Jul 20, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biological Sciences (BIOL, B.S.) 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.  In addition to the general UMBC graduation requirements, the BIOL B.S. major comprises 69 - 77 credits distributed in the following manner:


The existing lecture courses in the Biology Core are now to be considered an academic sequence in the following manner:

                            BIOL 141/BIOL 142  →   BIOL 302/BIOL 303

Specifically this means that once a student has received a passing grade in either BIOL 302 or BIOL 303, that student may not reregister for BIOL 141 or BIOL 142.

This change would affect all majors and minors that require the courses BIOL 141 and BIOL 142.

Biology Electives (17-21 credits)

  • one Column A elective
  • one Column B elective
  • one Column A or B elective
  • one Column B BIOL4XX course elective
  • two Upper Level Laboratory course electives (any BIOL 3XXL course except BIOL 300L )

Physics (8 credits)

Select one course from each sequence.

Mathematics & Statistics (11-12 credits)

BIOL B.S. additional notes:

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 for the BIOL B.S. degree (six of eleven) must be completed in residence at UMBC. 

3) Students may not use both BIOL 305   AND BIOL 307   as Column A electives.

4) Students can substitute CHEM 352  and CHEM 352L  together (must take both) for one Column B course.

5) At least one BIOL 4XX lecture course must be taken at UMBC (NOTE: BIOL 430  , BIOL 442  , BIOL 495  , BIOL 497H   and BIOL 499   cannot be used to satisfy this requirement for the BIOL BS).

6) Students may substitute PHYS 121  for PHYS 111 , and PHYS 122  for PHYS 112 , but should note that PHYS 121 /PHYS 122  may not satisfy some professional school admission requirements.

7) BIOL B.S. majors receive 33 - 43 Upper Level Credits (3XX/4XX) that may be applied to the University requirement of 45 Upper Level credits for graduation, and 69 - 77 credits toward the 120 total credits needed for graduation.

8) The Biological Sciences Department evaluates completion of major requirements based on COURSES completed, not CREDITS completed, because equivalent courses taken elsewhere may not be the same number of credits as the UMBC course they replace.

9) Students who are BIOC (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) majors who wish to also pursue a BIOL BS degree may use Core BIOL, CHEM, MATH/STAT and PHYS courses from the BIOC major towards the BIOL BS degree, but MUST take separate electives for the two degrees (ie., no ‘double-dipping’ for the electives).

10) 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:  http://www.umbc.edu/biosci/undergrad/forms.php.

11) 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 form indicated in note 10.     Such courses may not be used for the BIOL 4XX requirement.


NOTE: students who started at UMBC before 2010 may be pursuing an older version of the BIOL B.S., BIOL B.A. or BIOL minor degree program that had different requirements than those described here. A full description of these ‘legacy’ degree programs can be found on the Department’s web site.




Total: 69-77 Credits

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs