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.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

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.

The B.S. degree program is a rigorous curriculum designed for students interested in preparing for graduate studies or a professional school, or pursuing entry level employment in a science-related field.

Students interested in pursuing undergraduate degree programs offered by the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences are admitted through the UMKC Office of Admissions. Transfer and Readmitted students should contact the University admissions office and the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences for information about transfer admissions and evaluation of transfer coursework. Transfer admission eligibility includes an overall grade-point average of at least 2.0 for all college-level coursework attempted at previous institutions, an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in courses used to fulfill School of Biological Sciences major requirements, and a University of Missouri Biology GPA of at least 2.0.

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 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

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
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

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

The following core courses are required:

General Biology I Laboratory
and General Biology I (Focus B)
General Biology II Laboratory
and General Biology II (Focus B)
or MOTRBIOL 100LZ MOTR Essentials in Biology with Lab
or MOTRBIOL 150LZ MOTR Biology w/Lab
BIOLOGY 202Cell Biology3
BIOLOGY 206Genetics3
BIOLOGY 441Biochemistry3
Total Credits17

Biology Lab Requirements

Two of the following laboratory courses are required.

Select two of the following:5
Introductory Anatomy Laboratory
Ecology Laboratory
Laboratory in Developmental Biology, Genetics and Cell Biology
Laboratory in Microbiology (WI)
Laboratory in Microbiology
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure (WI)
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Laboratory
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (WI)
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biology Synthesis requirement:

Select from the following for a total of three credit hours:3
Critical Analysis of Biological Issues (WI)
Directed Studies—Biological Sciences
Directed Studies—Biological Sciences
Undergraduate Research-Biological Sciences
Undergraduate Research-Biological Sciences
Total Credits3

Students must complete additional biology majors coursework for a total of 42 credit hours of biology courses with grades of C- or better.  26 of these hours must be 300- or 400-level. At least one biology course must be writing intensive.  A minimum of 21 credit hours of biology courses must be taken from BIOLOGY or LIFE-SCI coursework at UMKC. The UM Biology GPA Must be at least 2.0.

Additional Majors Coursework Options 117
First Year Seminar
Methods in Biological Research
Preparing for Careers in Biology
Preparing for Careers in Healthcare
Exploring Careers in Biology I
Healthcare Professions Seminar
General Ecology
Invertebrate Zoology
Marine and Freshwater Biology
Vertebrate Zoology
Global Health: New and Emerging Infectious Diseases
General Parasitology
Biological Conservation
Biogeography and Biodiversity
Plant Biology
Assisting Undergraduate Learning in Biology
Special Topics
Experience Based Education
Introduction to Evolution
Developmental Biology
Evolutionary Ecology
Total Credits17

Physical Sciences and Mathematics Course Requirements

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

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
MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 216Calculus for Biological Sciences4
or MATH 210 Calculus I
Select one of the following:3-4
Calculus II
Elementary Statistics
MOTR Statistical Reasoning
PHYSICS 210General Physics I4-5
or PHYSICS 240 Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
PHYSICS 220General Physics II4
or PHYSICS 250 Physics For Scientists and Engineers II
Total Credits38-40
General Electives16

A maximum of 12 hours for a combination of 399, 497, and 499 coursework may be applied toward the major with only 4 credit hours at the 400-level.

Minimum GPA: 2.0 (UM cumulative; UM Biology)

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.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.