advisor feels the course is appropriate given the student’s interests or goals, the faculty advisor can approve it toward any of the Gen Bio requirements as they deem appropriate.

Only 1000-level courses that are currently approved for other concentrations can be used toward fulfilling requirements. BIOG 2990  and BIOG 4980  are not acceptable for meeting any requirements. BIOG 4990  (minimum of 2 credits, but no more than 3 credits) may count as one of the upper-level courses and may count as the laboratory course with approval of faculty advisor, but it cannot count as a course representing a concentration.

CHEM 2510 , Introduction to Experimental Organic Chemistry, may count as a concentration course (category A) and toward the overall 13 credits, but not count toward the General Biology laboratory requirement (category B).

It is possible to use a single course to fulfill more than one requirement. For example, BIOAP 4130 - Histology: The Biology of the Tissues  could count in all three areas: as a course in the Animal Physiology Concentration, as an upper-level course, and as a course with a lab.

Course Offerings in General Biology

  A complete list of BIOG courses