VCU Bulletins

Science, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in biology

Special requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Science requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Along with the general education requirements of the undergraduate programs and the College of Humanities and Sciences for a Bachelor of Science degree, this curriculum requires 28 to 30 credits in foundation science and mathematics courses and 36 to 38 credits in supplemental courses in the concentration. In preparation for the required mathematical sciences courses, all students must take the Mathematics Placement Test. Science majors are strongly encouraged to select a minor in an area different from their area of concentration that will complement their career interests and contribute additional upper-level credits to their curriculum.

Grade requirements
A minimum grade of C is required in each prerequisite course: CHEM 100 (if required through placement test), CHEM 101, CHEM 102, CHEM 301 and CHEM 302.

A minimum grade of C is required in BIOL 151 and 152, BIOZ 151 and 152, and BIOL 218 before enrollment in advanced BIOL courses.

Degree requirements for Science, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in biology

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate broad and core science proficiency
  • Demonstrate competency in at least two sciences or in a non-science area
  • Apply learning to selection and pursuit of professional or graduate career objective
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communication of scientific or research findings
  • Demonstrate ability to apply the scientific method/approach to professional problems
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the interrelation of core sciences to interdisciplinary problems
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
   
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
   
Major requirements (64-71 credits)  
Foundational courses (28-33 credits)  
BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biological Science I and Laboratory 4
CHEM and CHEZ 101 General Chemistry and Laboratory I 4
ENVS 301 Introduction to Meteorology or upper-level science elective 3
ENVS 310 Introduction to Oceanography or upper-level science elective 2-3
INSC 490 Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science or an approved capstone from another science major (biology, chemistry or physics) 1-3
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics (or placement) 4
MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry or SCMA 212 Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business or STAT 314 or higher 3-4
PHYS 201 General Physics or PHYS 207 University Physics I 4-5
STAT 208 Statistical Thinking or STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
   
Supplemental courses (36-38 credits)  
BIOL 152 and BIOZ 152 Introduction to Biological Science II and Laboratory 4
BIOL 218 Cell Biology 3
BIOL and BIOZ 310 Genetics and Laboratory or other upper-level biology laboratory 4-5
BIOL 317 Ecology 3
CHEM and CHEZ 102 General Chemistry and Laboratory II 4
GEOG/ENVS 105 Physical Geology or GEOG 204 Physical Geography 3
GEOZ 204 Physical Geography Laboratory 1
PHYS 202 General Physics or PHYS 208 University Physics II 4-5
One upper-level animal and one upper-level plant course, with laboratories 7
Upper-level biology elective 3
   
Open electives (6-24 credits)  
Open electives 6-24
   
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

Animal and plant courses

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) include laboratory hours and may be used to satisfy laboratory requirements.

Animal group
BIOL 301 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy*
BIOL 302 Animal Embryology*
BIOL 309 Entomology*
BIOL 312 Invertebrate Zoology
BIOZ 312 Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory
BIOL 313 Vertebrate Natural History
BIOZ 313 Vertebrate Natural History Laboratory
BIOL 391 Topics in Biology (as approved)
BIOZ 391 Topics in Biology Laboratory (as approved)
BIOL 416 Ornithology
BIOZ 416 Ornithology Laboratory
BIOL 417 Mammalogy*
BIOL 435 Herpetology*
BIOL 445 Neurobiology and Behavior*
BIOL 503 Fish Biology*

Plant group
BIOL 320 Biology of the Seed Plant*
BIOL 321 Plant Development
BIOZ 321 Plant Development Laboratory
BIOL 322 Economic Botany
BIOL 323 Plant Physiology
BIOL 391 Topics in Biology (as approved)
BIOZ 391 Topics in Biology Laboratory (as approved)