Biological Sciences, B.S.
- Students will demonstrate a solid base of knowledge in Biology. Subjects such as cell and molecular biology, genetics, ecology and evolution, plant biology, and physiology are all crucial subject areas that will be mastered.
- Students will analyze qualitative and quantitative data, assess validity of work and identify gaps in knowledge, and evaluate the results of analyses and experiments and decide on next steps.
- Students will identify assumptions, create and evaluate hypotheses, and design relevant experiments.
- Students will be trained to locate sources of information and to evaluate the quality of the information needed to make decisions. Students will be trained to critically read and discuss primary literature and evaluate its validity (on an appropriate level).
- Students will demonstrate the ability to learn independently and then share that knowledge with others as well as to work collaboratively.
Biological sciences majors may enroll in a biological sciences major course a maximum of twice to earn the required grade of C or higher. For the purposes of this standard of progression, withdrawal with a W does not constitute enrollment.
Any student applying for transfer to the biological sciences major from other programs within the University, or from other accredited colleges and universities, is required to have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale.
New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another UofSC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
- Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a UofSC campus.
Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.
Degree Requirements (120 hours)
Program of Study
|1. Carolina Core||32-44|
|2. College Requirements||15-18|
|3. Program Requirements||30-45|
|4. Major Requirements||28|
Founding Documents Requirement
All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers. This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective. Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.
1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)
CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)
Must be passed with a grade of C or higher.
- any CC-CMW courses
ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (A Minimum of 12 hours)
SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)
GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)
Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.
It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.
GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)
- any CC-GHS course
GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
- any CC-GSS course
AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility (3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.
2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
Foreign Language (0-3 hours)
- only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency
Analytical Reasoning (6 hours)
History (3 hours)
The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111, HIST 112, HIST 214, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 104, HIST 105, HIST 106, HIST 108, HIST 109, GERM 280, FAMS 300, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.
Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (6 hours)
- Courses Acceptable for Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences
- Three hours of Social Science
- Three hours of Fine Arts or Humanities
3. Program Requirements (30-45 hours)
Supporting Courses (8-16 hours)
|CHEM 111||General Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 111L||General Chemistry I Lab||1|
|CHEM 112||General Chemistry II||3|
|CHEM 112L||General Chemistry II Lab||1|
|CHEM 333||Organic Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 331L||Essentials of Organic Chemistry Laboratory I||1|
|CHEM 334||Organic Chemistry II||3|
|CHEM 332L||Essentials of Organic Chemistry Laboratory II||1|
|Total Credit Hours||16|
Note: PHYS 201 and PHYS 202 are recommended in addition to the above required courses. CHEM 333, CHEM 331L, CHEM 334, and CHEM 332L may be used to fulfill 8 hours of the cognate. However, additional elective hours may be required to reach minimum hours to graduate.
Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)
Cognate (12 hours)
The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs, depending on the interests of the student and the judgment of the advisor.
Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
For cognate course offerings in other colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.
It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the major advisor as being related to the major field of study. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate.
For Bachelor of Science degrees, grades of D are acceptable for completion of the cognate requirement, except where restricted by the major program.
Minor (18 hours)
In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of 16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.
The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.
Minors are available in participating departments of the College of Arts and Sciences and in other colleges. For descriptions of specific minors, students should see the appropriate sections of the bulletin.
A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.
Electives (0-25 hours)
No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.
4. Major Requirements (28 hours)
A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.
Major Courses (9 hours)
|BIOL 301||Ecology and Evolution||3|
|BIOL 302||Cell and Molecular Biology||3|
|BIOL 303||Fundamental Genetics||3|
|Total Credit Hours||9|
Major Electives (19 hours)
|Select one Physiology course from the following:||3|
|Plant Form and Function (optional lab available) 1|
|Advanced Human Physiology (optional lab available)|
|Domestic Animal Nutrition|
|Comparative Physiology (optional lab available)|
|Plant Physiology 1|
|Select one Plant Biology course from the following:||3|
|Survey of the Plant Kingdom (optional lab available)|
|Plant Form and Function (optional lab available) 1|
|Plant Development (optional lab available)|
|The Fall Flora|
or BIOL 527
|The Spring Flora|
or BIOL 528
|The Summer Flora|
|Plant Physiology 1|
|Plant Ecology (optional lab available)|
|Plant Responses to the Environment|
|13 hours of biological sciences majors courses 300 or higher||13|
|Total Credit Hours||19|
Note: At least three courses applied toward the major must have an associated laboratory. No more than three credits of 398/399 may be applied toward the major. Two of 301, 301, or 303 must be completed to advance to 400-600 level courses. At least two courses must be at the 500-level or above.
A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.
Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.