Sep 29, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Advanced Track (B.A.)

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Beth Cantwell, Assistant Professor of Biology
Health and Life Sciences Building, Room 345, (540) 665-4802,​​

The Biology major offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to develop both fundamental and in-depth knowledge within the disciplines of the biological sciences. Students will participate in comprehensive, hands-on, laboratory-based activities that will promote the development of technical skills used in biological science investigations.

The Biology major allows students to pursue specialized interests in secondary Biology education, microbiology and clinical laboratory sciences, cell and molecular biology, and the health-related professions including medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy and other fields at the graduate level.

There are two degrees offered by the Department of Biology: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.

The Bachelor of Arts degree provides a strong education in the biological sciences, requiring the same number of Biology courses, but fewer courses in Chemistry and none in Mathematics. This course of study is ideal for those who wish to pursue additional coursework in the social sciences or humanities, complete two minors, double major or complete their degree requirements in three years.

Courses Required for the B.A. in Biology

Total 34 credits

Biology Electives (Four Courses)

Take four courses from any non-core courses in the BIO offerings:

Two must be at or above the 200-level
Two must be at or above the 300-level

Maximum of 2 credits from the following courses:

Total 11-16 credits

Chemistry Elective (One Course with Lab)

Must be at or above the 200-level

Total: 4 Credits

Total: 4 Credits

Program Total: 49-54 credits

Collateral Recommendation:


*BIO 491  and BIO 492  may only be used to fulfill one Biology elective requirement.

*SU Pharmacy only requires one semester of Physics, but programs at other universities require two. Physical Therapy programs require two semesters of Physics.

Course Map

This course map is appropriate for students who have been granted Guaranteed Graduate Admissions (GGA) status to a health professions graduate program or, in some cases, for those who wish to apply for admission to a health professions graduate program following three years of undergraduate study.

For GGA students, minimum GPA and other professional program prerequisite requirements must be met. In addition, GGA students seeking a bachelor’s degree must fulfill all specific University, College of Arts & Sciences and Biology requirements prior to entry into the graduate program. Courses from the first year of graduate school contribute upper-level credits toward the total 120 hours required for graduation with a
B.A. in Biology, but may not be used to fulfill course requirements for the Biology major without administrative approval.

Students who wish to apply for admission to a health profession graduate program following three years of undergraduate study and earn the B.A. in Biology should be aware that this option is strictly limited to GGA students in some programs. Therefore, if you are not a GGA student, but wish to apply early to a graduate health professions program, you should discuss the possibility with your academic advisor early in your academic career.

This course map may be customized to meet individual needs; however, the accelerated timeline leaves less room for flexibility. Therefore, it is important to discuss academic goals with advisors early in each academic year.

1st Year

Total: 31-35 credits

2nd Year

  • Credit(s): 4 (Spring)
  • Credit(s): 3 (Spring)
  • Biology electives 200-level or higher Credit(s): 5-8
  • Biology elective 300-level or higher Credit(s): 3-4
  • Chemistry elective 200-level or higher Credit(s): 3-4
  • FL 201/202 Foreign Language Credit(s): 3-6 (Arts and Sciences requirement)
  • Gen Ed, second major, minor and professional school prerequisite courses or general electives Credit(s): 6

Total: 27-35 credits

3rd Year

  • Credit(s): 4 (Fall)
  • Credit(s): 3 (Fall)
  • Credit(s): 4 (Fall or Spring)
  • Biology elective 300-level or higher Credit(s): 3-4
  • Remaining Gen Ed, second major, minor and professional prerequisite courses or general electives Credit(s): 18-21

Total: 32-36 credits

4th Year

  • Upper-level electives earned in professional school Credit(s): variable

Total: Variable

Requirement for Graduation: at least 120 credits

A 2.0 GPA in major and minor courses is required for graduation.
24 of the student’s last 30 credits must be earned at SU to earn a degree

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