BS in Biology

The bachelor’s curriculum in biology requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 40 of those credits in biology. No more than eight credits of 100-level biology courses may be applied to the

General education requirements (32-46 credits) &
additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements
(11-23 credits)  See the Undergraduate Bulletin for these

Collateral requirements (32-35 credits) Includes chemistry, physics, and mathematics/statistics requirements

The chemistry requirement for majors is:
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (3 credits)
CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
CHEM102 General Chemistry II (3 credits)
CHEZ 102 General Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (2 credits)
CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)
CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (2 credits)

The physics requirement for majors is:
PHYS 201 General Physics I or PHYS 207 University Physics I (4-5 credits)
PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 208 University Physics II (4-5 credits)

Mathematics and Statistics
Majors must take or place out of:
MATH 151 Precalculus (4 credits)

Majors must take:
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics (3 credits)

Choose one additional course from the following options:
STAT 314 Applications of Statistics (4 credits)
MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry (4 credits)

Before enrollment into any of the mathematics options, all students must take the Mathematics Placement Test.

Biology Coursework (40 credits total)
Please see the drop down menu above to see the major requirements for the new (2015-2016 bulletin and after) and old (2014-2015 bulletin and before) curriculum.

Independent Study
A maximum of six credits in independent study, including BIOL 292, BIOL 492 and BIOL 495, may be applied to the 40 credits of biology courses required for graduation.

Click here for more information about independent study and
undergraduate research in the department of biology.

Courses not applicable to the major
The following courses are not applicable toward the biology major requirements, but may be used as general electives toward the
bachelor’s degree:

BIOL 101 Biological Concepts
BIOZ 101 Biological Concepts Laboratory
BIOL 103 Environmental Science
BIOL 201 Human Biology
BIOZ 201 Human Biology Laboratory
BIOL 205 Basic Human Anatomy
BIOL 209 Medical Microbiology
BIOZ 209 Medical Microbiology Laboratory
BIOL 217 Principles of Nutrition
PHIS 206 Human Physiology
PHIZ 206 Human Physiology Laboratory

For additional information about current opportunities and topics courses, please see the Biology Undergraduate Advising Blackboard page. If you are a biology major and do not have access to this page, please e-mail

Transfer students
Transfer students intending to major in biology must satisfy all
biology major course requirements and complete a minimum of 15
credits of VCU biology courses at the 300-, 400- or 500-level.

Extended Teacher Preparation Program
Biology majors interested in teaching careers in secondary
education can enroll in the Extended Teacher Preparation Program, which simultaneously awards a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching. For more information about this
program, jointly administered by the College of Humanities and
Sciences and the School of Education, contact the School of
Educations Student Services Center.

Honors in biology
Biology majors may graduate with honors in biology. To qualify,
students must have overall and biology GPAs of at least 3.5 and must complete the following courses in this sequence: BIOL 392
Introduction to Research, at least four credits of BIOL 495 Research and Thesis and BIOL 490 Research Seminar. Grades of A or B must be earned in each of the listed courses. Students who qualify will have the notation “Honors in Biology” placed on their transcript. Students must meet all Department of Biology requirements for graduation. Students should consult with their academic advisers to create a program suitable to their particular needs and interests.

For more information about research and thesis, click here.


Everything you need to know about studying a BS in Biology at VCU

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