Bachelor of Arts

The Biology majors combine the faculty and resources of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to prepare undergraduates for careers in the biological sciences, advanced study in professional and graduate schools, productive citizenship and leadership, and lifelong learning. The program is comprehensive and flexible, emphasizing the diverse forms, processes, and systems of life. Students in the program complete required and elective courses that promote critical thinking through the investigation and understanding of principles and unifying themes that govern living systems. The Biology major offers a broader approach to biology than is available through a major in botany, zoology, or other specialized biological sciences majors.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Department of Biology studies life at all levels from molecules to the biosphere to understand the evolution, structure, maintenance and dynamics of biological systems. Our teaching and research provide the integrative and conceptual foundations of the life sciences.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.273.0125 (tel) | 352.392.3704 (fax)

P.O. BOX 118525
220 BARTRAM HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-8525
Map

Curriculum

The B.A. major is designed for students interested in a career in education, the allied health professions, and interdisciplinary fields such as environmental or biotechnology law, science journalism, and bioscience management. The B.A. is not recommended for students preparing for health professions such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. 

The biology degrees develop fundamental knowledge of animals, plants and microorganisms. The degrees and specializations are tailored to meet the needs of preprofessional students, those students preparing for graduate studies in biology or specialized areas, and those seeking careers in education, the allied health professions and interdisciplinary fields such as environmental or biotechnology law, science journalism, and bioscience management.

Bachelor of Science

The CLAS Bachelor of Science in biology offers two specializations.

Bachelor of Science | Integrative Biology

Designed for students preparing for graduate studies in biology or specialized areas such as ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, and systematics.

Bachelor of Science | Preprofessional Biology

Designed for students preparing for admission to medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, or other professional schools.

Bachelor of Arts

The CLAS Bachelor of Arts in biology is a flexible degree that is best suited for students interested in a career in education, the allied health professions, and interdisciplinary fields such as environmental or biotechnology law, science journalism, and bioscience management.

Coursework for the Majors

The B.S. biology specializations require significant introductory coursework and credits in general biology, calculus and/or statistics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. The B.A. requires less preparation in mathematics, chemistry and physics. Students who are uncertain about the program that best suits their goals should consult a biology advisor for information and curriculum planning. Students can also individualize their curricula with additional life science courses from other departments, colleges and units at UF.

Relevant Minors and/or Certificates

UFTeach Program

There is a severe shortage of qualified secondary school biology teachers in Florida and nationwide. Students interested in becoming part of this high-demand profession should see a biology advisor or the UFTeach advisor. UFTeach students complete the UFTeach minor in science teaching with their B.A. or B.S. in biology and have the coursework and preparation for professional teacher certification in Florida when they graduate.
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Research

All biology majors are encouraged to participate in research. Research experience is valuable on many levels: it diversifies the college experience, teaches how scientists apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real world questions, provides the opportunity to work with and get to know researchers who are the best in their field, enables participation in cutting edge scientific questions and techniques, enhances the student's resume/CV when applying to graduate or professional school and, finally, it is essential to help the student determine if science is an appropriate career choice.
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CLAS biology majors may participate in research for course credit, as a scholar (e.g., University Scholar), as a volunteer, or, in rare cases, as a paid research assistant.

Required Foundation Coursework

All coursework for the major must be completed with minimum grades of C.

Required Foundation Coursework
BSC 2010
2010L
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1
4
BSC 2011
2011L
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2
4
Select one option:6-8
Option A
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1
and Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 2
Option B
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
Select one:4-5
Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry
Trigonometry
and Precalculus Algebra
A higher math course
Select one option:8-10
Option A
Applied Physics 1
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 1
Applied Physics 2
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 2
Option B
Physics 1
and Laboratory for Physics 1
Physics 2
and Laboratory for Physics 2
STA 2023Introduction to Statistics 13
Required Core Coursework 1
Biology Distribution Courses
Select at least one course from three of five groups:9-13
Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Genetics
Genetics
Elementary Organic and Biological Chemistry
Essential Cell Biology 3
Genetics
Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function
Molecular Genetics
Population Genetics
Organismal Biology
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
and Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants Laboratory 3
Human Physiology
Microbiology
and Microbiology Laboratory
Basic Biology of Microorganisms
and Laboratory for Basic Biology of Microorganisms 3
Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function 3
Cellular and Systems Physiology 3
Comparative Biomechanics 3
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Animals 3
Evolutionary Developmental Biology
Functional Vertebrate Anatomy
Ecology
Climate Change Biology
Plant Ecology
General Ecology
Evolution and Diversity
Plant Diversity
Practical Plant Taxonomy
Local Flora of North Florida
Evolution 3
Animal Behavior
Invertebrate Biodiversity
Vertebrate Biodiversity
Biology and Society
Environment, Food and Society
AGR 2332
Seeds of Change
Plants in Human Affairs
Plants, Plagues and People
Fungus among Us: Mushrooms, Molds and Civilization
Physiological Psychology
World Herbs and Vegetables
B.A. Electives 4
Approved biological science courses (minimum)15
Capstone
BSC 4936Critical Analysis of Biological Research2
Total Credits55-64
1

This major requires a minimum of 30 credits in core courses. At least 18 of the 30 credits of the required core coursework must be taken at UF. Any additional credits remaining after completion of required coursework must be met by taking courses from the approved additional life sciences electives.

2

At least two Biology Distribution Courses must be taken at UF. Only one 2000-level course may be applied to the Biology Distribution Course requirement.

3

Course has specific prerequisites. Students should consult the course description when planning their programs to ensure that they may select this course.

4

At least nine credits of B.A. Electives must be taken at UF.

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

Semester 5

  • Complete at least one biology distribution course
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete a minimum of 2 of the remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses

Semester 7

  • Complete a minimum of 2 of the remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses

Semester 8

  • Complete BSC 4936 (Capstone)
  • Complete all remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses 

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H, or S).

Approved Biology electives may not count towards the 3000 level or above electives outside of the major.

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
BSC 1920 First Year Introduction: Biology at UF (recommended biology elective) 1
Select one: 3-4
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 4
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
 Credits14-15
Semester Two
Select one: 3-4
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 2 (Critical Tracking)
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (Critical Tracking)
STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (Gen Ed Mathematics ) 3
Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Elective 3-4
 Credits15-17
Semester Three
BSC 2010
2010L
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
4
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Biological, Physical, or Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3
Foreign language 5
Elective (or Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences if Quest 2 course is not GE-S) 3
 Credits15
Semester Four
BSC 2011
2011L
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
4
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Foreign language 5
 Credits15
Semester Five
PHY 2004
2004L
Applied Physics 1
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 1
4
Biology distribution courses (Critical Tracking) 6-8
Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
Elective 3
 Credits16-18
Semester Six
PHY 2005
2005L
Applied Physics 2
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 2
4
Gen Ed Humanities 3
Biology distribution course 3-5
Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
Elective 3
 Credits16-18
Semester Seven
Approved electives 9
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
 Credits15
Semester Eight
BSC 4936 Critical Analysis of Biological Research (Critical Tracking) 2
Approved electives 6
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
 Credits14
 Total Credits120

AGR 4320Plant Breeding3
ALS 3153Agricultural Ecology3
ALS 4161Exotic Species and Biosecurity Issues3
ALS 4162Consequences of Biological Invasions 13
ALS 4163Challenges in Plant Resource Protection 13
ANS 3006
3006L
Introduction to Animal Science
and Introduction to Animal Science Laboratory
4
ANS 3319CReproductive Physiology and Endocrinology in Domestic Animals4
ANS 3440Principles of Animal Nutrition4
ANT 3514CIntroduction to Biological Anthropology4
ANT 4531Molecular Genetics of Disease3
ANT 4552Primate Behavior3
ANT 4554CPrimate Evolution3
ANT 4586Human Evolution3
APK 2100CApplied Human Anatomy with Laboratory4
BCH 4024Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology4
BMS 4136CHuman Histology4
BOT 2710CPractical Plant Taxonomy3
BOT 2800CPlants in Human Affairs3
BOT 3151CLocal Flora of North Florida3
BOT 3503
3503L
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
and Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants Laboratory
5
BOT 4621Plant Geography2
BOT 4935Special Topics1-4
BSC 1920First Year Introduction: Biology at UF1
BSC 2862Global Change Ecology and Sustainability3
BSC 3307CClimate Change Biology4
BSC 3402Theory and Practice in the Biological Sciences2
BSC 3911Entering Research in Biology1
BSC 4821CEvolutionary Biogeography3
BSC 4910Individual Mentored Research in Biology0-3
BSC 4912Advanced Mentored Research in Biology0-4
BSC 4930Special Topics in Biology1-4
ENY 2890Using Insect Research to Understand the Nature of Scientific Engagement3
ENY 3005
3005L
Principles of Entomology
and Principles of Entomology Laboratory
3
ENY 3007CLife Science3
ENY 3563Introduction to Tropical Entomology3
ENY 3564LTropical Entomology Field Laboratory2
ENY 4161Insect Classification3
ENY 4210Insects and Wildlife3
ENY 4453Behavioral Ecology and Systematics3
ENY 4455CSocial Insects3
ENY 4660
4660L
Medical and Veterinary Entomology
and Medical and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory
3
FAS 4202CBiology of Fishes4
FAS 4305CIntroduction to Fishery Science3
FOR 3342CTree Biology3
GLY 3603CPaleontology4
HOS 3305Introduction to Plant Molecular Biology3
HOS 4304Horticultural Physiology3
HOS 4313CLaboratory Methods in Plant Molecular Biology2
HUN 4221Nutrition and Metabolism3
HUN 4445Nutrition and Disease: Part 12
HUN 4446Nutrition and Disease: Part 23
MCB 4203Bacterial Pathogens3
MCB 4271LAntimicrobial Resistance Lab1
MCB 4304Genetics of Microorganisms3
MCB 4320CThe Microbiome3
MCB 4403Prokaryotic Cell Structure and Function3
MCB 4503General Virology3
NEM 3002Principles of Nematology3
PCB 3023Essential Cell Biology3
PCB 3109Cancer Biology3
PCB 3134Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function3
PCB 3402Disease Ecology and Evolution3
PCB 3601CPlant Ecology3
PCB 4043CGeneral Ecology4
PCB 4085Genetical Ethics1
PCB 4233Immunology3
PCB 4522Molecular Genetics3
PCB 4553Population Genetics4
PCB 4674Evolution4
PHI 3633Bioethics3
PLP 3002CFundamentals of Plant Pathology4
PLS 3004CPrinciples of Plant Science3
PLS 3223
3223L
Plant Propagation
and Plant Propagation Laboratory
3
PSB 3002Physiological Psychology3
PSB 3340Behavioral Neuroscience3
PSB 4434Neurochemistry, Pharmacology and Behavior3
PSB 4504Developmental Psychobiology3
PSB 4654Chemical Senses and Behavior3
PSB 4810Neurobiology of Learning and Memory3
SWS 4223Environmental Biogeochemistry3
WIS 3553CIntroduction to Conservation Genetics4
WIS 4203CLandscape Ecology and Conservation3
WIS 4443CWetland Wildlife Ecology4
WIS 4501Introduction to Wildlife Population Ecology3
WIS 4547CAvian Field Techniques2
WIS 4554Conservation Biology3
WIS 4601CQuantitative Wildlife Ecology3
WIS 4945Wildlife Techniques3
ZOO 3513CAnimal Behavior4
ZOO 3603CEvolutionary Developmental Biology4
ZOO 3713CFunctional Vertebrate Anatomy4
ZOO 4050Animal Behavior3
ZOO 4205CInvertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4232Human Parasitology3
ZOO 4307CVertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4403CMarine Biology4
ZOO 4472CAvian Biology4
ZOO 4926Special Topics in Zoology1-4
1

Only one of ALS 4162 and ALS 4163 can apply toward ALS credits.


Biology is the study of the many diverse forms, processes and systems of life. These studies range across all levels of the biological hierarchy, from the simplest to the most complex life forms, across all environments on the earth and across recent and evolutionary time that interconnects ancestors to their descendants.

To understand this vast diversity, the field of biology correspondingly relies on integrative and comparative approaches for the resolution of the general processes, principles and unifying themes that govern living systems. Biology is therefore very interdisciplinary and biologists rely on knowledge from the physical sciences and mathematics, as well as from across the disciplines and subdisciplines of biology for advances and breakthroughs.

The biology major is administered jointly by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Achieve a passing score for all content subsections of the Major Field Test for Biology. Content subscore areas are molecular biology and genetics, organismal biology, evolution, ecology and population biology.
  • Achieve a passing score on the analytical skills assessment indicator of the Major Field Test for Biology.
  • Achieve a passing score on the bioethics module quiz in BSC 4936. The content of the module and quiz are reviewed and approved by a faculty committee.
  • Achieve a passing score on the scientific literacy paper assignment given in BSC 4936. This paper is graded using a faculty-developed rubric.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Identify, describe and explain the basic terminology, concepts, methodologies and theories used within the biological sciences.

Critical Thinking

  1. Analyze biological information and develop reasoned solutions to problems using the processes and applications of scientific inquiry.
  2. Discriminate ethical behavior from unethical behavior in scientific research.

Communication

  1. Communicate knowledge, ideas and reasoning clearly and effectively in written or oral forms appropriate to the biological sciences.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
AGR 3303 or PCB 3063 or PCB 4522 R R R
ANS 3319C or BOT 3503 or HOS 4304 or PCB 3713C or PCB 4723C R R R
BSC 1920 I I I
BSC 2010 I I I
BSC 2011 I I I
BSC 4936 A A A A
MCB 3020 and MCB 3020L, or PCB 3134 or PCB 4674 R R R

Assessment Types

  • Major field test for biology
  • Bioethics module
  • Scientific literacy paper