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 in basic mathematics, chemistry, and physics to solve biological problems.
  • Employ techniques and procedures commonly used in modern biology laboratories.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate scientific data.
  • Write clearly about topics in the biological sciences for a peer or professional audience.

Program Requirements

The curriculum of UMKC General Education Core and biology majors courses, combined with the mathematics, chemistry and physics components is designed to provide undergraduate students with a clear program for the undergraduate background needed for a career in biotechnology or to provide them with a solid, biologically oriented curriculum to pursue graduate level research in this area.

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 program 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.

Major Requirements

Biology course requirements

Core courses:

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
Total Credits17

Emphasis course requirements:

BIOLOGY 409Developmental Biology3
LS-MCRB 313Microbiology3
LS-BIOC 425Bioinformatics3
LS-BIOC 430Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering3
Total Credits12

Laboratory course requirements (9 credit hours; 6 of these must be WI):

LS-MCRB 313LLaboratory in Microbiology3
or LS-MCRB 313WL Laboratory in Microbiology
BIOLOGY 312WLLaboratory in Developmental Biology, Genetics and Cell Biology3
LS-BIOC 360LLaboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
or LS-BIOC 360WL Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Total Credits9

Biology synthesis requirement:

Select from the following for a total of three credit hours: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
Required Graduate Enrollment
Total Credits3

Students must complete additional biology majors coursework to total at least 42 credit hours of biology courses with grades of C- or better. At least 26 of these must be at the 300- or 400-level. 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.

Additional Biology Coursework1

Physical sciences and mathematics requirements
All of the following courses are required. A grade of C- or better is required in each course used to fulfill these requirements.

COMP-SCI 101Problem Solving and Programming I3
MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 210Calculus I4
or MATH 216 Calculus for Biological Sciences
MATH 220Calculus II4
STAT 235Elementary Statistics3
or MATH 226 Biomath II: Statistics and Modeling
PHYSICS 210General Physics I4-5
or PHYSICS 240 Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
PHYSICS 220General Physics II4-5
or PHYSICS 250 Physics For Scientists and Engineers II
CHEM 211General Chemistry I4
CHEM 211LExperimental General Chemistry I1
CHEM 212RGeneral Chemistry II4
CHEM 212LRExperimental General Chemistry II1
CHEM 321Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 321LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHEM 322ROrganic Chemistry II3
CHEM 322LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory II1
Total Credits45-47

Students may choose LIFE-SCI 401, as an alternative to PHYSICS 250.

General Electives9

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required, and 36 of these must be at the 300- or 400-level. Electives may be taken from any area once other degree requirements have been met. The UM Biology GPA must be 2.0 or higher.

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.