May 14, 2021
A minimum of 15 of the 46 semester hours of biology required for the major must be taken at NIU. A combined maximum of 9 semester hours of credit in BIOS 370, BIOS 490, BIOS 495, and BIOS 499, including no more than 3 semester hours from BIOS 490, may be applied to the major.
The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.
Requirements in Department (46)
Note: There is a 50-semester-hour limit of biology courses whether or not they apply to the major.
Courses in Department
Please note corequisite information in courses below.
Biology electives are offered in four primary areas of departmental specialization and include:
1) Biomedical Pre-Professional
2) Cell and Molecular Biotechnology
4) Biodiversity: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Students should consult with the departmental advisor for assistance in selecting the appropriate sequence of courses within one of these fields of study. Lists of biology upper level elective courses that are particularly relevant for each of the tracks are available in the Department of Biological Sciences office and website.
Requirements outside Department (31-33)
TOTAL HOURS FOR A MAJOR IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: 77-79
General Education Requirements (12-21)
In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining general education requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the general education requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the general education credit requirements.
The required minimum of 21 semester hours in Knowledge Domain studies cannot include more than two courses in any one department. (A course with an affiliated laboratory course shall be counted as a single course.)
Foundational Studies (0-9)
Writing Requirement (0-6)
Oral Communication Requirement (0-3)
Quantitative Literacy Requirements (0)
- Satisfied by program requirement MATH 211 or MATH 229
For additional information about these requirements, please visit Foundational Studies .
Knowledge Domain Requirements (12)
Creativity and Critical Analysis (6)
Nature and Technology (0)
Society and Culture (6)
Knowledge Domain Elective (0)
- 3 hours satisfied by required courses in BIOS, CHEM, PHYS.
Graduation Requirements (6-9)
In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining graduation requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the graduation requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the graduation credit requirements.
Human Diversity Requirement (0-3)
Writing Infused Requirements (6)
TOTAL HOURS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: 18-30
TOTAL HOURS FOR ELECTIVES: 11-25
TOTAL HOURS FOR A B.S. DEGREE IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (120)
Many graduate programs in the biological sciences, such as those at NIU, require the Graduate Record Examinations (including the Subject Test in biology or biochemistry) for admission. Students intending to pursue graduate study in the biological sciences should take these examinations early in their senior year.
Students will receive upper level credit for BIOS transfer courses articulated as a “BIOS EL” in the Community College Articulation Handbook.