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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 two emphasis tracks (see Alternative for the 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 in the following graduation plans:

For students who start college in fall semester 2018 and after

For students who start college in fall semester 2017 and after

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.

Mathematics Course Placement

In order to qualify to take a Math department course at the University of Missouri, students must have one of the following:

NOTE: Statistics, Financial Planning, or other math-related courses offered outsidethe Math department do not fall under the above guidelines. Check with the appropriate department for prerequisite requirements for those courses.

Do You Need To Take The MyMathTest Assessment? 

Start by choosing the option that describes you best:

I will be starting at Mizzou as a new student in Spring/Fall 2017. >>> I am a current MU student who needs to sign up for a Math course. >>>

If you do need to take the MyMathTest assessment, you will login to take the assessment online through the links on the right, and there is no fee or registration required. In case you are not satisfied with your score on the MyMathTest assessment, you will be given the chance to take the assessment an unlimited number of times. In addition, there is a free online study/review package that you can use to review and prepare for the MyMathTest assessment and your upcoming math course at MU. In most cases, your score on the MyMathTest assessment will determine your math course placement.

For More Information

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

George Wallace, Ph.D.

Vice President, Oceans & Islands Division, American Bird Conservancy

Dr. George Wallace sitting in a boat

“At MU, all of us in John Faaborg's lab were working at the interface between research and conservation, where the science of ecology was driving our thinking about how to conserve birds, especially birds that migrate between the US and Canada and the Tropics. For many of us, preparation at MU allowed us to choose paths in academia, government, or the private sector where we continue to apply and build on what we learned to conserve birds.”

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Among the most prestigious academic honor society

In 2015, 16 seniors and 4 juniors from the Division of Biological Sciences were invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States.

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