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Biology, BS


The BS in Biology prepares students for jobs in the biotechnology industry, including pharmaceutical companies, university research laboratories, medical research centers, forensic laboratories, museums and government agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, FDA, IDNR, and the Department of Agriculture. It also prepares students to teach biology at the secondary level and for admission to graduate health professional programs such as medical, dental, veterinary and optometry schools, physician assistant, physical therapy, and nurse practitioner training, and graduate programs in the life sciences. All students considering the BS in Biology should consult an advisor in the Department of Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences.

Students who plan to teach biology in secondary school may qualify for Roosevelt University's recommendation to the Illinois State Board of Education for teacher certification. This program provides biology majors with the flexibility to teach mathematics and general science as well as biology in grades 6-12. Application for admission to the program must be made to the College of Education before the student begins the senior year (less than 90 semester hours completed). Requirements are listed under secondary teacher education. Students interested in this option should see an advisor in the College of Education for specific course selections.


Courses taken for the major or minor must be taken on a letter grade basis. A grade of C- is the minimal acceptable grade for a course to be applied to the major and the supporting course sequence, or to be acceptable as a prerequisite for subsequent courses. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for all courses in the major.


  • Students must complete the final 30 semester hours of their degree at Roosevelt University.
  • At least 20 semester hours in acceptable biology, chemistry, and physics courses must be taken at Roosevelt University; not more than 15 semester hours of acceptable biology courses may be completed elsewhere and applied to the BS biology degree.
  • Following enrollment, completion of all remaining biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics course requirements for Biology degrees must be accomplished at Roosevelt University. Under special circumstances, written permission to take required courses elsewhere may be granted by biology advisors.
  • Courses in biology must have been taken within the past eight years to be accepted for prerequisites and graduation.
  • No more than six semester hours total of independent study (BIOL 395), independent research (BIOL 392), and internships (BIOL 391, 393 or 396) in biology may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
  • Technical and/or clinical courses are not acceptable for transfer credit.
  • AP biology credit with a score of 3.0 or higher may apply toward the major in biology or the general education requirements after consultation with an advisor.
  • At least one biology course with a laboratory above BIOL 301 (not including independent research) must be passed with a grade of C- or better.

Courses required for the Biology BS

  BIOL 201 Organismic Biology .....5
  BIOL 202 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics .....5
  BIOL 301 Cellular and Molecular Biology .....5
  CHEM 201 General Chemistry I .....5
  CHEM 202 General Chemistry II .....5
  CHEM 211 Organic Chemistry I .....5
  CHEM 212 Organic Chemistry II .....5
  MATH 121 College Algebra .....3
  MATH 122 Precalculus .....3
  MATH 217 Elementary Statistics .....3
  MATH 231 Calculus I .....5
  MATH 232 Calculus II .....5
  PHYS 201 Physics I: Mechanics & Heat (with lab) .....4
  PHYS 202 Physics II: Electromagnetism (with lab) .....4
  PHYS 233 Calculus-based Physics I Discussion .....1
  PHYS 234 Calculus-based Physics II Discussion .....1

Electives chosen from the list in consultation with a biology advisor to complete the minimum of 35 sh in biology with at least one 300-level laboratory course beyond BIOL 301

  BCHM 354 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 355 Biochemistry .....3
  BCHM 357 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 221 Kinesiology .....3
  BIOL 242 Animal Behavior .....3
  BIOL 302 Diversity and Evolution .....3
  BIOL 310 Fundamentals of Behavioral Neuroscience .....3
  BIOL 314 Quantitative Ecology & Conservation .....5
  BIOL 315 Ecology .....5
  BIOL 322 Botany .....4
  BIOL 323 Tropical Biology .....2
  BIOL 324 Marine Biology .....3
  BIOL 332 Ecology of Tallgrass Prairies .....4
  BIOL 339 Evolutionary Physiology .....5
  BIOL 340 Applications in Environmental Science .....5
  BIOL 350 Cancer Biology .....3
  BIOL 351 Advanced Genetics .....5
  BIOL 360 Microbiology .....5
  BIOL 364 Protein Structure Determination .....3
  BIOL 367 Immunology .....5
  BIOL 369 Conservation Biology: Africa .....5
  BIOL 371 Biology of Aging .....3
  BIOL 391 Medical Internship .....3


  General education requirements, university writing requirement, and electives to total: .....120

General Education Requirements

Academic Communities of Practice

  ACP 101 First-Year Seminar (required for students who enter RU with fewer than 12 semester hours) .....3
  ACP 110 Primary Texts .....3
  ACP 250 Grounds for Change .....3

English Composition (minimum grade of C- required)

  ENG 101 Composition I: Critical Reading and Writing .....3
  ENG 102 Composition II: Introduction to Academic Research .....3


  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Art History, English (excluding 101 and 102), History, Languages, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, Speech and Women's and Gender Studies .....9


  MATH 110 Math 110 or above (Math, Computer Science & Technology, and Science majors have different requirements -- see advisor). .....3

Non-Western Requirement

  Non-Western course (can be used for Humanities or Social Sciences general education requirements) .....3

RU Mission-Related Course (minimum grade of C- required)

  LIBS 201 Writing Social Justice .....3


  One biological science and one physical science required; at least one must be a four-hour lab (not applicable for science majors) TOTAL: at least 7 science hours. .....7-8

Social Sciences

  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Journalism, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies .....9

These quantitative requirements also apply to degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences:

  • Students may apply no more than 60 semester hours of 100-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must apply no fewer than 60 semester hours of 200- and 300-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must have at least 18 semester hours (of the 60 semester hours above) at the 300 level.
  • Students may transfer in no more than 66 semester hours from community colleges.
  • Students must take their final 30 hours at Roosevelt University. Note that some majors have additional requirements for RU hours.
  • Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to graduate. Note that some majors have additional GPA requirements.
  • Students must have a minimum of 90 hours in Arts and Sciences.
  • Students may apply no more than 51 hours in the major (BA) or 57 hours in the major (BS)