The Department of Biological Sciences (BSC)
The Department of Biological Sciences offers three majors that culminate in baccalaureate degrees. The three majors are biology, marine science double major, and microbiology. The department also offers minors in biology, microbiology, and marine science.
Degree requirements. Students earning the bachelor of science (BS) degree with a major in biology must complete all University, college (see p. 50-52), and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, and sufficient other credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours. The major offers three optional concentrations that are described under “Special opportunities” which follows.
Admission into the major. Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). With the assistance of an advisor in the major department, students should complete the “Declaration of Major” form. The department recommends that students declare a biology major as soon as possible to ensure participation in major advising.
Grade point average. A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. The major GPA is calculated based on all courses applicable to the major that the student has attempted at UA and all work applicable to the major that the student has attempted throughout the entire higher education career.
Major courses. The major in biology requires the completion of the following 36 semester hours:
|BSC 114:115 or BSC 118||4|
|BSC 116:117 or BSC 120||4|
|BSC 450 or BSC 483||3|
|BSC electives above 250*||16|
Upper-level residency. A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.
Ancillary courses. Grades in ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The major in biology requires the successful completion of the following courses outside the major:
|CH 101 or CH 117||4|
|CH 102 or CH 118||4|
|MATH 125 or MATH 145||4|
|PH 101, PH 105, or PH 125||4|
|PH 102, PH 106, or PH 126||4|
Required minor. The biology major does not require a minor.
Additional major requirements. The department offers a number of courses designed to enrich the learning experience of students beyond the traditional classroom setting. These courses include BSC 391, BSC 396, BSC 398, BSC 403, BSC 404, and BSC 407. Beyond specific restrictions listed for each course, a total of 4 hours from this group may be applied to the requirements of the biology major or minor. An additional 4 hours may be applied as electives to the requirement for 120 hours for the degree. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, college, major, and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an advisor in the major department for academic planning and to be cleared for registration each semester.
Special Opportunities: The Department of Biological Sciences offers a number of special opportunities for students, including an honors program, a scholars program, and a number of special areas of concentration.
Honors program. The Biological Sciences Honors Program is available to students majoring in either biology or microbiology after the completion of 16 hours of BSC courses with a GPA of 3.4 in BSC courses and overall. Admission into the program requires the approval of the Honors Program Committee and acceptance of the student by primary advisors and co-advisors. Requirements for the program include 4–8 hours of BSC 390 Honors Thesis Research; an acceptable honors thesis; attendance in BSC 407 Honors Seminar in Biological Sciences; completion of the advanced portion of the Graduate Record Examination; and maintenance of a 3.4 GPA in biological science courses and a 3.4 overall GPA. Additional details are available in the office of the Department of Biological Sciences.
Scholars program. The Department of Biological Sciences also participates in the University Scholars Program that allows highly motivated students to pursue closely integrated undergraduate and graduate programs that may lead to the simultaneous completion of requirements for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees. Students usually apply for admission prior to the junior or senior year. For more information about the University Scholars Program, visit online graduate.ua.edu or consult the University of Alabama graduate catalog.
Molecular/biotechnology biology concentration. Students pursuing a major in biology who are interested in specialized biology can choose a sequence of courses in the molecular/biotechnology concentration. These students should choose the biology electives from the following courses: BSC 439, BSC 441, and BSC 451; and additional courses from BSC 310, BSC 311, BSC 313, BSC 350, BSC 435, BSC 436, BSC 442, BSC 444, BSC 494, BSC 495, or BSC 496.
Ecology and systematics concentration. Students pursuing a major in biology who are interested in specialized biology can choose a sequence of courses in the ecology and systematics concentration. These students should choose the biology electives from the following courses: BSC 360 or BSC 371; BSC 373 or BSC 376; and one of the following: BSC 303, BSC 320, BSC 350, BSC 412, BSC 415, BSC 416, BSC 417, BSC 419, BSC 420, BSC 433, BSC 434, BSC 456, BSC 457, BSC 464, BSC 482, BSC 490, BSC 494, or BSC 496.
Health professions concentration. Students pursuing a major in biology who are interested in a career in health professions such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, or veterinary can choose a sequence of courses in the health professions concentration. The concentration also provides in-depth exposure to subject material found on the MCAT, DAT, and OAT. These students should choose the biology electives from the following courses: BSC 310, BSC 400, BSC 409, BSC 410, BSC 424, BSC 425, BSC 431, BSC 432, BSC 435, BSC 450, and BSC 460.