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BA in Biological Sciences

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) curriculum is designed for students who want to pursue a career in a health-related profession (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine) or those interested in training in an allied health field (dental hygiene, medical and research technology, nursing, pharmacy or physical therapy). The B.A. is also appropriate for students wanting to combine another area of study—such as education, environmental studies, law, or science writing—with a solid background in biology.

Students who after graduation will be looking for a job as a research technician or who will pursue further graduate level training in science (either M.S. or Ph.D.) should consider following the curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.


NOTE: This is not a complete list of requirements. See the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for a full listing of requirements for this program, and for information about research opportunities, the Biological Sciences Tutorial Center, and Student Organizations.

Download the B.A. in Biological Sciences Requirements Worksheet from the Forms & Links Page

Course requirements

Biology Core (18 credits)

  • BIOL 141 Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms
  • BIOL 142 Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution
  • BIOL 302 Molecular and General Genetics
  • BIOL 303 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 300L Experimental Biology Laboratory

Biology Electives (9-10 credits)

Elective 1 – Choose one
  • BIOL 275 Microbiology
  • BIOL 251 and BIOL 252 Human Anatomy and Physiology (must take both)
  • BIOL 304 Plant Biology
  • BIOL 305 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 306 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 307 Human Physiology
  • BIOL 313 Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 430 Biological Chemistry
  • BIOL 442 Developmental Biology
  • Any BIOL 4XX (except BIOL 422L, 495, 497H, 499 or 499H)
  • BINF 395 Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • GES 406 Aquatic Ecology
  • GES 408 Field Ecology
  • GES 413 Seminar in Biogeography
Elective 2 – Choose one
  • Any BIOL 4XX (except BIOL 422L, 442, 495, 497H, 499 or 499H)
Lab Elective – Choose one
  • Any BIOL 3XXL (Except BIOL 300L)

Chemistry (12 credits)

  • CHEM 101 Principles of Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102 Principles of Chemistry II
  • CHEM 102L Introductory Chemistry Lab I
  • CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry I

Physics (8 credits)

  • Physics 111 Basic Physics I (or PHYS 121)
  • Physics 112 Basic Physics II (or PHYS 122)

Mathematics (3 credits)

  • MATH 151 Calculus & Analytical Geometry or MATH 155 Elementary Calculus
  • STAT 350 Statistics with Applications

B.A. grade requirements

A majority of the required BIOLOGY courses must be completed in residence at UMBC (four of eight). In fulfilling major requirements in the biological sciences, a student must obtain a grade of “C” or better in all required BIOLOGY (BIOL) courses. In addition, an overall “C” average or better in all required science/math courses must be achieved for graduation with a degree in biological sciences.

Legacy B.A. in Biological Sciences (for pre-Fall 2010 students)

If you enrolled in college for the first time before Fall 2010 you may be following an earlier version of our B.A. curriculum.  The requirements are found here –  pre-Fall 2010 B.A. curriculum – however some classes required in that curriculum are no longer available.  Students pursuing a legacy degree can transfer to one of the new degree programs by filing a Change of Major Form which can be found on the Registrar’s web site.