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Program of Study

Students may receive either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in biological sciences. Both are designed to prepare students for graduate study, professional schools, or direct entry into the workplace. Both require general education courses in behavioral sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Both also require a foreign language for students beginning college prior to fall 2014. The main difference is that the BS degree requires more credit hours in biology, chemistry, physics, and math than the BA degree.

Effective Fall Semester 2014: Students who started college in 2014 who are pursuing a BS degree have the option of completing (1) a foreign language sequence or (2) one of three emphasis tracks (see Substitute Tracks for Foreign Language Requirement for more information). Students who started college in 2014 who are pursuing a BA degree are still required to complete a foreign language sequence (if they are not already exempt). Current students who began college prior to fall 2014 have the option to move to the current catalog year but must comply with all fall 2014 foreign language and major curriculum changes.

The specific requirements of the degree are outlined in the Division of Biological Sciences’ Undergraduate Advising Handbook as well as in the following graduation plans:

For students who started college before fall semester 2011

For students who started college between fall semester 2011 and sumer semester 2014 

For students who start college fall semester 2014 and after

The Division also partners with the College of Education to provide a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Biology that leads to certification in 9-12th grades in the state of Missouri.

Information for Freshman

Students majoring in biological sciences are encouraged to complete the following introductory courses their first year at Mizzou:

  • Biological Systems (BIO_SC 1500) with Lab: This course covers basic concepts and principles of the structure and function of living systems, from cells to populations. This is a foundation course for students who are intending to complete a three-semester sequence that also includes genetics and cell biology. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: Math 1100)
  • College Algebra (MATH 1100): This course reviews exponents, order of operations, factoring, and simplifying polynomial, rational, and radical expressions. Topics covered include linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, inverse, exponential, and logarithmic functions and their applications. Students will solve equations involving these functions, and systems of linear equations in two variables, as well as inequalities. (Prerequisite: Mathematics 0110 or a sufficient score on the ALEKS exam)
  • CHEM 1320: CHEM 1320 is recommended for students majoring in science. The course covers thermochemistry, periodic properties, bonding, liquids, and solids. The course satisfies a laboratory science requirement. Students with good high school backgrounds in chemistry should start with this course. (Prerequisite, Mathematics 1100 or equivalent, is enforced.)

Advanced Placement: Students can receive credit for BIO_SC 1500 with an AP score of 4 or higher. However, the Advising Office does not encourage freshman to take BIO_SC 2200 (General Genetics) despite credit for BIO_SC 1500. Student can receive credit for CHEM 1320 with an AP score of 3 and credit for CHEM 1320 and 1330 with an AP score of 4.

ALEKS Exam: To enroll in MATH 1100, students must score at least a 46% on the ALEKS exam. The ALEKS exam is an online assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge for an appropriate level for course placement. Students can take the ALEKS five times for free. ALEKS scores are valid for 11 months. The ALEKS exam can be taken online from MU Math Placement and should be completed prior to attending Summer Welcome.

For More Information

Contact or visit the Undergraduate Advising Office
Tucker Hall, Room 3
Phone: 573-882-4068