Biology, B.A.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Biology.

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. Robert Sanders, Chair
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 255
215-204-8851

Dr. Erik Cordes, Vice Chair
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 447
erik.cordes@temple.edu
215-204-4067

Dr. Angela Bricker, Faculty Advisor
Biology Majors - junior and senior
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 248C
215-204-8578
abricker@temple.edu

Dr. Jay Lunden, Faculty Advisor
Biology Majors - first and second year
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 248M
215-204-8524
jlunden@temple.edu

Evelyn Vleck, Faculty Advisor
Biology Majors - transfer students
Biology-Life Sciences Building, Room 248
evleck@temple.edu

Bachelor of Arts 

Summary of Requirements for the Degree

  1. University Requirements
    • Students must complete all University requirements including those listed below.
    • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses at Temple as part of their major. The specific writing-intensive course options for this major are:
      BIOL 2296Genetics (S)4
      BIOL 3096Cell Structure and Function (F)4
      BIOL 3396Scientific Writing for Biology: The Art of Communicating3
    • 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 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), the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), or the College of Engineering (ENG).
    • 90 credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST), the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), or the College of Engineering (ENG).
    • Two (2) Upper Level (2000+) Liberal Art courses.
    • Second (2nd) Level of a Foreign Language (1002).
    • All students in the College of Science and Technology are required to take a one credit first year seminar. SCTC 1001 CST First Year Seminar is the appropriate course option for every entering first year CST major. Transfer students should use SCTC 2001 CST Transfer Seminar to fulfill this requirement. Other courses that fulfill this requirement may be found on the CST College Requirements page.
  3. Major Requirements for Bachelor of Arts (62-66 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 Organismal Biology4
    or BIOL 1911 Honors Introduction to Organismal Biology
    BIOL 1112Introduction to Biomolecules, Cells and Genomes4
    or BIOL 1912 Honors Introduction to Biomolecules, Cells and Genomes
    Select one of the following:3
    Principles of Ecology
    Evolution (F)
    BIOL 2296Genetics (S)4
    Select one of the following: 13-4
    Cell Structure and Function (F)
    Molecular Biology
    General Biochemistry I
    Select 3 Biology electives 2200 or above 29-12
    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 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 Honors II
    and Organic Honors Laboratory II (S)
    College of Science and Technology
    SCTC 1013Elements of Data Science for the Physical and Life Sciences3
    Mathematics
    MATH 1041Calculus I4
    or MATH 1941 Honors Calculus I
    Select one of the following:4
    Calculus II
    Honors Calculus II
    Introduction to Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences
    Physics
    Select one of the following:4
    Introduction to General Physics I
    Elementary Classical Physics I
    Honors Elementary Classical Physics I
    General Physics I
    Honors General Physics I
    Select one of the following:4
    Introduction to General Physics II
    Elementary Classical Physics II
    Honors Elementary Classical Physics II
    General Physics II
    Honors General Physics II
    Total Credit Hours62-66
    (F) - Fall only course
    (S) - Spring only course

    Note: Grades of C- or higher are required unless otherwise specified in all courses for the major, including course prerequisites. Most research and independent study courses do not count as Biology electives, such as:

    BIOL 2082Independent Research I1 to 4
    BIOL 3082Independent Research II1 to 4
    BIOL 3091Research Methods3
    BIOL 3681Cooperative Studies2 to 4
    BIOL 3685Externship Studies3
    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

Courses listed under the major requirements for the degree will be included in the calculation of the major GPA. Courses that could not apply toward the major as an elective or required course would not be counted in the calculation of 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 2022-2023 Academic Year

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
BIOL 1111 or 1911Introduction to Organismal Biology4
MATH 1041 or 1941Calculus I4
SCTC 1013Elements of Data Science for the Physical and Life Sciences3
SCTC 1001CST First Year Seminar1
GenEd Breadth Course3
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
BIOL 1112 or 1912Introduction to Biomolecules, Cells and Genomes4
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry I 
Honors General Chemical Science I 
Select one of the following:4
Calculus II 
Introduction to Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences 
ENG 0802, 0812, or 0902Analytical Reading and Writing [GW]4
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall
Select one of the following:3
Principles of Ecology 
Evolution (F) 
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry II 
Honors General Chemical Science II 
IH 0851 or 0951Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life [GY]3
Elective3-4
Elective2-1
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
BIOL 2296Genetics [WI] (S)4
Select one of the following:4
Organic Chemistry I 
Organic Chemistry for Honors I 
IH 0852 or 0952Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good [GZ]3
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective 1
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall
Select one of the following:1,23-4
Cell Structure and Function [WI] (F) 
Elective
 
Select one of the following:4
Organic Chemistry II 
Organic Chemistry for Honors II 
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to General Physics I 
Elementary Classical Physics I 
General Physics I 
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective2-1
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
Select one of the following:23-4
Molecular Biology 
General Biochemistry I 
Elective
 
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to General Physics II 
Elementary Classical Physics II 
General Physics II 
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective33-4
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective3-1
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 4
Fall
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective33-4
GenEd Breadth Course3-4
Elective3
Elective3
Elective3-1
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
Upper-Level 2200+ Biology Elective33-4
Elective3
Elective3
Elective3
Elective3-2
 Term Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours: 123
(F) - Fall only course
(S) - Spring only course