Bachelor of Science: Biology - Cellular and Molecular Basis of Health and Disease Emphasis

Not accepting students in the 23-24 academic year.

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

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.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations 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.

Students interested in pursuing undergraduate degree programs offered by Biological Sciences are admitted through the UMKC Office of Admissions. Transfer or 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 Biological Sciences major requirements, and a University of Missouri Biology GPA of at least 2.0.

Program Requirements

This instructional program fully prepares individuals for admission to a professional school in medicine, including allopathic, osteopathic or podiatric medicine programs. By completing the requirements of the bachelor's of science in biology with the cellular and molecular basis of health and disease emphasis, students will complete all of the minimum prerequisites and the upper level biology electives which are highly recommended by most medical schools.

The courses selected provide a foundation of knowledge in modern cellular and molecular biology, essential for understanding medical science. The curriculum of general education and biology majors courses, combined with the mathematics, chemistry and physics components, provides the background essential to understanding the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies.

UMKC Essentials requirements are the same as for all students seeking a bachelor's degree in biology. Completion of the emphasis requirements will be noted on the UMKC transcript.

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (satisfied in major requirements below)
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits27

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
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
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

Core courses:

General Biology I Laboratory
and General Biology I
or MOTRBIOL 100LB MOTR Essentials in Biology w/ Lab - Botany
or MOTRBIOL 150LB MOTR Biology with Lab
General Biology II Laboratory
and General Biology II
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

Emphasis course requirements:

BIOLOGY 313Microbiology3
BIOLOGY 313WLLaboratory in Microbiology3
or BIOLOGY 313L Laboratory in Microbiology
BIOLOGY 316Principles of Physiology3
BIOLOGY 409Developmental Biology3
BIOLOGY 430Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering3
BIOLOGY 435Immunology3
Total Credits18

Laboratory course requirements:

Select one of the following:2
Introductory Anatomy Laboratory
MOTR Anatomy focused Essentials in Human Biology with Lab
MOTR Anatomy focused Human Biology w/Lab
Laboratory in Developmental Biology, Genetics and Cell Biology
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure
Laboratory in Histology and Cellular Ultrastructure
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Total Credits2

Biology Synthesis requirement:

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

A total of 42 credit hours of biology courses must be completed 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 BIOLOGY or LIFE-SCI coursework at UMKC with one course designated as Writing Intensive (WI or WL). The UM Biology GPA must be at least 2.0.

Additional Majors Coursework2

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.

CHEM 211General Chemistry I4
or MOTRCHEM 150 MOTR Chemistry I
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 120Precalculus (satisfies Math Pathway)5
MATH 210Calculus I4
select one of the following:3-4
Biostatistics 1
Calculus II
Elementary Statistics
Statistical Reasoning
MOTR Statistical Reasoning
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
Total Credits38-41

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.

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

General Electives10

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. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

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.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).