University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Identify fundamental concepts in the biological sciences, including the relationship between structure and function at all levels of biological organization, evolution and the role of natural selection in the process, ecological relationships between organisms and their environment.
  • Describe cellular structure and explain the major biochemical processes that occur in cells.
  • Describe and explain the mechanisms of heredity and the flow of genetic information.
  • Apply knowledge from other fields to biological problems.
  • Evaluate scientific data.
  • Write clearly about topics in the biological sciences for a peer or professional audience.

The B.A. degree program in biology is designed to accommodate students who want a solid background in the biological sciences, but who need less rigorous studies in the supporting sciences of chemistry, mathematics and physics. It is also recommended for students who plan to pursue double majors.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective (Satisfied in program requirements below)
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits21

See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

Science and Mathematics Course Requirements

The following courses must be completed with grades of C- or better:

MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 216Calculus for Biological Sciences3-4
or MATH 210 Calculus I
or STAT 235 Elementary Statistics
PHYSICS 210General Physics I (Focus B)4
or PHYSICS 240 Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Focus B)4
CHEM 211LExperimental General Chemistry I1
CHEM 212RGeneral Chemistry II4
CHEM 212LRExperimental General Chemistry II1
CHEM 320Elementary Organic Chemistry4
CHEM 320LExperimental Organic Chemistry1
Total Credits27-28

Major Requirements

Biology Course Requirements
BIOLOGY 108General Biology I (Focus B)3
BIOLOGY 108LGeneral Biology I Laboratory1
BIOLOGY 109General Biology II (Focus B)3
BIOLOGY 109LGeneral Biology II Laboratory1
BIOLOGY 202Cell Biology3
BIOLOGY 206Genetics3
LS-BIOC 341Basic Biochemistry3
Biology Laboratory Courses
Select one of the following:2
Ecology Laboratory
Laboratory in Developmental Biology, Genetics and Cell Biology
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Laboratory
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Introductory Anatomy Laboratory
Laboratory in Microbiology
Laboratory in Microbiology
Biology Synthesis Requirement
Select from the following for a total of three credit hours (maximum of 4 hours of LIFE-SCI 497 and 499 can be used toward the rest of the sub-requirements):3
Critical Analysis of Biological Issues (WI)
Directed Studies-Bioinformatics
Directed Studies-Genetics
Directed Studies: Behavioral Biology
Directed Studies-Microbiology
Directed Studies-Physiology
Directed Studies - Biochemistry
Directed Studies - Biophysics
Directed Studies-Cell Biology
Directed Studies - Neuroscience
Directed Studies-Botany
Directed Studies-Zoology
Directed Studies - Ecology
Directed Studies - Biological Sciences
Directed Studies - Biotechnology
Undergraduate Research-Bioinformatics
Undergraduate Research-Genetics
Undergraduate Research-Microbiology
Undergraduate Research-Physiology
Undergraduate Research-Biochemistry
Undergraduate Research- Biophysics
Undergraduate Research-Cell Biology
Undergraduate Research-Neuroscience
Undergraduate Research-Botany
Undergraduate Research-Zoology
Undergraduate Research-Ecology
Undergraduate Research-Biological Sciences
Undergraduate Research-Biological Sciences Honors
Undergraduate Research-Biotechnology
Writing Intensive Lecture or Lab Course (may be fulfilled with lab or elective coursework above.)
Additional Biology Majors Course work 116
Total Credits38

Students must complete additional biology majors coursework to total at least 38 credit hours of biology courses with grades of C- or better. At least 24 of these must be at the 300- or 400-level. One of these courses must be writing intensive.  A minimum of 21 credit hours of biology courses must be taken from the School of Biological Sciences. The UM Biology GPA must be at least 2.0.

General Electives30

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.