2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 27, 2020  
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Biology (BIOL) Major

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Tom Cheesbrough, Head
Department of Biology and Microbiology
West Hall 115
e-mail: biomicro@abs.sdstate.edu

Requirements for Biology Major - Bachelor of Science:

Majors must complete the core curriculum and one of the specializations for their B.S.

Core Curriculum:

Freshman Year:


  • IGR Goal 2: (any course listed except BIOL 105) 2-3 *
SGR Goal 5: Mathematics: choose A, B, C, or D (3-5 credits)

Or Mathematics B:

Or Mathematics D:

See note one below

SGR Goal 5: Mathematics: choose A, B, C, or D (3-4 credits)

Or Mathematics B:

Or Mathematics D:

See note one below

Sophomore Year:

Junior Year:


  • IGR Goal 3: Social Responsibility/Cultural and Aesthetic Awareness 3 **
  • Specialization courses/electives 6
IGR Goal 1: Land and Natural Resources: Choose one below:


Fall and Spring

Physics: choose A or B

Take 4 credits in the Fall and 4 credits in the Spring.


  • Specialization courses/electives 9
Choose one from the following:

Senior Year:


  • Specialization courses/electives Credits: 13

Fall or Spring

Research and communications skills: Choose one below:

(See note 8 below)


  • Specialization courses/electives Credits: 15


Note one:
Students in the Preprofessional Specialization, Biology-Ecology Specialization, or
planning to attend graduate school should take MATH 121, or 123 and 125.

Note two:
Students in all specializations except Biology-Ecology Specialization and
Environmental Management are required to take this series. Biology-Ecology
Specialization and Environmental Management students must take either BIOL 202 or
BIOL 371; they are not required to take the other courses in this series.

Note three:
Pre-professional students should talk to their adviser before selecting this option.

Note four:
PHYS 101-101L is not sufficient for students planning to enter professional schools,
graduate degree programs, or those in the Environmental Management major.

Note five:
Required for Biology-Organismal and Biology Ecology specializations. Recommended
for other Microbiology and Biology specializations, except Pre-professional.

Note Six:
Recommended for Biology-Pre-professional specialization.

Note Seven:
Required for Environmental Management majors.

Note Eight:
Consult with the 490 instructor before selecting 496 or 498.

Preprofessional Specialization - Health Related:

Required courses:

Recommended General Electives:

(if not taken to meet core requirements) to complete the 128 credits required for graduation:


Pre-Vet students can substitute VET 223-223L, Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals and Lab and ZOOL 483-483L, Developmental Biology and Lab for these courses.


Most professional schools require at least 1 year math (e.g., MATH 121 and STAT 281), 1 year physics, 1 year majors biology and 2 years majors chemistry.

Organismal Biology Specialization:

Required Core Courses:
See note one below

Focus Electives:

Take at least  five (5) courses from the following list:
See note two below


Note one:
In addition to BOR, SDSU, College, & Major requirements, students take 8 courses in
their particular field of study. Of these 8 courses, the following 3 are required of ALL
Organismal Biology Students:

Note two:
General Biology Focus: Core + 1 BIOL, 1 Bot + 1 ZOOL/WL + 2 additional courses
from elective list
Botany Focus: Core + 3 BOT + 2 additional courses from elective list
Zoology Focus: Core + 3 ZOOL/WL + 2 additional courses from elective list

Take at least four (4) courses from the following list:


Students selecting the Biology: Secondary Education Specialization need the well rounded exposure to biology that is provided by the Core Requirements (BIOL 151-151L, 153-153L, 202-202L, 204-204L, 311, MICR 231-231L) and the Specialization Requirements (BIOL 221-221L, 373, 325-325L and BOT 201-201L). The BioMicro Core contains 41-49 hours of General Education, IGR, and Biology requirements. The Secondary Education Specialization requires an additional 22-26 credits. Students complete their degree by taking additional courses from Education, the life sciences and other areas to complete the required 128 credits.

Curriculum Notes:

* The 30 credit Board of Regents System General Education Requirements (SGRs) must be completed as part of a student’s first 64 credits.

** South Dakota State University has an 8-9 credit Institutional Graduation Requirement (IGRs).

(G) Globalization Requirement.

(AW) Advanced Writing Requirement.

Students must take the proficiency examination after completing 48 credits. English 101, and a course in each of the General Education areas of social science, mathematics, natural science, and humanities and arts must be taken prior to taking this exam.

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