Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Biological Sciences

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Biological Sciences

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Biological Sciences, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the field of biology, illustrated by the ability to describe the breadth of the discipline and to synthesize a range of biological concepts and ideas.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the modern scientific method, including a familiarity with current methods for designing experiments and/or mathematical models, and the ability to analyze and interpret data.
  3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate effectively and work with diverse groups.
  4. Locate primary scientific literature and demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to evaluate published and proposed research in the biological sciences.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the practice and culture of science, scientific ethics, and the relationship between science and society.
  6. Develop quantitative reasoning via the construction of models and/or the analysis of data.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Biological Sciences

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Biological Sciences must complete:  

  • A minimum of 28 courses (67 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 127 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 10 courses (24 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

The BA degree with a major in Biological Sciences incorporates elements from both the Biochemistry and Cell Biology and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology programs.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biological SciencesMinimum of 67
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Biological SciencesMinimum of 127

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Non-Biology Courses 1
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
Select 1 from the following:3-4
DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS
ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR BIOSCIENCES
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II
4
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
CHEM 212
CHEM 214
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
and ORGANIC CHEM DISCUSSION II
3
CHEM 215ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB2
PHYS 125GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB)4
PHYS 126GENERAL PHYSICS II (WITH LAB)4
Introductory Biology
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY3
EBIO 202INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY II3
Introductory Biology Labs
BIOC 211INTERMEDIATE EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES2
EBIO 213INTRO EXPERIMENTAL ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY2
Advanced Biology Labs
Select 3 from the following:Minimum of 3
ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES
INTRODUCTORY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY
LABORATORY IN TISSUE CULTURE
EXPERIMENTAL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
EXPERIMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY
LAB MODULE IN NMR SPECTROSCOPY AND MOLECULAR MODELING 2
PRACTICAL X-RAY CRYSTALLOGRAPHY 2
LAB MODULE IN ECOLOGY
LAB MODULE IN BEHAVIOR
TROPICAL FIELD BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF BRAZILIAN WETLANDS LABORATORY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
INSECT BIOLOGY LAB
EVOLUTION OF GENES & GENOMES LAB
EVOLUTIONARY BIOINFORMATICS LAB
FIELD BIRD BIOLOGY LAB
INTRODUCTION PHYCOLOGY LAB
APPLIED PHYCOLOGY LAB
LAB MODULE IN AQUATIC ECOLOGY WITH SCUBA
1 independent research experience 3
Upper-Level Biology Course
BIOC 301BIOCHEMISTRY I3
Elective Requirements
Upper-Level Biology Courses
Select 1 from the following:3
BIOCHEMISTRY II
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOSCIENCES 3
Lecture Courses
Students must complete 5 courses as listed in the EBIO and BIOC Lecture Course Requirements below:15
EBIO Lecture Courses
Select 3-4 courses from the following: 5
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY
INSECT BIOLOGY
EVOLUTION OF GENES & GENOMES
ANIMAL BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY
BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
EVOLUTIONARY BIOINFORMATICS
EVOLUTION
PLANT DIVERSITY
GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
INTRODUCTORY PHYCOLOGY
APPLIED PHYCOLOGY
CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS
TRANSFER CREDIT IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY 3
ADVANCED ECOLOGY
BIOC Lecture Courses
Select 1-2 courses from the following: 6
PARADIGMS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
BIOCHEMISTRY I
BIOCHEMISTRY II
BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOSCIENCES
METABOLIC ENGINEERING FOR GLOBAL HEALTH ENVIRONMENTS
CONCEIVING AND MISCONCEIVING THE MONSTROUS IN FICTION AND IN ART, IN MEDICINE AND IN BIOSCIENCE
SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
IMMUNOLOGY
FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS
FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
TRANSFER CREDIT IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY 3
MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
PLANT MOLECULAR GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT
ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS IN MODERN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
ADVANCED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
COMPUTATIONAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
CANCER BIOLOGY
COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA
MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS I
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biological SciencesMinimum of 67
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit HoursMinimum of 127

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Biological Sciences

Advising 

Rice University policies are governed primarily by the General Announcements; students are encouraged to look there first for academic policies. Advising information specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website by clicking on the tab for Undergraduate Studies: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the major in Biological Sciences should be aware of the following program restriction:

  • Students pursuing the major in Biological Sciences may not additionally pursue the minor in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • Students pursuing the major in Biological Sciences may not additionally pursue the minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Biological Sciences should be aware of the following transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.   

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Biological Sciences

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honors

Instructions on applying for the Distinction in Research and Creative Work award from the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Research in the BioSciences

Research is highly encouraged for all biosciences majors, and there are many opportunities for independent research at Rice. Information about research for credit and research internships specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.