B.A. in Biology Requirements

Group 1. General Education Foundation, Diversification, Structural, and Integrative Requirements in effect Fall 2018

Students may choose to graduate under the General Education Foundation, Diversification, Structural and Integrative requirements and graduation requirements in force at the time they entered the UH System, when they entered UH Hilo, or when they graduate, provided there is no break in enrollment.

Students should meet with their academic advisor to ensure that they enroll in courses that will enable them to meet these requirements as well as requirements for the major and for graduation. Some courses may meet both General Education requirements and major requirements.

The new GE foundations, diversification, structural and integrative requirements and lists of certified courses are posted on the General Education website.

Group 2. Major Requirements and Assigned Credits (75-79 credits)

1. Required courses from Biology (28 Credits)

  • BIOL 171-171L Introductory Biology I (3), Introductory Biology I Lab (1) 1
  • BIOL 172-172L Introductory Biology II (3), Introductory Biology II Lab (1) 1
  • BIOL 270-270L Intermed Cell & Molecular Biol (3), Inter Cell & Molecular Bio Lab (1)
  • BIOL 280 Biostatistics (3)
  • BIOL 281-281L General Ecology (3), General Ecology Lab (2)
  • BIOL 357 Evolution (3)
  • BIOL 375 Biology of Microorganisms (3)
  • BIOL 495A-495B Biology Seminar (1), Biology Seminar (1)

2. Required courses from related fields (32-35 Credits)

  • CHEM 161-161L General Chemistry I (3), General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CHEM 162-162L General Chemistry II (3), General Chemistry II Lab (1)
  • CHEM 272-272L Organic Chem I (3), Organic Chem I Lab (2)
  • CHEM 273-273L Organic Chem II (3), Organic Chem II Lab (2)
  • One course from the below:
    • ENG 225 Writing for Sci & Technology (3)
    • ENG 286A Intro to Fiction Writing (3)
    • ENG 287 Introduction to Rhetoric (3)
    • PHIL 327 Bioethics (3)
    • PHIL 416 Science, Technology & Human Values (3)
  • One Physics course track:
    • PHYS 151-151L College Physics I (3), College Physics I Lab (1) and PHYS 152-152L College Physics II (3), College Physics II Lab (1)
    • PHYS 170-170L Gen Phys I: Mechanics (4), Gen Phys I Lab (1) and PHYS 272-272L Gen Phys II: Elec & Magnetism (4), Gen Phys II Lab (1)
  • MATH 125 Applied Calculus (3) or MATH 241 Calculus I (4)

3. Electives:

Group 1 Electives (12 Credits):

Choose 4 courses from the following BIOL courses

  • BIOL 243 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (3)
  • BIOL 244 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (3)
  • BIOL 340 Cellular Neurobiology (3)
  • BIOL 376 Genetics (3)
  • BIOL 381 Conservation Biology (3)
  • BIOL 410 Biochemistry (3)
  • BIOL 415 Cell Biology (3)
  • BIOL 443 Ecological Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIOL 445 Behavioral Ecology & Evolution (3)
  • BIOL 455 Plant Ecology (3)
  • BIOL 460 Plant Diversity & Evolution (3)
  • BIOL 461 Immunology (3)
  • BIOL 467 Ecological Genetics (3)
  • BIOL 437 Marine Mammal Behavior (3)
  • BIOL 477 Avian Biology (3)
  • BIOL 481 Trop Island Ecology & Evol (3)
  • BIOL 394 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged) or BIOL 494 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)

Group 2 Electives (3-4 Credits):

Choose 2 courses from the following BIOL laboratory courses, 1 of which must be at the 400-level

  • BIOL 243L Human Anatomy & Physio I Lab (1)
  • BIOL 244L Human Anatomy & Physio II Lab (1)
  • BIOL 357L Evolutionary Genetics Lab (1)
  • BIOL 375L Biology of Microorganisms Lab (1)
  • BIOL 376L Genetics Lab (2)
  • BIOL 410L Biochemistry Lab (2)
  • BIOL 415L Cell Biology Lab (2)
  • BIOL 477L Field Ornithology (2)
  • BIOL 481L Trop Island Ecology & Evol Lab (2)

1 BIOL 171 Introductory Biology I (3) and BIOL 172 Introductory Biology II (3) are offered every semester, and can be taken in either order.

Total Semester Hours Required for the B.A. in Biology

120 credits required.

Additional Courses Recommended For Specific Plans After Graduation

  • Graduate studies in biology: At least two semesters of Directed Studies (BIOL 199, 299, 399, or 499).
  • Application to medical, pharmacy, dental, veterinary school or other health-related fields: At least one semester of Directed Studies (BIOL 199, 299, 399, or 499) and participation in volunteer and shadowing experiences in the local medical, pharmacy, dental, or veterinary community as appropriate. As prerequisite courses for professional schools may vary, students should seek advising early in their academic careers to develop an academic plan.
  • Careers that may include teaching: one or more semesters of BIOL 496 Tchg Asstance & Tutorg in Biol (1–3) .
  • Careers in environmental biology: a course in geographic information systems (GEOG 480 Geog Info Sys & Visualization (3) or GEOL 445 GIS for Geology (3) ).


  1. Students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the major.
  2. BIOL 101 General Biology (3) and BIOL 101L Gen Biol Lab (1) are non-major courses and do not count toward the major or minor in Biology.
  3. 100-level courses should be completed by the student prior to enrollment in 200-, 300-, or 400-level courses.
  4. Students should begin chemistry course their freshmen year if they plan to complete their academic program in four years. Chemistry courses are often prerequisites for required biology classes.
  5. Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" in all required and prerequisite courses.
  6. The upper division credits needed for graduation for all degrees in Biology are met in the process of completing these degrees.
  7. To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, students must fulfill the requirements for the major and meet all of the University's other baccalaureate degree requirements. (Please see the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements in this catalog.)
  8. Many upper-level Biology courses are writing intensive and therefore offer the ability for students to complete that university requirement. In these courses students write a series of laboratory reports demonstrating their ability to perform experiments and to organize, analyze, and interpret the quantitative results of experimental work.
  9. Students wishing to make timely progress toward graduation are urged to pay careful attention to all degree requirements.
  10. In addition, when planning a schedule of courses, it is imperative to be aware of course prerequisites and the frequency with which courses are offered. This information is available in the course listings in this Catalog.
  11. To ensure progress toward degree completion, students are urged to meet with an advisor each semester before registering.