For up-to-date information regarding admission and graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, please consult the UIS Catalog.

Dr. Lucia Vazquez and a Biology student work together on an experiment.Admission

Whether coming from the Capital Scholars program or transferring from another institution, students generally must complete eight semester hours in biology before entering the undergraduate degree program. These hours may consist of either:

  • a one-year course in general biology, or
  • a one-semester course in general biology plus a semester of either zoology or botany.

Students must have eight semester hours of college transfer general chemistry with laboratory and one college-level mathematics such as applied statistics or Calculus (college algebra is not recommended as it will not count toward UIS’ general education math requirement).

Graduation Requirements

Before graduation, students must complete a minimum of one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory. This may be taken either before or after admission. During the two years at UIS, up to twelve semester hours of approved lower-division courses may be transferred from an accredited institution of higher education to make up deficiencies.

Biology students work together in lab.Students planning to attend graduate school should consider a minimum of one semester of calculus to increase their scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Students considering admission to a professional career, such as medicine or veterinary medicine, will need a year of physics, one year of Organic Chemistry, and Calculus.

Additional UIS Course Requirements

Incoming Freshmen: Complete ECCE coursework according to the General Education requirements.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 13 semester hours of UIS requirements in the areas of ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience). One hour of this ECCE curriculum is a required Speaker Series course – UNI 301. The other 12 hours are divided among the other ECCE categories (Global Awareness, US Communities, Engagement Experience and ECCE electives). Students should consult with their advisors about completing the ECCE requirements. View the ECCE information in the UIS catalog.

The following chart illustrates the number of hours required to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Biology:

Suggested Semester
Prerequisites for upper division courses:


100-200-level Biology courses
100-200-level Introductory Chemistry courses
CHE 267 Fundamental Organic Reactions*
CHE 268 Experimental Organic Chemistry*
Core Requirements:
BIO 301 General Seminar
fall or spring, junior year
CHE 322 Laboratory Techniques
fall or spring, junior year
BIO 351 Organismal Botany
fall, junior year
BIO 361 Comparative Vertebrate Biology
spring, junior year
BIO 345 & 346 General Microbiology & Lab
fall, junior or senior year
BIO 371 Principles of Ecology
fall, junior year
BIO 311 Cell Biology
spring, senior year
BIO 381 Genetics
spring, senior year
Biology Elective
senior year
Core Subtotal:
UIS Requirements (ECCEs)
General Electives

*One semester of organic chemistry is a prerequisite for some biology core courses. Courses equivalent to CHE 267 and 268 are accepted for transfer students.

Inside the UIS greenhouse


The Biology program assesses all students for communication skills and for knowledge of biology. This assessment begins when students enter UIS and continues until graduation. Assessment tools include a written evaluation and the development of a portfolio of laboratory reports and papers. The written evaluation is given both at the beginning of a student’s study at UIS and just before graduation. This assessment is intended to help students in their academic planning and to help the program in curriculum development.

Assessment in the major and in general education skills is included in BIO 301 General Seminar, a required course for all biology majors that uses the learning skills assessment scores to assist the student in developing specific learning skills in biology. Students in general seminar must earn at least a C to receive credit. Those performing below this level are required to complete a learning skills development program.