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B.S. in Biological Sciences

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) curriculum is appropriate for students desiring a focused, in-depth grounding in all the essential elements of the biological sciences, and is particularly suitable for students intending to pursue graduate study in biology or in the health sciences. It also prepares students to function effectively in a variety of technical and laboratory research settings.

 

NOTE: This is not a complete list of requirements. See the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for a full listing of requirements for this program.

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

 

Course Requirements

Biology (35 credits)

Core courses
  • 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
Elective courses (four lecture, two laboratory)
  • One Column A elective
  • One Column B elective
  • One Column A or B elective
  • One BIOL 4XX Lecture course (except BIOL 430, 442, 495, 497H, 499 or 499H)
  • Two Upper Level Laboratory electives
Column A electives
  • BIOL 275 Microbiology
  • 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
  • BIOL 495 Seminar in Bioinformatics
Column B electives
  • Any BIOL 4XX lecture course (except BIOL 430, 442, 495, 497H, 499 or 499H)
  • CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry II and CHEM 352L Organic Chemistry Lab II (must take both)
  • CHEM 437 Comprehensive Biochemistry I
  • CHEM 438 Comprehensive Biochemistry II
  • GES 406 Aquatic Ecology
  • GES 408 Field Ecology
  • GES 413 Seminar in Biogeography
Laboratory electives
  • Any BIOL 3XX Lab course (except BIOL 300L)

Chemistry (15 credits)

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

Physics (8 credits)

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

Mathematics & Statistics (8 credits)

  • MATH 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • STAT 350 Statistics with Applications or STAT 355 Intro to Probability and Statistics for Scientists/Engineers
  • MATH/STAT/CMSC elective
MATH/STAT/CMSC elective (take one of the following)
  • MATH 152 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
  • MATH 221 Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • STAT 414 Environmental Statistics
  • STAT 420 Statistics for Bioinformatics
  • STAT 454 Applied Statistics
  • CMSC 104 Problem Solving and Computer Programming
  • CMSC 201 Computer Science I for Majors

A student planning to complete the B.S. major in Biological Sciences should begin a first course in chemistry during the first semester of the freshman year. The mathematics sequence should also be started as soon as possible.

Notes for BIOL B.S.

  1. Students must earn a “C” or better in all major courses AND course prerequisites.
  2. At least half of the required BIOL courses and electives must be completed in residence: for the BIOL B.S. at least six of eleven BIOL classes must be taken at UMBC.
  3. At least one BIOL 4XX lecture course must be taken at UMBC (NOTE: BIOL 430, 442, 495, 497 and 499 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement for the BIOL B.S.)
  4. Students may substitute CHEM 352 and CHEM 352L (must take both) for one Column B course
  5. Students may substitute PHYS 121 for PHYS 111, and PHYS 122 for PHYS 112, but should note that PHYS 121/122 may not satisfy some professional school admission requirements.
  6. Students who are performing independent research in the laboratory of a Biological Sciences faculty member (BIOL dept only) may substitute that research experience for one upper level laboratory elective by registering for two semesters of BIOL 499 (four credits total) and one semester of BIOL 499L. This rule applies to the BIOL B.S. degree only.
  7. Students who are BIOC (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) majors who wish to also pursue a BIOL B.S. degree may use Core BIOL, CHEM, MATH and PHYS courses from the BIOC major towards the BIOL degree, but MUST take separate electives for the two degrees (ie., no ‘double-dipping for the electives).
  8. Under exceptional circumstances, the Department may waive or alter a BIOL major requirement. Students seeking to petition for a waiver must consult with their academic adviser, then may submit a ‘Petition for Waiver/Substitution of Program Requirements’ form, found here:
    Waiver petition form
  9. Biologically-relevant 4XX level courses from other departments may be acceptable as a ‘Column B’ elective for the BIOL BS degree. Prior approval from the Biological Sciences Department Undergraduate Committee is required, using the petition form indicated above. Such courses may not be used for the BIOL 4XX elective requirement.

Legacy B.S. 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.S. curriculum. The requirements are found here –  pre-Fall 2010 B.S. 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.