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DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (BSC)

Professor Martha J. Powell, Chairperson
Office: 319 Biology Building

The Department of Biological Sciences offers undergraduate programs in biology, microbiology, and marine science/biology, and an honors program for biology and microbiology majors.

Requirements for the biology major. Students majoring in biology complete the biology core, which includes BSC 114:115 or BSC 118, BSC 116:117 or BSC 120, BSC 300, BSC 315, BSC 385, BSC 450 or BSC 483, and additional biological sciences courses (including two laboratory courses) numbered above 250 to total a minimum of 36 hours. The following courses may be applied to the laboratory requirement: BSC 310, BSC 313, BSC 320, BSC 350, BSC 362, BSC 371, BSC 373, BSC 376, BSC 386, BSC 390, BSC 396, BSC 397, BSC 400, BSC 408, BSC 411, BSC 413, BSC 414, BSC 416, BSC 419, BSC 421, BSC 425, BSC 428, BSC 432, BSC 436, BSC 439, BSC 442, BSC 452, BSC 453, BSC 455, BSC 457, BSC 460, BSC 464, BSC 469, BSC 472, BSC 475, BSC 476, and BSC 490. A minimum of 12 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

In addition, biology majors must complete 8 hours of general physics; mathematics through one semester of analytic geometry and calculus; and chemistry through 8 hours of organic chemistry (students are encouraged to begin inorganic chemistry in the first semester). Students may take any of the remaining hours in the major beyond the biology core requirements in marine science (MS) courses (see p. 318). No minor is required.

Specialized tracks in the biology major. In addition to the biology core described above, the department suggests a number of specialized tracks for students wishing to concentrate in specific areas of biology. In all specialized tracks, students complete the biology core and select courses as indicated to total at least 36 hours in biological sciences.

The molecular/biotechnology biology track consists of BSC 439, BSC 441, and BSC 451. Additional hours may be selected from the following: BSC 310, BSC 311, BSC 313, BSC 350, BSC 400, BSC 424, BSC 432, BSC 435, BSC 436, BSC 442, BSC 444, BSC 494, BSC 495, and BSC 496.

The ecology and systematics track consists of BSC 360 or BSC 371; BSC 373 or BSC 376; and one of the following: BSC 303, BSC 320, BSC 350, BSC 412, BSC 415, BSC 416, BSC 417, BSC 419, BSC 420, BSC 434, BSC 456, BSC 464, BSC 482, BSC 490, BSC 494, and BSC 496.

Both of the above tracks, especially the molecular/biotechnology biology track, are suitable for prehealth professional students. However, the department suggests an alternative track for students not wishing to follow the molecular/biotechnology biology track or ecology and systematics track. The premedical, predental, preoptometry, pre-veterinary track fulfills general course requirements for admission to medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary schools. However, each school may vary in their course requirements , and students are encouraged to check specific course requirements at the school or schools in which they are interested. In addition to meeting the minimum course requirements for admission, this track provides in-depth exposure to subject material found on the MCAT, DAT, and OAT. A suggested sequence of courses is shown below.

Marine science/biology double major. This program consists of the biology core and appropriate biological sciences electives to total 36 hours, plus the courses in the interdisciplinary marine science program. See "Marine Science Program" on p. 92 for requirements.

Requirements for the biology minor. For the minor in biology, a minimum of 22 hours of biological sciences courses is required, including BSC 114:115 or BSC 118, BSC 116:117 or BSC 120, and at least 6 hours of advanced courses (300- and 400-level). A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus. Students may take any of the remaining hours in the minor beyond the biology core requirements in appropriate marine science (MS) courses (see p. 318).

Enrichment course limits. The Department of Biological Sciences offers a number of courses designed to enrich the learning experience of students beyond the traditional classroom setting. These courses include BSC 391, BSC 396, BSC 397, BSC 403, BSC 404, and BSC 407 (see specific restrictions listed for each course). A total of 4 hours from this group may be applied to the requirements of the biology major or minor.

A Suggested Sequence of Courses for the Biology Major
FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 114:115 or BSC 1184
EN 1013
MATH 12514
CH 101 or CH 1174
GS 1011
___
16
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 116:117 or BSC 1204
EN 1023
CH 1024
History23
Fine arts20–3
___
14–17
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 300, BSC 315, or BSC 3853
CH 2313
Literature23
General education courses23–6
Electives0–3
___
15–18
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 300, BSC 315, or BSC 3853
BSC 300, BSC 315, or BSC 3853
CH 2323
CH 2372
General education courses23–6
___
14–17
 
JUNIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 450 or BSC 48340–3
Biological sciences electives50–4
PH 1014
General education courses23–6
Electives0–3
___
14–17
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 450 or BSC 48340–3
Biological sciences electives54–9
PH 1024
General education courses23–6
Electives0–3
___
14–17
 
SENIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
Biological sciences electives54–9
General education courses23–6
Electives0–3
___
15–16
Second Semester
CourseHours
Biological sciences electives54–9
General education courses20–3
Electives3–9
___
13–16
 
Total: At least 120

1Students are admitted to MATH 125 based on placement examination.
2See College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements on p. 66. To satisfy the purposes of general education, a maximum of 6 hours in any one discipline may be applied to the humanities, literature, and fine arts (FA, L, HU) and history and social and behavioral sciences (HI, SB) requirements.
3Six hours in writing-designated (W) courses must be included in the junior or senior year. A minimum of 36 hours in 300- and 400-level courses is required.
4Students with credit for CH 461 may request a substitution for BSC 450.
5Sixteen hours in courses numbered above 250, including two laboratory courses. A minimum of 12 hours must be completed at the 300 or 400 level on this campus.

A Suggested Sequence of Courses for the Biology Major Prehealth Professional Track
FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 114:115 or BSC 1184
EN 1013
MATH 12514
CH 101 or CH 1174
GS 1011
___
16
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 116:117 or BSC 1204
EN 1023
CH 1024
HD 10123
PY 10123
___
14–17
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 300 or BSC 3153
CH 2313
Fine arts23
History23
Literature23
___
16
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 300 or BSC 3153
BSC 3853
General education course23
CH 2323
CH 2372
History or literature23
___
17
 
JUNIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 4003
BSC 45043
PH 1014
COM 12323
EC 11023
___
17
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 3105
PH 1024
BSC 4243
BSC 4252
ST 2603
___
17
 
SENIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 4092
BSC 4354
BSC 4604
General education courses20–3
Elective0–3
___
15–16
Second Semester
CourseHours
General education courses20–3
BSC 4102
Electives9–10
___
12–14
 
Total: At least 120

1Students are admitted to MATH 125 based on placement examination.
2See College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements on p. 66. To satisfy the purposes of general education, a maximum of 6 hours in any one discipline may be applied to the humanities, literature, and fine arts (FA, L, HU) and history and social and behavioral sciences (HI, SB) requirements.
3Six hours in writing-designated (W) courses must be included in the junior or senior year. A minimum of 36 hours in 300- and 400-level courses is required. Twelve hours in the major must be completed at the 300 or 400 level on this campus.
4Students with credit for CH 461 may request a substitution for BSC 450.

Requirements for the microbiology major. The microbiology curriculum stresses the sciences of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics essential to the study of microbiology, and has sufficient flexibility to allow preparation for graduate study or for employment in microbiological and allied fields. In addition, the requirements for entrance into medical, dental, medical technology, or other professional programs may be met by the curriculum for the bachelor of science in microbiology degree.

The microbiology major requires the following courses in the biological sciences: BSC 114:115 or BSC 118, BSC 116:117 or BSC 120, BSC 310, BSC 311, BSC 313, BSC 439, BSC 450, and BSC 451. An additional 16 hours of biological sciences electives must be selected from BSC 391, BSC 397, BSC 431, BSC 432, BSC 435, BSC 436, BSC 444, BSC 456, BSC 457, BSC 464, BSC 472, and BSC 497. These hours must include two laboratories to be selected from BSC 397, BSC 432, BSC 436, BSC 464, and BSC 472. The microbiology major also requires the following courses in the physical sciences, chemical sciences, and mathematics: CH 101 or CH 117, CH 102 or CH 118, CH 223, CH 231, CH 232, CH 237; PH 101 or PH 105; PH 102 or PH 106; and mathematics through MATH 125. No minor is required.

Requirements for the microbiology minor. The minor in microbiology requires 20 hours. A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus. The following courses are required: BSC 310, BSC 311, BSC 313, BSC 431, BSC 450, and BSC 451.

A Suggested Sequence of Courses for the Bachelor of Science in Microbiology Degree
FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
EN 1013
BSC 114:115 or BSC 1184
CH 1014
MATH 12514
GS 1011
___
16
Second Semester
CourseHours
EN 1023
BSC 116:117 or BSC 1204
CH 1024
Fine arts23
History23
___
17
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
CH 2313
Literature23
General education courses26
PH 1014
___
16
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 3105
CH 232:2375
History or literature23
PH 1024
___
17
 
JUNIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
BSC 311 and BSC 3136
BSC 45043
CH 2233
Microbiology elective50–4
General education courses20–3
___
15–16
Second Semester
CourseHours
BSC 45143
BSC 43943
Microbiology elective53–6
General education courses23–6
___
15–16
 
SENIOR YEAR3
First Semester
CourseHours
Microbiology elective53–7
General education courses23
Electives26–9
___
16–17
Second Semester
CourseHours
Microbiology elective53–6
General education courses23
Electives26–9
___
15–17
 
Total: At least 120

1Students are admitted to MATH 125 based on placement examination.
2See College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements on p. 66. To satisfy the purposes of general education, a maximum of 6 hours in any one discipline may be applied to the humanities, literature, and fine arts (FA, L, HU) and history and social and behavioral sciences (HI, SB) requirements.
3Six hours in writing-designated (W) courses must be included in the junior or senior year. A minimum of 36 hours in 300- and 400-level courses is required.
4Students with credit for CH 461:462:463 may request a substitution for BSC 450:451:439.
5At least 16 hours of microbiology electives must be chosen from the following: BSC 391, BSC 397, BSC 431, BSC 432, BSC 435, BSC 436, BSC 444, BSC 456, BSC 457, BSC 464, BSC 472. These hours must include two laboratories to be selected from BSC 397, BSC 432, BSC 436, BSC 464, and BSC 472. A 2.0 or higher grade point average for all microbiology courses (or permission of the department chairperson) is a prerequisite for these electives. A minimum of 12 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

Honors program in biological sciences. Biology majors and microbiology majors are eligible for consideration for the honors program in biological sciences after completing a minimum of 16 hours in biological sciences with a grade point average of 3.4 in biological sciences and 3.4 overall. Admission into the program requires the approval of the Honors Program Committee and acceptance of the student by primary advisors and co-advisors. Requirements for the program include 4–8 hours of BSC 390 Honors Thesis Research; an acceptable honors thesis; attendance in BSC 407 Honors Seminar in Biological Sciences; completion of the advanced portion of the Graduate Record Examination; and maintenance of a 3.4 GPA in biological sciences courses and a 3.4 overall GPA. Additional details are available in the office of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Graduate programs. The Department of Biological Sciences offers programs leading to the master of science degree in biology and marine science and the doctor of philosophy degree in biology. The requirements for these degrees are stated in the University of Alabama graduate catalog.

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