Nov 30, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences, B.A.

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Offered by Biological Sciences .

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences (BIOL B.A.) 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 business, environmental studies, law, or science writing–with a solid background in biology. In addition to the general UMBC graduation requirements, the Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences degree comprises 55 - 59 credits distributed in the following manner:


The existing lecture courses in the Biology Core is 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 re-register for BIOL 141 or BIOL 142.

Biology Electives (9-12 credits)

Elective 2 - Choose one

Any qualifying BIOL 4XX course (except BIOL 442 , BIOL 495 , BIOL 497H , BIOL 499  or lab courses)

Mathematics (4 credits)

Choose one of the following courses:

BIOL B.A. 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 B.A. degree (four of eight) must be completed in residence at UMBC.

3) Students using BIOL 251  and BIOL 252  to fulfill Elective 1 must take BOTH classes. The Anatomy & Physiology sequence only counts once for BIOL residency.

4) BIOL 442 BIOL 495 , BIOL 497H , BIOL 499 , and Lab classes may NOT be used to fulfill Elective 2. The BIOL 4XX elective class must be taken at UMBC.

5) 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.

6) The following courses are considered thematically similar and, therefore, only one may be used in fullfillment of major requirements: BIOL 430/BTEC 430, BIOL 395/BIOL 495, and BIOL 444/BTEC 444.

7) BIOL B.A. majors receive 23 - 27 Upper Level Credits (3XX/4XX) that may be applied to the University requirement of 45 Upper Level credits for graduation, and 55 - 57 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 B.A. degree may use Core BIOL, CHEM, MATH and PHYS courses from the BIOC major towards the BIOL B.A. degree, but MUST take separate electives for the two degrees. 

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:


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. For a full description of these ‘legacy’ degree programs, contact the Department of Biological Sciences.


Total: 55-59 Credits

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