Bachelor of Science Biology

Bachelor of Science - Biology

     The Major in Biology supports the departmental mission in that students are exposed to current scientific concepts and principles. Moreover, students spend a significant amount of their educational time in the laboratory or field. By the actual performance of methods and techniques, they can engage in internal research projects or be competitive for external summer research internships. The biology degree offers seven concentrations in: Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Aquatic Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, Invertebrate Zoology, Pre-health Professional, Pre-medical Technology, see below. After graduation, they can effectively compete for jobs or move into graduate or professional schools. As the study of life, Biology requires a thorough understanding of the underlying chemical and physical principles governing all life processes. Lamar students attracted to this field are well equipped to enter the professions of medicine, dentistry or one of the other career paths listed below in this section. Students are equally prepared for environmentally or biotechnology related careers in various governmental agencies, private companies, or academia. A career file is maintained in Room 101 of the Hayes Biology Building to acquaint students with far-ranging career possibilities. Students interested in further education leading to an advanced degree in Biology are also well prepared. Those interested in teaching in secondary education (grades 8 – 12) should consult the section below on B.S. Biology with teaching certificate.

     Recommended Minimum Program of Study – B. S. Biology: The following is a recommended program of study for completion of the B. S. Biology degree plan in the minimum semester hours with the specified option. Additional requirements may be required for specialized areas, i.e. certain minor requirements, preparation for graduate school, certifications, or licensees. Advanced courses (3000-4000 level) should only be taken after 60 credits of study toward the degree; although exceptions can be made when academically in the best interest of the student. Please see a Biology Advisor or the Department Chair for advising details.

     Certification to teach Biology can be obtained along with a BS in Biology. Consult with the Biology Department Chair for specific information. A list of Biology courses for certification is available in the departmental office.

Biology Bachelor of Science

First Year Credits Credits
Fall Semester Spring Semester
ENGL 1301, Composition I 3 ENGL 1302, Composition II 3
BIOL 1406, Gen. Biology 4 BIOL 1407, Gen. Biology II 4
HIST 1301, U.S. History I 3 HIST 1302, U.S. History II 3
MATH 2312, Pre-Calculus 3 PSYC 2317, Statistics 3
Lang/Phil/Culture 3 Social and Behavioral Science 3
Total 16 16
Second Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
POLS 2301, American Government I 3 POLS 2302, American Government II 3
CHEM 1311, 1111, General Chemistry 4 CHEM 1312, 1112, General Chemistry II 4
PHYS 1401, College Physics 4 PHYS 1402, College Physics II 4
BIOL 2420, Microbiology or Creative Arts 4 - 3 BIOL 2420, Microbiology or Creative Arts 4 - 3
Total 14 - 15 14 - 15
Third Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHEM 3311, 3111, Organic Chemistry I 4 CHEM 3312, 3112, Organic Chemistry II 4
BIOL 3470, Genetics or BIOL 3450, General Botany 4 BIOL 3470, Genetics or BIOL 3450, General Botany 4
Vertebrate Course or Invertebrate Course 4 Vertebrate Course or Invertebrate Course 4
BIOL 4470, Cell Biology or Biology Elective 12. 4 BIOL. 4404, Molecular Biology or Biology Elective 12. 4
Total 15 16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
BIOL 4300, Dev. Biol. Thought or COMM 3 BIOL 4300, Dev. Biol. Thought or COMM 3
Biology Elective 4 Advanced Elective 3
 Biology Elective 3 - 4 Biology Elective 3 - 4
Biology Elective 4 Biology Elective 4
Total 14 - 15 13 - 14


The degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology will be awarded upon the completion of the following requirements:

1. At least 120 semester hours are required for a B.S. degree in Biology.

2. The university core is 42 credit hours. Two additional credit hours are added to the university core by required Biology courses Biol 1406 and 1407.

3. Students must complete the Freshman Composition sequence (or its equivalent, ENGL1301 and 1302) requirements with no less than a "C". Students must continually be enrolled in an English Composition course until this requirement is met.

4. Students must complete 6 hours of mathematics/statistics and continually be enrolled in a Mathematics course until this requirement is met. 

5. Students must complete all departmentally required courses required in their major and minor with at least a grade of "C."

6. Students must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or better before taking any more advanced biology course.

7. Biology Courses: Biology Core courses: BIOL 1406, 1407, 2420, 3450, 3470, one invertebrate biology course (BIOL 3460 or 4410), one vertebrate biology course (BIOL 3428, 4408, 4409, 4431, 4440, or 4445), one molecular-cellular biology course: (BIOL 4404 or BIOL 4470), and the capstone course BIOL 4344, which requires students to pass the ETS Major Field Exam in Biology.  Biology Electives: any additional 22 semester hours of BIOL at the 3000-4000 level.

8. The BS Biology degree offers seven possible concentrations. A concentration requires a minimum of 15 credits over and above courses required and claimed in the Biology core curriculum. 

9. Concentrations do not include credits from any of the following courses: BIOL1406, BIOL1407, BIOL2420, BIOL3450, BIOL3470, BIOL4344, a course used to fulfill the invertebrate, vertebrate, or Cell/Molecular core requirements, or any of the supporting courses in chemistry or physics listed on the biology degree plan.  A list of Biology concentrations is provided below.

10. It is the student’s responsibility to declare a concentration in writing to the Biology Department Administrative Assistant.

11. Students must take one 4000-level Biology course that is designated a as "Scientific Report Writing Intensive". These courses include: Experimental Design, Environmental Microbiology, Ecology, Advanced Physiology, Animal Behavior, Molecular Biology, Epidemiology, Conservation Biology, Medical Botany and Limnology.

12. Supporting Sciences: General Chemistry - eight semester hours (CHEM 1311, 1111 and 1312 and 1112); Organic Chemistry - eight semester hours CHEM 3311, 3111 and 3312, 3112); General Physics -eight semester hours (PHYS 1401 and 1402); Statistics - four semester hours (PSYC 2317, fulfills 3 credits of Mathematical Science core)

13. Free Electives: Sufficient advanced (3000-4000 level) elective credits to complete a total of 120 semester hours; typically 4 credits.

14. MATH 1314 (College Algebra Non-Calculus Track) or MATH 1414 (College Algebra  Calculus Track) and MATH 1316 (Trigonometry) may be substituted for MATH 2312 (Pre-Calculus/Elementary Functions) in the Biology BS degree plan.

B.S. Biology Concentrations

Cell and Molecular Biology: Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Immunology, Biotech applications, Embryology, Environmental Microbiology, Biochemistry

Ecology: Evolutionary Ecology, Ecology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Microbiology, Tropical Biology,  Field Botany, Field Parasitology,  Animal Behavior

Aquatic Biology: Aquatic Entomology, Marine Biology, Limnology, Ichthyology, Tropical Biology, Field Parasitology, Invertebrate Zoology, Oceanography

Vertebrate Zoology: Mammalogy, Ornithology, Ichthyology, Herpetology, Vertebrate Natural History, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Desert Field Mammalogy, Embryology

Invertebrate Zoology: Invertebrate Zoology, Parasitology, Field Parasitology, Tropical Biology, Marine Invertebrate Zoology

Pre-health Professional: Advanced Physiology, Parasitology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Immunology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Embryology, Biochemistry, Environmental Toxicology

Pre-medical Technology: Advanced Physiology, Parasitology, Cell Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Note: Tropical biology can count for a maximum of 4 credits towards a concentration.

Biology Bachelor of Science - Concentration in Medical Technology

The medical technologist performs the laboratory tests required by physicians in order to properly diagnose and treat patients. Most technologists find employment in hospitals, clinics or blood banks. In addition, manufacturing and sales of  medical products are providing new career opportunities for medical technologists. A long-term shortage of clinical laboratory scientists has placed a premium on certified medical technologists nationwide, and employment opportunities in the field are expected to remain very good in the future.

Students completing the pre-medical technology emphasis will receive a Bachelor of Science in Biology that emphasizes the course work needed to compete for acceptance into hospital programs in the clinical laboratory sciences. Most hospital programs last for one or occasionally two years. During this time, students receive laboratory training in practical aspects of the clinical laboratory sciences. In addition, a certification exam must be passed to be employed as a clinical laboratory scientist in most states.

Students pursuing a concentration in Medical Technology should take the course recommended for that concentration (see the Concentration list above), as well as additional courses decided upon in consultation with the program director.  Entry into hospital programs is competitive, and completion of these courses will best-prepare students for acceptance into hospital programs.  A list of hospital programs for the state of Texas is provided below.

Students interested in these programs should contact Dr. Randall Terry for detailed advising (Hayes 205-8,, (409) 880-7975).

Directors of Hospital Training Programs in Clinical Laboratory Science in Southeast Texas

Methodist Hospital
Tatia Feltman, M.Ed.,MT(ASCP)SM
(713) 790-2599

University of Texas Medical Branch
Vicki Freeman, Ph.D.
301 University Boulevard Galveston, TX 77555-1028
409) 772-3055

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Brandy Greenhill, DrPH, MS, MLS(ASCP)
1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Box 002 Houston, TX 77030
(713) 563-3091

A complete list of programs providing training in the clinical laboratory sciences can be found at