Biology, B.A.

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology, which also provides the essential background for professional schools, is appropriate for those who are planning for careers in fields where a science background with additional breadth is advantageous. 

Undergraduate Contact Information:

Dr. Allen Nicholson, Chair
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 255
215-204-8851

Dr. Robert Sanders, Vice Chair
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 347
215-204-2056

Dr. Joel Sheffield
Juniors/Seniors, Research Questions
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 311
215-204-8839
jbs@temple.edu

Dr. Angela Bricker
Freshmen/Sophomores
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 248C
215-204-8578
abricker@temple.edu

Bachelor of Arts 

Summary of Requirements for the Degree

  1. University Requirements
    • MATH 0701 (4 s.h.) and/or ENG 0701 (4 s.h.), if required by placement testing. 
    • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses at Temple as part of their major. Following is a list of courses that can be used to satisfy the writing-intensive requirement:
      BIOL 2296Genetics (S)4
      BIOL 3096Cell Structure and Function (F)4
      BIOL 3396Scientific Writing for Biology: The Art of Communicating (S)3
    • Students must complete the General Education (GenEd) requirements.
      • See the General Education section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for the GenEd curriculum.
      • Students who complete CST majors typically receive a waiver for 2 Science & Technology (GS) and 1 Quantitative Literacy (GQ) GenEd courses.
    • Students must satisfy general Temple University residency requirements.
  2. College Requirements
    • 45 Upper Level (2000+) credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST) or the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
    • 90 credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST) or the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
    • Two (2) Upper Level (2000+) Liberal Art courses.
    • Second (2nd) Level of a Foreign Language (1002).
  3. Major Requirements for Bachelor of Arts (60-63 s.h.)
    At least 7 courses required for the major must be completed at Temple. At least 4 Biology courses must be completed at Temple.
    Biology
    BIOL 1111Introduction to Biology I4
    or BIOL 1911 Honors Introduction to Biology I
    BIOL 2112Introduction to Biology II4
    or BIOL 2912 Honors Introduction to Biology II
    BIOL 2227Principles of Ecology (S)3
    BIOL 2296Genetics (S)4
    BIOL 3096Cell Structure and Function (F)4
    Select 3 Biology electives 2200 or above (see course descriptions for exceptions)9-12
    Chemistry
    Select one of the following:4
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry Laboratory I
    Honors General Chemical Science I
    and Honors Chemical Science Laboratory I (F)
    Select one of the following:4
    General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry Laboratory II
    Honors General Chemical Science II
    and Honors Chemical Science Laboratory II (S)
    Select one of the following:4
    Organic Chemistry I
    and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
    Organic Chemistry for Majors I
    and Organic Majors Laboratory I (F)
    Organic Chemistry for Honors I
    and Organic Honors Laboratory I (F)
    Select one of the following:4
    Organic Chemistry II
    and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
    Organic Chemistry for Majors II
    and Organic Majors Laboratory II (S)
    Organic Chemistry for Honors II
    and Organic Honors Laboratory II (S)
    Mathematics
    Select one of the following:4
    Calculus I with Lab 1
    Calculus I
    Honors Calculus I (F)
    Select one of the following:4
    Introduction to Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences
    Calculus II
    Honors Calculus II
    Physics
    PHYS 2021General Physics I4
    or PHYS 2921 Honors General Physics I
    PHYS 2022General Physics II4
    or PHYS 2922 Honors General Physics II
    Total Credit Hours60-63
    (F) - Fall only course
    (S) - Spring only course
    1

    Students who choose MATH 1038 must also take the linked course MATH 1039.

    Note: A grade of C or higher in CHEM 1031 or its Honors alternate is required to take BIOL 1111. Grades of C or higher in both CHEM 1031 and CHEM 1032 or their Honors alternates are required to take BIOL 2112. Grades of C or higher in BIOL 1111 and BIOL 2112 or their Honors alternates are required to take upper-level Biology courses, and a C- or higher is required unless otherwise specified in all other courses for the major, including course prerequisites. Most research and independent study courses are not available for major credit, such as:

    BIOL 2082Independent Research I1 to 4
    BIOL 3082Independent Research II1 to 4
    BIOL 3091Research Methods3
    BIOL 3681Cooperative Studies2 to 4
    BIOL 4291Extradepartmental Research1 to 4
    BIOL 4483Accelerated Research in Biochemistry3
    BIOL 4491Research in Biochemistry3
    BIOL 4591Research in Neuroscience1 to 4

A GPA of 2.0 or better is required in Biology courses in order to graduate.

Distinction in the Major

To be eligible for distinction in the major, a student must retain a grade point average of 3.2 or better (overall and in the major); should register for BIOL 4391 Accelerated Research in Biology or BIOL 4291 Extradepartmental Research for a total of 6 s.h. over two semesters; and must write a final research paper and present his/her research at a departmental research poster session before graduation. A student, however, does not have to enroll in the distinction program in order to participate in departmental research. Other courses (BIOL 2082 Independent Research I and BIOL 3082 Independent Research II), provide credit toward graduation and research experience, and are available to undergraduate students from their sophomore through their senior year. A student may register for BIOL 3082 more than one semester, however only one semester may be completed for a grade. The additional semester may be taken for credit/no credit. In all cases, permission of the faculty and application to the department Honors Committee is required before registering for research credits.

Calculation of Major GPA

The list of courses that are used to calculate major GPA is determined by the department. Students should consult with their academic advising unit for the applicable courses. In general, courses that could not apply toward the major as an elective or a required course are not counted for the major GPA. This would include BIOL 1011, for example.

A total of up to 3 s.h. of Biology research courses numbered lower than 4000 (to include:  BIOL 2082, BIOL 3082, BIOL 3181, BIOL 3281, and BIOL 3681) may be taken for a letter grade. Any additional credits in research courses in this category can be taken only on a CR/NC basis. No research courses numbered lower than 4000 may be used for Biology elective credit.

Suggested Academic Plan

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Requirements for New Students starting in the 2016-2017 Academic Year

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry I 
Honors General Chemical Science I (F) 
Select one of the following:4
Calculus I with Lab1 
Calculus I 
Honors Calculus I (F) 
General Education/Elective Credits7
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
BIOL 1111 or 1911Introduction to Biology I4
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry II 
Honors General Chemical Science II (S) 
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences 
Calculus II 
Honors Calculus II 
General Education/Elective Credits3
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 2
Fall
BIOL 2112 or 2912Introduction to Biology II4
Select one of the following:4
Organic Chemistry I 
Organic Chemistry for Majors I (F) 
Organic Chemistry for Honors I (F) 
General Education/Elective Credits7
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following:3-4
Principles of Ecology (S) 
Genetics [WI] (S) 
Select one of the following:4
Organic Chemistry II 
Organic Chemistry for Majors II (S) 
Organic Chemistry for Honors II (S) 
General Education/Elective Credits9-8
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 3
Fall
BIOL 3096Cell Structure and Function [WI] (F)4
PHYS 2021 or 2921General Physics I4
General Education/Elective Credits8
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
Select one of the following:4-3
Principles of Ecology (S) 
Genetics [WI] (S) 
PHYS 2022 or 2922General Physics II4
General Education/Elective Credits7-8
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective23-4
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective23-4
General Education/Elective Credits9-7
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective23-4
General Education/Elective Credits13-12
 Term Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours: 123
(F) - Fall only course
(S) - Spring only course
1

Students who choose MATH 1038 must also take the linked course MATH 1039.

2

If the student has taken the necessary prerequisite courses, some of the Biology elective courses may be taken before the Fall semester of Year 4.