Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

Advising

Advising for the Major

For your first year, you will meet with an advisor in the University College Academic Advisement Center. If you are a sophomore or above, the Biological Sciences has special advisors who can help you! It's important to meet regularly with your assigned advisor to make sure you are on track. All Biological Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology majors/minors meet with Raz Steward. All Biology Teacher Education majors meet with Margaret Parker.

Advising for pre-professional studies

Biology majors seeking pre-professional career goals will need to meet with two academic advisors. You will need to meet with Raz Steward rlstew2@ilstu.edu for all Biology degree requirements, and you will need to meet with Ashley Berg- Pre Professional Studies advisor, ahowe2@ilstu.edu for all pre-professional requirements. Pre-professional requirements can differ or be in addition to Biology program requirements.

Advising Goals

Advising is the most valuable resource for information to assist students in meeting their educational goals. In the School of Biological Sciences, academic advising is based on a system of shared responsibility between the student and advisor.

  • Student Responsibilities
  • Advisor Responsibilities
  • Requirements for the Major
  • Major Checklists

Student Responsibilities

Before meeting with the Biology advisor, students must:

  1. Go to MyIllinoisState, log in, and click on the Academics tab. Under Academic Progress, click on Academic Requirements, and print the information.
  2. Review the Requirements for the Major in Biology (see below) and graduation requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog.
  3. Prepare a written academic plan for review with the Biology advisor.
  4. Make an appointment to see the Biology advisor and bring all of this information with you to your scheduled appointment.

Advisor Responsibilities

The Biology advisor is responsible for assisting students with academic issues and helping students make decisions based on available options for successful degree completion. The advisor will not tell students what courses they need to take each semester in order to graduate, but will serve as a resource for information regarding degree completion. Specifically, the Biology advisor can:

  1. Review students’ academic record.
  2. Provide accurate information about institutional policies, procedures, resources, and programs
  3. Work with students in evaluation of their progress towards their degree
  4. Make referrals to resources within and out of the college as appropriate
  5. Empower and encourage students to be self-directed learners

Requirements for the Major

Biology has 3 undergraduate program options for a Bachelor of Science: Biological Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biological Sciences Teacher Education. Required courses for the Biological Sciences programs must be taken for a letter grade. Courses taken as pass/fail or for credit/no credit will not count toward the major. Biology requires 37-40 department hours depending on program. All program options require BSC 196, 197, and 204. In addition, courses outside Biology are required in Math, Chemistry, and Physics.

Students choosing the Biological Sciences program option have five different sequence options. These sequences include General Biology, Conservation Biology, Physiology, Neuroscience and Behavior, Plant Biology, and Zoology.

Please consult the Undergraduate Catalog for a complete list of academic requirements for Biological Sciences programs. Students should also use the Major Checklist (see below) to keep track of their progress toward completing the program in Biology.

Biological Sciences

Conservation Biology

The Conservation Biology Sequence is designed for students seeking careers in the conservation of natural ecosystems and their organisms.

  • 38 hours in Biological Sciences required
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 204, 201, 219, 280, and 305 and 16 hours of Biology course electives that are senior level (excludes 202, and 307).
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences: CHE 110 and 112, or CHE 140 and 141; CHE 220 or CHE 230 and 231; Math 120 and 121, or Math 145 and 145 (can substitute ECO 138, Geo 138, or Psy 138 for math 121 or 146); and one of the following: Phy 105 or 108 or 110.

General Biology Sequence

General Biology is designed for students seeking careers in any area of Biology.

  • 38 hours in Biological Sciences required
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 204, 201, 203, 219, 305 and 16 hours of Biology course electives that are senior level (excludes 202, and 307).
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences: CHE 110 and 112, or CHE 140 and 141; CHE 220 or CHE 230 and 231; Math 120 and 121, or Math 145 and 145 (can substitute ECO 138, Geo 138, or Psy 138 for math 121 or 146); and one of the following: Phy 105 or 108 or 110.

Physiology, Neuroscience, and Behavior

Physiology, Neuroscience and Behavior Sequence is designed for students seeking careers that involve basic scientific and applied aspects of behavior, physiology and neuroscience.

  • 37 hours in Biological Sciences required
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 204, 283, 286, 327, 343, and 15 hours of course electives that are senior level from the following list: BSC 201, 203, 219, 260, 290, 292, 294, 295, 296, 301, 305, 311, 325, 345, 350, 353, 354, 367, 396; Psy 253, 263, 350. One biology from list must have lab; no more than two psychology.
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences: CHE 110 and 112, or CHE 140 and 141; CHE 220 or CHE 230 and 231; Math 120 and 121, or Math 145 and 145 (can substitute ECO 138, Geo 138, or Psy 138 for math 121 or 146); and one of the following: Phy 105 or 108 or 110.

Plant Biology

Plant Biology Sequence is designed for students seeking jobs with industries, the government and nonprofit organizations working with plants.

  • 37 hours in Biological Sciences required
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 204, 212, 219, 365; one course from 201, 203, 260, 305; two courses from 211, 223, 330, 333, 334 and 336, 346; additional senior level biology electives to total 37 hours (excludes 202 and 307); 5 courses must have lab.
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences: CHE 110 and 112, or CHE 140 and 141; CHE 220 or CHE 230 and 231; Math 120 and 121, or Math 145 and 145 (can substitute ECO 138, Geo 138, or Psy 138 for math 121 or 146); and one of the following: Phy 105 or 108 or 110.

Zoology

Zoology Sequence is designed for students seeking careers that involve working with animals.

  • 40 hours in Biological Sciences required
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 204, 201, 283, 365; two organismal classes, at least one lab from 292, 294, 296, 301, 396; two functional, at least one lab from 286, 295, 325, 327, 343, 345, 367; additional senior level biology electives to total 40 hours (excludes 202 and 307).
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences: CHE 110 and 112, or CHE 140 and 141; CHE 220 or CHE 230 and 231; Math 120 and 121, or Math 145 and 145 (can substitute ECO 138, Geo 138, or Psy 138 for math 121 or 146); and one of the following: Phy 105 or 108 or 110.

Biology Teacher Education

Biology Teacher Education

The Biology Teacher Education programs requires the teacher candidate to continuously maintain a minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA and a minimum major 2.50 GPA to remain academically eligible. In order to receive teaching licensure in the state of Illinois, majors must earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for state licensure.

  • 89 total hours required.
  • 40 hours in Biological Sciences required.
  • Required major courses (27 hours): BSC 161, 196, 197, 201, 203, 204, 219, 231, 302, and 307.
  • 13 hours of BSC electives are required, including two courses with laboratories.
  • BSC 202 and Biological Sciences courses at the 100 level may not be used as electives in the major with the exceptions of BSC 161, 182, 196 and 197.
  • Required science and math courses outside of Biological Sciences (23-24 hours): CHE 140 and 141; GEO 100; MAT 120 or 145; PHY 105 or 108; ECO 138, or GEO 138, or PSY 138.
  • Professional Education requirements (26 hours): EAF 228 or 231, or 235; *PSY 215; TCH 212, 216, 219; and STT 399A03 (12 hours). *NOTE: PSY 110 is a prerequisite for PSY 215.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Molecular and Cellular Biology provides a solid foundation in the life sciences for students seeking careers in medicine, entry level positions in biotechnology or the pharmaceutical industry, government , or as a basis for graduate studies in biology.

  • 72 total hours required; 37 in Biological Sciences
  • Required Biology courses: BSC 196, 197, 203, 204, 219, 260, 350; 6 hours from BSC 329, 343, 345, 346, 351, 353, 354, 355, 361, 365, 367, 370; 5 courses must have lab; additional senior level Biology electives to total 37 hours (excludes 202 and 307).
  • Required courses outside of Biological Sciences; 8-10 hours in Physics 108 and 109, or Physics 110 and 111; 7-8 hours in Math 145 and 146, or 145 and statistics ECO, GEO, or Psy 138; 20 hours in Chemistry: CHE 140, 141, 230, 231, 232, 233, 342 or 242.

Major Checklists

Please note major checklists are available for Biological Sciences sequences and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Teacher education students need to consult with Margaret Parker for the teacher education plan.

Students should use the Major Checklists to keep track of their progress toward completing their Major in Biology. Click on the appropriate link to download either version of the Major Checklist.

Mollecular and Cellular Biology

  • Molecular & Cellular Biology Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)

    Biological Sciences

  • Conservation Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)
  • General Biology Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)
  • Plant Biology Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)
  • Physiology, Neuroscience, and Behavior Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)
  • Zoology Checklist (MS Word) or (PDF)

The Microsoft Word version is an interactive document that can be periodically updated and saved as a MS Word file. Adobe® Acrobat® is needed to access the PDF version. If the PDF version does not download to the computer, click on Adobe Reader to download a free copy of the software. The PDF version is not an interactive file. The checklist can be printed and the paper copy retained in order to update course information.

Biology Course Override

Override requests are available online through MyIllinoisState.

 

  1. Log in to MyIllinoisState
  2. Click the Academics tab.
  3. Under "Course Manager, select "Course Permit Request (Override)."
 

Approval of a Biology course override is not guaranteed; course override policies and procedures students should register for an alternate course in case their override request is not approved. Students will be notified by e-mail if their request has been approved.

Biology 101 enrollment is major blocked for some sections. Overrides will not be given for major blocked sections, but non-major blocked sections are available for open enrollment. Check the list of available sections for BSC 101 on the course permit request form.

Overrides not available for major blocked courses: BSC 196, 197, 160, 181, 182, 204, and 283

Registering for a Biology course after the first week of classes

  1. Students will not be permitted to add a Biology course if they have missed more than one week of the class.
  2. The School of Biological Sciences does not give overrides to add a course after the first week of the semester.

Honors in Biological Sciences

Honors requirements and designation information can be found on the Honors website. Students in the Honors program should consult with an Honors advisor regarding completion of Honors program requirements.