Requirements for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology HEGIS CODE: 160401
*Effective 8/20/2012 - The Biology Department has created fillable, .PDF format BIOLOGY MAJOR PRE-DECLARATION FORMS, BS CHECKLISTS (with BS Planning Guide), and GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDES which can be filled in on your computer and then printed. The Biology Department would prefer that you complete these forms on your computer and print them for increased legibility. If you do not have access to a printer, paper forms are still available in the Biology Main Office (Gilmer Hall, Room 229).
BIOLOGY MAJOR PRE-DECLARATION FORM
BIOLOGY BS CHECKLIST
GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDE
The BS degree is intended for students who wish to pursue a very intensive program of study in the biological sciences. It is primarily intended for students who plan to seek largely technical careers in the biological sciences immediately after graduation and do not plan to pursue graduate studies. In contrast to the BA degree, the significantly greater number of science courses required for the BS degree makes it extremely difficult for students to pursue a double major or minor in another discipline. Completion of the BS degree does not necessarily confer a competitive advantage for students considering applying to either medical or graduate programs.
New Eligibility Requirement to Declare the BS Degree in Biology
(effective January 1, 2012)
In order to declare the BS degree in Biology, students are required to have first completed all three core courses, BIOL 3000 (Cell Biology), BIOL 3010 (Genetics & Molecular Biology), and BIOL 3020 (Evolution & Ecology) at UVA and have attained a 2.700 cumulative GPA (B- average) for these three courses. This is an overall GPA requirement for the 3 core courses, not an individual course grade requirement. Students must also have attained a 2.000 cumulative GPA at UVA and be in good academic standing prior to declaring the BS degree in Biology. All students who meet this eligibility after completing the 3 core courses at UVA can change their BA declaration to the BS degree.
New BS Degree Declaration Process
(effective January 1, 2012)
Students seeking to declare the BS degree in Biology should first complete the “Biology B.S. Degree Requirement Checklist” indicating that they have satisfied the eligibility requirements for the BS degree, specifically indicating the grades received in BIOL 3000, 3010 and 3020, and the “Biology Major Pre-Declaration Form” , and submit these forms to the Biology Department’s Front Desk for review. Students will then be assigned a major advisor based on their interests and academic plans.
Students must enroll in either a major program offered by one of the departments or an interdepartmental program before the last day of classes in the fourth semester; the program must be approved by an official major advisor. No student is permitted to enroll as a full-time student beyond the fifth semester without being in a major.
Students who transfer as third-years must defer or declare no later than September 30. New third-year spring-term transfers must defer or declare by February 1.
BASIC DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:
Introduction to Biology
The Biology Department offers a two-semester introductory sequence of courses, BIOL 2010, 2020, 2030, and 2040. These courses are required for biology majors and partially satisfy the premedical/predental biology requirement. Biology AP Credit: Students who score at least a 4 on the AP Biology examination, or at least a 5 on upper-level examinations in the International Baccalaureate Program, will receive six credit hours for BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020. Students who have AP credit must take BIOL 2030 and 2040 or have equivalent experiences. Students with AP credit who are missing one or both of the lab equivalent experiences must take the course/s in which they do not have equivalent experience. Students with AP credit who have equivalent experiences in both courses may move on to upper-level labs. Students who have completed BME 2104 with a minimal grade of C- are exempt from taking BIOL 2010. Note, this exemption does not provide actual credit for BIOL 2010 nor does it exempt students from having to complete BIOL 2020, 2030 or 2040. BME 2104 does not count towards the 102 credits in the College required for the degree and it does not satisfy the Natural Science and Mathematics requirement for the College.
Majors are required to complete two semesters of general chemistry with lab and two semesters of organic chemistry lecture. The general chemistry requirement must be satisfied by completing CHEM 1410, 1420, 1411, and 1421. (CHEM 1810, 1820, 1811, and 1821 also satisfies this requirement). Students with AP chemistry credit for 1410 and 1420 must still complete the laboratory courses. The laboratory requirement can be met with 1411 plus 1421, 1811 plus 1821, two higher level lab courses, or the one-semester CHEM 2220 course (Solutions Chemistry). The organic chemistry lecture must be satisfied by completing two semesters of organic chemistry lecture (CHEM 2410 and 2420). Organic lab is not required, but students may need to petition the chemistry department to enroll in organic lecture without enrolling in the lab. Students anticipating a career in the biological sciences are strongly advised to also take organic chemistry with the labs (e.g., 2411, and 2421).
Math and Physics
Majors are required to complete two courses in calculus or statistics and 3 hours of physics. The calculus or statistics requirement may be met with MATH 1210, 1220, 1310, 1320, STAT 2559, 2120, 2020 or an equivalent or higher level course in another department. The physics requirement can be met with any one of the following courses: PHYS 1425, PHYS 2415, PHYS 1610, PHYS 1620, PHYS 2010, PHYS 2020. Students anticipating a career in the biological sciences are strongly advised to take two semesters of physics with lab (e.g., PHYS 2010 & 2030; PHYS 2020 & 2040)
Biology "Core" Course Requirements
New Biology “Core” Course Requirements
(effective January 1, 2012)
Majors are required to have first completed all three core courses, BIOL 3000 (Cell Biology), BIOL 3010 (Genetics & Molecular Biology), and BIOL 3020 (Evolution & Ecology) at UVA and have attained a 2.700 cumulative GPA (B- average) for these three courses. This is an overall GPA requirement for the 3 core courses, not an individual course grade requirement. Students must have completed all three core courses before they will be allowed to declare a B.S. in Biology.
Old Biology “Core” Course Requirements:
Majors are required to complete BIOL 3000 (Cell Biology), BIOL 3010 (Genetics & Molecular Biology), and BIOL 3020 (Evolution & Ecology). It is required that two of these courses be completed by the end of the third year, but they do not need to be taken sequentially or in any specific order. Students with AP credit for BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020, but who have not started taking introductory chemistry, are encouraged to take BIOL 3020 during the spring semester of their first year as it is the only core course that does not require CHEM 1410/1420. EXCEPTION for Transfer Students Only: Transfer students entering in their third year do not have to complete two Core courses during their third year.
Biology Laboratory Course Requirements
Majors are required to complete at least 6 hours (two 3-credit courses) of BIOL laboratory course work at or above the 3000 level for the B.S. degree. "Formal" laboratory courses either offered through the Biology department or taught at the Mountain Lake Biological station can be used to satisfy this requirement. Laboratory courses offered by other departments, unless cross-listed as BIOL courses, cannot be used to satisfy the laboratory requirement. The requirement for one laboratory course, can also be satisfied by completing two semesters of independent research (BIOL 4911 & 4912) conducted under the direction of the same faculty mentor. Completion of a third semester of independent research (BIOL 4913) conducted under the direction of the same faculty mentor can satisfy the requirement for the second laboratory course.
Upper-Level Biology Course Requirements
Majors are required to complete a total of 33 hours of upper-level (3000 or above) biology courses. The three core courses (BIOL 3000, 3010, 3020) and the required laboratory courses are included in these minimum 33 hours. B.S. students must complete a minimum of four 400-level biology courses of at least 3 credits each. The required 4000 level lab course, independent research and 4000-level courses from the departments of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences (subject to the restrictions outlined below) may all be applied to this 4000-level course requirement. Up to 6 of the 33 upper level credits required for majors may be taken from the following two options outside the Biology Department:
1. Students who complete both CHEM 4410 and CHEM 4420 may apply 4 credits toward the upper-level Biology courses.
2. Courses offered by the Environmental Sciences Department including EVSC 3200/3201 (Fundamentals of Ecology) and upper level (4000+) courses that have EVSC 3200 as a prerequisite may count toward the upper level Biology courses. Students may petition the Biology Undergraduate Committee to have credit for other biologically oriented courses in Environmental Sciences count toward the Biology major.
Biology 3585, 3950, and 4911-4918 No more than 6 semester hours of credit toward the Biology major may be awarded for any combination of research courses, including 3585, 3950, and 4911-4918. Each semester of independent research contributes 2 credits towards the major up to a maximum of 6 credits (3 semesters). Additional semesters of BIOL 4911-4918, can be applied as elective college credit. Completion of two semesters of BIOL 4911-4918 under the direction of the same faculty mentor satisfies one of the two lab course requirements for the BS degree. Completion of a third semester of BIOL 4911-4918 under the direction of the same faculty mentor satisfies the second lab course requirement.
Grade Point Average
The overall GPA for courses presented for the B.S. degree must be at least 2.000. These courses consist of: BIOL 3000, BIOL 3010, BIOL 3020; the two courses (or three semesters of independent research) used to satisfy the two laboratory course requirements; your "best" remaining 3000 level or higher elective BIOL courses up to a total of 33 credit hours.