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 2020-2021 degree requirements
Required Biology Introductory and Core Courses
BIOS 1107 Biological Principles or 1207 Majors Biological Principles
BIOS 1107L Biological Principles Lab or 1207L Biological Principles Project Lab
BIOS 1108 Organismal Biology or 1208 Majors Organismal Biology
BIOS 1108L Organismal Biology Lab or 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 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 2400 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 either of the 4000-level courses 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
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:
- Biology Depth Electives (most BIOS 3000 and 4000 level courses)
- Biology internships, teaching, or research (BIOL 4695, 4697, 4699) or 3000 or 4000-level VIP courses taught by a faculty member from the School of Biological Sciences. A maximum of 6 credits can be applied to the 9 breadth credits from each of BIOS 4695, 4697, 4699, or 3000 or 4000-level VIP courses. Any additional credits of BIOS 4695, 4697, 4699, or VIP coursework can be applied to Free Electives
- A list of approved courses offered in other Schools (see below). For Business Option students, a maximum of 6 credits of Business Option electives can be applied to the 9 breadth credits. For Research Option students, a maximum of 2 credits of LMC 4701 and 4702 can be applied to the 9 breadth credits.
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, or CHEM 2313 BioOrganic Chem
CHEM 2380 Synthesis Lab
MATH 1551 Differential Calculus
MATH 1553 Linear Algebra
MATH 1555 Integral Calculus for Life Sciences (credit also awarded for MATH 1552)
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.
Allowable Non-Biological Sciences Breadth Electives (see above for full details regarding Biology Electives):
MGT 3062 - Financial Management
MGT 3300 - Marketing Management
MGT 4026 - Fin Report & Analysis I
MGT 4028 - Fin Analy & Rpt - Tech Firms
MGT 4030 - International Accounting
MGT 4192 -IMPACT Forum
MGT 4193 - Serv Lead Values Systems
MGT 4194 - Social Entrepreneurship
MGT 4303 - Personal Sell & Sales Mgt
MGT 4304 - Strategic Brand Mgt
MGT 4307 - Strategic Marketing
MGT 4335 - International Marketing
MGT 4670 - Entrepreneurship
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 2020-2021 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 1108 AND BIOS 1108L ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY OR BIOS 1208 AND 1208L MAJORS ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY1||4|
|BIOS 1107 AND BIOS 1107L BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES OR 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 (OR 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 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 1108 and 1108L or 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 either 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).
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