University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    Jun 07, 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 Microbiology and Immunology either concurrently or subsequently.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • successfully apply the knowledge they gained in each course to succeed in the following course in the recommended course sequence.
  • identify, appreciate, and use the features of scientific method in research and distinguish it from other ways of knowing and learning.
  • obtain relevant information, process and evaluate this information using critical thinking skills, and communicate their ideas to a wider audience using an appropriate format.
  • show proficiency in content knowledge in the field of Biology that meet or exceed those of the national average for similar institutions. 
  • demonstrate competence in technical skills used in advanced laboratory courses and in the workplace.

Contact Information

147 Fleischmann Agriculture
(775) 784-6188

College of Science Academic Advisors:

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking  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 Transferology 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

Keys to Success

The University of Nevada, Reno wants students to earn a bachelor’s degree in a timely manner. Students are more likely to remain on track to graduate in four years if they complete the Success Marker courses listed below within the timeframe and with at least the grades listed. Adherence to this timeline is NOT a requirement for graduation, just a research-based suggestion for efficient program completion. 

The following academic support services may help students meet the Success Markers below.

I. 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 Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course description.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (4-7 units) - CO2

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (8 units) - CO4, CO4L

Select one sequence:

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

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

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

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

F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8

Refer to the Core Curriculum   chapter in this catalog.

II. Additional Core Requirements (9 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these 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 - 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 190A  ; 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

Use the Planner in MyNEVADA to build a custom graduation plan. Review and adjust the plan in each academic advisement session.

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.