Department ofBiology

BACHELOR OF ARTS or BACHELOR OF SCIENCE MAJOR

Biology Plant

For either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, the student must take our introductory core sequence (BIOL 225 and 226) and a semester of Genetics (BIOL 330). Completion of the two-course introductory core is required before upper-division biology courses can be taken.  Furthermore, BIOL 330 must be completed within five semesters of starting the introductory core series.  To ensure breadth of study in biology, students must complete at least one upper-division course in each of the three categories below.  In addition, at least one upper division course must be taken that is botanical in nature and one that is zoological in nature. The two upper division courses that satisfy the botanical and zoological requirements could also fulfill corresponding distribution requirements.  Each of the courses taken for the biology major including the required supporting courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher and the cumulative GPA must be at least 2.00. Courses not designed for biology majors (BIOL 111, 116, 201, 205, 206) ordinarily cannot be used to satisfy major requirements. Independent study (BIOL 491) and internship (BIOL 495) may be used for no more than a total of four of the upper-division biology hours required for the BS degree, and for no more than a total of two of the upper-division biology hours required for the BA degree. Students who plan to apply biology credits earned at other institutions toward a PLU degree with a biology major should be aware that at least 14 hours in biology, numbered 300 or higher and including 499A and B, must be earned in residence at PLU. Each student must consult with a biology advisor to discuss selection of electives appropriate for educational and career goals. Basic requirements under each plan for the major are listed below.

BACHELOR OF ARTS: 34 semester hours in Biology

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330, and 499A and B
  • Plus: 20 additional upper-division biology hours that satisfy the following requirements below.
  • At least one upper-division course in each of the following three categories:
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology – BIOL 341, 342, 442, 444, 445, 448, or 449;
    • Organism Structure & Function – BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 357, 358, or 453;
    • Ecology & Evolution – BIOL 362, 366, 367, 368, 369, 461, or 462.
  • At least one upper-division course must be botanical in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 356, 358, and 462.
  • At least one upper-division course must be zoological in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 362, and 453. 
  • Required supporting courses:
    • CHEM 115
    • MATH 140
  • Recommended supporting courses: PHYS 125 (with 135 Lab) and PHYS 126 (with 136 Lab).

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE: 42 semester hours in Biology

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330, and 499A and B
  • Plus: 28 additional upper-division biology hours that satisfy the following requirements below.
  • At least one upper-division course in each of the following three categories:
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology – BIOL 341, 342, 442, 444, 445, 448, or 449;
    • Organism Structure & Function – BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 357, 358, or 453;
    • Ecology & Evolution – BIOL 362, 366, 367, 368, 369, 461, or 462.
  • At least one upper-division course must be botanical in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 356, 358, and 462.
  • At least one upper-division course must be zoological in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 362, and 453.
  • CHEM 403 Biochemistry I may be used to fulfill 4 hrs. (1 course) of upper division biology (BS only)
  • Required supporting courses:
    • CHEM 115 and 116
    • CHEM 331 (with 333 lab)
    • MATH 151
    • PHYS 125 (with 135 Lab) or PHYS 153 (with 163 Lab)
    • PHYS 126 (with 136 Lab) or PHYS 154 (with 164 Lab)

MINOR: 20 semester hours including

  • BIOL 225, 226
  • 12 semester hours elective coursework in biology (minimum 4 hours upper division required)*

*No more than one 100-level course can be applied to the minor; this course must be taken prior to enrolling in BIOL 225.

At least 8 semester hours for the minor must be earned in courses taken at PLU. For those students applying only 8 semester hours of PLU biology credit toward the minor, those hours cannot include independent study (BIOL 491) or internship (BIOL 495).


Biology: Secondary Education

Students planning to be certified to teach biology in high school should plan to complete a BA or BS in biology. Upper-division biology course selection should be made in consultation with a biology advisor.  See the School of Education section of the catalog for biology courses required for certification.