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College of Arts & Sciences

Biology

#1

Most popular major at UK

50%

of Bio students conduct research

9.8M

Total extramural research funding

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Biology is the study of LIFE. It is the exciting study of how living systems do their business: How plants produce nearly every bite of edible food through photosynthesis. How microorganisms reproduce and acquire resistance to antibiotics, how they produce disease, and how they benefit our lives. It is the study of animal development from conception through maturation, reproduction, senescence and then ultimately to death. It is the study of how we perceive our world through our amazing senses, and it is the study of the very brain we use to process this information and everything about our world. It is the study of the great diversity of living things on Earth and how they interact with each other and with human society. Biology tells us who we are in this vast living world. It tells us where we came from, and it tells us where we might go as a species.

Careers

Grow Your Future

From biological principles, the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, and many other life science careers arise, and in these uncertain times of great climatic change, the emergence of new diseases, and human overpopulation, we will rely on Biology more and more. Fortunately, the science of Biology has delivered and continues to deliver on its great promise to provide new cures for disease, new ways to understand ourselves and new approaches for remediation of environmental discord.

Career opportunities in Biology

  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian 
  • Nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Biological Research
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Zookeeper
  • Park Ranger
  • Biology Teacher

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • Biology (BA) - Minor Option A 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 105 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY I4

    A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and their compounds. Not open to students who have already completed both CHE 104 and 106 or CHE 104 and CHE 108, but open to students who have completed just CHE 104.

  • CHE 111 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY I1

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 105, dealing with the properties of chemical substances and providing an introduction to quantitative chemical analysis.1

  • BIO 148 - INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY I3

    BIO 148 introduces the student to the biological mechanisms operating at the molecular, cellular, and population level that contribute to the origin, maintenance, and evolution of biodiversity including the origins and history of the evolutionary process. Course material is presented within a phylogenetic context, emphasizing the shared history of all living organisms on earth through common ancestry. The first semester of an integrated one-year sequence (BIO 148 and BIO 152).

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • Pre-Major Math Selection4
  • Pre-Major Lab/Research Selection1
    • Total17
Spring Semester
  • CHE 107 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY II3

    A continuation of CHE 105. A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and compounds.

  • CHE 113 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY II2

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 107, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.

  • BIO 152 - PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II3
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • Foreign Language 2013
    • Total14
    • Total Freshman Hours31

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 231 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I1

    Laboratory for CHE 230 or CHE 236. Laboratory, three hours per week.

  • Outside Biology - Chemistry Selection3
  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection4
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • Foreign Language 2023
    • Total14
Spring Semester
  • STA 296 - STATISTICAL METHODS AND MOTIVATIONS3

    Introduction to principles of statistics with emphasis on conceptual understanding. Students will articulate results of statistical description of sample data (including bivariate), application of probability distributions, confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing to demonstrate properly contextualized analysis of real-world data.

  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection4
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • UK Core - Humanities3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Sophomore Hours30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Outside Biology - Physics Selection3
  • Tier-2 Biology Course Selection I4
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Tier-2 Biology Course Selection II4
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Junior Hours31

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Biology Electives3
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total18
Spring Semester
  • BIO 425 - BIOLOGY SEMINAR: SUBTITLE REQUIRED1

    This seminar developes effective analysis, presentation, and discussion skills required of Biology majors by exploring various life science topics of interest to faculty and students. Satisfies seminar requirements for Biology majors and can be repeated for a maximum of two credits under a different subtitle. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • Biology (BA) Minor Course3
  • UK Core - Global Dynamics3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • Biology GCCR3
    • Total16
    • Total Senior Hours34
  • Biology (BA) - Topical Focus Option B 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 105 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY I4

    A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and their compounds. Not open to students who have already completed both CHE 104 and 106 or CHE 104 and CHE 108, but open to students who have completed just CHE 104.

  • CHE 111 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY I1

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 105, dealing with the properties of chemical substances and providing an introduction to quantitative chemical analysis.1

  • BIO 148 - INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY I3

    BIO 148 introduces the student to the biological mechanisms operating at the molecular, cellular, and population level that contribute to the origin, maintenance, and evolution of biodiversity including the origins and history of the evolutionary process. Course material is presented within a phylogenetic context, emphasizing the shared history of all living organisms on earth through common ancestry. The first semester of an integrated one-year sequence (BIO 148 and BIO 152).

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • Pre-Major Math Selection4
  • Pre-Major Lab/Research Selection1
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • CHE 107 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY II3

    A continuation of CHE 105. A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and compounds.

  • CHE 113 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY II2

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 107, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.

  • BIO 152 - PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II3
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • Foreign Language 2013
    • Total14
    • Total Freshman Hours30

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 231 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I1

    Laboratory for CHE 230 or CHE 236. Laboratory, three hours per week.

  • Outside Biology - Chemistry Selection3
  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection4
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • Foreign Language 2023
    • Total14
Spring Semester
  • STA 296 - STATISTICAL METHODS AND MOTIVATIONS3

    Introduction to principles of statistics with emphasis on conceptual understanding. Students will articulate results of statistical description of sample data (including bivariate), application of probability distributions, confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing to demonstrate properly contextualized analysis of real-world data.

  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection4
  • UK Core - Humanities3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
    • Total13
    • Total Sophomore Hours27

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Outside Biology - Physics Selection3
  • Tier-2 Biology Course Selection I4
  • Topical Focus Course I3
  • Biology Electives3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Tier-2 Biology Course Selection II4
  • Topical Focus Course II3
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Junior Hours31

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Topical Focus Course III3
  • Biology Electives3
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total17
Spring Semester
  • BIO 425 - BIOLOGY SEMINAR: SUBTITLE REQUIRED1

    This seminar developes effective analysis, presentation, and discussion skills required of Biology majors by exploring various life science topics of interest to faculty and students. Satisfies seminar requirements for Biology majors and can be repeated for a maximum of two credits under a different subtitle. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • Topical Focus Course IV3
  • Biology Electives3
  • Biology GCCR3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • UK Core - Global Dynamics3
    • Total16
    • Total Senior Hours33
  • Biology (BS) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 105 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY I4

    A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and their compounds. Not open to students who have already completed both CHE 104 and 106 or CHE 104 and CHE 108, but open to students who have completed just CHE 104.

  • CHE 111 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY I1

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 105, dealing with the properties of chemical substances and providing an introduction to quantitative chemical analysis.1

  • BIO 148 - INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY I3

    BIO 148 introduces the student to the biological mechanisms operating at the molecular, cellular, and population level that contribute to the origin, maintenance, and evolution of biodiversity including the origins and history of the evolutionary process. Course material is presented within a phylogenetic context, emphasizing the shared history of all living organisms on earth through common ancestry. The first semester of an integrated one-year sequence (BIO 148 and BIO 152).

  • UK Core CC1 or Foreign Language 2015
  • Pre-Major Math Selection4
  • Pre-Major Lab/Research Selection1
    • Total17
Spring Semester
  • CHE 107 - GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY II3

    A continuation of CHE 105. A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to the more important elements and compounds.

  • CHE 113 - LABORATORY TO ACCOMPANY GENERAL CHEMISTRY II2

    A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 107, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.

  • BIO 152 - PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II3
  • UK Core CC2 or Foreign Language 2025
  • Pre-Major Math Selection4
    • Total16
    • Total Freshman Hours33

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • CHE 230 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I3

    Fundamental principles and theories of organic chemistry.

  • CHE 231 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I1

    Laboratory for CHE 230 or CHE 236. Laboratory, three hours per week.

  • UK Core CC1 or Foreign Language 2015
  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
    • Total14
Spring Semester
  • CHE 232 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II3

    A continuation of CHE 230.

  • UK Core CC2 or Foreign Language 2025
  • Tier-1 Biology Course Selection3
  • UK Core - Humanities3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Sophomore Hours30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • PHY 211 - GENERAL PHYSICS5

    First part of a two-semester survey of classical and modern physics, focusing on the motion of solids and fluids as governed by Newton's Laws and by the conservation laws of energy, momentum, and angular momentum. Lecture, two hours; recitation, two hours; laboratory, two hours. Credit is not given to students who already have credit for PHY 231 and 241.

  • BIO 315 - INTRODUCTION TO CELL BIOLOGY4

    The structure and function of cells will be considered. Emphasis will be placed on the ultrastructure of cell organelles in plants and animals as a framework for understanding the compartmentalized nature of cell activity. Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory 3 hours/weekly.

  • BIO 325 - ECOLOGY4

    This course introduces the scientific study of relationship between organisms and their environment. The course is structured around levels of organization—from physiological ecology to individuals, populations, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, regions, and the biosphere. Students will be expected to develop a solid knowledge base and understanding of key concepts and issues in contemporary ecology; to become familiar with how ecological understanding is attained by researchers; and to see how ecological knowledge and methods can be used to address important societal problems. Lecture, three hours per week; laboratory, an average of three hours per week.

  • STA 296 - STATISTICAL METHODS AND MOTIVATIONS3

    Introduction to principles of statistics with emphasis on conceptual understanding. Students will articulate results of statistical description of sample data (including bivariate), application of probability distributions, confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing to demonstrate properly contextualized analysis of real-world data.

    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • PHY 213 - GENERAL PHYSICS5

    Continuation of PHY 211, covering electrostatics, de circuits, magnetism, MaxwellÂ’s Equations, electromagnetic radiation, light and some modern physics. Lecture, two hours; recitation, two hours; laboratory, two hours. Credit is not given to students who already have credit for PHY 232 and 242.

  • Tier-2 Biology Course Selection4
  • Biology Elective (200+ level)1
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Junior Hours31

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Biology Elective (200+ level)1
  • Biology Elective (200+ level)1
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • BIO 425 - BIOLOGY SEMINAR: SUBTITLE REQUIRED1

    This seminar developes effective analysis, presentation, and discussion skills required of Biology majors by exploring various life science topics of interest to faculty and students. Satisfies seminar requirements for Biology majors and can be repeated for a maximum of two credits under a different subtitle. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • Biology Elective (200+ level)1
  • Biology Elective (200+ level)1
  • UK Core - Global Dynamics3
    • Total14
    • Total Senior Hours29

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

The biology major encompasses both a broad foundation of core courses and the opportunity for specialization within a subfield through biology electives, providing the breadth and depth essential to educating biologists. The major prepares students for a post-baccalaureate profession in biology, for advanced professional training in the health sciences, or for graduate study in basic and applied areas of the biological sciences.


Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree must complete a minimum of 60 hours in biological, physical, mathematical and/or computer sciences. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences degrees in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30


Premajor Requirements 

  • BIO 148 - Introductory Biology I [3 hours}
  • BIO 152 - Principles of Biology II [3 hours]
  • BIO 155 - Laboratory for Introductory Biology I or BIO 198 - Scholars Biology Research [1-2 hours]
  • CHE 105 - General College Chemistry [4 hours]
  • CHE 111 - Laboratory to Accompany General Chemistry I [1 hour]
  • CHE 107 - General College Chemistry II [3 hours]
  • CHE 113 - Laboratory to Accompany General Chemistry II [2 hours]
  • MA 137/138 - Calculus I/II with Life Science Applications or MA 113/114 - Calculus I/II [8 hours]

Total Hours - 25-26

Major Requirements 

  • BIO 303 - Introduction to Evolution [4 hours}
  • BIO 304 - Principles of Genetics [4 hours]
  • BIO 315 - Introduction to Cell Biology [4 hours]
  • BIO 325 - Ecology [4 hours]
  • BIO 350 - Animal Physiology or BIO 430G - Plant Physiology [4 hours]
  • STA 296 - Statistical Methods and Motivations [3 hours]
  • BIO 425 - Biology Seminar [1 hour]

Other Course Work Required by the Major

  • CHE 230 - Organic Chemistry I [3 hours]
  • CHE 231 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I [1 hour]
  • CHE 232 - Organic Chemistry II [3 hours]
  • PHY 211 General Physics or PHY 231/241 - General University Physics/Laboratory and PHY 213 - General Physics or PHY 232/242 - General University Physics/Laboratory [10 hours]

Biology Electives

  • Choose 15 hours of acceptable biology electives. 15 hours to be chosen from 300+ level BIO courses. For a complete list of course applicable to this requirement please refer to the UKY Bulletin [15 hours]

Total Hours - 56

B.A. 4 year plan - Minor Option B.A. Four Year Plan - Topical B.S. Four Year Plan

Featured Career

Biological Technicians

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$41,290

per year in 2014

Number of Jobs

79,300

in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook

4,100

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Biological technicians typically work in laboratories. Most biological technicians work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Epidemiologists
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Geoscientists
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
  • Medical Scientists
  • Microbiologists
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Featured Career

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$84,940

per year in 2014

Number of Jobs

34,100

in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook

2,800

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Biochemists and biophysicists typically work in laboratories and offices to conduct experiments and analyze the results. Most work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at asrecruting@uky.edu. 


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