BS with a Major in Biological Sciences

Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete university, college, and departmental degree requirements. The Department of Biological Sciences degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies.

Summary of Requirements
Required Prerequisite and Collateral Courses28-30
Major Requirements36
General Education and Electives to reach minimum Total Hours54-56
Total Hours120

General Education

See General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for information on meeting these requirements. Students should consult the course lists below and their advisors to determine which courses are counted toward the General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline requirements.

Required Prerequisite and Collateral Courses

Required Courses
Select one of the following math courses:4
Calculus for the Life Sciences a,b
Calculus I a,b,c
Introduction to Statistics for the Life Sciences
Select one of the following sequences in physics:8-10
General Physics I (Mechanics) b,c
General Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism) b,c
OR
Introductory Physics I - Lecture b,d
Introductory Physics I - Laboratory b,d
Introductory Physics II - Lecture b,d
Introductory Physics II - Laboratory b,d
Select one of the following sequences in general chemistry:10
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry I b
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry II b
OR
General Chemistry I Lecture c
General Chemistry Laboratory I c,e
General Chemistry II Lecture c
General Chemistry Laboratory II c,e
CHEM 232Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
Total Hours28-30
a

MATH 170 and MATH 180 fulfill the LAS Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

b

This course is approved for the Analyzing the Natural World General Education category.

c

MATH 180 and MATH 181 are recommended for students planning advance work in population biology and required for enrollment in PHYS 141 and PHYS 142

d

Each of the following pairs will be considered one course in meeting the LAS General Education requirements: PHYS 105/PHYS 106 and PHYS 107/PHYS 108.

e

General Education credit is given for successful completion of both CHEM 122 and CHEM 123 or CHEM 124 and CHEM 125.

Major Requirements

Of the 36 semester hours for the major, no more than 10 hours may be at the 100-level and at least 5 hours must be at the 300-level or above, excluding BIOS 391 and BIOS 399.

Required Courses
BIOS 100Biology of Cells and Organisms a5
BIOS 101Biology of Populations and Communities a5
BIOS 220Mendelian and Molecular Genetics3
BIOS 221Genetics Laboratory b3
BIOS 222Cell Biology3
BIOS 230Ecology and Evolution3
BIOS 240Principles of Animal Physiology3
Select at least two laboratory courses from the following list, assuming all prerequisites have been met: c4-10
Cell Biology Laboratory
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology
Developmental Biology Laboratory
Molecular Biology Laboratory
Vertebrate Embryology
General Ecology Laboratory
Animal Behavior Laboratory
Microbiology Laboratory
Advanced Mammalian Physiology
Additional courses at the 200-level or above, chosen with the consent of an advisor, to bring the total to 36 semester hours in biological sciences. No more than 5 hours of independent study and research courses may be applied to the minimum hours required for the major.1-7
Total Hours36
a

This course is approved for the Analyzing the Natural World General Education category.

b

BIOS 221 fulfills the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement.

c

Students who complete KN 251 and KN 252, or an advanced-level course equivalent to KN 252, may request that KN 252 be substituted for one required biological sciences laboratory course.

Recommended Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts 3
MATH 180
Calculus I a
or Calculus for the Life Sciences
or Introduction to Statistics for the Life Sciences
4
Select one of the following: 5
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry I  
General Chemistry I Lecture
and General Chemistry Laboratory I b
 
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research 3
Select one of the following: 5
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry II  
General Chemistry II Lecture
and General Chemistry Laboratory II b
 
General Education Requirement course 3
Elective 3
 Hours14
Second Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry I 4
BIOS 100
Biology of Cells and Organisms b
or Biology of Populations and Communities
5
Foreign Language 4
Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring Semester
BIOS 100
Biology of Cells and Organisms b
or Biology of Populations and Communities
5
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours14
Third Year
Fall Semester
BIOS 222 Cell Biology 3
BIOS lab course or Electives c 2-5
PHYS 105
PHYS 106
Introductory Physics I - Lecture b
or General Physics I (Mechanics)
4-5
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours16-20
Spring Semester
BIOS 220 Mendelian and Molecular Genetics 3
BIOS 230 Ecology and Evolution 3
PHYS 107
PHYS 108
Introductory Physics II - Lecture b
or General Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism)
4-5
BIOS lab course or Electives c 2-5
Foreign Language 4
 Hours16-20
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
BIOS 221 Genetics Laboratory 3
BIOS 240 Principles of Animal Physiology 3
General Education Requirement course 3
Electives 6
 Hours15
Spring Semester
BIOS lab courses or Electives c 1-7
Electives 13
 Hours14-20
 Total Hours120
a

MATH 170, MATH 180, or STAT 130, individually, will satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement with a grade of C or better.

b

The Analyzing the Natural World and the two additional general education course requirements can be satisfied with four courses chosen from PHYS 105/PHYS 106, PHYS 107/PHYS 108, PHYS 141, PHYS 142, BIOS 100, BIOS 101 and/or CHEM 122/CHEM 123 and CHEM 124/CHEM 125.

c

Students must take 11 additional hours, including two laboratory courses and Biological Science electives, chosen in consultation with a Biological Sciences advisor. Five of these 11 credit hours must be taken at the 300-400 level (excluding BIOS 391 and BIOS 399).