BS Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology)




Program Description

The BS degree program in biological sciences with a concentration in genetics, cell and developmental biology integrates the study of three exciting, closely related areas of life science research.

Genetics examines the blueprints of life, such as DNA sequence and gene expression, while cell biology studies the machinery of life enclosed within the boundaries of cells. Developmental biology uses both genetics and cell biology to understand how genes and the environment interact to produce a whole new individual from a single cell as well as understand the various developmental changes that organisms undergo throughout life. The combined study of genetics, cell biology and development has resulted in a better understanding of many diseases and promises to prove even more important in the future.

All Life Science degrees can be used to enter medical school. To find out more about pre-med facts visit our pre-med FAQ page

This program is available as an accelerated degree. Classes for a typical four-year program are written below. If you are interested in the accelerated degree program please visit our accelerated degree program page.

Due to the high volume of overlap in curriculum, students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree in the School of Life Sciences may be restricted from declaring a concurrent degree within the school. Students should speak with their academic advisor for any further questions.


Required Courses (Major Map)

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What if: See how your courses can be applied to another major and find out how to change your major.


At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus, or online
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • First Required Math Course: MAT 251 - Calculus for Life Sciences
  • Math Intensity: Moderate program math intensity moderate


Major core

Note: Once you start a General BIO sequence, you must complete the full sequence (BIO 181 & 182 OR BIO 281 & 282)

  • BIO 181 General Biology I (4) or BIO 281 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors I (4)
  • BIO 182 General Biology II (4) or BIO 282 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors II (4)
  • BIO 340 General Genetics (4) 
  • BIO 345 Evolution (3)

Major concentration courses

  • BIO 351 Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIO 353 Cell Biology (3)
  • BCH 361 Principles of Biochemistry (3) or BCH 461 General Biochemistry (3)

Additional major concentration courses

  • BIO 308 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIO 360 Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIO/ASM 446 Principles of Human Genetics (3)
  • BIO/MBB 440 Functional Genomics (3)
  • BIO/MIC 420 Immunology: Molecular and Cellular Foundations (3)

Major laboratory courses (complete two of the following) 

  • BIO 308 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIO 342 General Genetics Laboratory (2)
  • BIO/MBB 343 Genetic Engineering and Society (4)
  • BIO 352 Laboratory in Vertebrate Developmental Anatomy (2)
  • BIO 451 Cell Biotechnology Laboratory (4)
  • BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 495 Undergraduate Research or BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 484 Internship or BIO/MIC/MBB 492 Honors Directed Study may be substituted for one lab course (1-3, only 3 credits from any of these can be used toward a lab)
  • MBB 350 Applied Genetics (4)
  • MIC 220 Biology of Microorganisms and MIC 206 Microbiology Lab (4)
  • MIC 302 Advanced Bacteriology Lab (2)
  • MIC 421 Experimental Immunology (2)
  • BCH 367 Elementary Biochemistry Laboratory (1) or BCH 467 Analytical Biochemistry Lab (3)

Please see an advisor if the above courses are not offered in the term you wish to take them

Major electives

Any SOLS upper division coursework (300 and 400 level BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB) will count in this area, including BCH 361, that has not already been used in the major area.

Requirements in related fields

General chemistry
  • CHM 113 General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116 General Chemistry II (4)
Organic chemistry (take general or pre-health sequence)
  • CHM 231 Elementary Organic Chemistry (3)
  • CHM 235 Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1) 
OR pre-health sequence
  • CHM 233 General Organic Chemistry I (3)
  • CHM 234 General Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHM 237 General Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1)
  • CHM 238 General Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1)
Physics (take general or pre-health sequence)
  • PHY 101 Introduction to Physics (4) 
OR pre-health sequence
  • PHY 111 General Physics I (3)
  • PHY 112 General Physics II (3)
  • PHY 113 General Physics Laboratory I (1)
  • PHY 114 General Physics Laboratory II (1)
Math (complete one of the following)
  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)
Statistics  (complete one of the following)
  • STP 231 Statistics for Biosciences (3) 
  • STP 226 Elementary Statistics (3)

For more information on requirements and recommendations specific to this degree please see our Did you know for on-campus degrees page.



Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site: https://admission.asu.edu/transfer/pathway-programs.



Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to https://changingmajors.asu.edu for information about how to change a major to this program.



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Career Outlook

Graduates of this concentration have a variety of career options. This degree provides the fundamental coursework necessary for admission into medical, dental, veterinarian, pharmacy or graduate schools or any of the health professions. There also are many employment opportunities that can be pursued upon receipt of the Bachelor of Science with this concentration, such as:

  • animal breeder technician
  • bioinformaticist or biotechnologist
  • crime lab technician
  • cytotechnologist
  • drug or vaccine design technician
  • genetic counselor
  • histologist
  • in-vitro fertilization technician
  • teacher
  • technical writer

Students in this concentration program learn critical thinking skills that can be applied to many scientific problems and professions as well as to the challenges of daily life. Students are encouraged to engage in independent research projects or internship opportunities to develop a better sense of how science is done.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Biological Sciences Professor


  • Growth: 9.3%
  • Median Salary*: $85,600
  Bright Outlook

Clinical Trial Manager


  • Growth: 4.8%
  • Median Salary*: $137,940
  Bright Outlook

Cytotechnologist


  • Growth: %
  • Median Salary*:
  Bright Outlook

Epidemiologist


  • Growth: 4.6%
  • Median Salary*: $74,560
  Bright Outlook

Geneticist


  • Growth: 2.2%
  • Median Salary*: $85,290

High School Teacher


  • Growth: 3.8%
  • Median Salary*: $62,870

Life Scientist


  • Growth: 4.6%
  • Median Salary*: $82,000
  Bright Outlook

Medical Scientist


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: $91,510
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).



Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu



Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.



Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly.