uvm biological science requirements


The Biological Science B.S. major requirements are listed in the UVM Catalog under both the College of Arts and Sciences: B.S. in Biological Science, CAS, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: B.S in Biological Science, CALS.  This “cross-college” major spans departments as well, offering you the opportunity to tailor your academic experience at two levels:


The major requirements for the Biological Science B.S. are the same regardless of college.  However, in addition to courses required for completion of a major program, (and University-wide required courses in writing, diversity, sustainability, and quantitative reasoning), each college has its own requirements to ensure graduates have received a well-rounded education.  Outlined below are the descriptions for the ~11 courses required by each college that hosts the Biological Science major.  Note: courses taken for the major (e.g. biology, mathematics, etc.) can doubly count toward these college-level requirements.

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Distribution Requirements: FIVE of the following SIX categories: (i) 2 fine arts/literature courses (one in each area), (ii) 2 foreign language courses (same language), (iii) 2 humanities courses, (iv) 2 natural sciences courses with lab, (v) 2 mathematics courses, or (vi) 2 social sciences courses.General requirement – one course in non-European culture that is not a language course. (May jointly satisfy distribution requirement.)84 credits must be from within CAS.Core Competencies: two humanities/fine arts courses, two physical/life science courses, one mathematics course, one statistics course, two social science courses, and one writing course.Foundations courses: CALS 001 (Communication Methods) and 002 (Information Technology), or equivalent courses.


The Biological Science major requires 26 credits of Advanced Life Science Electives – meaning 7-8 courses you choose from a list of 150+, from 18 different departments.  You could take a variety of different topics, or all of your credits from one field; it’s up to you.  The full list is below.

In year two, meet with an advisor to map a plan of study for completing your Advanced Life Science Electives – 100- and 200-level courses including undergraduate research.  The following rules apply to the Advanced Life Science Elective requirement:

  • No more than 8 credits at the 100-level may be applied to the requirement (not including BCOR courses) except with written permission from an advisor and not exceeding three 100-level courses.
  • With an advisor’s permission, biologically relevant 300-level courses may be applied to the requirement.
  • Up to 6 credits of undergraduate research in any biological discipline may be applied toward the requirement. Only three of these can be taken for credit at the 100-level, and these will be counted in the 8 credits allowed at the 100-level.

Advanced Life Science Elective List – 100+ courses that can count for your major!

The courses listed below are pre-approved to count toward the elective requirement for the B.S. degree in Biological Science.  If you are interested in a life science course not on this list, consult with one of the Biological Science program directors to determine whether it can be used as an Advanced Elective.

The B.S. degree in Biological Science has an additional recommendation as to the types of skills one should obtain in taking their Advanced Life Science Electives. The minimum is that students should gain 12 credits in elective courses that include a quantitative (“Q”) component, 3 credits that stress oral (“O”) communication, and 3 credits that stress written (“W”) communication.  The Skillset column below indicates which of these skills a course includes.  A blank in the skillset column indicates that it is unknown whether this course fulfills any of the skillset requirements; consult the course’s instructor.  A * indicates an assignment is optional; a student would need to complete the assignment to earn the skillset credit.

CourseCourse TitleSkillsetsCreditsFallSpringSummer
ANTH 242Research Mthds in Human Diversity (crosslisted w/BIOL 242)Q, O, W4x  
ASCI 110Animal Nutrition, Metabolism and FeedingQ, O, W4x  
ASCI 111Animal Anatomy-, -, –4x  
ASCI 118Applied Animal HealthQ, O, W3 x 
ASCI 120General Physiology 3 x 
ASCI 143Forage and Pasture Management (crosslisted w/PSS 143) 4e.o.  
ASCI 168Animal Genetics-, -, –3 x 
ASCI 177Animal Plagues & Global Health-, O, W3 e.o. 
ASCI 215Physiology of ReproductionQ, O, –3 x 
ASCI 216Endocrinology-, O, W3x  
ASCI 220Lactation PhysiologyQ, O, W3 e.o. 
ASCI 242Advanced Animal NutritionQ, O, W4x  
ASCI 272Adv. Topics: Zoos, Exotics, and Endangered Species-, -, –3 xx
ASCI 277Animal and Human Parasitology 3 e.o. 
BCOR 195Biology in Practice-, -, W1xx 
BCOR 197Teaching Assistantship-, O*, –1xx 
BCOR 198/298Undergraduate ResearchQ*,O*,W*variablexx 
BHSC 242Immunology-, -, W3 e.o. 
BHSC 244Immunology Lab 1 x 
BHSC 281Applied Molecular Biology 3x  
BHSC 282Applied Molecular Biology Lab 1x  
BIOC 191/192Undergraduate Research variablexx 
BIOC 201Fundamentals of BiochemistryQ, O*, W3xxx
BIOC 205Biochemistry (crosslisted w/CHEM 205 & MMG 205)Q3x  
BIOC 206Biochemistry II (crosslisted w/CHEM 206 & MMG 206)-, O, W3 x 
BIOC 207Biochemistry Lab (crosslisted w/CHEM 207 & MMG 207)Q, O, W3 x 
BIOC 240Macromolecular structure: proteins and nucleic acids 3 sporadic 
BIOC 263Nutritional BiochemistryQ, O, W3 x 
BIOC 275Adv. Biochemistry of Human Disease 3x  
BIOC 292Undergraduate Research variablexx 
BIOC 293Independent Study variablexx 
BIOC 295/296Advanced Special Topics variablexx 
BIOL 188Soundscapes and Behavior ResearchQ, O, W3xx 
BIOL 189Teaching Assistantship 1-3xx 
BIOL 195/196Special Topics variablexx 
BIOL 198Undergraduate ResearchQ*, -, Wvariablexx 
BIOL 199Introduction to Marine Science-, O, –3 x 
BIOL 205Advanced Genetics & Proteomics LaboratoryQ, O, W4 x 
BIOL 209Field Zoology of ArthropodsQ, O, –4x  
BIOL 212Comparative Histology 4 x 
BIOL 217MammalogyQ, O, W4x  
BIOL 219Comparative Function of Vertebrate Anatomy 4 x 
BIOL 223Developmental Biology-, -, –3x  
BIOL 242Research Mthds in Human Diversity (crosslisted w/ANTH 242)Q, O, W4x  
BIOL 254Population GeneticsQ, -, W4x x
BIOL 255Comparative PhysiologyQ, O, W4x  
BIOL 261Neurobiology-, O*, –3xx 
BIOL 264Community EcologyQ, O, W3x  
BIOL 266Neurodevelopment-, O, –3x  
BIOL 269Plant-Animal InteractionsQ, O, W3x  
BIOL 271EvolutionQ, -, W3x  
BIOL 276Behavioral EcologyQ, -, W3e.o.  
BIOL 277Sociobiology-, -, W3 e.o. 
BIOL 292Independent Study-, O, Wvariablexx 
BIOL 295/296Advanced Special Topics variablexx 
BIOL 296Panama: Marine Mammal Biology 4  x
BIOL 298Undergraduate ResearchQ*, -, Wvariablexx 
BIOL 381AComputational BiologyQ,  ,  4 x 
CHEM 205Biochemistry (crosslisted w/BIOC 205 & MMG 205)Q3x  
CHEM 206Biochemistry II (crosslisted w/BIOC 206 & MMG 206)-, O, W3 x 
CHEM 207Biochemistry Lab (crosslisted w/BIOC 207 & MMG 207)Q, O, W3 x 
CSD 281Intro Cognitive NeuroscienceQ, O*, W3x x
ENSC 160Pollutant Movement Through Air, Land, and WaterQ, O, W4x  
ENSC 201Recovery and Restoration of Altered Ecosystems 4 x 
ENSC 274SU: Climate Change: Science & Perception 3 e.o. 
FOR 223Multi-Resource SilvicultureQ, O, W4x  
FOR 228Ecosystems Ecology (crosslisted w/NR 228) 3x  
HON 208/209Honors: Biology (Thesis Research)Q, O, Wvariablexx 
MATH 268Mathematical Biology and EcologyQ, O, W3 x 
MLS 231HematologyQ, O, W4x  
MLS 255Clinical Microbiology II-, -, W3x  
MMG 101Microbiology and Infectious DiseasesQ, -, W4x  
MMG 104Intro Recombinant DNA TechQ, O, –3 x 
MMG 192Independent Study variablexx 
MMG 193Teaching Assistantship 1xx 
MMG 195Intermediate Special Topics variablexx 
MMG 197/198Undergraduate ResearchQ, O, Wvariablexx 
MMG 201Molecular Cloning LabQ, O, W4x  
MMG 205Biochemistry (crosslisted w/CHEM 205 & MMG 205)Q3x  
MMG 206Biochemistry II (crosslisted w/CHEM 206 & MMG 206)-, O, W3 x 
MMG 207Biochemistry Lab (crosslisted w/CHEM 207 & MMG 207)Q, O, W3 x 
MMG 211Prokaryotic Molecular GeneticsQ, O, W3x  
MMG 220Environmental Microbiology-, O, W3 e.o. 
MMG 222Advanced Medical Microbiology-, -, W4 x 
MMG 223Immunology-, -, W*3 e.o. 
MMG 225Eukaryotic Virology-, -, –3e.o.  
MMG 230Adv. Studies in Emerging Infectious Diseases-, O, W3e.o.  
MMG 232QR: Advanced BioinformaticsQ, O, W3 e.o. 
MMG 233Genetics and GenomicsQ, O, –3x  
MMG 235Bioterrorism 3 x 
MMG 240Macromolecular Structure, Protein & Nucleic AcidQ, O, –3 sporadic 
MMG 292Independent Study variablexx 
MMG 293Teaching Assistantship 1xx 
MMG 295/296Adv. Special Topics, as appropriate variablexx 
MMG 297/298Undergraduate ResearchQ, O, Wvariablexx 
NFS 143Nutrition in the LifecycleQ, O, –3x x
NFS 163Sports NutritionQ, O, W3x  
NFS 203Food Microbiology-, O, W3x e.o.
NFS 213Food Microbiology LabQ, -, W1x  
NFS 243Advanced NutritionQ, O, W3 xx
NR 220Landscape EcologyQ, O, W3sporadicsporadic 
NR 228Ecosystems Ecology (crosslisted w/ FOR 228) 3x  
NR 250LimnologyQ, O, W4x  
NR 268Soil Ecology (crosslisted w/ PSS 268)Q, O*, W4 e.o. 
NR 280Stream EcologyQ, O, W4x  
NSCI 111Exploring Neuroscience-, O, –3xx 
NSCI 112Exploring Neuroscience LabQ, -, W1xx 
NSCI 222Cellular NeurophysiologyQ, O, W3 x 
NSCI 225Human Neuroanatomy-, -, –3 x 
NSCI 255Neuroregeneration-, O, W3 x 
NSCI 270Diseases of the Nervous System-, O, W3xx 
PBIO 104Plant PhysiologyQ, -, W4 x 
PBIO 108Morphology & Evolution of Vascular Plants-, -, W4 e.o. 
PBIO 109Plant Systematics-, -, –4x  
PBIO 117Plant Pathology (crosslisted w/ PSS 117)-, O, –4xx 
PBIO 133SU: How Plants Can Save the WorldQ*, O, W3x  
PBIO 177Biology of Fungi-, O, –4x sporadic
PBIO 192Independent Study variablexx 
PBIO 195Intermediate Special Topics variablexx 
PBIO 198Undergraduate Research variablexx 
PBIO 209Biology of Ferns-, O, W3 e.o. 
PBIO 223Fundamentals of Field ScienceQ, O, W3x  
PBIO 232Botany Field Trip-, -, –1e.o.e.o. 
PBIO 241Tropical Plant Systematics-, O*, W*3e.o.  
PBIO 261Plant Growth & Development-, -, W3 sporadic 
PBIO 292Independent Study variablexx 
PBIO 295/296Advanced Special Topics variablexx 
PBIO 298Undergraduate Research variablexx 
PHRM 200Medical Cannabis-, -, W3 x 
PHRM 201Introduction to PharmacologyQ, -, W3x  
PHRM 240Molecules and MedicineQ, -, W*3x  
PHRM 272ToxicologyQ, -, W*3 x 
PHRM 290Topics in Molecular and Cellular PharmacologyQ*, -, W*3 x 
PSS 106Entomology and Pest Management-, -, –4x  
PSS 112Weed Ecology & ManagementQ, O, W3x  
PSS 117Plant Pathology (crosslisted w/ PBIO 117)-, O, –4xx 
PSS 138Commercial Plant Propagation-, O, W4 x 
PSS 143Forage and Pasture Management (crosslisted w/ASCI 143)-, O, W4e.o.  
PSS 154Composting Ecology and Management-, O, W3 xx
PSS 156Permaculture-, O, –3xxx
PSS 212Advanced Agroecology 4x  
PSS 232Biological ControlQ, O, W3 e.o. 
PSS 268Soil Ecology (crosslisted w/ NR 268)Q, O*, W4 e.o. 
PSS 296AEcological Frontiers in AgroecologyQ, O, W3 e.o. 
PSYS 115BiopsychologyQ, -, –3 xx
PSYS 215Physiological Psychology-, -, W4xx 
PSYS 216PsychopharmacologyQ, -, W3xx 
PSYS 218Hormones and Behavior-, O, W3e.o. e.o.
STAT 200Medical Biostatistics & EpidemiologyQ, O*, W3xx 
WFB 130Ornithology-, -, –3 x 
WFB 131Fi