Bachelor of Science with a Major in Biology

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

BISC 1115
BISC 1125
Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
and Introduction to Cells and Molecules Laboratory
BISC 1116
BISC 1126
Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
and Introduction to Organisms Laboratory
BISC 2202Cell Biology
BISC 2207Genetics
BISC 2450Organic Evolution
CHEM 1111General Chemistry I
BISC 2452Animal Behavior
or BISC 2454 General Ecology
or BISC 3460 Conservation Biology
CHEM 1112General Chemistry II
PHYS 1011General Physics I
or PHYS 1021 University Physics I
or PHYS 1025 University Physics I with Biological Applications
Concentration requirement
Students must fulfill the requirements of one of the three concentrations shown below. All concentrations require a minimum of 18 credits in upper-level biology (BISC) courses.
Laboratory course requirements
At least three BISC courses numbered 2000 or above must have a laboratory component, either built into the course or as a separate course number. Students who complete 1 credit of BISC 4171 or BISC 4171W, Undergraduate Research, may count this experience towards one of their laboratory requirements. A maximum of 6 credits of BISC 4171 or BISC 4171W may apply towards the degree requirements.
Honors thesis
Students who qualify based on academic performance are strongly encouraged to develop an honors thesis based on their research experience.
Laboratory Courses
BISC 2208Genetics Laboratory
BISC 2332Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BISC 2335Insect Biology Lab
BISC 2337Introductory Microbiology
or BISC 2337W Introductory Microbiology
BISC 2339Parasitology
BISC 2453Animal Behavior Lab
BISC 2456General Ecology Laboratory
BISC 3123Human Physiology Lab
BISC 3208Molecular Biology Laboratory
BISC 3211Nanobiotechnology Laboratory
BISC 3453Plant Comparative Structure and Function Lab
BISC 3455Marine Ecology Laboratory
BISC 3459Field Biology
BISC 3462Plant-Animal Interactions Laboratory
BIOC 3262Biochemistry Laboratory
BISC 4171Undergraduate Research
or BISC 4171W Undergraduate Research


General Biology Concentration

CHEM 2151
CHEM 2152
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 2153
CHEM 2154
Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 3165Biochemistry I
or BISC 3261 Introductory Medical Biochemistry
At least one 3-credit course from each of the four elective categories listed below for a total of 12 credits, in addition to the courses satisfying the core course requirements.

Cellular and Molecular Biology Concentration

BISC 3209
BISC 3208
Molecular Biology
and Molecular Biology Laboratory
CHEM 2151
CHEM 2153
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 2152
CHEM 2154
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
BISC 3261Introductory Medical Biochemistry
or CHEM 3165 Biochemistry I
At least one 3-credit course from each of the four elective category listed below for a total of 12 credits, in addition to the courses satisfying the core course requirements.

Ecology, Evolution, and Environment Concentration

In addition to the courses satisfying the core course requirements, at least one 3-credit course from both the systems electives and organism electives lists; at least 6 credits from the evolution, ecology, and environment electives list, including one course with a field component; and 6 credits from the quantitative electives list, including at least one statistics course.

Biology Electives

Systems category
BISC 2208Genetics Laboratory 1
BISC 2213Biology of Cancer
BISC 2214Developmental Biology
BISC 2220Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 2320Neural Circuits and Behavior
BISC 3122Human Physiology
BISC 3123Human Physiology Lab 1
BISC 3165Biochemistry I
BISC 3208Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
BISC 3209Molecular Biology
BISC 3210Nanobiotechnology
BISC 3211Nanobiotechnology Laboratory 1
BISC 3212Immunology
BISC 3262Biochemistry Laboratory 1
BISC 3263Special Topics in Biochemistry
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
BISC 4132Advanced Cellular-Molecular Biology
BISC 4212Virology and Antiviral Immunity
BISC 6205Current Topics in Cell Smith, Donaldson, Eleftherianos, Jeremic
BISC 6218Innate Immunity
BISC 6219Host-Microbe Interactions
Organisms category
BISC 2000Sophomore Colloquium
BISC 2305Plant Biology
BISC 2330Invertebrate Zoology 1
BISC 2331Insect Biology
BISC 2335Insect Biology Lab 1
BISC 2332Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 1
BISC 2333Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs
BISC 2334WIntegrative Biology of Fishes
BISC 2337Introductory Microbiology 1
BISC 2337WIntroductory Microbiology 1
BISC 2339Parasitology 1
BISC 6215Vertebrate Phylogeny 1
BISC 6249Seminar: Developmental Biology
Evolution, Ecology, and Environment category
BISC 2451History of Life
BISC 2452Animal Behavior
BISC 2453Animal Behavior Lab 1
BISC 2454General Ecology
BISC 2456General Ecology Laboratory 1,2
BISC 3450Evolutionary Medicine
BISC 3450WEvolutionary Medicine
BISC 3453Plant Comparative Structure and Function Lab 1,2
BISC 3454Marine Ecology
BISC 3455Marine Ecology Laboratory 2
BISC 3458Plant Comparative Structure and Function
BISC 3459Field Biology 1,2
BISC 3460Conservation Biology
BISC 3461Plant-Animal Interactions
BISC 3462Plant-Animal Interactions Laboratory 1,2
BISC 3464Ecology and Evolution of Societies
BISC 6210Methods of Study of Evolution
BISC 6211Biogeography/Coevolution
BISC 6243Seminar: Ecology
Quantitative category
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II
STAT 1127Statistics for the Biological Sciences
BISC 2584Introduction to Bioinformatics

1 Laboratory course.

2 Field component.

In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication, or G-PAC. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

G-PAC approved courses, Dean's Seminars, and Sophomore Colloquia that may be available for registration are listed on the CCAS Advising website.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Writing—one approved course in university writing and two approved writing in the disciplines (WID) courses.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical or creative thinking skills.
  • Mathematics or Statistics—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences.

Coursework for the Columbian College general education curriculum is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved course in the arts that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or Cross-Cultural Perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Local or Civic Engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement.
  • Oral Communication—one course in oral communication.

Certain courses are approved to fulfill the requirement in more than one of these categories.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC also may be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

In addition to the general requirements stated under University Regulations, in order to be considered for graduation with special honors, a student must maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average in biological sciences courses and at least a 3.0 cumulative overall grade-point average. Students who meet these criteria and wish to pursue special honors must complete an approved research project under faculty direction.