Undergraduate 2017-2018

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

Website: www.unco.edu/nhs/biology

Advising Information:

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

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

In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements. Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program. The school's transfer advisor can be reached at 970.351.2921.

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.
  • NOTE: Students completing a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry are exempt from the university policy that a maximum of 12 credit hours can be shared between a major and minor. A student must still complete a minimum of 6 upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits in the minor.

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

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

See “Liberal Arts Core”.

2. Required Major — 71 credits

Take all of the following courses (50 credits):

BIO 111Survey of Organismal Biology


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


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II


Biochemistry (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following options:

CHEM 481General Biochemistry I


Or, complete both:

CHEM 381Principles of Biochemistry


CHEM 381LPrinciples of Biochemistry Lab


Physiology (4-6 credits)

Choose one of the following courses:

BIO 350Human Physiology


BIO 354General Plant Physiology


Or, complete both:

BIO 552Mammalian Physiology I


BIO 553Mammalian Physiology II


Capstone Professional Experience (1 credit)

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

1- 3

BIO 494Practicum in College Biological Science Instruction

1- 2

Biological Science Advanced Study (10-13 credits)

Choose from BIO-prefix courses at the 300 level or higher to bring your Required Major Credits to 71 total.

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

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.