Bachelor of Science in Biology

The Bachelor of Science in Biology offers personal and academic fulfillment and growth as students discover the amazing world of biology. This degree prepares students for graduate and professional study, careers in life science education, research, health sciences, and applied biology. The BS in biology provides a solid foundation in all levels of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems. Such a comprehensive curriculum is crucial to meeting modern challenges in science, which include new and emerging diseases, rapid advances in our understanding of genetics, physiology and biodiversity, threats to species and ecosystem functioning, and global population increase and sustainability. A degree in biology is common preparation for careers in the various medical professions, genetics, molecular and cell biology, biotechnology, microbiology, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, ecology, animal and plant science, as well as science writing, editing, and education.

Students who wish to include an interdisciplinary approach to their academic training should look closely at the benefits provided by this major. In addition to meeting requirements for BS Biology, this degree allows for the integration of study in the life sciences with coursework in the physical and earth sciences, as well as applied fields such as forensics. Furthermore, in keeping with the commitment of the College of Letters and Sciences to the complete academic development of its students, science courses involve writing and diversity components, as well as fundamental critical thinking components.

Bachelor of Science in Biology to Master of Forensic Science Transition Program

The BS Biology to MFS transition program allows students who are enrolled in the BS Biology with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and who are within completing their last six courses to register for two courses in the MFS program as electives for the bachelor's degree. The two graduate courses are restricted to those that do not require a prerequisite. Students must complete all transition program coursework with a grade of B or better. The number of courses required to earn an MFS degree for transition program students is reduced from 12 to as few as 10 courses. Graduate-level coursework taken as part of the Biology program cannot be applied as graduate credit to the Master of Forensic Science program, nor will it transfer as graduate level credit to any other university because it becomes part of the undergraduate degree program. Students must enroll in and complete the first class in the Master's degree within 6 months of the conferral date of their undergraduate degree. The MFS program must be completed within 4 years with no break in enrollment of 12 months or more. Further rules and requirements for Transition programs are located in the university catalog.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss biological processes at all of levels of organization: molecular, cellular and microbial, organismal, population, and ecosystem.
  • Explain the importance of unifying concepts in biology, including cell theory, genetics, and evolution.
  • Describe the structure and function of Earth's organisms, as well as their roles in the natural world.
  • Apply the scientific method in laboratory-based and field-based inquiry.
  • Demonstrate effective oral, visual, and written communication and quantitative skills, including the critical analysis of data and scientific literature.
  • Demonstrate computer and technology literacy, including the ability to access databases within the context of course research and project development.
  • Evaluate historical developments and research in biology, as well as current and contemporary research and challenges.


To receive a Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper division level, and a minimum 70.5 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution. * Completion of BIO 100, 100A, 201, 201A, 202, 202A, 203, 203A is equivalent to the course sequence BIO 161, 162, 163, 169A for fulfillment of the BS Biology degree.

Preparation for the Major (16-17 courses; 60-61.5 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (12 courses; 42 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Upper-Division Electives (7 courses; 31.5 quarter units)
Students may select only 300, 400, or 500 level in the College of Letters and Sciences to complete the total of 76.5 quarter units of upper division for the degree. Suggested upper-division courses are given below.