Biology BS

Program Purpose

A bachelors degree in Biology provides students with current understanding of the full breadth of biology. The course of study is comprehensive and integrates knowledge across molecular, cellular, organismal, and ecological levels of organization.  Students that earn this degree come to understand the biological world in its broadest sense.  This degree focuses on understanding the diversity of life, emphasizing whole organism biology in ecological and evolutionary contexts.  There is a great deal of flexibility with elective courses in this major, allowing students to emphasize botanical or zoological fields, or to create a create a combined program of study.  This major is designed to be 'hands on'.  Hence, we provide several undergraduate research opportunities for biology majors, including internships, museum collections curation, bioinventory and data-basing activities, conservation projects, applied molecular genetics, and field and laboratory research in ecology, conservation biology, or evolutionary biology.  Students that complete this program typically enter into excellent graduate programs, top professional schools (including medicine, dentistry, podiatry, physical therapy, and veterinary programs), or secure employment in other biology-related disciplines.

List of Courses (Catalog)


Recommended Courses for Career Options

There are many different career paths that can be followed when you obtain a Bachelor's in Biology in fields such as research, health care, environmental management and conservation, education, or law.

Please see our website for more career opportunities: Biology

You can also obtain more detailed career possibilities from the American Institue of Biological Sciences:

Learning Outcomes

Develop wonder for and knowledge of the most species rich animal group on earth. Using this knowledge to understand the diversity of insects and to enhance your life in concrete as well as more aesthetic ways. Among other things to learn how to increase desireable species, control species harmful to humans, and let the seemingly neutral species continue on their own life paths.

Broad Understanding of Biology

Students will use basic biological concepts, grounded in the foundational theories, to interpret relationships among living things and to analyze and solve biological problems, from the molecular to ecosystem level.

Courses that Contribute: BIO 230 BIO 455 BIO 130 BIO 220 BIO 350 BIO 370 BIO 380 BIO 420 BIO 430 BIO 441 BIO 443 BIO 445 BIO 447 BIO 450 BIO 463 BIO 470 BIO 494R BIO 510 BIO 511 BIO 512 BIO 525 BIO 541 BIO 556 BIO 557 BIO 559R BIO 560 PWS 446
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge
Skills and Tools for Discovery

Students will be able to conduct basic biology research.

Courses that Contribute: BIO 230 BIO 455 BIO 130 BIO 220 BIO 316 BIO 370 BIO 380 BIO 420 BIO 430 BIO 441 BIO 445 BIO 447 BIO 450 BIO 463 BIO 470 BIO 494R BIO 510 BIO 511 BIO 512 BIO 556 BIO 557 BIO 559R BIO 560 PWS 446
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Quantitative reasoning
Meet standards of professionalism

Students will demonstrate professionalism (e.g., scientific integrity, intellectual honesty) and competency (effective verbal and written communication, accurate knowledge base) required by employers or graduate school.

Courses that Contribute: BIO 230 BIO 455 BIO 291R BIO 316 BIO 380 BIO 392R BIO 430 BIO 441 BIO 510 BIO 511 BIO 512 BIO 525
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence, Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning

Direct Measures

  1. Students will demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of biology by passing the Biology Major Field Exam with a minimum score of 140 (200 possible).
  2. Students may have an experience in one or more of the following areas: mentored research, museum curation, internships, grant proposal writing, ORCA grant submission, presentation at professional meeting, or publication.
  3. Each student will complete a pre-survey during their freshman year (in their PDBio 120 course) followed by a graduation exit interview survey to measure affective change regarding their views and attitudes on biology and its importance.
  4. Alumni survey data will be collected at one-, five-, and ten-year post-graduation intervals to ascertain if students are working in a biology-related field (or if they have had opportunities to work in a biology-related field) or if they are in graduate school or professional school.

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

  1. At the end of each academic year (during spring/summer terms) the Program Director will:
    • Collect relevant assessment results for each learning outcome.
    • Identify significant gaps between expected learning outcomes and actual learning outcomes.
    • Develop strategies to improve expected learning outcomes.
  2. Additionally the Program Director will:
    • Establish program improvements that involve department policy, program outcomes, and/or curriculum changes.
    • Participate in the modification of learning outcomes and the plan for collecting related evidence of student learning.
  3. Faculty teaching courses should ensure students entering the program understand program learning outcomes and the characteristics of excellent work by making program learning outcomes and characteristics part of course syllabi. This means that each course will have a set of well-defined learning outcomes specific to that course that are congruent with program learning outcomes.
  4. Student evaluations, alumni survey data, and program specific questionnaire results are analyzed and evaluated as they come in. The state of the department and its programs is a chief topic of discussion at an annual retreat. Faculty meetings throughout the year may also be devoted to specific program issues.
  5. The degree programs and curriculum in the Department of Biology were established with renaming the department in 2007. These programs of study were developed by the Curriculum Committee based on input from the department as well as from college mandates.  Each undergraduate degree program will have an in-depth review every four years (each program will be reviewed on a 4 year rotation; the next scheduled review for the Biology BS is 2012). These reviews will involve departmental participation.
  6. Curriculum and degree program input is received from individuals, ad hoc committees, and college leadership. These changes are discussed and assessed by the curriculum committee on an ongoing basis. Proposals for curriculum change are then discussed at department faculty meetings and decided by a faculty vote. Approved proposals for curriculum change are then submitted to the College Curriculum Committee.