BS Biology Degree Requirements

 

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.

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BS Biology 2022-2023 degree requirements

For degree requirements prior to the current year, please refer to the Biology Undergraduate Handbook for your specific catalog year.

Required Biology Introductory and Core Courses

BIOS 1207 Majors Biological Principles or 1107 Biological Principles (credit also accepted for BIOS 1107)
BIOS 1207L Biological Principles Project Lab or 1107L Biological Principles Lab (credit also accepted for BIOS 1107L)
BIOS 1208 Majors Organismal Biology or 1108 Organismal Biology (credit also accepted for BIOS 1108)
BIOS 1208L Organismal Biology Project Lab or 1108L Organismal Biology Lab (credit also accepted for BIOS 1108L)
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 lab categories: Ecology or Problem-Based Ecology Lab (BIOS 2301 or 2311); Genetics or Integrative Genetics Lab (BIOS 2601 or 2611); Cell and Molecular Biology Lab (BIOS 3451). Each lab should be taken concurrently with the associated lecture course when possible. If you choose to take all three lab courses, then the 3000-level course may count toward Biology Electives instead of the Core Lab requirement.

Quantitative Biology Requirement

One of the following:
BIOS 3400 Mathematical Models in Biology
BIOS 4150 Genomics & Applied Bioinformatics
BIOS 4401 Experimental Design & Statistical Methods
If you choose to take more than one of the courses above, then the other course(s) may be used to fulfill Biology Elective credits instead of the Quantitative Biology requirement

Senior Research Experience Requirement

One of the following:
BIOS 4590  Research Project Lab
BIOS 4690 Independent Research Project

More information on how and when to complete the Senior Research Experience

Biology Electives

Students 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, 3000 or 4000-level VIP courses with a Biological Sciences instructor, and a list of approved courses offered in the other departments.

  • 12 credits of Biology Depth Electives: Depth electives allow you to gain deeper understanding in specific biological areas of your choice. Depth electives must have a "BIOS" prefix (or be cross-listed with a BIOS prefix). Biology internships, teaching, or research (BIOS 4695, 4697, 4699) cannot count toward Depth electives. A list of Biology Depth elective courses is available at the Courses and Syllabi page.
  • 9 credits of Biology Breadth Electives: Breadth electives provide the opportunity to add a wider base of experience and knowledge to your Biology degree. Breadth electives can be selected from:

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 2312 Organic Chem II
CHEM 2380 Synthesis Lab
MATH 1551 Differential Calculus
MATH 1553 Linear Algebra
MATH 1552 Integral Calculus
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 (core area E) and 6 hours of Humanities core area C), in addition to ENGL 1101* and 1102*. Note that all students must take at least one of the following five courses (HIST 2111, HIST 2212, INTA 1200, POL 1101, or PUBP 3000) to fulfill Core Area E requirements; courses may be completed at GT or via AP/IB/Transfer credit.

Computing Requirement: Students must complete CS 1301, CS 1315, CS 1371, or CS 13X1 (transfer course). 
 
Wellness Requirement: Georgia Tech requires students to complete APPH 1040, APPH 1050, or APPH 1060.
 

US and Georgia Constitution and History Requirements: See “Core Curriculum,” the Catalog, and OUE's information on the GLR requirement for and more information. For students who first entered GT in May 2023 or later, all students must satisfy four legislative requirements to graduate. Requirements must be fulfilled before completing 90 or more credit hours:

  1. United States history: fulfilled by HIST 2111, HIST 2112, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit (see the transfer equivalency catalog to confirm), or passing the United States History Module Examination. Note that the examination does not carry any academic credit.
  2. Georgia history: fulfilled by HIST 2111, HIST 2112, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit (see the transfer equivalency catalog to confirm), or passing the Georgia History Module Examination. Note that the examination does not carry any academic credit.
  3. United States Constitution: fulfilled by INTA 1200, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit (see the transfer equivalency catalog to confirm), or passing the United States Constitution Module Examination. Note that the examination does not carry any academic credit. 
  4. Constitution of Georgia: fulfilled by INTA 1200, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit (see the transfer equivalency catalog to confirm), or passing the Constitution of Georgia Module Examination. Note that the examination does not carry any academic credit.

HIST 2111 or HIST 2112 may be used to fulfill both the US/GA History requirements and count toward Social Science requirements. INTA 1200, POL 1101, or PUBP 3000 may be used to fulfill both the US/GA Constitution requirements and count toward Social Science requirements. Note that all students must take at least one of these five courses (HIST 2111, HIST 2212, INTA 1200, POL 1101, or PUBP 3000) to fulfill Core Area E requirements; courses may be completed at GT or via AP/IB/Transfer credit.

For students who first entered GT prior to May 2023, one course from HIST 2111, HIST 2112, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, or INTA 1200 can be used to satisfy the state legislative requirement regarding United States Perspectives. For more information, please refer to the Biology Undergraduate Handbook for your specific catalog year.

 
 
Free Electives: The remaining 11 credits beyond those listed above are free electives, which may be taken for letter grade or pass/fail. Pass-fail is allowed for Free Electives only. Refer to Institute rules for maximum pass-fail credits allowed. 
 

* 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.

Allowable Non-Biological Sciences Breadth Electives (see above for full details regarding Biology Electives):

All BMED 3XXX and higher courses EXCEPT:
BMED 4698 Research Assistantship
BMED 4699 Undergraduate Research
BMED 4900-4903 Special Problems
 
All CHEM 3XXX and higher courses EXCEPT:
CHEM 4601 Chemistry Seminar
CHEM 4698 Research Assistantship
CHEM 4699 Undergraduate Research
CHEM 4901- 4903 Special Problems in Chemistry
 
All EAS 3XXX and higher courses EXCEPT:
EAS 4651 Practical Internship
EAS 4698 Research Assistantship
EAS 4699 Undergraduate Research
EAS 4900 Special Problems
 
All MATH 3XXX* and higher courses EXCEPT:
MATH 4080 Senior Project I
MATH 4090 Senior Project II
MATH 4698 Research Assistantship
MATH 4699 Undergraduate Research
MATH 4999 Special Problems
*NOTE that credit is not awarded for MATH 2550 if taken with MATH 1555
 
All NEUR 3XXX and higher courses EXCEPT:
NEUR 4698 Research Assistantship
NEUR 4699 Undergraduate Research
NEUR 4901 Special Problems
 
All PHYS 3XXX and higher courses EXCEPT:
PHYS 4601 Senior Seminar I
PHYS 4602 Senior Seminar II
PHYS 4698 Research Assistantship
PHYS 4699 Undergraduate Research
 
All PSYC 3XXX and higher EXCEPT:
PSYC 4600 Senior Thesis I
PSYC 4601 Senior Thesis II
PSYC 4698 Research Assistantship
PSYC 4699 Undergraduate Research
PSYC 4900-4910 Special Problems
 
LMC 4701 Undergraduate Research Proposal Writing
LMC 4702 Undergraduate Research Thesis Writing
 
MGT (Business Option students only; maximum 6 hours):

See the Biology Business Option page for details on allowable MGT electives; for students pursuing the Business Option only

 

 

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 2023-2024 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 1552 INTEGRAL CALCULUS

4

MATH 1551 DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS

2

 

BIOS 1208 AND 1208L MAJORS ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY1,2

4

BIOS 1207 AND 1207L MAJORS BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES1

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 GENETICS3

3

 

BIOS 2600 GENETICS, BIOS 2300 ECOLOGY OR BIOS 2310 PROBLEM-BASED ECOLOGY3

3

BIOS 2301 ECOL LAB, BIOS 2601 GEN LAB, OR BIOS 2611 INTEGRATIVE GEN LAB3

1

 

BIOS 2601 GENETICS LAB, BIOS 2301 ECOL LAB, OR BIOS 2311 PROB-BASED ECOL LAB3

1

CHEM 2311 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I

3

 

CHEM 2312 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II

3

MATH 1553 LINEAR ALGEBRA

2

 

CHEM 2380 SYNTHESIS LAB

2

COMPUTING REQUIREMENT OR HUM OR SS ELECTIVE

3

 

QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT5 or COMPUTING REQUIREMENT

3

HUM OR SS ELECTIVE

3

 

HUM OR SS ELECTIVE

3

CONSTITUTION AND HISTORY REQUIREMENTS4

(varies, see note below)

 

CONSTITUTION AND HISTORY REQUIREMENTS4

(varies, see note below)

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 EVOLUTION6

3

 

BIOS 3450 CELL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OR BIOS 3600 EVOLUTION6

3

BIOLOGY ELECTIVE

3

 

BIOS 3451 CELL & MOLECULAR BIOS LAB3

1

QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT5 OR HUM OR SS ELECTIVE

3

 

BIOLOGY ELECTIVE

3

FREE ELECTIVE

3

 

WELLNESS

2

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 EXPERIENCE7

3

 

TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS

17

BIOS 4460 COMMUNICATING BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

1

     

TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS

16

 

TOTAL DEGREE REQUIREMENT HOURS

1228

       

*Not required for graduation, another free elective may be substituted

 

See important notes on next page

 

Important notes

Pass-fail allowed for Free Electives only. Refer to the Institute rules for maximum pass-fail credits allowed.

  1. BIOS 1107 and 1107L may be substituted for BIOS 1207 and 1207L; BIOS 1108 and 1108L may be substituted for BIOS 1208 and 1208L
  2. Four 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.
  3. Biology 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.
  4. The four Constitution and History Requirements must be completed before 90 credit hours and are fulfilled as follows: US HISTORY fulfilled by HIST 2111, HIST 2112, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, or passing the United States History Module Examination*; GA HISTORY fulfilled by HIST 2111, HIST 2112, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, or passing the Georgia History Module Examination; US CONSTITUTION fulfilled by INTA 1200, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, or passing the United States Constitution Module Examination*; GA CONSTITUTION fulfilled by INTA 1200, POL 1101, PUBP 3000, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, equivalent transfer/AP/IB credit, or passing the Constitution of Georgia Module Examination*. HIST 2111 or HIST 2112 may be used to fulfill both the US/GA History requirements and count toward Social Science requirements. INTA 1200, POL 1101, or PUBP 3000 may be used to fulfill both the US/GA Constitution requirements and count toward Social Science requirements. Note that all students must take at least one of these five courses (HIST 2111, HIST 2212, INTA 1200, POL 1101, or PUBP 3000) to fulfill Core Area E requirements; courses may be completed at GT or via AP/IB/Transfer credit. *Note that the Module Examinations do not carry any academic credit.
  5. The 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 3400 Mathematical Models in Biology, BIOS 4150 Genomics, BIOS 4401 Experimental Design & Biostatistics (meets MCAT statistics requirement).
  6. The prerequisite for BIOS 3600 is either BIOS 2300, BIOS 2310, BIOS 2600, or BIOS 2610.
  7. The 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).
  8. A 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

The Biology degree checklist provides a convenient way to keep track of your progress toward your degree.  You can also refer to Degreeworks (available in Buzzport) to review your progress.

 
 

More information on Biology courses: