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Program Requirements

Science core courses include:

  • BIOL 130 Introductory Biology for Majors
  • NSCI 220 Statistics in Science and Research
  • BIOL/CHEM 495 Research in Science
  • BIOL/CHEM 496 Seminar in Science
  • BIOL/CHEM 497 Science Research Portfolio


  • Students must meet a minimum level of “C” in introductory core courses (BIOL 130, NSCI 220) before they will be allowed to take upper division learning experiences.
  • Upper division students must maintain a minimum level of “C” in all courses before proceeding to the capstone experience.
  • Biology majors are required to attain a minimum level of “C” in each science course or learning experience and an overall grade point average (GPA) in all science courses taken of 3.0 for graduation.

Capstone Research Experience

As a final demonstration of the student’s ability to do science, each student must complete a hypothesis-based or thesis-based research project and defend it successfully before the science faculty and fellow students. Every biology student will perform a research project with a faculty member and present their research project to biology faculty and students.

Required Research Timeline

To assure that graduation occurs within the student’s expected time frame, capstone research and seminar learning experiences (CHEM 494, 495, 496, and 497) must be completed in the sequence outlined below. Breaking the sequence, skipping a requirement, or failing to complete events by required dates will delay graduation.

  1. Complete BIOL 130 and NSCI 220 prior to attaining 60 credits.
  2. During the spring semester of the junior year, Biology students will complete a Science Literacy Portfolio.
  3. Following successful completion and approval of CHEM 494 research proposal, the student’s advisor will register the student for BIOL/CHEM 495 (Research in Science) for the fall of the senior year.
  4. The research project (BIOL/CHEM 495) must be completed by the end of the fall semester. Students will not be allowed to take BIOL 495/CHEM and 496 simultaneously.
  5. During the spring of the senior year, students will register for both BIOL/CHEM 496 (Seminar in Science) and BIOL/CHEM 497 (Science Research Portfolio).

Additional Requirements

Students must meet all Liberal Learning Outcomes required for graduation by the University of Charleston.