Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120. Thirty-nine of the total semester credit hours required for the degree must be at the upper-division level. All major and support work courses and the required prerequisites must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better. Students seeking teacher certification should contact the Teacher Advising and Certification Center in the College of Education and Human Development for information. Undergraduates seeking elementary teacher certification must complete the Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

For students wishing to add focus and expertise to their degree, the Department of Biology also offers the Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in one of four areas: Cell and Molecular Biology, Integrative Biology, Neurobiology, and Plant Biology. Adding an area of concentration does not require additional coursework beyond the normal Bachelor of Science degree program. Students do, however, have to restrict their selection of biology electives to a predefined list of complementary courses and complete the coursework within the concentration with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Students are also encouraged to enroll in Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations (BIO 4923) as part of their program of study. Specific courses required for each concentration are listed following the general degree requirements.

All candidates for this degree must fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements and the degree requirements, which are listed on the following pages.

Core Curriculum Requirements (42 semester credit hours)
Students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed below satisfy both degree requirements and Core Curriculum requirements; however, if these courses are taken to satisfy both requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree. For a complete listing of courses that satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements, see pages 3-5 of this catalog.

MAT 1193 may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Mathematics as well as a major requirement. Two of the following courses may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Natural Sciences, as well as major requirements: BIO 1404, BIO 1413, PHY 1943 or PHY 1963. CS 1173 may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Component Area Option as well as a major requirement.

Degree Requirements

  1. 46 semester credit hours in the major, 32 of which must be at the upper-division level:

    1. 29 semester credit hours in biology are required:

      BIO  1122           Laboratory Investigations in Biology
      BIO  1404           Biosciences I
      BIO  1413           Biosciences II
      BIO  2313, 2322  Genetics and Laboratory
      BIO  3413, 3422  Advanced Physiology and Laboratory
      BIO  3513, 3522  Biochemistry and Laboratory
      BIO  3813, 3822  Cell Biology and Laboratory

    2. 5 semester credit hours of a lecture and accompanying laboratory course are required from the following:

      BIO  3283, 3292  Principles of Ecology and Laboratory
      BIO  3433, 3442  Neurobiology and Laboratory
      BIO  3713, 3722  Microbiology and Laboratory
      BIO  4143, 4152  Developmental Biology and Laboratory

      (Note: A laboratory section adds a valuable dimension to the understanding of the material presented in a lecture. In general, students are encouraged to add the appropriate laboratory section to any lecture beyond the minimum 5-semester-credit-hour requirement.)

    3. 12 additional semester credit hours of biology electives at the upper-division level

  2. 33 semester credit hours of support work:

    The support courses listed below are mandatory prerequisites for various biology courses starting in a student’s sophomore year. Students need to complete their support work as soon as possible, in their freshman and sophomore years, to be eligible to register for upper-division biology core courses and electives. Failure to complete the support courses listed below in a timely fashion will significantly delay a student’s progress toward graduation.

    1. 16 semester credit hours of required chemistry courses:

      CHE  1103, 1121  General Chemistry I and Laboratory
      CHE  1113, 1131  General Chemistry II and Laboratory
      CHE  2603, 2612  Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory
      CHE  3673           Organic Chemistry II with Biological Applications

    2. 6 semester credit hours of required mathematics and statistics courses:

      MAT  1193  Calculus for the Biosciences
      STA  1403  Probability and Statistics for the Biosciences

    3. 8 semester credit hours of required physics courses:

      PHY  1603, 1611  Algebra-based Physics I and Laboratory
      PHY  1623, 1631  Algebra-based Physics II and Laboratory

      or

      PHY  1943, 1951  Physics for Scientists I and Laboratory
      PHY  1963, 1971  Physics for Scientists II and Laboratory

    4. 3 semester credit hours of computer-based data visualization and analysis:

      CS  1173  Data Analysis and Visualization using MATLAB

  3. 8 semester credit hours of free electives, at least 4 hours of which must be at the upper-division level to reach the minimum requirement of 39 upper-division semester credit hours

Concentrations

For students interested in research or graduate programs, the Department of Biology offers four areas of concentration. To declare a concentration or obtain advice, students should consult an advisor in Life and Health Sciences Advising. It is highly recommended that the student complete a research project related to the specific concentration by taking BIO 4923 Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations. If a student takes any of the courses listed below that satisfy both the Biology degree and concentration requirements, then the student may need to take additional upper-division Biology courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for the Biology degree. The coursework within the concentration must be completed with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology
All candidates for the Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology must complete the following:

BIO  3913  Molecular Biology

and three of the following upper-division elective courses:

BIO  3163  Histology and Cytology
BIO  3933  Principles of Cancer Biology
BIO  4143  Developmental Biology
BIO  4453  Endocrinology
BIO  4723  Virology
BIO  4743  Immunology
BIO  4923  Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations (Research must be in a laboratory engaged in molecular biology research.)

Concentration in Integrative Biology
All candidates for the Concentration in Integrative Biology must complete the following:

BIO  3283, 3292  Principles of Ecology and Laboratory

and two of the following upper-division elective courses:

BIO  3003  Introduction to Marine Ecology
BIO  3063  Invertebrate Biology
BIO  3213  Animal Behavior
BIO  3323  Evolution
BIO  4033  Conservation Biology
BIO  4053  Wildlife Biology
BIO  4063  Ornithology
BIO  4233  Field Biology
BIO  4923  Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations (Research must be in a laboratory engaged in integrative biology research.)

Concentration in Neurobiology
All candidates for the Concentration in Neurobiology must complete the following:

BIO  3433, 3442  Neurobiology and Laboratory

and two of the following upper-division elective courses:

BIO  3213  Animal Behavior
BIO  3623  Neuropsychopharmacology
BIO  4583  The Computational Brain
BIO  4813  Brain and Behavior
BIO  4823  Cognitive Neuroscience
BIO  4923  Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations (Research must be in a laboratory engaged in neurobiology research.)

Concentration in Plant Biology
All candidates for the Concentration in Plant Biology must complete the following:

BIO  3343  Plant Cell Biology

and three of the following upper-division elective courses:

BIO  3263  The Woody Plants
BIO  3273  Biology of Flowering Plants
BIO  3333  Plants and Society
BIO  4643  Medicinal Plants
BIO  4773  Plant-Microbe Interactions
BIO  4923  Laboratory Research: Biology Concentrations (Research must be in a laboratory engaged in plant-based research.)


Course Sequence Guide for B.S. Degree in Biology

This course sequence guide is designed to assist students in completing their UTSA undergraduate Biology degree requirements. This is merely a guide and students must satisfy other requirements of this catalog and meet with meet with advisors in Life and Health Sciences Advising for individualized degree plans. Progress within this guide depends upon such factors as course availability, individual student academic preparation, student time management, work obligations, and individual financial considerations. Students may choose to take courses during Summer terms to reduce course loads during long semesters.

B.S. in Biology - Recommended Four-Year Academic Plan

First Year
Fall Credit Hours
AIS 1203 Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (core) 3
BIO 1404 Biosciences I (core and major) * 4
CHE 1103 General Chemistry I * 3
CHE 1121 General Chemistry I Laboratory ** 1
MAT 1193 Calculus for the Biosciences (core and major) * 3
WRC 1013 Freshman Composition I (core) 3
Spring
BIO 1122 Laboratory Investigations in Biology 2
BIO 1413 Biosciences II (core and major) * 3
CHE 1113 General Chemistry II 3
CHE 1131 General Chemistry II Laboratory ** 1
CS 1173 Data Analysis and Visualization using MATLAB (core) 3
WRC 1023 Freshman Composition II (core) 3
Second Year
Fall
CHE 2603 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHE 2612 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory ** 2
American History core   3
Select one of the following:   4
PHY 1603
& PHY 1611
Algebra-based Physics I * 4
PHY 1943
& PHY 1951
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I 4
Spring
BIO 2313 Genetics 3
BIO 2322 Genetics Laboratory 2
CHE 3673 or CHE 3643 Organic Chemistry II with Biological Applications 3
STA 1403 Probability and Statistics for the Biosciences 3
Select one of the following:   4
PHY 1623
& PHY 1631
Algebra-based Physics II 4
PHY 1963
& PHY 1971
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II 4
Third Year
Fall
BIO 3413 Advanced Physiology 3
BIO 3422 Advanced Physiology Laboratory 2
BIO 3513 Biochemistry 3
BIO 3522 Biochemistry Laboratory 2
Language, Philosophy & Culture core   3
Social & Behavioral Sciences core   3
Spring
BIO 3813 Cell Biology 3
BIO 3822 Cell Biology Laboratory 2
Free elective   3
Upper-division BIO lab (BIO 3XX2)   2
Upper-division BIO lecture (BIO 3XX3)   3
Creative Arts core   3
Fourth Year
Fall
Upper-division BIO elective   3
Upper-division BIO elective   3
Upper-division BIO elective   3
American History core   3
Government-Political Science core   3
Spring
Upper-division BIO elective   3
Upper-division free elective   3
Upper-division free elective   1
Free elective   1
Component Area Option core   3
Government-Political Science core   3
  Total Credit Hours: 120.0

* In order to declare Biology as a major, a student’s academic performance will be evaluated after these five courses have been completed. Students must see an advisor in Life and Health Sciences Advising to declare a Biology major.

** These laboratory courses include a lecture component as indicated on the University Schedule of Classes.

Note: Some courses are only offered once a year; Fall or Spring. Check with the Department of Biology for scheduling of courses.

Back to Top