Biological Sciences B.S. – Cell and Molecular Biology Emphasis

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Susan M. Keenan, Ph.D., School Director

Location: Ross Hall 2480

Telephone: 970.351.2921


Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login;; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

This program places emphasis on a thorough understanding of the biological principles underlying all living systems through study of the basic unit of life, the cell. Undergraduates entering this program should have a strong science and mathematics background in high school or be prepared to do additional remedial work.

Students successfully completing this program will be prepared to choose from a widely varied range of careers in the basic or applied biological sciences such as public health, the pharmaceutical industry, cancer research, biodiversity research, forensic biology, animal and plant agricultural sciences, and many others.

Students will also be prepared to continue their education in graduate biological sciences programs (microbiology, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, endocrinology, immunology, developmental biology, etc.) and in most professional schools (medical, veterinary, etc.). This program encompasses a minor in chemistry.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • The State of Colorado has mandated that institutions of higher education assess student outcomes resulting from their college education. The School of Biological Sciences requires that all undergraduate students entering under this Catalog meet the following conditions in addition to meeting the graduation requirements of the University:
  • In the senior year of study all undergraduates will take the Educational Testing Service's nationally standardized exam in Biology.
  • All Biology majors are required to earn a minimum of a 2.0 grade in all BIO prefix courses taken to meet their major requirements. Students receiving a grade of less than 2.0 in BIO courses taken to meet their major requirements must repeat the courses.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 24 credits

LAC area 1.b. — Intermediate Composition

SCI 291Scientific Writing


LAC area 2 — Mathematics

MATH 171Calculus I for Life Sciences


STAT 150Introduction to Statistical Analysis


LAC area 6 — Physical and Life Sciences

BIO 110Principles of Biology


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I Laboratory


PHYS 220Introductory Physics I


Remaining LAC — 18 credits

See “Liberal Arts Core ”.

NOTE: Students need to select courses from areas 7 and 8 that also count for areas 3, 4, or 5.

2. Required Major — 71 credits

Take all of the following courses:

BIO 111Survey of Organismal Biology


BIO 112Principles of Biology Applications


BIO 210Cell Biology


BIO 220Genetics


BIO 351Microbiology


BIO 360Ecology


BIO 425Molecular Genetics


BIO 442Molecular and Cellular Laboratory


BIO 450Cell Physiology


BIO 465Evolution


CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I


CHEM 331LOrganic Chemistry I Laboratory


CHEM 332Organic Chemistry II


CHEM 332LOrganic Chemistry II Laboratory


CHEM 481General Biochemistry I



CHEM 381Principles of Biochemistry


CHEM 381LPrinciples of Biochemistry Lab


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II



Choose one of the following courses:

BIO 350Human Physiology


BIO 354General Plant Physiology


OR, complete both

BIO 552Mammalian Physiology I



BIO 553Mammalian Physiology II


Biological Science Advanced Study

Choose 12 credits from BIO-prefix courses at the 300 level or higher. Please see course listings in the graduate catalog for additional course options (must be a junior with a minimum 3.0 GPA to take graduate level courses). Consult with faculty advisor to match career goals.

NOTE: If CHEM 381 and CHEM 381L are completed in lieu of CHEM 481, the number of Advanced Study credits required will be reduced by (1). If BIO 552 and BIO 553 are completed for the Physiology requirement, the number of Advanced Study credits required will be reduced by (2).

A maximum of 3 credits total of BIO 422, BIO 492, BIO 494, BIO 495, BIO 585 and BIO 592 can count towards the fulfillment of this category.

Capstone Professional Experience

Take one credit (chosen in consultation with faculty advisor to help match career goals) from:

BIO 422Directed Studies

1 - 3

BIO 492Internship in Biological Sciences

1 - 3

BIO 493Clinical Internship in Biological Sciences


BIO 494Practicum in College Biological Science Instruction

1 - 2

BIO 495Special Topics in Biology

1 - 3

3. University-Wide Credits — 7 credits

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree, that will typically be 7 credits.