Requirements for the Major and Minor in Biology

Biology undergraduates celebrating

New graduates (photo courtesy Ken Bennett, WFU)

The Biology Major

The requirements for the Biology major (BA or BS) are those in effect when the student declares Biology as the major. Any changes that are made to the requirements after a student has declared the major do not apply to that student.

BIO 111, Principles of Biology, and BIO 101, Biology and the Human Condition, are introductory courses for non-majors. A prospective student who earns a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive elective credit for BIO 111.  However, neither this course nor BIO 101 counts for credit towards the major or minor in biology. BIO 111 is not currently taught on our campus.

The Biology major requires 34 hours of Biology. Students majoring in Biology may elect to earn either a BS or BA degree, which differ only in their co-requirements A minimum overall grade average of 2.0 must be earned on all Wake Forest Biology courses taken to complete a major.

Courses required for the BA Degree in Biology

BIO 113: Evolutionary and Ecological Biology (4 hours)
BIO 114: Comparative Physiology (4 hours)
BIO 213: Genetics and Molecular Biology (4 hours)
BIO 214: Cellular Biology (4 hours)

Two 300-level lab courses in Biology (8 hours)

Ten additional hours of 200- or 300-level Biology courses for a total of 34 hours

     Co-requirements:
CHM 111 and 122 and one additional 100, 200, or 300 level course in math or the physical sciences

 Courses required for the BS Degree in Biology

BIO 113: Evolutionary and Ecological Biology (4 hours)
BIO 114: Comparative Physiology (4 hours)
BIO 213: Genetics and Molecular Biology (4 hours)
BIO 214: Cellular Biology (4 hours)

Two 300-level lab courses in Biology (8 hours)
BIO 391 or equivalent research experience (Biology 500E – no credit or grade, but fulfills the requirement)
Additional hours of 200- or 300-level Biology for a total of 34 Biology hours

     Co-requirements:
CHM 111, 122, and 120 (or 223)
PHY 113 and 114
One additional 200- or 300-level course in math or the physical sciences

Research Credit: The requirement for a research experience for the BS degree can be satisfied in one of two ways. Students may take BIO 391 for credit, or undertake a research project at Wake Forest, or elsewhere, for which credit is not received. Credit can be received for BIO 391 from research performed in the Biology Department, at the School of Medicine, or in other relevant departments (Chemistry, Physics, Health and Exercise Science, Psychology, and Computer Science; projects in other departments may be allowed if approved by Undergraduate Studies Committee.) A maximum of 4 hours of research in Biology (BIO 391-392) may be applied toward the major, but an additional four hours (BIO 393 and/or 394) may be taken and applied towards graduation as elective hours.

Research carried out at Wake Forest through the Wake Forest Research Fellowship program, research experiences at other sites (such as a participation in a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program), or other independent research, also satisfy the requirement. A student wishing to satisfy the research requirement through a mechanism other than BIO 391 must get approval for the project in advance from his or her major advisor. After completion of the project, the student must fill out a research equivalency form, which is submitted to and must be approved by the advisor. This will appear on the transcript as 500E, but no credit hours or grade will be awarded. In order to qualify as a research experience, students must be actual participants in a research project. Shadowing a scientist or working as a technical assistant in a laboratory does not constitute a research experience.

The Biology Minor

A minor in biology requires 16 hours. Courses taken pass/fail cannot count toward a minor. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 must be earned on all Wake Forest biology courses taken to complete a minor. The requirements for the minor are those that are in effect at the time of the declaration of the minor, since the curriculum and the departmental requirements may change slightly during the student’s period of residence. A minimum of 8 hours must be taken at Wake Forest.