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Biology, BA


The BA in Biology is an option for students who wish an in-depth humanistic education in biology without completing all of the science and mathematics courses required for the BS in biology. The biology BA allows the flexibility for students to fashion a customized undergraduate experience; for example, completing a double-major or multiple minors. On the other hand, while a BS degree is not as flexible as a BA, in some respects a BS can be more focused on the development of deeper skills within the major subject areas. The choice of biology degree should to be made according to how the specific characteristics of the degree fit the student's aptitude and career goals, and how the student wishes to utilize the undergraduate experience to meet his or her educational objectives.


Courses taken for the major 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, 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.


Requirements for the BA degree include 30 semester hours of acceptable credits in biology and at least one 300-level laboratory course beyond BIOL 301. Students must also complete three courses that cover the interface between the sciences and other disciplines, such as history or philosophy, or that concern the connections of science and technology with social, political, or moral issues.

  • Students must complete the final 30 semester hours of their degree at Roosevelt University; off-site allied health courses do not count towards this requirement.
  • At least 20 semester hours in acceptable biology, chemistry, or physics courses must be successfully completed at Roosevelt University; no more than 15 semester hours of acceptable biology courses may be taken completed elsewhere and applied to the BA 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 last eight years to be accepted for 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 BA

  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
  MATH 121 College Algebra .....3
  MATH 217 Elementary Statistics .....3

Electives chosen from the list below in consultation with a biology advisor to complete a minimum of 30 sh in biology

  BCHM 354 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 355 Biochemistry .....3
  BCHM 357 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 221 Kinesiology .....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 350 Cancer Biology .....3
  BIOL 351 Advanced Genetics .....5
  BIOL 360 Microbiology .....5
  BIOL 367 Immunology .....5
  BIOL 371 Biology of Aging .....3
  BIOL 391 Medical Internship .....3

Three electives chosen from the list below in consultation with an advisor

  CHEM 212 Organic Chemistry II .....5
  HIST 348 History of Medicine .....3
  MATH 231 Calculus I .....5
  MATH 232 Calculus II .....5
  MATH 280 Mathematical Modeling .....4
  MATH 316 History of Mathematics .....4
  PHIL 209 Critical Thinking .....3
  PHIL 210 Logic .....3
  PHIL 230 Ethics .....3
  PHIL 331 Philosophy of Technology .....3
  PHIL 333 Business Ethics .....3
  PHYS 201 Physics I: Mechanics and Heat .....4
  PHYS 202 Physics II: Electromagnetism .....4
  PSYC 285 Research Methods .....3
  PSYC 310 Fundamentals of Neuroscience .....3
  PSYC 336 Brain and Behavior .....3
  SOC 360 The Body .....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)