University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    Jun 03, 2023  

Biology, B.S.


The Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology provides students with a solid background in natural science and the choice of specializing in specific areas of biology, as well as the opportunity for participation in faculty guided research. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared to compete nationally for admission to graduate programs in the life and health sciences, medical and dental school, and entrance into civil service and industrial positions. Requirements for admission to most medical schools can be met by completion of the biology major without the need for additional courses. Because of curricular overlaps students cannot pursue dual majors in Biology and Neuroscience or dual majors in Biology and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

Contact Information

147 Fleischmann Agriculture
(775) 784-6188

College of Science Academic Advisors:

Transfer to Nevada

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking Print degree planner icon at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access established transfer course equivalencies to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements


Total Units 120
Cumulative GPA 2.0
University GPA 2.0
Major GPA 2.0
Residency Requirement 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
Major Residency Requirement 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
Upper-Division Requirement 40 Upper-Division Units
Half Program Units/4 Year Institution 60 Units


I. Silver Core General Education Requirements (27-33 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Silver Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course description.

A. Silver Core Writing and Prerequisite (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Silver Core Mathematics and Prerequisite (4-7 units) - CO2

C. Silver Core Natural Sciences (8 units) - CO4, CO4L

Select one sequence:

D. Silver Core Social Sciences (3 units) - CO6

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO6 courses .

E. Silver Core Fine Art (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

F. Silver Core Humanities (6 units) - CO5, CO8

Refer to the Core Curriculum   chapter in this catalog.

II. Additional Silver Core Requirements (9 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Silver Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society Course - CO9

The following courses count in the general education requirement:

B. Diversity & Equity Course - CO10

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO10 courses .

C. Global Context Course - CO11

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO11 courses .

D. Ethics Course - CO12

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis Course - CO13

F. Application Course - CO14

The following courses count in the major requirement:

III. Additional College Requirements (0 units)

IV. Major Requirements (50-55 units)


  /   or CHEM 201  is prerequisite for BIOL 190  ; some professional schools require organic chemistry lecture and lab (CHEM 341  , CHEM 342  , CHEM 345  ).

Select one of these two emphases for five credits: (5 units)

B. Chemistry courses (4-8 units)

NOTE: In addition to the Core Curriculum Natural Sciences requirement (

  and  ; and CHEM 122A  and CHEM 122L  ), complete the following lecture(s) and an Organic Chemistry laboratory.

C. Mathematics courses (3-4 units)

In addition to the Core Curriculum  Math requirement (MATH 181 ), complete a course in Statistics. Select one:

E. Biology Upper-Division Electives (12 units)

Please consult with a Biology faculty advisor for acceptable courses numbered 300-499.

V. Minor Requirements (0 units)

VI. Electives (23-34 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

A. First Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

B. Second Year

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (16 units)

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (14-15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

Biology With Distinction

In addition to the above requirements, students wishing to be considered for “with distinction” in biology must:

  1. have and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 overall and 3.5 in biology.
  2. be recommended as a candidate by a member of the biology faculty who will serve as a mentor.
  3. successfully complete 3 credits of either BIOL 491  or BIOL 492  during the junior year and 3 credits each semester in BIOL 496  - BIOL 497  during the senior year.
  4. successfully fulfill the requirements of the Biology Special Programs Committee.