Degree Requirements

"Our multitrack curriculum prepares students for graduate study, health professional programs, and careers in related sciences."

Requirements for a Major in Biology

Students desiring to major in biology must meet the general requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in addition to the following requirements:

  1. At least 40 semester hours of biology, including:
    1. BLY 121, 121L, 122, 122L (8 hours)
    2. BLY 300, 301, 302, 305 (12 hours)
    3. At least 20 hours of biology 300-400 electives. (20 hours)

      The upper-level choices will be based on career counseling provided by advisors using models of tracks including (but not limited to) Botany, Ecology and Evolution, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Cell/Molecular Biology, and Zoology. For track examples follow this link.

  2. Chemistry 131, 132, and 201
  3. A year of Physics (114, 115) or Geology (111 and 112).
  4. Mathematics through Calculus (MA 115 and MA 125) or Statistics (MA 115 and ST 210)

Students must also complete two writing (W) courses, (one of which must be in our major or minor).

Effective for fall, 2016, Major Milestones are used in all concentrations of the Biology Bachelor of Science major to help students stay on track for timely graduation.  Each regular semester in the Biology major is a tracking term.  In order to remain on track, students must complete the milestone requirements for each tracking term. These requirements are viewable on the Major Milestone table at this link. 


Within the Biology Major, students may elect to pursue an optional concentration:

Marine Biology Concentration

The marine biology concentration requires a total of 17 credit hours including the nine credit hours from the required core course series for majors: BLY 301, BLY 302 and BLY 303. Eight credit hours of elective courses must be taken at the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium (MESC) at Dauphin Island or other pre-approved marine lab. MESC courses are offered in the summer semester. The department recommends that students select elective courses from the following: BLY 367, BLY 368, BLY 369, BLY 370, BLY 371, BLY 372, BLY 430, BLY 451, BLY 466, BLY 471, BLY 472, BLY 474 and BLY 475. Other pre- approved elective courses, such as BLY 490 Special Topics, may also be accepted on a course-by-course basis.

The most current information about MESC course offering can be found in the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Summer Bulletin that is published in January. Students may request a copy of the Bulletin by contacting the Registrar, Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory, 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528; (251) 861-2141, X 2256 or download it from

Requirements for a Minor in Biology
Twenty semester hours of biology are required, including:

BLY 121, BLY 121L, BLY 122, BLY 122L, (General Biology) 
BLY 300, BLY 301, BLY 302, BLY305 [please note that CH131 is a prerequisite for these four classes]
Four hours in upper level laboratory courses taken in the Biology department at the University of South Alabama.
Credit will not be allowed for both the non-major (BLY101, BLY101L and BLY102, BLY102L) and the major/minor sequence (BLY121, BLY121L and BLY122, BLY122L).


Biology majors may minor in Related Sciences.  There are two tracks that can be taken in this minor.

Medical/Molecular Science Track
A student must take 22 semester hours as follows:)

CH 131/131L - General Chemistry I 
CH 132/132L - General Chemistry II
CH 201/201L - Organic Chemistry I 
CH 202/202L - Organic Chemistry II
CH 440 - Biochemistry I 
CH 441 - Biochemistry II

Ecosystems Sciences Track
A student must take GY 111/111L, GY 112/112L and four additional courses from the following list for a total of 20-23 semester hours)

GIT 460 - Introduction GIT
GIT 461 - GIT Applications II
GY 310 - Environmental Earth Science
GY 401 - Paleontology
GY 420 - Geostatistics
GY 421 - Applied Environmental Geology (W)
GY 425 - Hydrology
GY 426 - Contaminant Hydrology
GEO 410 - Biogeography
ST 340 - Design-Analysis of Experiments
ST 345 -Sampling-Survey Techniques