Bachelor of Science in Biology

Kirstie E.
Kirstie E. Class of 2018, Military Veteran

QUICK FACTS

170K ALUMNI WORLDWIDE
Become a part of NU’s global alumni community.
4 WEEK CLASSES
The BS in Biology program includes four-week classes.
#1 IN SAN DIEGO
National University is San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university.

Program Overview

On Campus

Become equipped to stake your claim in the worlds of emerging diseases, genetic studies, physiology and biodiversity, threats to species and ecosystem functioning, and global population increase and sustainability with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The vocational choices for BS in Biology degree holders are broad and fascinating. Careers include those in 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.

If you’d like to include an interdisciplinary approach to your academic training, 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. You can also consider the Bachelor of Science in Biology to Master of Forensic Science Transition program for your future.

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.
  • Evaluate historical developments and research in biology, as well as current and contemporary research and challenges.

Program Highlights

  • Learn marketable techniques in biotechnology, including DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and cell culturing
  • Get an integrative experience of organisms through field trips and lab examinations
  • Gain a theoretical grounding in genetics, cell theory, evolution, and ecology

Preparation for the Major

(16-17 courses; 60-61.5 quarter units)

  • MTH 210* Probability and Statistics
    • Prerequisite: Accuplacer test placement evaluation or MTH 12A and MTH 12B
  • MTH 215* College Algebra & Trigonometry
    • Prerequisite: Accuplacer test placement evaluation or MTH 12A and MTH 12B

OR

  • MTH 216A* College Algebra I (3 quarter units)
    • Prerequisite: Accuplacer test placement evaluation AND MTH 12A and MTH 12B

AND

  • MTH216B* College Algebra II (3quarterunits)
    • Prerequisite: MTH 216A
  • CHE 141* General Chemistry 1
    • Prerequisite: MTH 215 or equivalent
  • CHE 142* General Chemistry 2
    • Prerequisite: CHE 141
  • CHE 143 General Chemistry 3
    • Prerequisite: CHE 142, Corequisite: CHE 149A
  • BIO 161* General Biology 1
  • BIO 162* General Biology 2
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161
  • BIO 163 General Biology 3
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, Corequisite: BIO 169A, BIO 162
  • PHS 171* General Physics 1
    • Prerequisite: MTH 215 or MTH 216A and MTH 216B
  • PHS 172* General Physics 2
    • Prerequisite: PHS 171
  • PHS 173 General Physics 3
    • Prerequisite: PHS 171 and PHS 172, Corequisite: PHS 179A
  • CHE 150 Introductory Organic Chemistry
    • Prerequisite: CHE 101 and CHE 101A or CHE 141 and CHE 142 and CHE 143 and CHE 149A
  • CHE 150A Introductory Organic Chem Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: CHE 150
  • BIO 169A General Biology Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161 and BIO 162, Corequisite: BIO 163
  • CHE 149A General Chemistry Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: CHE 143
  • PHS 179A General Physics Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Prerequisite: PHS 171, PHS 172 and PHS 173

*May be used to satisfy a General Education requirement.

Requirements for the Major

(12 courses; 42 quarter units)

  • BIO 330 Ecology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A
  • BIO 305 Genetics
    • Prerequisite: BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 143 and CHE 149A
  • BIO 310 Evolution
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163 and BIO 169A
  • BIO 406 Cellular Biology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A, Corequisite: BIO 406A
  • BIO 406A Cellular Biology Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A, Corequisite: BIO 406
  • BIO 407 Molecular Biology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A, Corequisite: BIO 407A, BIO 305
  • BIO 407A Molecular Biology Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143, CHE 149A and BIO 305, Corequisite: BIO 407
  • BIO 414 Invertebrate Zoology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A, Corequisite: BIO 414A
  • BIO 414A Invertebrate Zoology Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: BIO 414
  • BIO 416 Vertebrate Zoology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A, Corequisite: BIO 416A
  • BIO 416A Vertebrate Zoology Laboratory (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: BIO 416
  • BIO 440 Botany
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163, BIO 169A, CHE 141, CHE 142, CHE 143 and CHE 149A

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 courses for the degree. Suggested upper-division courses are given below.

  • BIO 420 Animal Behavior
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163 and BIO 100A
  • BIO 430 Immunology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 406 and BIO 407
  • BIO 450 Natural History of California
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161, BIO 162, BIO 163 and BIO 100A, or BIO 100 and BIO 100A
  • BIO 460 Marine Biology
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161 with a minimum grade of C, BIO 162 with a minimum grade of C and BIO 163 with a minimum grade of C
  • BIO 461 Marine Biology Field Studies
    • Recommended preparation: BIO 162 with a minimum grade of C
  • BIO 470 Bioinformatics
    • Prerequisite: BIO 161 with a minimum grade of C-, BIO 162 with a minimum grade of C-, BIO 163 with a minimum grade of C-, Corequisite: BIO 470A
  • BIO 470A Bioinformatics Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: BIO 470
  • BIO 480 Studies in Field Biology
  • CHE 350 Organic Chemistry I
    • Prerequisite: CHE 142, Corequisite: CHE 350A
  • CHE 350A Organic Chemistry I Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: CHE 350
  • CHE 351 Organic Chemistry II
    • Prerequisite: CHE 350, Corequisite: CHE 351A
  • CHE 351A Chemistry II Lab (1.5 quarter units)
    • Corequisite: CHE 351
  • CHE 360 Biochemistry I
    • Prerequisite: CHE 350, CHE 350A and CHE 351
  • CHE 361 Biochemistry II
    • Prerequisite: CHE 360
  • EES 322 Oceanography
  • EES 335 Environmental Science
  • MTH 317 Mathematical Modeling
    • Prerequisite: MTH 215 or MTH 216A and MTH 216B and MTH 210
  • SCI 303 GIS: Geographic Info Systems
  • SCI 400 History of Science
    • Prerequisite: One 4.5 quarter unit science course from the natural sciences
  • SCI 490 Guided Study (variable units)

Approved transition program students may select up to two (2) FSC courses from below to meet up to 9 quarter units of the elective requirement.

  • FSC 630 Forensic Pathology I
  • FSC 633 Advanced Forensic Toxicology
  • FSC 634 Forensic Serology and DNA
  • FSC 635 Forensic Anthropology
  • FSC 642 Forensic Pathology II
    • Prerequisite: FSC 630

Download Program Information

Program Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Science, with a 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, and 203A is equivalent to the course sequence BIO 161, 162, 163, 169A for fulfillment of the BS Biology degree.

Meet Our Faculty

Why Choose National University?

We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 170,000 alumni worldwide.

Four-Week Classes

Focus on one subject at a time — one month at a time — and finish your degree faster.

100+ Degree Programs

Choose from associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, plus credentials and certificates.

On Campus or Online

Study when and where it’s convenient for you with evening, weekend, and 100% online classes.

Year-Round Enrollment

Apply or transfer any time. Classes start monthly, and applications are accepted year round.

20+ Campus Locations

Attend class onsite at one of over 20 campus locations across California or in Nevada.

Military Friendly

As a Yellow Ribbon school, we offer tuition discounts to servicemembers and dependents.

College of Letters and Sciences

“Our faculty are established scholars and creators in their own fields. They are dedicated to making your entry into their disciplines a successful one, preparing you for your career as well as graduate study.”
College of Letters and Sciences
Dr. Carol Richardson Dean, College of Letters and Sciences