Dec 02, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, BS

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Mission Statement 

The Biology Program focus is on the study of life from an environmental, organismal, cellular, and molecular levels.  Using modern biological research techniques, students will develop skills required to address relevant questions in science and society. Through innovative curriculum, students will receive extensive knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue postgraduate education and/or a variety of careers through hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory experiences. 

Biology Program Goals 

The Biology program goals and student learning objectives are based on The “Vision and Change” document produced by AAAS with support from the National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Department of Agriculture, and developed from input from over 200 Biology instructors.

  1. To equip students with a broad yet strong conceptual foundation in the biological sciences 
  2. To equip students with technical and analytical skills employed in modern cutting edge biological research 
  3. To equip students with the skill of developing hypotheses and design approaches to evaluate information in biology 
  4. To equip students with an understanding of the role of science in society and the ethical conduct of research and science. 
  5. To provide students with opportunities for competency in communicating the findings of biological research effectively and to incorporate these findings into the existing body of knowledge in biology. 
  6. To equip students to undertake postgraduate training in the biological sciences or to embark upon careers in the biological sciences 

Learning outcomes for Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice Learning Objectives for Core Concepts for Biological Literacy (CCBL’s)

  1. Explain how phylogenetic relationships demonstrate relatedness and ancestry of living things.
  2. Explain how species evolve over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.
  3. Explain how basic units of structure define the function of all living things.
  4. Explain how inherited genetic and epigenetic information influences the location, timing, and intensity of gene expression.
  5. Explain how living things have multiple mechanisms to perceive and respond to changing environmental conditions.
  6. Explain how the growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.
  7. Explain how a structure’s chemical and physical characteristics influence its interactions with other structures, and therefore its function.
  8. Explain how natural selection leads to the evolution of structures that tend to increase fitness within the context of evolutionary, developmental, and environmental constraints.
  9. Explain how biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
  10. Explain how biological molecules, genes, cells, tissues, organs, individuals, and ecosystems interact to form complex networks where changes in one component can impact other components.
  11. Explain how organisms have complex systems that integrate internal and external information, incorporate feedback control, and allow them to respond to changes in the environment.

Learning Objectives for Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice (CCDP’s)

  1. Apply the process of science to biological questions.
  2. Use quantitative reasoning including basic mathematics, graphing, and statistics to analyze biological data. 
  3. Use modeling and simulation to predict, make inferences about, solve problems, and communicate scientific data. 
  4. Apply biological knowledge to problems in other STEM disciplines and multiple fields of biology. 
  5. Communicate and collaborate with others who may have diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and perspectives within and external to biological disciplines.
  6. Use scientific reasoning to critically analyze the impact of historical, cultural, political, ethical, and technological factors on the practice and conduct of science. 

Upon completion of at least 34 required semester hours in biology courses plus 15 semester hours in Biology electives, 21 semester hours in required Chemistry courses, 10 semester hours in required Physics courses, 4 semester hours in a required mathematics course, and approximately 37 semester hours of general education courses, a student will be awarded the BS degree in Biology. The total number of semester hours needed to earn the BS is approximately 120-121.  Adequate pre-medicine pre-dentistry and pre-pharmacy courses are provided in the biology program to prepare students to enter medical, dental or pharmacy school. 

Majors are required to earn a grade of “C” or better in all required biology, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science courses. 

Because MATH 225 (Calculus I) or MATH 215 (Elements of Calculus) are the terminal mathematics course for majors in biology, this course must be taken at Bowie State University. Biology electives must be above the BIOL 101 level sequence.  Students majoring in Biology must meet two sets of requirements as outlined below: 


The CORE requirements (BIOL 102, 103, 105, 209) will serve as the prerequisites for all other Biology courses offered in the major. CHEM 107 is the prerequisite courses for CHEM 108. Each prerequisite MUST be successfully completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better BEFORE enrolling in the Required Core Courses. Registration for BIOL 403 will ONLY be allowed during the senior year. 

Students successfully completing the Required Prerequisite Courses, Required Core Courses, and Biochemistry II may qualify for a sub-plan in the field of Chemistry.

Core Biology And Related Science Courses

The CORE requirements (BIOL 102, 103, 105, 209) will serve as the prerequisites for all other biology courses offered in the major. CHEM 107 is the prerequisite courses for CHEM 108. Each prerequisite MUST be successfully completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better BEFORE enrolling in the Required Core Courses. Registration for BIOL 403 will ONLY be allowed during the senior year.

Core Electives

Core electives are to be selected from the course listing below. Students must include in their selection at least 15/16 semester hours at the 300-400 level with a minimum of 8 semester hours at the 400 level excluding.  Core electives must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Required Computer Science Course


Suggested courses for students to fulfill credit deficiencies required for graduation: 

General Education And Institutional Requirements

See the full list of University General Education and Institutional Requirements 

Institutional Requirements (6 semester hours)

English Composition (6 semester hours)

Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours from 2 different disciplines)

  • ____ Arts and Humanities Electives 6 Credits

Sciences (7-8 semester hours)(Satisfied through Major)

  • ____ ____ Science Electives 

Mathematics (4 semester hours)

Social Sciences (6 semester hours from 2 different disciplines)

Technology Issues (4 semester hours)

Free General Education Electives (9 semester hours)

9 Chosen based on departmental advisement. Students are encouraged to take SUMMER courses and attend MINI-SEMESTER in order to have a manageable semester load. Note: The Department reserves the right to specify suitable general education courses, in keeping with COMAR, for its majors.

Sample Program

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

First Semester

Total: 14

Second Semester

Total: 15

Senior Year

First Semester

Total: 17

Second Semester

  • BIOL 400 Level (BIOL 4–) Elective  4 Credits
  • ____ ____ Free Electives 9 Credits (Based on Departmental Advisement)


Total: 13

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