BS General Biology

Student in forest observing plant

B.S. Biology Mission:  The BS General Biology degree will provide students with sufficient depth and diversity of study in the biological sciences to be optimally prepared for successful pursuit of opportunities post-graduation; be they professional, medical, or graduate school, or immediate entry into tomorrow’s scientific workforce.

Shawnee State's BS General Biology track is designed for students interested in a broad intellectual foundation in life science who do not want to limit their educational experience to focusing on the disciplines covered in the other tracks. While providing this fundamental base, the track also allows the latitude for students to pursue courses in particular areas of biology in which they have interest. Students completing this degree are prepared for careers or graduate programs in a broad range of biologically related areas..

Shawnee State faculty members offer research opportunities for every student enrolled in our program, and work one-on-one with them in several dedicated research lab spaces.

  • Nine highly-qualified faculty members. Eight with Ph.D.'s in biology, one with an M.S. in biology.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities every semester.
  • Upper-division classes are small, with class sizes typically around 10 – 15 students.
  • A teaching licensure option is available with our BS Natural Sciences degree
  • Graduates have been admitted to graduate, medical, and pharmacy schools at: The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the University of Cincinnati.
  • We have several active biology clubs within the department that invite speakers to campus, get involved with the community, and organize social activities.
    • Our Tri-Beta Club is the Xi Upsilon chapter of the βββ National Biological Honor Society. They promote research and research activities within the department.
    • Our World Before Us Club is an environmental science based club.
  • Field-based research opportunities are available for students, including a two-week research trip to Costa-Rica that occurs during Spring/Summer.

Degree Requirements for the BS General Biology 

2018–2019 Catalog

First Year Experience (FYE) Class (1–2 hours)

  • UNIV1100 (1 hour), or
  • HONR1101 (2 hours)

The FYE requirement is waived for all transfer students who have earned 30 or more credit hours.

General Education Program (30 hours)

The Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning components of the GEP are satisfied by the math and science requirements of this degree. See the GEP Requirements in the online course catalog for further information.

Biology Curriculum (53 hours)

Biology Foundation (14 hours)

BIOL1151 General Biology 1 4
BIOL1152 General Biology 2 4
BIOL3770 Genetics and Molecular Biology 3
BIOL4770 Cell Biology 3
Course Title Hours

Core Requirements (7 hours)

BIOL3850 Ecology 4
BIOL3870 Evolution 3
Course Title Hours

Botany Electives (8 hours)

Select two courses from the following:

BIOL2252 Dendrology 4
BIOL2253 Practical Horticulture 4
BIOL3250 Spring Floral Taxonomy 2
BIOL3251 Summer Floral Taxonomy 2
BIOL3254 Economic Botany 2
BIOL3271 Non-Vascular and Seedless Plants 2
BIOL3272 Phycology 2
BIOL4270 Plant Anatomy & Physiology 4
Course Title Hours

Zoology Electives (8 hours)

Select two courses from the following:

BIOL3350 Entomology 4
BIOL3351 Spider Biology 1
BIOL3355 Ornithology 4
BIOL3360 Animal Physiology 4
BIOL4355 Animal Behavior 4
BIOL4360 Herpetology 4
BIOL4370 Mammalogy 4
BIOL4491 Limnology 4
BIOL4680 Parasitology 4
Course Title Hours

Biology Electives (16 hours)

Any biology course numbered 2000 or above.
Four of these hours must be at 4000 or above.
Only four hours of BIOL4495 may be counted.

Course Title Hours

Math and Support Science (22 – 23 hours)

MATH1250 or MATH2110 Trigonometry or Calculus 1 3 or 4
BIOL2200, STAT1150, or STAT2500 Applied Biostatistics, Principles of Statistics, or Statistics 1 3
CHEM1141 General Chemistry 1
CHEM1142 General Chemistry 2 4
CHEM3305 or CHEM2200 Organic Chemistry 1 or Introduction to Organic Chemistry 4
PHYS2201 Physics 1 4
Course Title Hours

Capstone (3 hours)

IDST4490 Senior Seminar 3
Course Title Hours

General Electives

Once all other requirements have been met, take enough general electives to meet the 120 hour requirement.

Additional Minimum Requirements

  • 2.00 overall, cumulative GPA
  • 60 semester credit hours at 2000 level or above
  • C– or better required in ALL biology, chemistry, and physics courses
  • TWO courses flagged as Writing Intensive (WI) - may be satisfied by courses already counted in the GEP

Special Minimum Requirements for Transfer Students

  • 30 semester credit hours completed at SSU, of which 21 credit hours must be upper division courses (3000 – 4000 level)
  • 12 semester credit hours of biology completed at SSU at the 3000 or 4000 level

Natural Sciences

Contact Information

Department of Natural Sciences
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Dr. Kimberly Inman, Chairperson
Sharon Messer, Secretary

Phone: (740) 351-3456
Fax: (740) 351-3815 or

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