Biology

major | UF Online

The online Biology major prepares undergraduates for careers in the biological sciences, advanced study in graduate schools, productive citizenship, and leadership and lifelong learning. The program is comprehensive and flexible, emphasizing the diverse forms, processes, and systems of life. Students in the program complete required and elective courses that promote critical thinking through the investigation and understanding of principles and unifying themes that govern living systems. The Biology major offers a broader approach to biology than is available through a major in botany, zoology, or other specialized biological sciences majors.

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.ufl.edu.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Department of Biology studies life at all levels from molecules to the biosphere to understand the evolution, structure, maintenance and dynamics of biological systems. Our teaching and research provide the integrative and conceptual foundations of the life sciences.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.273.0125 (tel) | 352.392.3704 (fax)

P.O. BOX 118525
220 BARTRAM HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-8525
Map

Curriculum

The biology major develops fundamental knowledge of animals, plants, and microorganisms. The Bachelor of Arts in biology is a flexible degree that is best suited for students interested in a career in education, the allied health professions, and interdisciplinary fields such as environmental or biotechnology law, science journalism, and bioscience management. This degree is not recommended for students seeking admission into professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Please contact an academic advisor for more information.

Coursework for the Major

All coursework for the major must be completed with minimum grades of C.

Required Foundation Coursework
General Biology
BSC 2010
2010L
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1
4
BSC 2011
2011L
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2
4
Chemistry
Select one option:6-8
Option A
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1
and Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 2
Option B
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
Mathematics
Select one:4-5
Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry
Trigonometry
and Precalculus Algebra
A higher math course
Physics
Select one option:8-10
Option A
Applied Physics 1
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 1
Applied Physics 2
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 2
Option B
Physics with Calculus 1
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 1
Physics with Calculus 2
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 2
Option C
Physics 1
and Laboratory for Physics 1
Physics 2
and Laboratory for Physics 2
Statistics
STA 2023Introduction to Statistics 13
Required Core Coursework
Select at least one biology distribution course from three of five groups: 1,29-13
Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Genetics
Genetics
Elementary Organic and Biological Chemistry 3
Essential Cell Biology
Genetics
Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function
Molecular Genetics
Population Genetics
Organismal Biology
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
and Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants Laboratory 3
Human Physiology
Microbiology
and Microbiology Laboratory
Basic Biology of Microorganisms
and Laboratory for Basic Biology of Microorganisms 3
Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function 3
Cellular and Systems Physiology 3
Comparative Biomechanics 3
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Animals 3
Evolutionary Developmental Biology
Functional Vertebrate Anatomy
Ecology
Climate Change Biology
Plant Ecology
General Ecology
Evolution and Diversity
Plant Diversity
Practical Plant Taxonomy
Local Flora of North Florida
Evolution 3
Animal Behavior
Invertebrate Biodiversity
Vertebrate Biodiversity
Biology and Society
Environment, Food and Society
Consequences of Biological Invasions
Plants in Human Affairs
Plants, Plagues and People
Fungus among Us: Mushrooms, Molds and Civilization
Physiological Psychology
World Herbs and Vegetables
B.A. Electives
Additional biology distribution courses or approved biological science courses. At least nine credits of B.A. Electives must be taken at UF.15
Capstone
BSC 4936Critical Analysis of Biological Research2
Total Credits55-64

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

Semester 5

  • Complete at least 1 biology distribution course
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete a minimum of 2 of the remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses

Semester 7

  • Complete a minimum of 2 of the remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses

Semester 8

  • Complete BSC 4936 (Capstone)
  • Complete all remaining Biology major 3000/4000 level required core courses 

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H, or S).

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
Select one: 3-4
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1 (Critical Tracking)  
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
 
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 4
State Core Gen Ed Composition 3
 Credits13-14
Semester Two
Select one: 3-4
Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 2 (Critical Tracking)  
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (Critical Tracking)
 
STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (Gen Ed Mathematics ) 3
Gen Ed Composition (Writing Requirement) 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Electives 4
 Credits16-17
Semester Three
BSC 2010
2010L
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
4
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Foreign language 5
Elective 3
 Credits15
Semester Four
BSC 2011
2011L
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
4
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Foreign language 5
 Credits15
Semester Five
Quest 2 3
Select one: 4-5
Applied Physics 1
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 1
 
Physics 1
and Laboratory for Physics 1
 
Biology distribution courses (Critical Tracking) 6
Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
 Credits16-17
Semester Six
Select one: 4-5
Applied Physics 2
and Laboratory for Applied Physics 2
 
Physics 2
and Laboratory for Physics 2
 
Gen Ed Humanities 3
Biology distribution course 3
Elective (3000 level or above; not in major) 3
Elective 3
 Credits16-17
Semester Seven
Approved Biology electives 9
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
 Credits15
Semester Eight
BSC 4936 Critical Analysis of Biological Research (Critical Tracking) 2
Approved Biology electives 6
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
 Credits14
 Total Credits120

ALS 3153Agricultural Ecology3
ALS 4162Consequences of Biological Invasions 13
ANS 3006Introduction to Animal Science3
ANT 3514CIntroduction to Biological Anthropology4
ANT 3515Human Evolutionary Anatomy3
ANT 3520Skeleton Keys: Forensic Identification3
APK 2100CApplied Human Anatomy with Laboratory4
BCH 3023Elementary Organic and Biological Chemistry3
BCH 4024Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology4
BOT 2011CPlant Diversity4
BSC 2862Global Change Ecology and Sustainability3
BSC 3096Human Physiology 13
BSC 3307CClimate Change Biology4
ENY 3005
3005L
Principles of Entomology
and Principles of Entomology Laboratory
3
ENY 3007CLife Science3
ENY 4161Insect Classification3
ENY 4210Insects and Wildlife3
ENY 4660
4660L
Medical and Veterinary Entomology
and Medical and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory
3
GLY 3603CPaleontology4
MCB 2000Microbiology3
MCB 3020Basic Biology of Microorganisms3
MCB 4304Genetics of Microorganisms3
MCB 4320CThe Microbiome3
MCB 4403Prokaryotic Cell Structure and Function3
MCB 4503General Virology3
PCB 3023Essential Cell Biology 13
PCB 3063Genetics 14
PCB 3134Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function3
PCB 4043CGeneral Ecology 14
PCB 4233Immunology3
PCB 4522Molecular Genetics 13
PCB 4674Evolution 14
PSB 3002Physiological Psychology 13
SWS 4223Environmental Biogeochemistry3
ZOO 3603CEvolutionary Developmental Biology 14
ZOO 3713CFunctional Vertebrate Anatomy 14
ZOO 4232Human Parasitology 13
ZOO 4403CMarine Biology4
ZOO 4926Special Topics in Zoology1-4

Biology is the study of the many diverse forms, processes and systems of life. These studies range across all levels of the biological hierarchy, from the simplest to the most complex life forms, across all environments on the earth and across recent and evolutionary time that interconnects ancestors to their descendants.

To understand this vast diversity, the field of biology correspondingly relies on integrative and comparative approaches for the resolution of the general processes, principles and unifying themes that govern living systems. Biology is therefore very interdisciplinary and biologists rely on knowledge from the physical sciences and mathematics, as well as from across the disciplines and subdisciplines of biology for advances and breakthroughs.

The biology major is administered jointly by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Achieve a passing score for all content subsections of the Major Field Test for Biology. Content subscore areas are molecular biology and genetics, organismal biology, evolution, ecology and population biology.
  • Achieve a passing score on the analytical skills assessment indicator of the Major Field Test for Biology.
  • Achieve a passing score on the bioethics module quiz in BSC 4936. The content of the module and quiz are reviewed and approved by a faculty committee.
  • Achieve a passing score on the scientific literacy paper assignment given in BSC 4936. This paper is graded using a faculty-developed rubric.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Identify, describe and explain the basic terminology, concepts, methodologies and theories used within the biological sciences.

Critical Thinking

  1. Analyze biological information and develop reasoned solutions to problems using the processes and applications of scientific inquiry.
  2. Discriminate ethical behavior from unethical behavior in scientific research.

Communication

  1. Communicate knowledge, ideas and reasoning clearly and effectively in written or oral forms appropriate to the biological sciences.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
AGR 3303 or PCB 3063 or PCB 4522 R R R
ANS 3319C or BOT 3503 or HOS 4304 or PCB 3713C or PCB 4723C R R R
BSC 1920 I I I
BSC 2010 I I I
BSC 2011 I I I
BSC 4936 A A A A
MCB 3020 and 3020L, or PCB 3134 or PCB 4674 R R R

Assessment Types

  • Major field test for biology
  • Bioethics module
  • Scientific literacy paper