The Department of Biology currently offers an undergraduate major and a minor in Biology. The broadly-based requirements of the major are designed to prepare students for:

  1. advanced studies in biology, biomedical sciences, environmental biology, ecology, and applied ecology;
  2. professional training in medicine, dentistry, optometry, chiropractic, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and other health professions;
  3. the teaching of biology in secondary schools; or
  4. career opportunities in research, biomedical sciences, agriculture, industry, government, and academic institutions.

The department also has a graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree.

Students interested in completing a major or minor in Biology are strongly urged to declare the major early and seek advisement from a departmental advisor. It is particularly important that students be aware that if they complete the major in Biology, they are exempted from having to take any courses in the Natural Sciences distribution area of the General Education Program.

NOTE that before enrolling in any Biology courses that count toward the major or the minor, all students must have earned the following minimum scores on placement tests (or must have successfully completed equivalent coursework): a score of 6 on the reading placement test, a score of 7 on the writing placement test and a score of 30 on the math placement test.

In addition, students should be aware that a maximum of 18 credit hours of biology courses can be accepted toward the Biology Major in transfer credits, and a maximum of 9 credit hours of transfer credits can be accepted toward the Biology Minor.

Completion of the Major in Biology for the Bachelor of Science Degree will meet the state-mandated Biology requirements for secondary teacher certification in Biology. Students who major in Biology and Secondary Education should consult with an advisor in both Biology and in the College of Education.


Learning Requirements

(68-71 credit hours total: 43-46 credits in Biology + 25 credits in cognate areas)

The major requires a set of six required Biology courses (including a cornerstone course, BIO-150), five elective courses in Biology, a capstone course in Biology, and a set of cognate courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. As such, the curriculum provides broad training in the sciences, allows for students to take a sequence of courses that fit their particular interests within Biology and allows students to prepare themselves for specific careers in Biology.

Students who are seeking to be licensed to teach Biology in secondary schools should consult with both an advisor in Biology and an advisor in the Goodwin College of Education.

Students interested in pursuing graduate studies are strongly encouraged to take one year each of organic chemistry and calculus, and a course in statistics.

Students who are planning to pursue professional training in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other health professions should contact the professional schools to which they intend to apply in order to determine their specific program requirements. Students should also consult regularly with an advisor in Biology to ensure that they take an appropriate set of elective courses. Finally, these students can receive guidance on recommended courses, graduate-school test preparation and the application process from the Coordinator of Student Services in the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Student Center for Science Engagement.


The following six core courses are required of all majors.

(Note that BIO-150 must be taken concurrently with BIO-201 or, for transfer students, in their first semester at NEIU.)

BIO-150 Essential Skills For Biologists 2
BIO-201 General Biology I 4
BIO-202 General Biology II 4
BIO-301 Cell Biology 4
BIO-303 General Genetics 4
BIO-305 Writing Intensive Program: General Ecology 4
Total Hours 22


Five elective courses must also be taken.

At least three courses must have a lab component. Four of these must be Biology courses, one of which must focus on plants and one must focus on animals. The fifth course may be in Biology or can be a course from another department, as long as it has been approved by the Biology Department to count as an elective. Students should check with the Biology Department Office or their advisor for a list of approved courses. 18-20 credits. A maximum of three courses can be transferred to satisfy the Biology electives.

One capstone course must also be taken after a student has made substantial progress toward completing the major requirements. The capstone requirement can be satisfied by taking:

Select one of the following: 3-4
BIO-390 Biology Senior Seminar
BIO-391 Internship In Biology
BIO-392 Independent Research I
& BIO-393 Independent Research II
BIO-394 Seminar In Teaching Of Biology


Required Cognate Courses


CHEM-211 General Chemistry I 5
CHEM-212 General Chemistry II 4
CHEM-231 Organic Chemistry I 4
MATH-187 Calculus I
or MATH-275 Applied And Computational Statistics
4
Two semesters of Physics, either algebra-based or calculus-based with labs 8
PHYS-201 College Physics I
& PHYS-202 College Physics II
PHYS-206 University Physics I
& PHYS-207 University Physics II
PHYS-203 Physics I Laboratory
& PHYS-204 Physics II Laboratory
Total Hours 25


Requirements for Secondary Education Licensure


In completing the Major in Biology, students seeking a license to teach biology must earn 8 semester hours in botany including 5 semester hours in laboratory work, 8 semester hours in zoology including 5 semester hours in laboratory work, and 8 semester hours in physiology including 5 semester hours in laboratory work. Students who major in Biology and Secondary Education should consult with both an advisor in Biology and an advisor in the College of Education.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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This course is Campus based
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4 years
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26,940 USD
In-state/neighboring state: $396.19/credit hour. Out-of-state: $792.38/credit hour. Fees: $71
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