Admission to the Program
Admission is through formal declaration of major. The department counsels freshmen and transfer students.
- 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
- Completion of college writing requirement
- Completion of university mathematics requirement
General Education Requirements
- A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
- At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
- No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline
- 72 credit hours with grades of C or better
Departmental Requirements (40 credit hours)
- BIO-110 General Biology I FA5 (4)
- BIO-210 General Biology II FA5 (4)
- BIO-300 Cell Biology with Laboratory (4)
- BIO-356 Genetics with Laboratory (5)
- BIO-364 Evolution (3)
- BIO-499 Senior Seminar in Biology (3)
- 17 credit hours in biology or other courses approved by the department chair at the 300 level or above. Of these 17 credit hours, students may count no more than 3 credit hours from the following; BIO-390 Independent Reading Course in Biology, BIO-490 Independent Study Project in Biology, BIO-491 Internship, CHEM-560 Biochemistry I, or PSYC-513 Neuropharmacology: The Biochemistry of Behavior.
Related Requirements (32 credit hours)
- CHEM-110 General Chemistry I FA5 (4)
- CHEM-210 General Chemistry II FA5 (4)
- CHEM-310 Organic Chemistry I (3)
- CHEM-312 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1)
- CHEM-320 Organic Chemistry II (3)
- CHEM-322 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (1)
- MATH-221 Calculus I (4)
- MATH-222 Calculus II (4)
- STAT-202 Basic Statistics (4)
- STAT-203 Basic Statistics with Calculus (4)
- PHYS-105 General Physics I FA5 (4)
- PHYS-110 Principles of Physics I FA5 (4)
- PHYS-205 General Physics II FA5 (4)
- PHYS-210 Principles of Physics II FA5 (4)
University Honors Program
To graduate with University Honors in the major through the University Honors Program, students must meet the requirements detailed on the Honors website and have been enrolled as either a first-year student between Fall 1989 and Spring 2014, or as a transfer or self-nominated student through Spring 2015. The University Honors Program should not be confused with the AU Honors Program, which begins in Fall 2014 and has separate requirements, also detailed on the Honors website.
Combined BS and MA or MS in Biology
American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.
This program enables qualified students to earn, in a continuous plan of study, both the BS in Biology and the MA or MS in Biology.
- Undergraduate biology majors should apply for admission to the BS/Master's program by the end of the junior year. Admission is open to undergraduates whose overall grade point average and grade point average in biology course is 3.00 or higher. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Each student's file must be approved by the department's Graduate Studies Committee prior to the end of the junior year to assure adequate time to complete degree requirements for the program. Students should discuss their interest in the program and their course schedules with members of the faculty before submitting a formal application. Interested students are encouraged to enroll in up to 3 credit hours of BIO-490 Independent Study Project in Biology to conduct independent study research before applying.
- All requirements for the BS in Biology.
- All requirements for the MA or MS in Biology, including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.