TOTAL MAJOR HOURS: 120
Plans of Study
The Bachelor of Science in Biology provides a broad, robust foundation in the biological sciences. It prepares students for graduate programs in biology (e.g. zoology, botany, conservation biology, microbiology, marine biology, ecology and evolution) as well as professional degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacology, or biology careers with industry and government agencies. The program emphasizes the development of critical thinking and communication skills, as well as competency in experimental design, data analysis and methodology for lab and field research. The concentrations allow students to focus coursework according to their interests. A wide range of skill-building opportunities are available to students through undergraduate research, internships, study abroad, service learning, and field courses.
University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences
Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:
For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences.
Progression Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
All students in the below listed programs must successfully complete the below science and math coursework without earning three (3) D and/or F grades. Students unable to successfully complete these courses within these prescribed parameters will be required to select a different major and will not be permitted to take any additional courses offered by the below Departments/Divisions. In addition, registration for all courses offered by these departments will be dependent on students meeting the prescribed parameters regardless of their major. Grade Forgiveness will NOT apply to the mandated requirement of changing majors.
- Effective Fall 2022: Department of Physics* and all other Departments/Divisions continued from Fall 2018.
- Effective Fall 2018: Division of Health Professions Advising; Department of Chemistry; Department of Molecular Biosciences; and Department of Integrative Biology.
Furthermore, any student who requests a change of major to one offered in the above identified departments will be required to meet these prescribed parameters as well as those criteria outlined in the Degree Progression Policy 10-505. Students who are able to complete a major in one of the above Departments/Divisions by earning fewer credit hours than required to complete any other major offered at USF may petition to request an exception to the CAS Sciences D/F Policy and should contact the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advising Office (email@example.com) for instructions.
*Students who are redirected from one of the above Departments/Divisions as a result of the CAS Sciences D/F Policy may pursue the following degrees offered by the Department of Physics: B.S. Physical Sciences and B.A. Physical Sciences.
Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences
Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:
- Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
- The College may approve an exception when a student has successfully earned the minimum grade required for all courses applied in the major but does not have a major GPA of 2.0.
- Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
- ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree.
- When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees. All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
- Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
- The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
- Complete all major course requirements.
- College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.
State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Biology B.S.
Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program.
Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program.
Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.
- (BSC X010 and BSC X010L Biology I with Lab) or BSC X010C or BSC X040C - 4 credit hours
- (BSC X011 and BSC X011L Biology II with Lab) or BSC X011C or BSC X041C - 4 credit hours
- (CHM X045 and CHM X045L Chemistry I with Lab) or CHM X045C or (CHM X040 and CHM X041) - 4-6 credit hours
- CHM X046C or (CHM X046 & CHM X046L Chemistry II with Lab) - 4 credit hours
- MAC X311 or MAC X233 or MAC X253 or MAC X281 or MAC X241 - 3-4 credit hours
- (PHY X054 & PHY X053L & PHY X048L & PHY X053) or (PHY X048 & PHY X048L & PHY X049 & PHY X049L) or (PHY X054 & PHY X053 & PHY X054L & PHY X053L) or (CHM X210C & CHM X211C) or (CHM X210 & CHM X210L & CHM X211 & CHM X211L) - 8-10 credit hours
- STA X024 or STA X321 or STA X023 or MAC X234 or MAC X312 or MAC X282 - 3-4 credit hours
Biology Supporting Required Courses: 4 courses; 8-10 credit hours
Students choose one of two supporting course sequence options, based on the completed common course prerequisites. The two course sequence options are as follows.
A minimum grade of C- is required in each Required Supporting course.
Note: The course sequence that will count toward the Supporting Courses requirement is based on which sequence (Organic Chemistry or Physics) the student took to meet the Common Prerequisite requirement. If the Organic Chemistry sequence was taken to fulfill the Common Prerequisite requirement, the Physics sequence will meet the Supporting Courses requirement. The opposite is true if the Physics requirement was used to meet the Common Prerequisite requirement.
The following courses are supporting courses for this major. The degree will not be awarded if these courses have not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.
1. Organic Chemistry I and II, with Laboratories (10 credit hours)
2. Physics I and II (Calculus-based or General), with Laboratories (8 credit hours)
Biology Required Courses: (28 credit hours)
Note: A course used to complete one major requirement/area may not be used to fulfill other major requirements.
Biology Major Core Courses: 5 Courses: 11 credit hours
Biology Major (Restricted) Elective Courses: 7 courses; 17 credit hours
Students complete a General Biology program of study or complete one of four concentrations:
If students do not declare a concentration, they will follow the General Biology program of study and take a minimum of 17 credit hours to meet the major electives requirement.
Plant Biology Concentration: 6 courses; 17 credit hours
Concentration Core: 1 course; 4 credit hours
Restricted Electives: 3 courses, 9 credit hours
Select a minimum of three courses from the following list.
*Registration in Selected Topics courses requires prior Departmental approval.
Note: A course used a concentration core requirement cannot also be used to meet the restricted elective requirement.
Major Laboratory Course Requirement: 1 lab courses; 1 credit hour
A minimum of one course from the restricted electives and additional course requirement must include a laboratory component (Both “L” and “C” courses approved for the major count for this requirement).
Additional Information - Biology B.S.
- A maximum of four credit hours of BSC 4910 Undergraduate Research and BSC 4940 Internship may be applied to the Biology major.
- No pass/fail or S/U minimum grades for major coursework.
- A course(s) used to complete one major requirement may not be used to fulfill another major requirement.
Major GPA (All USF courses which are applied to major requirements): 2.0
General Education GPA (All USF courses which are applied to General Education requirements): 2.0
USF GPA: 2.0
Overall GPA: 2.0
C- or better to meet major course requirements unless specified elsewhere. Will vary by area.
Note: Some USF courses have higher grade criteria to meet prerequisite knowledge necessary for progression into higher level courses.
Department and College of Arts & Sciences Major Academic Residency Requirement - 50% of major must be completed at USF.
USF Academic Residency Requirement - 30 of the last 60 hours earned must be from USF.
A maximum of four credit hours of BSC 4910 Undergraduate Research and BSC 4940 Internship may be applied to the Biology major.
Research Opportunities - College of Arts and Sciences
All undergraduate students in any degree program can participate in undergraduate research. There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 2912, IDS 4914, or IDS 4910 courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research will assist students in understanding the various course options (https://www.usf.edu/undergrad/hipur/index.aspx).
Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate Advising Information
The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Advising Team provides students with support to create timely graduation plans that will integrate both their academic and professional goals. Each of our undergraduate programs has dedicated professional advisors with specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, undergraduate research, and career opportunities in their field. Additionally, we have dedicated pre-health and prelaw advisors to help students prepare for admission to professional graduate programs.
CAS Academic Advisor Contact information can be found here: CAS Advisors
To schedule an advising appointment: Advising Appointments
Plans of Study - Biology B.S., with Plant Biology Concentration