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BS 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, and for information about research opportunities, the Biological Sciences Tutorial Center, and Student Organizations.

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
  • A Column A elective
  • A Column B 4XX elective
  • Any Column B elective
  • A Column A or B elective
  • An Upper Level Laboratory elective
  • An Upper Level Laboratory elective
Column A electives
  • BIOL 275 Microbiology
  • BIOL 304 Plant Biology
  • BIOL 305 Comparative Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 430 Biological Chemistry
  • BIOL 442 Developmental Biology
  • BINF 395 Introduction to Bioinformatics
Column B electives
  • Any BIOL 4XX (except BIOL 422L, 430, 442, 495, 497H, 499 or 499H)
  • CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry II and CHEM 352L Organic Chemistry Lab II (must take both)
  • GES 406 Aquatic Ecology
  • GES 408 Field Ecology
  • GES 413 Seminar in Biogeography

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
  • MATH/STAT/CMSC elective

MATH/STAT/CMSC electives (take at least 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.

B.S. grade requirements

A majority of the required BIOLOGY courses (at least six) must be completed in residence at UMBC. 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.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.