A Bachelor of Science in Biology requires a minimum of 122 credit hours. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, except for Free Electives which can include pass/fail courses. All letter grades of D and higher are accepted in the Biology degree. Always refer to the Undergraduate Handbook specific to your catalog year (the year you entered the Biology major) for information, rules, and regulations specific to your Biology degree requirements.
- Biology degree Undergraduate Handbook
- Biology degree requirements
- Introductory and Core courses
- Quantitative Biology Requirement
- Senior Research Requirement
- Biology Electives
- Required Non-Biology courses
- Biology degree 4-year plan
- Biology degree checklist
BS Biology 2019-2020 degree requirements
Required Biology Introductory and Core Courses
BIOS 1207 Majors Biological Principles
BIOS 1207L Biological Principles Project Lab
BIOS 1208 Majors Organismal Biology
BIOS 1208L Organismal Biology Project Lab
BIOS 2300 or 2310 Ecology or Problem-Based Ecology
BIOS 2600 or 2610 Genetics or Integrative Genetics
BIOS 3450 Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOS 3600 Evolutionary Biology
BIOS 4460 Communicating Biological Research
Two of these three labs: Ecology or Problem-Based Ecology Lab (BIOS 2301 or 2311); Genetics or Integrative Genetics Lab (BIOS 2601 or 2611); or Cell and Molecular Biology Lab (BIOS 3451). Each lab should be taken concurrently with the associated lecture course when possible.
Quantitative Biology Requirement
One of the following:
BIOS 2400 Mathematical Models in Biology
BIOS 4150 Genomics & Applied Bioinformatics
BIOS 4401 Experimental Design & Statistical Methods
Other advanced quantitative courses may be appropriate depending on your interests and strengths. If you wish to enroll in a course other than BIOS 2400, BIOS 4401, or BIOS 4150 to fulfill your quantitative requirement, you must discuss with your advisor to petition for approval from the School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Committee.
Senior Research Experience Requirement
One of the following:
BIOS 4590 Research Project Lab
BIOS 4690 Independent Research Project
BIOS 4691 Research Thesis
More information on how and when to complete the Senior Research Experience
Students are required to complete 21 credits of Biology electives defined as follows: 12 "depth" credit hours must be courses with a “BIOS” prefix, excluding BIOS 4694-BIOS 4699. Biology Elective courses that are cross-listed with other departments are included in these 12 depth credit hours. The remaining 9 "breadth" credit hours can be selected from: other BIOS 3000-level and higher courses, BIOS 4695, BIOS 4697, BIOS 4699, VIP courses with a Biological Sciences instructor, and a list of approved courses offered in the other departments.
More information on courses and experiences for Biology Depth and Breadth Electives
Required Non-Biology Science Courses
CHEM 1211K Chemical Principles I
CHEM 1212K Chemical Principles II
CHEM 2311 Organic Chem I, Principles (sections P and higher)
CHEM 2313 BioOrganic Chem
CHEM 2380 Synthesis Lab
MATH 1551 Differential Calculus
MATH 1553 Linear Algebra
MATH 1555 Integral Calculus for Life Sciences
PHYS 2211 Intro Physics I for Life Sciences (section LS or C)
PHYS 2212 Intro Physics II for Life Sciences (section LS or C)
Humanities and Social Sciences Electives: See “Core Curriculum,” Information for Undergraduate Students on the Registrar’s website for approved courses and caveats. All students are required to take a total of 12 hours of Social Sciences and 6 hours of Humanities, in addition to ENGL 1101* and 1102*.
As part of the 12 hours of Social Sciences, all students are required to take one course from HIST 2111, HIST 2112, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, or INTA 1200 to satisfy a state legislative requirement regarding United States Perspectives.
* Timing: Students must complete a MATH course† and ENGL 1101 and 1102 courses within their first 30 credit hours as part of the state’s required Communication and Quantitative Outcomes. After reaching 30 credit hours, a student must enroll in the next course necessary to make progress toward completing this requirement in every semester in which they take classes.
†Consult the registrar’s website and your academic advisor for the exact MATH sequence required by the 30 credit hour mark.
Suggested plan of study (4 year plan)
The suggested plan of study (4 year plan) proposed here helps you balance the Biology major requirements over four academic years without taking summer classes. Please consult with your academic advisor for questions about taking courses in a different order than suggested here.
Bachelor of Science in Biology 2019-2020 degree requirements
|FIRST YEAR-FALL||HOURS||FIRST YEAR-SPRING||HOURS|
|GT 1000 FRESHMAN SEMINAR*||1||ENGL 1102 ENGLISH COMPOSITION II||3|
|ENGL 1101 ENGLISH COMPOSITION I||3||MATH 1555 CALCULUS FOR LIFE SCIENCES (OR MATH 1552 INTEGRAL CALCULUS)||4|
|MATH 1551 DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS||2||BIOS 1208 AND 1208L MAJORS ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY1||4|
|BIOS 1207 AND 1207L MAJORS BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES||4||CHEM 1212K CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES II||4|
|CHEM 1211K CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES I||4||TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||15|
|TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||14|
|SECOND YEAR-FALL||HOURS||SECOND YEAR-SPRING||HOURS|
|BIOS 2300 ECOLOGY, BIOS 2600 GENETICS, OR BIOS 2610 INTEGRATIVE GENETICS2||3||BIOS 2600 GENETICS, BIOS 2300 ECOLOGY OR BIOS 2310 PROBLEM-BASED ECOLOGY2||3|
|BIOS 2301 ECOL LAB, BIOS 2601 GEN LAB, OR BIOS 2611 INTEGRATIVE GEN LAB2||1||BIOS 2601 GENETICS LAB, BIOS 2301 ECOL LAB, OR BIOS 2311 PROB-BASED ECOL LAB2||1|
|CHEM 2311 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I||3||CHEM 2313 BIO-ORGANIC CHEMISTRY||3|
|MATH 1553 LINEAR ALGEBRA||2||CHEM 2380 SYNTHESIS LAB||2|
|COMPUTING REQUIREMENT OR HUM OR SS ELECTIVE||3||QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT4 or COMPUTING REQUIREMENT||3|
|CONSTITUTION/HISTORY REQUIREMENT3||3||HUM or SS ELECTIVE||3|
|TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||14 or 15||TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||14 or 15|
|THIRD YEAR-FALL||HOURS||THIRD YEAR-SPRING||HOURS|
|PHYS 2211 INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS I FOR LIFE SCIENCES||4||PHYS 2212 INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS II FOR LIFE SCIENCES||4|
|BIOS 3450 CELL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OR BIOS 3600 EVOLUTION5||3||BIOS 3450 CELL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OR BIOS 3600 EVOLUTION5||3|
|BIOLOGY ELECTIVE||3||BIOS 3451 CELL & MOLECULAR BIOS LAB2||1|
|QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT4 OR HUM OR SS ELECTIVE||3||BIOLOGY ELECTIVE||3|
|TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||16||HUM or SS ELECTIVE||3|
|TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||15 or 16|
|FOURTH YEAR-FALL||HOURS||FOURTH YEAR-SPRING||HOURS|
|BIOLOGY ELECTIVES||6||BIOLOGY ELECTIVE||9|
|FREE ELECTIVE||3||FREE ELECTIVE||5|
|HUM or SS ELECTIVE||3||HUM or SS ELECTIVES||3|
|SENIOR RESEARCH EXPERIENCE6||3||TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||17|
|BIOS 4460 COMMUNICATING BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH||1|
|TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS||16||TOTAL DEGREE REQUIREMENT HOURS||1227|
|*Not required for graduation, another free elective may be substituted|
1Four credit hours of Biology elective may be substituted for BIOS 1208 and 1208L if a score of 5 was achieved on the AP Biology test. A maximum of 1 of these credits may be BIOS 4697 or BIOS 4699. Please discuss this option with your advisor. It is important to note that substituting for BIOS 1208 and 1208L often results in a student needing to take more than a single Biology elective class, because most Biology electives are only 3 credit hours.
2Biology lab courses: Ecology, Genetics, and Cell & Molecular Biology each have an associated laboratory course. You must take two of these three labs, each of which must be taken concurrently with the corresponding lecture course: Ecology Lab (BIOS 2301/2311), Genetics Lab (BIOS 2601/2611), or Cell and Molecular Biology Lab (BIOS 3451). Be aware that 3451 is typically only offered in the Spring semester; students who take 3450 in the Fall are eligible to take 3451 the following spring.
3The Constitution Requirement is fulfilled by HIST 2111 or 1212 or POL 1101 or PUBP 3000 or INTA 1200.
4The following courses meet the Quantitative Biology Course requirement (Note that MATH 1551 and MATH 1553 are pre-requisites for most of the Quantitative Requirement courses): BIOS 2400 Mathematical Models in Biology, BIOS 4150 Genomics, BIOS 4401 Experimental Design & Biostatistics (meets MCAT statistics requirement).
5The prerequisite for BIOS 3600 is either BIOS 2300, BIOS 2310, BIOS 2600, or BIOS 2610.
6The Senior Research Experience can be met with any of the following during the fourth year fall or spring semesters: BIOS 4590 Research Project Lab, BIOS 4690 Independent Research Project (requires at least one previous semester of BIOS 4699/2699), BIOS 4691 Research Thesis (requires at least one previous semester of BIOS 4699/2699).
7A minimum of 39 hours of upper division coursework (3000-level or higher) is required for all Georgia Tech undergraduate degrees. The 39 hours of upper division coursework can fulfill any category of degree requirements, including free electives and "fall-through" courses.
Biology degree checklist
More information on Biology courses:
- Biology course descriptions
- Biology course syllabi
- BIOS-BIOL-APPH course conversion table
- Biology 2-year teaching plan
- The Undergraduate Handbook has more information about customizing your Biology degree and the answer to almost any question you can think of!
- See the Georgia Tech Catalog for more information about core curriculum requirements