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Biology Major Program

Bachelor of Science — Program Overview

Briar Cliff's biology major emphasizes laboratory and field experiences within a quality curriculum.

USE STATE-OF-THE-ART LABS: Gain hands-on experience inside one of the region′s only educational cadaver laboratories, or study living organisms inside a revamped molecular biology lab with some of the most modern equipment available at any undergraduate program in the nation (funded partially by a recent Carver Grant). 

EXPLORE THE PRAIRIE: The nation′s largest urban tallgrass prairie sits literally in Briar Cliff's own backyard. What better place to study biology than a 150-acre classroom?

SEE THE WORLD: Embark on an annual, week-long trip to South Dakota’s Black Hills, or join department learning trips that have included the West Texas desert, Southern California chaparral, the Kansas prairies, Ozark forests, Hawaiian islands and the Costa Rican jungle. 

INTERESTED IN RESEARCH? Conduct experiments and research side-by-side with faculty members, in their respective fields. The practical experience is a great résumé booster, especially for graduate school!


The opportunities are limitless. You can apply to medical, dental, physical therapy and veterinary school; or go on to study fields such as genetics, forensic science and physiology. Not interested in graduate school? Land a job immediately in everything from quality control and research development to conservation and park management. Or, you can begin a fulfilling career in teaching!

Briar Cliff undergraduates will also have preference for admission to our developing Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)* program!

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Core Biology Major Courses

BIOL 151 - General Biology I
BIOL 152 - General Biology II
BIOL 212 - General Botany
BIOL 213 - Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 22IS - Scientific Writing and Research
BIOL 339 - Principles of Microbiology
BIOL 58IS - Senior Seminar
CHEM 111 - Principles of Chemistry I
CHEM 111L - Principles of Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 112 - Principles of Chemistry II
CHEM 112L - Principles of Chemistry Laboratory II

Additional Program Requirements

— Biology majors are required to take 44 hours of coursework with a BIOL prefix (including courses listed above).

— A minimum 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation. No more than one D or D+ in a 3- or 4-hour, BIOL-prefixed course will count toward the major.

— Most biology lab courses include a lab fee for supplies, which is billed at the time of registration.

*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Briar Cliff University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.