3170 Biology

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
    • General Biology Studies (no concentration)
    • Concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior
    • Concentration in Microbiology
    • Concentration in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
    • Concentration in Preprofessional Programs/Physiology
  • Minor in Biology

Department of Biology
Petit Science Center, Suite 495

Yi Pan, Interim Chair
Therese Poole, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Jessica Parilla, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs

Biology, the science of life and life processes, includes the study of structure, function, growth, development, reproduction, origin, evolution, and distribution of living organisms.

A degree in biology provides students with a variety of career opportunities. Potential careers range from applied or basic laboratory research and field studies in numerous state and federal organizations and industry, to education in public and private school systems. Furthermore, the degree provides the ideal preparation for entry into medical, dental, and veterinary schools and other health-related professions. Finally, a bachelor’s degree in biology provides a good foundation for advanced studies at the M.S. or Ph.D. level in biological sciences.

As an alternative to the General Biology Studies program (and in addition to the core degree requirements), courses in one of several areas of concentration, listed below, are available. Interdisciplinary programs with other departments/schools/institutes (such as Behavioral Biology or Environmental Science) are also an option. To plan the major according to the particular needs and goals, students should consult the “Undergraduate Program” area of the Biology Department Website (biology.gsu.edu) for information about the major. For advisement questions, students should contact the Undergraduate Coordinator (404/413-5305) who will help connect them with an appropriate faculty adviser.

Program Degree Requirements

Alternatives are available for some requirements in Areas A-F. Please see a degree program adviser for specific guidelines.

In addition to the Program Degree Requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see section 3030) and the University Degree Requirements (see section 1400).

B.S. in Biology

Areas A-E: Core Curriculum Recommendations

  1. Required course:
    • MATH 1113 Precalculus (or any higher-level mathematics course) (3)
  2. Recommended course:
  3. Laboratory Science Sequence (8)
    Recommended courses:

  4. Math. (3) Any one math not taken in area A from the following choices: Math 1070, 1220, 2201, 2202, 2211, 2212 (or any higher-level math). For any four credit-hour course, three credit hours are applied to Area D, and one credit hour is applied to area I.

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Major Field (18)

  1. Required Courses (16)
  2. Select one from the following (2):

** Students who decide to major in biology after completing BIOL 1103K may use BIOL 1103K for credit toward Area F if they complete BIOL 2108K and BIOL 2800 before enrolling in major courses (Area G)

*** Students who decide to major in biology after completing BIOL 1103K and BIOL 1104K may use these courses for credit toward Area F if they complete BIOL 2800 before enrolling in major courses (Area G).

Area G: Major Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all Area G, Area H, and Area I courses

  1. Required Courses to fulfill CTW requirement (6)
    • BIOL 3810 Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory-CTW  (3)
    • BIOL 4980 Senior Seminar-CTW  (3) or other 4000-level CTW-approved course
  2. Major Core Requirements (12)
  3. Choose one of the following labs: (1) *
    • BIOL 3250 Human Physiology Laboratory (1)
    • BIOL 3830 Plant Biology Laboratory (1)
    • BIOL 3850 Animal Biology Laboratory (1)
    • BIOL 3890 Microbiology Laboratory (1)
    • BIOL 3910 Genetics Laboratory (1)
    • * Students should consult with an adviser regarding the laboratory most appropriate to their course of study. Additional laboratories may be appropriate and the credit applied to item 4 below.
  4. At least one credit hour of BIOL 4960, Biology Careers Seminar (1), or BIOL 4970, Biology Seminar (1). It is recommended that students take BIOL 4960 early in their courses of study for career advisement.
  5. Additional biology courses at the 3000-4000 level and biology credit hours transferred from Area H (19).

Area H: Chemistry Requirements (13)

Students majoring in biology are required to complete the following:

  1. Required courses (13)

Area I: Additional Courses (8)

Select one two-course physics sequence (8) *

* Two semesters of physics are required for biology majors. If the physics sequence is used to fulfill the Area D requirement, then students should:

Select additional biology courses at the 3000 level or above OR courses from this list:

  • ANTH 4060 Environmental Anthropology (3)
  • ANTH 4300 Human Evolution (3)
  • ANTH 4310 Human Variation (4)
  • ANTH 4350 Applied Biocultural Anthropology (3)
  • ANTH 4370 Forensic Anthropology (3)
  • ANTH 4390 Diet, Demography and Disease (3)
  • CHEM 3100 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (2)
  • CHEM 3110 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (2)
  • (CHEM 3100 and CHEM 3110 are required by most professional programs.)
  • CHEM 4110 Physical Chemistry I (3)
  • CHEM 4610 Biochemistry II (3)
  • CRJU 3410 Criminology (3)
  • CSC 2010 Introduction to Computer Science (3)
  • EXC 4020 Characteristics and Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities (3)
  • EDSC 3250 Topics in Middle Grades Science (3)
  • GEOL 4002 Oceanography (3)
  • GEOL 4011 Principles of Paleontology (4)
  • GEOL 4017 Environmental Geology (4)
  • GEOL 4644 Environmental Conservation (4)
  • GEOG 4642 Advanced Weather and Climate (4)
  • GEOG 4646 Water Resource Management (4)
  • SNHP 3000 Communication and Cultural Diversity (3)
  • LT 3210 Teaching, Learning, and Technology Integration (3)
  • KH 3000 Personal Health and Wellness (3)
  • KH 3390 Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care (3)
  • KH 3610 Motor Learning and Development (4)
  • MATH 1070 Elementary Statistics (3)
  • MATH 2202 Calculus for the Life Sciences II (4)
  • MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (4)
  • MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (4)
  • MATH 2212 Calculus of One Variable II (4)
  • MATH 2215 Multivariate Calculus (4)
  • PHIL 4130 Philosophy of Science (3)
  • PHIL 4740 Biomedical Ethics (3)
  • PHYS 3500 Electronics (3)
  • PSYC 3010 Psychological Statistics (4)
  • PSYC 3140 Abnormal Psychology (3)
  • PT 3000 Introduction to PT and OT Practice (3)
  • PT 3660 Complementary and Alternative Therapy (3)
  • RT 3005 Clinical Cardiopulmonary Physiology (3)
  • Any other 3000- or 4000-level course in Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology or Physics

Students majoring in biology must take additional courses as electives to complete a minimum of 120 hours, exclusive of KH 1010.

Neurobiology and Behavior Concentration

Recommended: Area F2

Recommended: Area G2

Required: Area G5

Recommended Area I:

Microbiology Concentration

Recommended: Area F2

  • BIOL 2300 Microbiology and Public Health (3)

Recommended: Area G2

Required: Area G5

  • All of the following courses are required (12):
  • Choose two of the following (8-9)
    • BIOL 4278 Immunology (4)
    • BIOL 4484 Laboratory Techniques in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (4)
    • BIOL 4580 Microbial Pathogenesis (4)
    • BIOL 4595 Microbial Physiology and Genetics (4)
    • BIOL 4696 Laboratory in Molecular Biological Techniques (4)
    • BIOL 4910 Undergraduate Research in Biology (1-5), on a subject related to microbiology
    • BIOL 4930 Topics in Biology (3-4)
Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Concentration

Recommended: Area F2

  • BIOL 2430 Frontiers in Biotechnology (2) or
  • BIOL 2800 Introduction to Molecular Biology (2)

Required: Area G5

  • All of the following courses are required (9)
    • BIOL 3910 Genetics Laboratory (1) — can be used to satisfy Area G2
    • BIOL 4564 Advanced Genetics (4)
    • BIOL 4800 Principles of Cell Biology (4)
  • Choose 14 hours (15 if Biol 3910 is used in G2) from the following:
Preprofessional/Physiology Concentration

Recommended: Area F2

  • BIOL 2300 Microbiology and Public Health (3)

Required: Area G5

  • All of the following courses are required (12 or 11 if Biol 3250 is used in G2)
    • Biol 3240] Human Physiology (3)
    • Biol 3250] Human Physiology Laboratory (1)
    • Biol 4240] Endocrinology (4)
    • Biol 4246] Advanced Human Physiology (4)
  • Choose three of the following (11-13)

Graduation with Distinction

At least five hours of Biol 4910 and a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in the major and minor area are required for graduation with distinction.

Minor Offerings and Double Major in Biology

Students who wish to minor in biology must take at least 15 hours in courses in biology, including at least nine hours at the 3000 level or above. Students are responsible for meeting all prerequisite requirements (such as Chem 1211K/1212K) for the biology courses they choose to take, and are strongly encouraged to take these prerequisites as early as possible in their academic career. Students taking more than 15 hours in courses in biology may count the additional hours toward their electives or may consider completing a double major. A grade of C or higher is required in all courses counting toward the minor. Students should consult with the Undergraduate Director or Undergraduate Coordinator for more information.

Honors Programs

The department encourages qualified students to participate in the Honors College (visit honors.gsu.edu). The department sponsors a Biology Club, a Pre-Vet club, a Pre-Dental club and a local chapter of American Medical Student Association (AMSA) in addition to the Eta Psi chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the national honorary biological society. Interested students are encouraged to participate in these organizations.


Internships with collaborating institutions and programs (including ZooAtlanta, the Georgia Aquarium and the Bio-Bus program) are available on a limited basis. Students interested in receiving course credit for an internship should consult with the Undergraduate Director or Undergraduate Coordinator for more information.

Undergraduate Research Programs

Students are particularly encouraged to participate in the Undergraduate Research Program after completion of core requirements. Participation in an ongoing research activity provides the student with experience in experimental design and interpretation that is typically not available in routine laboratory courses. Students may enroll in BIOL 4905 for a total of 4 hours and/or BIOL 4910 for a total of 10 hours. Interested students should consult the departmental website for information on faculty research interests and contact one or more faculty members for development of a specific project.