This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The four-year curriculum in biology prepares students for graduate study in biology, for employment in laboratory or field programs in private industry or government agencies and for teaching in secondary schools. This curriculum also prepares students for admission into schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, and into allied health programs.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

Knowledge base
Students will demonstrate knowledge of evolutionary processes and the functions and interactions of cells, organisms and species.

Communication skills
Students will demonstrate oral and written communication skills needed for professional careers in the field of biology.

Critical-thinking skills
Students will demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Method and inquiry
Students will demonstrate knowledge in the methods of inquiry and research in biology.

Transfer students

Transfer students intending to major in biology must satisfy all biology major course requirements and complete a minimum of 15 credits of VCU biology courses at the 300-, 400- or 500-level.

Extended Teacher Preparation Program

Biology majors interested in teaching careers in secondary education can enroll in the Extended Teacher Preparation Program, which simultaneously awards a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching. For more information about this program, jointly administered by the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Education, contact the School of Educations Student Services Center.

Honors in biology

Biology majors may graduate with honors in biology. To qualify, students must have overall and biology GPAs of at least 3.5 and must complete the following courses in this sequence: BIOL 392, at least four credits of BIOL 495 and BIOL 490. Grades of A or B must be earned in each of the listed courses. Students who qualify will have the notation “Honors in Biology” placed on their transcript. Students must meet all Department of Biology requirements for graduation. Students should consult with their academic advisers to create a program suitable to their particular needs and interests.