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B.S. in Biology

Why major in Biology?

As our society becomes increasingly technological, career opportunities for individuals with science degrees will continue to increase. Our Biology major is designed to give students a broad biological background while also allowing the student to tailor their degree to their own individual needs. Biology majors develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of the field of biology and amass a variety of laboratory skills (Program Outcomes). Students majoring in Biology can work in a number of areas, including government agencies, private industries, and law enforcement. This major also prepares students for further education in pursuit of graduate degrees or professional degrees in biological fields (e.g., medicine, dentistry, etc.).

The B.S. in Biology Degree

In 2000, Clayton State University began offering a B.S. degree in Biology (formerly called the Applied Biology degree). The B.S. degree was designed in consultation with Georgia employers to fit present and emerging needs in the State of Georgia. Along with providing a required core of classes in biology, the program includes a rigorous background in chemistry and physics that will allow our students to succeed in their chosen career. Faculty mentors guide students in selecting the electives that are appropriate for their career goals. In addition, students earning the Biology degree participate in off-campus or on-campus internships or independent research projects with faculty.  In Fall 2019 the Biology Department made a significant change to the Biology curriculum to provide more flexibility for students so they can more easily complete their degree in four years.  Below we have provided the old curriuclum worksheet and the newest curriculum worksheet.  Students entering the program in 2019 are required to follow the new curriculum.  Students entering the program prior to Fall 2019 have a choice to switch to the new curriculum and complete the older curriculum.  Students should speak to their advisor about which choice is more suitable.  

Major Curriculum Worksheet

Download the B.S. Biology Curriculum Worksheet for the B.S. Biology prior to Fall 2019.

Download the B.S. Biology Curriculum Worksheet for the B.S. Biology starting in Fall 2019.

The table below provides a summary of the newest B.S. in Biology curriculum. See the link above for a detailed curriculum worksheet.

The scheduling for the Biology core courses and electives can be found at this link.

Area A - Essential Skills (9 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
A1 ENGL1101 English Composition I 3
A1 ENGL1102 English Composition II 3
A2 MATH 1112 or MATH 1113 or MATH 1501 Trigonometry Pre-Calculus Calculus I 3 3 4
Area B - Critical Thinking and Communication (4 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
B1 CRIT 1101 Critical Thinking 3
B2 COMM 1001 Presentational Speaking (Recommended) 1
Area C - Humanities (6 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
C1 Select one literature, philosophy, or language course (see worksheet) 3
C2 Select one fine arts or language course (see worksheet) 3
Area D - Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology (11 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
D1 CHEM 1211/L Principles of Chemistry I/Lab 4
D1 CHEM 1212/L Principles of Chemistry II/Lab 4
D2 MATH 1231 Introductory Statistics 3
Area E - Social Sciences (12 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
E1 POLS 1101 American Government 3
E2 Select one world history course (see worksheet) 3
E3 Select one U.S. history course (see worksheet) 3
E4 PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology (Recommended) 3
Area F - Major Specific Courses (18 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
F1 BIOL 1107/L Principles of Biology I/Lab 4
F2 BIOL 1108/L Principles of Biology II/Lab 4
F3 BIOL 2900 Biological Inquiry 2
F4 CHEM 2411/L Organic Chemistry I/Lab 4
F5 PHYS 1111/L or PHYS 2211/L Introductory Physics I /Lab or Principles of Physics I/Lab 4
Upper Division Required Courses (10 hours)
Area Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
UD Required Core BIOL 3500 Ecology 3
UD Required Core BIOL 3380 Evolution and Population Biology 3
UD Required Core BIOL 3201 Genetics 3
UD Required Core BIOL 4999 A/B Senior Evaluation 0

UD Required Core

Physiology course and Lab Options (4 hrs)

BIOL 4500


Senior Biology Seminar

Choose One



  BIOL 4100/L Animal Physiology and Lab 4
                                                          OR BIOL 3700/L Plant Physiology and Lab 4
Cellular Biology Course and Lab Options (4 hrs)   Choose One 4
  BIOL 3200/L Cell and Molecular Biology and Lab 4
                                                           OR BIOL 3250/L Introductory Microbiology and Lab 4
Organismal Biology Course and Lab Options (4 hrs)  
  Choose One 4
  BIOL 3320/L Invertebrate Zoology and Lab 4
                                                           OR BIOL 3650/L Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Lab 4
                                                           OR BIOL 3760/L Plant Biology and Lab 4
Experiential Learning Options (3 hours)   Choose One 3
                                                           OR BIOL 3210 Off-Campus Internship 3
                                                           OR BIOL 3220 On-Campus Internship 3
                                                           OR BIOL 3230 Introductory Research 3
                                                           OR BIOL 4230 Biology Research Practicum 3
UD Biology Lab Elective (1 hour)*  

Choose any additional 3000-4000 levelbiology lab to pair with an appropriate biology elective (co-requisite may apply)

UD Biology Elective (Min. 11 hours)*  

Choose additional 3000-4000 level biology courses  and/or labs for a minimum of 11 hours

Other Science Electives (Min. 9 hours)*  

Any lecture or lab course with a CHEM, FOSC, or PHYS prefix. Lower division courses can be used as long as student has a minimum of 42 hours of upper division (3000 4000 level) courses.  Non-majors courses such as CHEM 1151/L and CHEM 1152/L cannot be used.

Free Electives (Max. 11 hours)*   Any course that is not used for credit in any other area can be used here. The total degree requirements must be 120; therefore, free elective hours can be reduced if more hours are used in other areas of the curriculum.  Lower division courses can be used as long as student has a minimum of 42 hours of upper division (3000-4000 level) courses.  The following courses are not allowed in this area:  Any MATH course that is below MATH 1501, any course that is allowed in area D for non-science majors, BIOL 2250/L (if student is using BIOL 3250/L for credit). 11

Total Hours Required (upon achieving the min. hours in each elective area student must select  3 additional elective hours of science courses or labs to reach 120 hours.  


Important notes concerning courses:

  • *Each of these courses with an asterisk (*) can count for credit in only one area each.
  • A total maximum of three experiential learning courses can be counted in the Biology program. Experiential learning courses include the following: BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3210, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3211, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3220, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3221, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3230, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3231, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 4230, BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 4231, and BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 4232.
  • If MATH 1501 is used in Area A, one hour of credit may be applied to the free electives area.
  •  If PHYS 2211/L and/or PHYS 2212/L are used to satisfy any portion of the curriculum then PHYS 1111/L and PHYS 1112/L cannot also be used simultaneously.  
  • Students should select courses that will help them advance their career goals or that can be applied to a minor.