At Carthage, students can major in biology, minor in biology, or earn teaching licensure in biology. To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Carthage, students must complete the Carthage Core, Distribution Requirements, and the biology major requirements listed below. 

The biology curriculum at Carthage prepares students for graduate study and entry into medical, veterinary, dental, physical therapy, and other professional schools. In addition, graduates may pursue careers in secondary education, academic and industrial research, quality assurance, forensic science, and a variety of not-for-profit and governmental environmental and conservation areas.

Students seeking teaching licensure in biology are advised to meet with the Biology Department chair, an Education Department representative, and their advisor to ensure that all requirements for the appropriate state licensure are met.

Biology Major

A major in biology consists of the following courses:

Core Courses (20 credits)
  • BIO 1110 Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (4 credits)
  • BIO 1120 Organisms, Populations, and Systems (4 credits)
  • BIO 2100 Reflections in Biology (4 credits)
  • BIO 2400 Genetics (4 credits)
  • BIO 4120 Senior Seminar in Biology (4 credits)
Electives — Take Four (16 credits)

Students will be required to take four upper-level (3000 or 4000) level courses, not including Bio 4120 (Senior Seminar). One of these upper-level courses must be taken from each of the three discipline areas of biology:

Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • BIO 3340 Microbiology (4 credits)
  • BIO 3500 Advanced Cell Biology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4300 Immunology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4310 Developmental Biology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4320 Recombinant DNA Technology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4400 Molecular Biology of Cancer (4 credits)

Organismal Biology

  • BIO 3050 Plant Physiology (4 credits)
  • BIO 3300 Advanced Human Anatomical Systems (4 credits)
  • BIO 3310 Advanced Human Physiological Systems (4 credits)
  • BIO 3320 Entomology (4 credits)
  • BIO 3330 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates (4 credits)
  • BIO 3350 Parasitology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4350 Dinosaur Evolution and Extinction (4 credits)

Ecological Biology

  • BIO 3100 General Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIO 3200 Aquatic Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIO 3210 Animal Behavior (4 credits)
  • BIO 4200 Advanced Ecology (4 credits)

The fourth upper-level biology course may be taken from any of the three discipline areas, or from additional upper-level courses that do not fit into a discipline area, such as:

  • CHM 3010 Biochemistry
  • NEU 3950 Neuroscience II
  • BIO 4100 Biostatistics and Experimental Design
  • BIO 4900 Research in Biology
  • BIO 400T Topics in Biology
Chemistry Courses — Take All (16 credits)
  • CHM 1010 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 1020 General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM 2070 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 2080 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)

**The following courses will not count for credit toward a biology major: BIO 1010, 1011, 1012, 1020, 1030, 1040, 2500, 2650, 2810, and 200T.

Biology Minor

A minor in biology consists of six courses in biology or five courses in biology plus CHM 3010. Note: Medical Terminology Topics course is excluded from the biology minor.

Senior Thesis in Biology

The Senior Thesis is developed in consultation with the department faculty. Theses may include a scholarly manuscript of research performed or a detailed proposal for future research. Alternative projects may be approved by the faculty.

Honors in the Major

Honors in biology requires a 3.5 GPA in biology, an outstanding written and oral presentation of the Senior Thesis project to the public and a panel of Biology Department faculty, and a formal recommendation from the Biology Department.


Current students, remember: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.