May 23, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Biology Major

Majors should start with BIO 110  and BIO 111  followed by BIO 120  and BIO 121  in their freshman year. Chemistry courses should also be started in the first-year in order to fulfill the requirements for the 300- and 400- level biology courses. The core biology lectures and laboratories should be completed no later than the end of the junior year. Since BIO 301  is a prerequisite for both BIO 305  and BIO 315 , it should be completed as soon as possible to avoid any delay in graduation. The 14 semester hours of electives allow a student to specialize or to take a variety of biology courses. Although some electives can be taken as early as the sophomore year, most will be taken in the junior and senior years. Students are strongly advised to elect the remaining core course as one of the electives.

Department Information:

Biology - College of Arts & Sciences

Marianne Laporte, Ph.D.
Department Head

441 Science Complex
(734) 487-4242

Department Website

Advisor Information:

Students are strongly encouraged to make annual appointments with a departmental advisor by contacting:

Biology Department Office - (734) 487-4242

A faculty advisor will help you determine which courses to take and in what sequence, to make sure that you satisfy your degree requirements as efficiently as possible. If you have not already seen a Biology faculty advisor, you should make an appointment as soon as possible, and schedule yearly appointments thereafter.

For a list of faculty advisors for specific interest areas, please follow this link.

General Education Requirements:

For specific General Education requirements, click here .

Major Requirements: 63-65 hours

Biology: 36 hours

Biology Core Courses: 6 hours

Two courses from the following:

Restricted Electives: 14 hours

Choose an additional 14 semester hours from the list below. At least one course must be at the 400 level.

1Only BIO 328  or BIO 425  can be used as a restricted elective, not both

Chemistry: 16-17 hours

If a student is pursuing a Chemistry Minor , the 16-17 credits of Chemistry required for the Biology major will be considered, upon successful completion, as “competency met” for the biology major and may be used towards the Chemistry Minor. Credit is only earned once and only applies to graduation requirements once.

Math: 3-4 hours

One course from the following:

Minor Requirement:

This major requires a minor.

For a list of available minors, please see Academic Programs  or contact your major advisor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above.

Beginning in Fall 2022, all baccalaureate degree programs for all undergraduates (regardless of catalog year) will require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion.


  • Each student must choose a writing intensive course as part of major completion requirements. Options are BIO 306W  and BIO 311W .
  • Students who plan to pursue graduate work in biology or who are in a pre-professional program should select Option I: CHEM 371 /372 /373  Organic Chemistry I-II with lab.
  • No more than 6 credit hours total of BIO 387L4 - Cooperative Education in Biology   and BIO 497L6 / BIO 498L6 / BIO 499L6  can be counted toward the major.
  • Any Biology Core Course or Biology Core Lab can be counted either toward the Core Course/Core Lab requirements or toward the Restricted Elective requirement but not both.

Critical Graduation Information:

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for the fulfillment of the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult the online catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement. A Bachelor of Arts degree requires completion of one year of college credit in a world language.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
  • Complete a Writing Intensive (GEWI) Course in your major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement. (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details.)
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor; students should check requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; the internal review of such courses is conducted by individual departments/schools within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credits for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor, will be used in the calculation of their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)
General Education Requirements:

EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.