Stephen F. Austin State University

Biology Major

Biology Major

Students wishing to choose a major in biology should consult the chair of the department early in their university career. Since the department includes a number of biological disciplines (zoology, botany, molecular, cellular, evolutionary biology, etc.), no single curriculum can be listed for all majors. Each student will work closely with a departmental adviser to design the program best suited to the interests and goals of the student.

Below are the course requirements for obtaining the degree of Bachelor of Science with a major in biology. A minimum of 40 semester hours of biology, including the core curriculum, (with 15 hours in advanced courses) is required for a B.S. degree with a major in biology. Biology majors must also satisfy all the requirements of the B.S. degree for the College of Science and Mathematics outlined here.

While completing a common core of courses that is taken by all majors, students must also select from one of the following degree tracks: botany, cell and molecular biology, or ecology and evolutionary biology.

Biology Core (22 hours)

All Degree Tracks require seven core courses:

Degree Tracks (18 hours each)

Students are required to select from one of the degree tracks listed below. Consult with an advisor for assistance. Remember, a minimum of 40 semester hours (of biology) is required to major in biology.

Botany:

Required:
  1. Physiology/Anatomy 401 or 404(4) 3-4 hrs
  2. Plant Diversity 351 or 435 3 hrs
  3. Mycology 312 or 424 3 hrs

Electives (with advisor approval): BIO electives 8-9 hrs

Cellular and Molecular Biology:

Required:
  1. Physiology 327 or 404 3-4 hrs
  2. Organismal 342(4) or 309(4) or 401 3-4 hrs
  3. Cell & Molecular 402 or 431 3 hrs

Electives (with advisor approval): BIO electives 7-9 hrs

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology:

Required:
  1. Physiology 327 or 404(4) or 406 3-4 hrs
  2. Advanced Botany1 3-4 hrs
  3. Advanced Zoology² 3-4 hrs
  4. Additional Organismal course³ 3-4 hrs

Electives (with advisor approval): BIO electives 2-6 hrs



1Advanced Botany: 225, 350, 351, 401, 404, 424, 435

²Advanced Zoology: 327, 342, 343, 345, 353, 406, 407, 430, 433, 436, 437, 438, 439

³Advanced Botany, Zoology, Mycology or Microbiology. A course taken to fulfill this category cannot have been previously used to fill another required course.

Bio 300, 471, and 472 may also fulfill requirements for a degree track if the topic is deemed appropriate by the instructor and department chair.

Botany:

In addition to the biology core; 401(Plant Physiology) or 404 (Plant Anatomy) as the required Physiology/Anatomy course: and 351 (Plant Kingdom) or 435 (Plant Systematics as the required Plant Diversity course; and 312 (Mycology) or 424 (Plant Pathology) as the Mycology course; and additional hours from any of the biology courses not specifically excluded by the Biology Major.

Cellular and Molecular Biology:

In addition to the biology core; 327 (Human Physiology) or 401 (Plant Physiology) as the required Physiology course: and 241 (Comparative Anatomy) or 309 (Microbiology) or 401 (Plant Anatomy) as the required Organismal course; and 402 (Cellular Biology) or 431 (Molecular Biology) as the Cell & Molecular course; and additional hours from any of the biology courses not specifically excluded by the Biology Major.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology:

In addition to the biology core; 327 (Human Physiology) or 404 (Plant Physiology) or 406 (Comparative Animal Physiology) as the required Physiology course; and the Advance Botany course ( 225, 350, 351, 401, 404, 424, or 435); and an additional Organismal course (Advanced Botany, Mycology, Microbiology, or Zoology); and additional hours from any of the biology courses not specifically excluded from the Biology Major.

Each student is also required to complete a minor of 18 to 24 additional semester hours in a single discipline. At least six hours in the minor must be in advanced-level courses at SFA. Biology majors may choose combined-sciences major consisting of CHE 133, 134; eight hours from GOL 131, 132 or PHY 131, 132; plus six advanced hours from CHE, GOL or PHY. Biology majors contemplating graduate work are advised to elect a minor in a selected science or mathematics.

General Course Prerequisites

A minimum grade of C is required in all courses that are prerequisites to a biology course. Students must be TSI complete or exempt or have completed all required developmental courses with Cs or better in order to enroll in BIO 130, 131, 133, 238, and 239. See more information about TSI status.

Admissions to the Biology Program

For admissions requirements, visit the SFA Office of Admissions website for undergraduate admission policies and procedures.