BS Biological Sciences




Program Description

The life sciences delve into the study of the basic organization and processes of life (microbes, plants and animals) at scales ranging from molecules to ecosystems and in time from picoseconds to millennia. This includes investigations into how hereditary information is transferred and organisms evolve, the interplay of organisms and their environments, and how these factors interact in health and disease.

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

Students interested in a degree in life sciences can opt for a BS in biological sciences or choose one of five concentrations:
  • biology and society
  • biomedical sciences
  • conservation biology and ecology
  • genetics, cell and developmental biology
  • neurobiology, physiology and behavior
Ways to attend class

This program is available for on-campus students, online students and as an accelerated degree. The requirements and / or available classes are slightly different according to how you wish to attend class. Class requirements are listed below for on-campus students in the first section and online students in the second section. 

Accelerated Bachelors and Masters degree

Possible masters programs with links to descriptions are listed below. If you are interested in the requirements and how to apply please visit our accelerated degree program page.

Concurrent degree restrictions: 

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)

Major Map

Online Major Map

Major Map on-campus archive

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


Degree details for on-campus students

Major core for on-campus participants 

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)

Additional on-campus major requirements

Pick five courses from the following for 15+ credit hours.

  • BCH 361 Principles of Biochemistry (3)
  • BIO 311/HPS 340 Biology and Society or BIO 312/PHI 320 Bioethics or BIO 318/HPS 331 History of Medicine or BIO 416/HPS 410 Biomedical Research Ethics or HPS/PHI 314 Philosophy of Science (3)
  • BIO 308 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIO 320 Fundamentals of Ecology (3)
  • BIO 331 Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 351 Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIO 353 Cell Biology (3)
  • BIO 360 Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • BIO 385 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4)
  • MIC 220 Biology of Microorganisms & MIC 206 Microbiology Laboratory (4)

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

On-campus major laboratory / research courses

Complete two courses from the list below. Only 3 credits of 495, 484 or 492 can count towards one lab.

  • BIO 308 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIO 321 Introductory Ecology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO 342 General Genetics Laboratory (2)
  • BIO/MBB 343 Genetic Engineering and Society (4)
  • BIO 352 Laboratory in Vertebrate Developmental Anatomy (2)
  • BIO 357 Cell Biology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO 361 Animal Physiology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4)
  • BIO 385 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4)
  • BIO 386 General Entomology (4)
  • BIO 435 Research Techniques in Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 451 Cell Biotechnology Laboratory (4)
  • BIO 471 Ornithology (3)
  • BIO 474 Herpetology (4)
  • BIO 475 Advanced Human Anatomy (3)
  • 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)
  • MBB 350 Applied Genetics (4)
  • MIC 302 Advanced Bacteriology Laboratory (2)
  • MIC 421 Experimental Immunology (2)

Major on-campus 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 for on-campus participants

Choose one of the two tracks: General and Organic Chemistry or Pre-health sequence

General chemistry 
  • CHM 113 General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116 General Chemistry II (4)
AND Organic chemistry 
  • 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 

Choose one of two tracks: General Physics or the 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)

  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)

Statistics (complete one)

  • 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

Degree details for online students

Major core for online students

  • BIO 181 General Biology I (4) 
  • BIO 182 General Biology II (4) 
  • BIO 340 General Genetics (4) 
  • BIO 345 Evolution (3)

Additional major requirements for online students

Pick five courses from the following for 15+ credit hours

  • BIO 312/PHI 320 Bioethics (3) or PHI 314 Philosophy of Science (3) or BIO 311/HPS 340 Biology and Society (3) or BIO 416 Biomedical Research Ethics (3)
  • BIO 320 Fundamentals of Ecology (3)
  • BIO 331 Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 351 Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIO 353 Cell Biology (3)
  • BIO 360 Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • MIC 205 Microbiology & MIC 206 Microbiology Laboratory (4)

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

Major laboratory / research courses

Complete two courses from the list below. Credits from labs are accounted for in the major general elective area.

  • BIO 321 Introductory Ecology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO 357 Cell and Molecular Bio Lab (2)
  • BIO 361 Animal Physiology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4)
  • BIO 495 Undergraduate Research or BIO 484 Internship (1-3)

Online 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.

Online requirements in related fields

Online general chemistry (take both)

Choose one of the two tracks: General and Organic Chemistry or Pre-health sequence

  • CHM 113 General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116 General Chemistry II (4)
AND Online organic chemistry (take both)
  • CHM 231 Elementary Organic Chemistry SQ 1 (3)
  • CHM 235 Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory SQ 1 (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)

Online physics electives

Choose one of two tracks: General Physics or the Pre-health sequence

Physics
  • PHY 101 Introduction to Physics (4 hours)
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)

Online math proficiency electives

Complete one of the following

  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)

Online statistics electives

Complete one of the following

  • STP 231 Statistics for Biosciences (3) 
  • STP 226 Elementary Statistics (3)

For more information or to review recommendations from advising visit our advising recommendations 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

The biological sciences major with no concentration is designed for students who are committed to studying and training in multiple disciplines in biology and for students who want to get more exposure to the life sciences before deciding whether they want to declare a concentration as an undergraduate. Therefore, students in this major take core courses from several concentrations. Students in this major have more flexibility to customize their program of study so they can focus on their own area of interest that may not have a concentration, such as plant biology or genomics.

The biological science major provides an excellent foundation for graduate study as well as preparation for professional schooling in:

  • dentistry
  • medicine
  • pharmacy
  • veterinary medicine

Graduates may enter positions in:

  • biotechnology
  • education
  • government
  • industry

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

Biological Scientist (General)


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

Clinical Trial Manager


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

Dentist


  • Growth: 2.8%
  • Median Salary*: $158,940

Environmental Protection Specialist


  • Growth: 7.8%
  • Median Salary*: $73,230
Green Occupation   Bright Outlook

High School Teacher


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

Medical and Health Services Manager


  • Growth: 31.5%
  • Median Salary*: $104,280
  Bright Outlook

Pharmacist


  • Growth: -3.3%
  • Median Salary*: $128,710

Veterinarian (Vet)


  • Growth: 15.9%
  • Median Salary*: $99,250
  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

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