General Education Requirements

Natural Sciences

All biology majors must take two semesters of general chemistry: CHEM A111 and A112

Co-requisites: None

Pre-requisites: MATH A108

Notes. Freshmen biology majors who have the math requirement will be pre-registered for CHEM A111.


History of Civilization

Either HIST A101 Introduction to World Civilization to 1750 or HIST A102 Introduction to World Civilization Since 1750 is required.

If both courses are taken, one can be used to satisfy one of the three Humanities course requirements.


Social/Behavioral Science

Students must complete two courses from the Social/Behavioral category. The two may not be from the same area. These areas include Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Courses commonly taken by biology majors include ANTH A101, ANTH A102, PSYC A101, and SOCY A101.


Foreign Language

Students must take two semesters of the same language. Language placement is based on high school records (there is no placement test) and can be found by your advisor on the K Drive: > Advisors > Language Placement.


Humanities

Students must complete three courses from two areas within the Humanities category. This is a broad category and includes courses from Art History, Communication, History, Music History, Theatre History, Literature, Philosophy (not Logic), or Religion.

This category does not include courses that are skills-based, such as writing, art, or speech.

Courses commonly taken by biology majors include MUSC A173, MUSC A175, RELG A103, THEA A161, HIST A101, A102, A201, or A202.


Critical Inquiry

All freshmen must complete the Critical Inquiry requirement even if they have previously earned AP or concurrent enrollment credit.

Transfer students are not required to complete the requirement. Degree Works will indicate “satisfied."


Composition and Literature

All students must complete ENGL A101 Composition and A102 Composition and Literature.


Oral Communication

All students must complete either COMM A201 or A241.


Mathematics

In addition to the requirement of 6-7 credit hours, all biology majors must complete math through calculus (MATH A122 Survey of Calculus or MATH A141 Calculus I).

Biology majors most commonly choose MATH A122; however, some choose MATH A141. The path to MATH A141 is MATH A111 and A112, which may be taken concurrently. Otherwise, MATH A112 is not required.

AP MATH credit is for MATH A141. Students who have AP credit or place into MATH A122/A141 must take an additional course to satisfy the requirement. Any MATH course, STAT A201, or PHIL A110 Logic will work.

Math placement is based on the students ACT/SAT score:

ACT Math Score

SAT Math Score

Course Placement

16 or below

450 or below

MATH A104

17-21

460-519

MATH A108L (5 contact hrs.)

22-24

520-569

MATH A108 (4 contact hrs.)

25-27

570-629

MATH A111, MATH 122

28 or higher

630 or higher

MATH 141


American Political Institutions

All students must complete HIST A201 History of the United States to 1850, HIST A202 History of the United States From 1850 to the Present, or POLI A201 American National Government.

Students who complete POLI A201, may use HIST A201 or A202 to help satisfy the Humanities requirement.


Notes on General Education Requirements

A number of different courses may be used to satisfy particular General Education requirements. If unsure whether a course will count in a particular area, Degree Works lists all approved courses in each category.

Students who complete POLI A201 to satisfy the American Political Institutions requirement, may use HIST A201 and A202 in the Humanities category.

Students who complete HIST A201 or A202 to satisfy the American Political Institutions requirement, may use POLI A201 in the Social/Behavioral Science category.

Students who complete HIST A101 or A102 to satisfy the Western Civilization requirement may use the alternate course in the Humanities category.

Freshmen must attend 16 ICE events prior to graduation. Transfer students must complete a prorated number of ICE events, which is based on the number of transferred credits. Typically, a transfer student receives two ICE credits for every 15 hours transferred.

Although many freshmen matriculate with previously earned credits, the ICE requirement remains 16.

Learn more about ICE

All students must complete the Writing Intensive requirement prior to graduation. Freshmen must complete three writing intensive-designated classes following completion of the ENGL A101/A102 sequence. At least one WRI-designated course must be in the major.

Transfer students have a prorated requirement depending on the total credits transferred:

Hours Earned

Number of WI Courses Required

WI Credit Given

Fewer than 60 hours

3 (at least one in the major)

0

60-89 hours

2 (at least one in the major)

1

Greater than 89 hours

1 (must be in the major)

2

The Writing Intensive (WI) designation is shown as a course attribute in the “Look Up classes – Student View” tab in SSC.

The Department of Biology and Geology offers a number of writing intensive courses:

  • BIOL A365 Animal Nutrition (Vieyra)
  • BIOL A366 Animal Behavior (Vieyra)
  • BIOL A370 Ecology and Evolution (Dyer)
  • BIOL A502 Eukaryotic Cellular and Molecular Biology (Jackson)
  • BIOL A510 Developmental Biology (DeLaurier)
  • BIOL A550 Immunology (Jackson)
  • BIOL A576 Toxicology (Harmon)
  • BIOL A576 Restoration Ecology (Dyer)
  • GEOL A102 Historical Geology (Dennis)

Learn more about WI courses

The Writing Proficiency requirement is met through one of two options:

1.) Completion of the Writing Proficiency Portfolio (WPP) with a mean score of 3 or higher.

The WPP due dates are published in the Academic Calendar and are based on the following schedule:

Term

Submission Deadline

Fall

First Wednesday after the Labor Day Holiday

Spring

Last Wednesday in January

Summer

First Wednesday in June

Learn more about the WPP

2.) Completion of ENGL A201 Writing in the University with a C or better.

Learn more about ENGL A201

Major Requirements

All Biology majors must complete BIOL A121 Biological Science I, BIOL A122 Biological Science II, and BIOL A305 Elementary Biostatistics.

In addition to BIOL A121, A122, and A305, BA/BS Biology majors must complete A350 Fundamental Genetics I and BIOL A370 Ecology and Evolution.

In addition to BIOL A121, A122, and A305, those pursuing a concentration in Environmental Remediation and Restoration complete BIOL A335 Microbial Ecology, BIOL A370 Ecology and Evolution, and BIOL A390 Environmental Science and Human Health.

In addition to BIOL A121, A122, and A305, those pursuing a Molecular Biology concentration must complete BIOL A350 Fundamental Genetics I and either BIOL A315 Comparative Anatomy OR BIOL A370 Ecology and Evolution.

Depending on their degree program, biology majors must complete 1- 2 300-level laboratory-designated courses. All four-credit hour, 300-level courses satisfy this requirement. Three-credit hour, 300-level courses that will satisfy this requirement include BIOL A315 Comparative Anatomy, BIOL A398 Applied Biotechnology, BIOL 398 Applied Environmental Health, and BIOL A398 Applied Genetics and Genomics.

All biology majors must complete a research-based capstone course and may choose from two options:

  • BIOL A498 Research Design, Implementation, and Analysis; OR
  • BIOL A490 Senior Seminar AND BIOL A499 Applied Biological Research Design, Implementation, and Analysis

Each student must choose one of these options prior to graduation. BIOL/GEOL A490 Senior Seminar is a co-requisite of BIOL/GEOL A499, but not BIOL A498. It is important to note that BIOL A498 is only offered during spring semesters.

1 Indicates lab designated course

2 Indicates Writing Intensive course

Course 

Term

Comments

BIOL A302 Cell and Molecular Biology1

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A305 Elementary Biostatistics

Fall & Spring

 

BIOL A315 Comparative Anatomy1

Fall

 

BIOL A316 Vertebrate Zoology1

Spring

Offered every odd year

BIOL A320 Principles of Botany1

Fall

 

BIOL A325 Plant Physiology1

Spring

Offered every even year

BIOL A330 Fundamentals of Microbiology1

Fall

 

BIOL A335 Microbial Ecology1

Spring

 

BIOL A340 Virology1

Spring

Offered every odd year

BIOL A350 Fundamental Genetics I

Fall & Spring

 

BIOL A360 Animal Physiology1

Spring

Offered during even years

BIOL A365 Animal Nutrition2

Spring

Offered during odd years

BIOL A366 Animal Behavior1 2

Summer

Offered during odd years

BIOL A367 Neurobiology1 2

Spring

Offered during even years

BIOL A370 Ecology and Evolution

Fall & Spring

 

BIOL A381 Tropical Marine Biology

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A390 Env. Science and Human Health

 

Fall

BIOL A398 Special Topics (Biology)2

Fall & Spring

Three course rotation

BIOL A502 Eukaryotic Cell/Molec. Biology2

Fall

 

BIOL A510 Developmental Biology1 2

Spring

 

BIOL A516 Herpetology1

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A525 Conservation Biology

Spring

Offered during even years

BIOL A528 Seasonal Flora1

Summer

Offered in Maymester

BIOL A531 Parasitology1

Fall

Offered during odd years

BIOL A540 Cancer Biology

Spring

Offered during odd years

BIOL A541 Principles of Biochemistry1

Fall

 

BIOL A542 Principles of Biochemistry II

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A550 Immunology2

Spring

Offered during even years

BIOL A560 Aquatic Biology1

Fall

Offered during even years

BIOL A570 Principles of Ecology

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A575 Topics in Ecology

 

Not currently offered

BIOL A576 Topics in Env. Science

Fall & Spring

Three course rotation

BIOL A576 Toxicology and Restoration Ecology offered as Writing Intensive

   

BIOL A583 Pathology of Coastal Organisms

 

Not currently offered

Course 

Term

Comments

GEOL A101 Physical Geology

Fall & Spring

 

GEOL A102 Historical Geology (WI)

Spring

 

GEOL A103 Env. Earth Science

Fall & Spring

 

GEOL A301 Oceanography

Spring

Offered during even years

GEOL A325 Sedimentology & Stratigraphy

Fall

Offered during odd years

GEOL A331 Structural Geology

Spring

Offered during odd years

GEOL A363 Intro to GIS in the Sciences

Fall

Offered during odd years

GEOL A401 Env. Geomorphology

Spring

Offered during even years

GEOL A405 Global Biogeochem. Cycles

Fall

Offered during even years

GEOL A425 Coastal Field Geology

Summer

Offered in Maymester

GEOL A431 Southn. Appalachian Geology

Spring

Offered during even years

Graduate Programs

Preferred/required courses depend on the student's proposed field of study as well as the graduate program. Students interested in environmental and fieldassociated graduate degrees may choose to follow the concentration in Environmental Remediation and Restoration. Students interested in molecular-based programs may choose to follow the concentration in Molecular Biology.

Medical Programs (State)

Generally, the state medical programs require applicants to have two semesters of general biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Further advanced studies in the biological sciences are encouraged. These courses include cell/molecular biology, comparative anatomy, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, comparative anatomy, physiology, and toxicology.

Dental Programs

Generally, the prerequisite courses for dental programs mirror those for medical programs: two semesters of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.

Cognate Options

We offer several cognate options for our various majors. In general, students must complete 12-18 hours to satisfy the cognate requirement.

BA Biology

  • Students completing a BA in Biology have no specific set of cognate courses and often choose a minor from outside of the College of Sciences and Engineering.

BS Biology, General

  • Geology cognate (three courses at the 300-level or above)
  • Physics/Organic Chemistry (three courses that include a combination of the two areas)
  • Geology/Organic Chemistry (three courses that include a combination of the two areas)

BS Biology, Concentration in Environmental Remediation and Restoration

  • CHEM A331 and A331L Organic Chemistry I
  • GEOL A300 or above
  • One additional physical science course (geology, chemistry, or physics)

BS Biology, Concentration in Molecular Biology

  • CHEM A331 and A331L Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM A332 and A332L Organic Chemistry II
  • PHYS A201 General Physics I

BS Clinical Laboratory Science

  • CHEM A331 and A331L Organic Chemistry I

Notes on the cognate requirement: The cognates as listed in the academic bulletin are those commonly pursued by students. However, unique cognates can be created from upper level math/statistics (e.g., MATH A142, STAT A509), upper level psychology (e.g., 300-level and above), and upper level chemistry (e.g., CHEM A550). Students completing these unique cognates will require a substitution for correct documentation in Degree Works. The student or advisor should contact the unit head for this.


Minor Options

For graduation purposes, students who complete a minor are not required to also complete a cognate. However, students may need to complete additional courses to satisfy a graduate/profession program pre-requisite. For example, a biology major who takes a psychology minor and intends to apply to a medical program must still complete the organic chemistry/physics pre-requisites for medical school.does not allow students to purchase textbooks and charge their USC Aiken accounts. Students should be prepared to purchase textbooks with personal funds in case financial aid refunds are delayed.

Course Registration & Advisement Tips

Students are strongly encouraged to inform their advisor once application has been made. The student and advisor should plan to complete the graduate clearance form during the subsequence advisement session.

Deadlines for students to apply for graduation:

Graduation Date

Application Dates

May

Mid-December through January

August

Mid-May through mid-June

December

Mid-July through August

Degree Works is much more accurate for students who complete their entire degree at UofSC Aiken than for students who transfer in credits. Inaccuracies for transfer students often stem from the transfer course evaluation process and often result in courses being categorized as electives.

Therefore, when looking for a particular completed course in Degree Works, it is imperative to also check the elective category. No matter where the course is found, a transfer course that satisfies a particular requirement will do just that. When in doubt, the student should contact the Records Office.

Biology/Geology Courses

  • Prerequisite overrides are not provided except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Capacity overrides may be provided on a need basis. Course limits are based on the classroom occupancy level and available seating. The limit for some courses, such as 500-level and those designated writing intensive, are often at a lower level. The limit for lab courses is set at 24, while lecture-only courses are often higher. In general, the capacity of core courses (e.g., BIOL A121, A122, A305, A350, and A370) is set at a level less than the limit to provide seats for students who must have the course to graduate but were not able to register before the course closed. In these cases, students may be placed on a waiting list and will be offered capacity overrides once final grades are in and all students who must have the course are registered.

Non-Biology Courses

  • Overrides into non-biology or geology courses must be obtained from the department offering the course.