Mar 04, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.A.

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To address the breadth and depth essential to educating biologists, the biology major is structured to include both a broad foundation through core courses and opportunity for specialization within a biological subfield through biology electives. The major is designed to prepare the student for a post-baccalaureate profession in biology, for advanced professional training in the health sciences, or for graduate study in basic and applied areas of the biological sciences.

120 hours (minimum)

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the Major Requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree .

UK Core Requirements

See the UK Core section of this Bulletin for the complete UK Core requirements . The courses listed below are (a) recommended by the college, or (b) required courses that also fulfill UK Core areas. Students should work closely with their advisor to complete the UK Core requirements.

I. Intellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity

II. Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities

III. Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences

IV. Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences

V. Composition and Communication I

VI. Composition and Communication II

VIII. Statistical Inferential Reasoning

IX. Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA

X. Global Dynamics

UK Core hours: 33

Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR)

In order to meet the Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR), students must successfully complete both BIO 425  to fulfill the oral communication requirement and one course from the list below to fulfill the written communication requirement. In order to receive GCCR credit a student must:

  1. Earn an average grade of C or better on all GCCR assignments; and
  2. Have completed at least 30 credit hours of college-level course work prior to registering for the course.

Oral Communication Requirement

Written Communication Requirement

Choose one course from the following 8 options:

Subtotal: Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement hours (GCCR): 2-5

College Requirements

  • Humanities - two courses Credit(s): 6
  • Social Science - two courses Credit(s): 6
  • Third and fourth semesters of language Credit(s): 6
  • Free Electives Credit(s): 6
  • Lab or Field Experience - satisfied by major
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (choose any GWR Humanities 300-level course; this will also count as one of the two Humanities courses in the College Requirements)

UK Core and College hours: 57 (45)

Premajor hours: 21

Major Requirements

Minimum major requirement for graduation is 54 credit hours in courses as detailed below. Once all other major requirements are completed, students must complete Biology electives until the 54 credit hour requirement has been met. The minimum GPA of all major and premajor courses must be at least 2.0.

Second Tier Core

To be taken after completion of First Tier Core.

Core hours: 20

Other Course Work Required for the Major

From Outside the Major Department

††PHY 151  is not accepted for admission into Medical, Dental or Pharmacy School. Check with your advisor before choosing a physics course.

Other Major hours: 7-9


Complete one of the following options. Students cannot mix and match requirements from the two options. An option must be completed in its entirety.

Option A - Minor Option

NOTE: Fourteen of these hours must be at the 300-level or above.

  • Complete the requirements for any minor other than the biology minor Credit(s): 18-21
  • Biology Electives Credit(s): 4-9

Biology Electives - A minimum of 6 of the 4-9 upper-level elective credit hours must be BIO courses (ie, have a BIO prefix) If fewer than 6 hours are required to complete the requirements, all hours must be upper-level elective BIO courses A maximum of 3 credits of independent research course work may be used in this section.

If students double-dip major and minor requirements, additional biology electives must be taken to meet the graduation requirement of 54 hours for the BA in Biology

Total hours Option A: 25-27

Option B - Topical Focus Option

  • Complete a 12 credit hour sequence of courses with a topical focus At least 6 of these hours must be at the 300-level or above Credit(s): 12

NOTE: Students who have multiple interests or interests that do not fall into the requirements for a minor offered at the University of Kentucky may select a 12 credit hour sequence of courses with a topical focus Courses in several disciplines and in the various interdisciplinary programs may be combined to pursue the topical focus Students interested in pursuing Option B must have the 12 credit hour sequence of courses APPROVED IN ADVANCE by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Biology Students must submit an Approval of Topical Focus Form to the Director of Undergraduate Studies

  • Biology Electives Credit(s): 13-15

Biology Electives - A minimum of 9 of the 13-15 upperlevel elective credit hours must be BIO courses (ie, have a BIO prefix) A maximum of 6 credits of independent research course work may be used in this section

Total Hours Option B: 25-27

Hours to be chosen from 300+ level BIO courses or the list below. Note: ANA 209 , BIO 208 , BIO 209  and PGY 206  CANNOT be used for this requirement. A maximum of 1 credit hour of seminar course work (for example BIO 425 , BIO 426 , BIO 427 ) may be counted within this elective requirement.


Complete one of the following tracks below to fulfill your 13-15 hours of Biology electives. If an alternative track is not declared, the default track will be General Biology.

Total Track Hours: 25-27

Total Minimum Hours Required for Degree: 120

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