Nov 30, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences Pathway Guide

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Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as a Biological Sciences Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as a biological sciences major. For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed.  If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

Save all of your course syllabi! 

Please note: These plans assume students are ready to take calculus. If you are not “calculus ready,” take math courses to prepare you for calculus so that you advance to calculus as soon as possible. Also, if you are planning a minor, typically only one or two transfer courses will be applied.

B.S. in Biological Sciences

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV

B.A. in Biological Sciences

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV


*The second language requirement may be satisfied by (1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, (2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or (3) being literate in a native language other than English.

**Only one semester of organic chemistry is required for the B.A. degree in Biological Sciences.  However, a full year of organic chemistry is required for graduate programs and admission to many of the health professions schools.

The Biological Sciences Department

The Department of Biological Sciences  at SMU is part of Dedman College, home to the humanities and social and natural sciences.  The department mission is to excel as both an academic and research-oriented department with strong emphasis on undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral education with training in the molecular and cellular biosciences.

The biological sciences faculty has rigorous and well-funded research programs. Students are encouraged to take part in ongoing projects and work in laboratories with postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The research can be applied towards the Departmental Distinction Program, and can count as credit towards a biological sciences degree.

The Department of Biological Sciences  is located in the Dedman Life Sciences Building, which contains state-of-the-art laboratories, research facilities, lecture halls and conference rooms.

Biological sciences, in combination with SMU’s liberal arts foundation, prepares students for virtually any career path.  Graduates who choose to extend their science education successfully pursue Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the field, attend graduate programs in the health professions, or pursue careers in pre-college teaching, biotechnology, law, business and lab research.

Majoring in Biological Sciences

The Biological Sciences Department  offers two degree plans from which to choose:

Ordinarily, pre-health profession students will pursue the B.S. degree or go beyond the minimum requirements for the B.A. degree.  If you are interested in a double major, careful planning is recommended for course sequencing and course load.

Minoring in Biological Sciences

The Biological Sciences Minor  requires 25 total credit hours. All advanced courses must be completed through enrollment at SMU. A student may not earn minors in both biology and the natural sciences, or a minor or a major in both biology and environmental science. 

Admission as a Biological Sciences Major

To enter SMU as a declared biological sciences major, transfer students must have 24 or more hours of transfer credit.  Additionally, students must complete equivalent courses to SMU’s BIOL 1301  and BIOL 1101  (Introductory Biology I), BIOL 1302  and BIOL 1102  (Introductory Biology II), CHEM 1303  and CHEM 1113  (General Chemistry I), CHEM 1304  and CHEM 1114  (General Chemistry II), and MATH 1337  (Calculus). Although these courses are transferable with a C- or better, transfer students are more likely to be successful as biological sciences majors if grades in these courses are significantly higher.

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

Transfer students who take time to prepare for their move to SMU are some of our most successful students.  Following are a few important points to remember:

  • Completion of BIOL 1301 , BIOL 1101 , BIOL 1302 , BIOL 1102 , CHEM 1303 , CHEM 1113 , CHEM 1304 , CHEM 1114 , and MATH 1337  are required for students transferring as juniors.  If these courses are not completed before transferring, completion of the degree will take longer than two years.
  • If transferring as juniors, it is highly recommended that students complete organic chemistry prior to enrolling at SMU.
  • If a course is part of a two-course sequence, finish the sequence at the same institution.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Work on the University Curriculum  prior to transfer is suggested.
  • The B.S. degree in biological sciences  also requires work in chemistry, physics, math and statistics.
  • The B.A. degree in biological sciences  requires additional work in chemistry.
  • A solid math and chemistry background is important for success in the biological sciences.
  • Students pursuing entrance into graduate programs in the health professions (medical, dental, pre-veterinary, PT, pharmacy, etc.) should refer to SMU’s Pre-Health Program for further advice and preparation.
  • Compare Course Descriptions   found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits.
  • For additional information on biological sciences, visit the department homepage.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU, 42 of which must be in courses at the 3000 and higher levels. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major.
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC),which may also count for your major and/or minor, and elective courses that may also be used to add a second major or minor.  Common second majors and minors for biology majors include chemistry, math, psychology, anthropology and business.
  • Elective courses.  These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor. 

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

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Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

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