Jul 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Biology [BS]

The Bachelor of Science in Biology provides a foundation in principles important to all living things and builds on this foundation toward many opportunities to gain cutting-edge skills while closely interacting with faculty and fellow students. Students begin with a core sequence in introductory biology, genetics, evolution, and general chemistry and may specialize in a sub-discipline of biology by choosing one of the following concentrations: cellular & molecular biology; ecology, organismal diversity, & evolution; microbiology; physiology; or general biology.


Students in the biology major learn the science of life, from molecules to ecosystems, through an in-depth exploration of the biological sciences via classroom, field, and research laboratory experiences. Students learn to critically evaluate and effectively communicate information for a life of continued learning and informed participation in society. In addition to being ready for careers in the life sciences, conservation, and education, students are prepared for biology graduate programs and professional programs in the medical and veterinary fields.


Opportunities include small class sizes in upper level courses, summer courses at the Fish Lake Environmental Education Center, off-campus/international courses (Florida, Bahamas, Ecuador), research experiences with faculty mentors, Departmental Honors in Biology, leadership positions in student organizations (BBB, Pre-med Club, etc.), and Biology Department scholarships.

This is a designated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program.

Department Information

Biology | Marianne Laporte, Ph.D., Department Head | 441 Science Complex, 734.487.4242, mlaporte@emich.edu

Advisor Information

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. Students are strongly encouraged to make annual appointments with a departmental advisor by contacting the Biology Department Office (emich.edu/biology/advising, 734.487.4242). 

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or print a worksheet .  

Major Requirements: 69 hours

If a student pursues a minor or a second major along with the biology major, any credits of Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Systems Science, Geography, Math, Neuroscience, Physics or Statistics, completed for the Biology Major will be considered, upon successful completion, as “competency met” for the biology major and may be used towards the minor or second major. Credit is only earned once and only applies to graduation requirements once.

Concentration: 45 hours

Select one of the following concentrations

Cellular & Molecular Biology: 45 hours

The concentration requirements include a minimum of 45 credit hours, to be distributed among the following

Ecology, Organismal Diversity & Evolution: 45 hours

The concentration requirements include a minimum of 45 credit hours, to be distributed among the following

Microbiology: 45 hours

The concentration requirements include a minimum of 45 credit hours, to be distributed among the following

Physiology: 45 hours

The concentration requirements include a minimum of 45 credit hours, to be distributed among the following

General Biology: 45 hours

The concentration requirements include a minimum of 45 credit hours, to be distributed among the following

Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

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.

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.
  • 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; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit 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.