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Requirements for the B.S. in Biology

Biology majors are students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and are subject to its General Requirements and Core Requirements as described in the Creighton Univeristy Undergraduate Bulletin. Specific requirements for the Biology Major (B.S.) are given below. Progress towards these requirements can be checked with the Advise-O-Matic, but students are strongly counseled to discuss specific plans with their major advisor.

Secondary Education students majoring in biology should refer to the specific requirements for their program. There is also a Biology minor.


Biology Major (B.S.)

Application for the major

Students who have completed BIO 201 & 202 course with a grade of “C” or better, or completed an upper-division Biology course with a grade of “C” or better, are eligible to become Biology majors. Applicants should complete the Major Application Form.

Students may declare a preference for a particular faculty member as an advisor.  Preferences will be honored whenever possible, but some faculty may be unable to take on additional advisees.

Requirements for the degree

To earn a B.S., students must meet the following criteria for biology coursework:

Introductory Biology courses (8 credit hours)

  • BIO 201 & 205 - General Biology: Organismal & Population (lecture & laboratory)
  • BIO 202 & 206 - General Biology: Molecular & Cellular (lecture & laboratory)
The General Biology lecture courses are prerequisites for all upper-division Biology courses, unless otherwise indicated in the course listings.

Upper-division Biology courses (25 credit hours)

Coursework at the 300-level or greater totalling at least 25 credit hours must be completed, to include the following:

  • Seven upper-division lecture courses
    All Biology courses of three or more credits, except BIO 297, 397, 493, 495 and 497, are lecture courses.
    These courses must consist of:
    • Five lecture courses at the 300 and/or 400 level
      These courses must include at least one course from each of the following three areas:
      • Molecular/Cellular: BIO 317, 362, 432, 451 and 462
      • Organismal: BIO 335, 341, 371, 433, 445, 449, 461, 462 and 467
      • Population/Ecology/Evolution: BIO 385, 390, 435, 440, 445, 481, 483 and 485
    • One 500-level “focus” course
      Applicable courses are BIO 501, 517, 520, 523, 532, 539, 541, 545, 551, 559, 567 and 580
    • One additional course of the student’s choice. This course can be any upper-division BIO lecture course or one of a select group of offerings by other departments. Please check the list of currently approved courses. Students may petition to have an additional course considered, but such petitions are not routinely granted.
  • Four laboratory courses.
    The following courses apply towards this requirement:
    • BIO 310, 335, 341, 385, 433, 435, 440, 445, 451, 461, 467, 481, 501 and 520 are lecture + laboratory courses that also apply towards the lecture requirements.
    • BIO 318, 372, 419, 450, 463, 484 and 486 are laboratory-only courses.

    In addition, one of the following may be used as the equivalent of a laboratory course:

    • BIO 490 may be counted as one laboratory course if taken twice.
    • BIO 497 may be counted as one laboratory course if all of the following conditions are met:
      1. At least six credits of 497 are taken over multiple semesters
      2. The research work is presented by the student at a regional or national scientific meeting (for example, at the Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting)
      3. The research work is also presented by the student as a poster at the Department of Biology Research Colloquium, which takes place each April

Students are encouraged to take additional coursework beyond the minimum requirements for the major to pursue areas of particular interest.

Support courses

Biology majors are also required to take the following courses in supporting areas:

  • General Chemistry (CHM 203, 204, 205 and 206)
  • An additional year of chemistry (CHM 315 and 416, or CHM 321, 322, 323, and 324)
  • General Physics (typically PHY 201 & 205 and 202 & 206)

Grade point average

To earn the degree, students must have a GPA of at least 2.0 in the minimum requirements for the major.

Concentration Major for Secondary Education Students:

Biology majors intending to become secondary level teachers should refer to the specific requirements for that program.