Requirements for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology

UPDATED BIOCHEMISTRY OPTIONS FOR THE BIOLOGY BS DEGREE (7/7/2022)

Starting Fall 2022, CHEM 4440 will no longer be considered an alternative to taking BIOL 3030. Students who complete both CHEM 4410 and CHEM 4420 may apply 3 credits to satisfy the BS requirements for BIOL 3030 and 3 credits as a 4000-level elective. Students who completed either CHEM 4410, CHEM 4420 or CHEM 4440 between Fall 2021 and Summer 2022 may use these 3 credits as equivalent to BIOL 3030.  

B.S. Degree Checklist Independent Research

BASIC DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

Lower-level STEM Requisite Courses

Lower-level STEM Requisite Courses

Introduction to Biology

The Biology Department offers a two-semester introductory sequence of courses that combine both lecture and laboratory components: BIOL 2100 & 2200. These courses are required for biology majors and partially satisfy most prehealth biology requirements. Biology AP Credit: Students who scored a 5 on the AP Biology examination, or at least a 6 on upper-level examinations in the International Baccalaureate Program, receive 8 credit hours for BIOL 2100 and BIOL 2200. Students who have completed BME 2104 with a minimal grade of C- are exempt from taking BIOL 2100. Note that credit for BME 2104 does not provide actual credit for BIOL 2100. (Note: BME 2104 does not count towards the 102 credits in the College required for the degree, and it does not satisfy the Natural Science and Mathematics requirement for the College.)

Biology "Core" Course Requirements

Biology "Core" Course Requirements

Biology B.S. majors are required to complete BIOL 3000 (Cell Biology), BIOL 3010 (Genetics & Molecular Biology), BIOL 3020 (Evolution & Ecology), BIOL 3030 (Biochemistry), ***BIOL 3040 (Developmental & Regenerative Biology)*** and BIOL 3050 (Introduction to Neurobiology).  These courses must be taken at UVA;  post-matriculation transfer credit for these courses may not be applied to satisfy any B.S. core course requirement. Students who complete both CHEM 4410 and CHEM 4420 may apply 3 credits to satisfy the B.S. requirement for BIOL 3030. 

A student who receives a single 'F' in any of the B.S.-specific core courses (BIOL 3030, 3040, 3050) must meet with her/his Biology major advisor in order to discuss plans for successfully completing the major. This meeting should take place no later than the end of the first full week of the semester after the 'F' was received. Neglecting to meet with a faculty advisor will result in the student being dropped from the Biology major.  A student who receives two 'F's in any of the B.S.-specific core courses will be ineligible to continue in the Biology B.S. major; however, the student may be eligible to re-declare and complete a Biology B.A. major.

Biology Laboratory Course Requirements

Biology Laboratory Course Requirements

Biology B.S. majors are required to complete at least 6 hours (min. 3-credit courses) of BIOL laboratory course work at or above the 3000 level. The lab requirement may be satisfied by any combination of the following options:

  • a 3- or 4-credit departmental laboratory course
  • any 3000-level or higher field course at Mountain Lake Biological Station
  • two semesters (4 credits) of Independent Research (BIOL 4910/4920), conducted under the direction of the same faculty mentor

Note: A maximum of 4 credits of Independent Research may be applied toward the laboratory course requirement. And, summer research, unless enrolled in BIOL 4910-4920, does not satisfy the upper-level lab requirement, and lab courses offered by other departments, unless cross-listed as BIOL courses, do not fulfill the Biology major laboratory requirement.      

Upper-Level (4000-level) Biology Course Requirements

Upper-Level (4000-level) Biology Course Requirements

Biology B.S. majors must complete 9 additional elective credits in biology at the 4000-level (or above) biology courses (≥ 3 credits). The following options may be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • 3- or 4- credit departmental lecture or seminar courses
  • 3- or 4- credit departmental laboratory courses 
  • Independent Research (BIOL 4910/4920, 2 semesters in the same laboratory: 4 credits) taken beyond those used to satisfy the laboratory requirement
  • Distinguished Major Seminar (BIOL 4810 & 4820, 2 semesters: 4 credits)
  • up to 6 credits from 4000- or 5000-level biology-related courses in the Environmental Sciences Department  (List of Biology-related Environmental Sciences Courses)

Restrictions

Restrictions

Only the first semester of Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 3410) may be applied toward the Biology major. BIOL 3410 also satisfies the upper level lab requirement and the Area II requirement. The second semester of Human Anatomy & Physiology II (BIOL 3420) cannot be applied toward the Biology major, but can be used as college elective credit and contribute to the overall GPA.

For students who are double-majors in Biology and another department/program: “No more than two courses can be counted simultaneously for two non-interdisciplinary majors; an interdisciplinary major may share up to three courses with another major.” (See Number of Credits on the Declaring a Major page.)

Transfer credits for courses taken at another institution after matriculation at the University of Virginia may be considered for outside elective credit toward the Biology major; however, required core (BIOL 3000, 3010, 3020, 3030, 3040 and 3050) and lab courses must be taken at the University of Virginia. (See Biology Undergraduate FAQ page.)

Grade Point Average    

Grade Point Average

The overall GPA for courses presented for the B.S. degree must be at least 2.000. These courses consist of: BIOL 3000, BIOL 3010, BIOL 3020, BIOL 3030, BIOL 3040, BIOL 3050, 6 credits of laboratory course work, and 9 credits of 4000-level elective BIOL courses.

Summary of Biology B.S. Major Requirements 

Summary of Biology B.S. Major Requirements

Requisites:

  • BIOL 2100 
  • BIOL 2200 
  • CHEM 1410 & 1411 (or CHEM 1610 & 1611 or CHEM 1810 & 1811)
  • CHEM 1420 & 1421 (or CHEM 1620 & 1621 or CHEM 1820 & 1821)
  • CHEM 2410 & 2420
  • STAT 2020 or STAT 2120
  • MATH 1190, 1210, 1220, 1310, or 1320
  • one semester Physics (PHYS 1425, 1610 /1710, or 2010)

Major Courses (33 credits*):

Required Core Courses:

  • BIOL 3000  3 cr.
  • BIOL 3010  3 cr. 
  • BIOL 3020  3 cr.
  • BIOL 3030  3 cr.
  • BIOL 3040  3 cr.
  • BIOL 3050  3 cr.

Laboratory Courses:

  • two laboratory courses  6 cr.
    2 departmental lab courses
    or​
    1 departmental lab course + 1 field course at MLBS 
    or
    1 departmental lab course + 2 semesters Independent Research
    or
    2 field courses at MLBS
    or
    1 field course at MLBS + 2 semesters Independent Research

4000-level Courses:

  • BIOL 4XXX elective  3 cr.
  • BIOL 4XXX elective  3 cr.
  • BIOL 4XXX elective  3 cr.

*Actual total degree credit hours might exceed 33, if laboratory or other elective courses carry 4 credits.

**4000-level laboratory courses may be counted toward both the laboratory and 4000-level course requirements; in this case, 3000- or 4000-level courses may be used to complete the required 33 credits for the B.S. degree.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record represents the official repository for academic program requirements. This publication may be found at  www.virginia.edu/registrar/catalog/ugrad.html.