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Biology (BS)

Offered by the Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Admission is through formal declaration of major. The department counsels freshmen and transfer students.

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 72 credit hours with grades of C or better

Course Requirements

Departmental Requirements (40 credit hours)

Related Requirements (32 credit hours)

Combined BS and MA or MS in Biology

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

This program enables qualified students to earn, in a continuous plan of study, both the BS in Biology and the MA or MS in Biology.


  • Undergraduate biology majors should apply for admission to the BS/Master's program by the end of the junior year. Admission is open to undergraduates whose overall grade point average and grade point average in biology course is 3.00 or higher. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Each student's file must be approved by the department's Graduate Studies Committee prior to the end of the junior year to assure adequate time to complete degree requirements for the program. Students should discuss their interest in the program and their course schedules with members of the faculty before submitting a formal application. Interested students are encouraged to enroll in up to 3 credit hours of BIO-490 Independent Study Project in Biology to conduct independent study research before applying.
  • All requirements for the BS in Biology.
  • All requirements for the MA or MS in Biology, including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.