Biology Major: General Option

Why study biology at CMU?

The biology-related programs provide students with a strong background to prepare them for future careers or graduate study in biology. Consider some key features distinguishing these programs:

  • Advanced facilities, including research laboratories, an animal room, a computer laboratory, electron microscopes, and a greenhouse
  • The only university in Michigan and one of two in the Midwest that operates an island research station - the CMU Biological Research Station on Beaver Island located in northern Lake Michigan
  • Fieldwork opportunities at Neithercut Woodland, located just miles north of CMU's campus
  • CMU is the only university in the nation with a bachelor's degree option in microscopy

Career outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, for all occupations through the year 2014:

  • Employment of biological scientists is projected to grow 9 to 17 percent.
  • Recent budget increases at the National Institutes of Health have led to large increases in federal research and development expenditures.
  • New industrial applications of biotechnology, such as changing how companies make ethanol for transportation fuel, also will spur demand for biological scientists.

Career options

Graduates of the biology-related programs at CMU will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.

  • Biological Researcher
  • Cell Biologist
  • Elementary or High School Teacher
  • Forestry Technician
  • Microscopist
  • Soil Scientist
  • University or College Professor
  • Veterinarian
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Zoologist

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Biology Major: General Option

General option is for students who do not plan to attend a professional graduate school upon graduation and are not planning to enter a field associated with natural resources. This option provides flexibility in the choice of electives. Students selecting this option are required to take the core courses (20 hours) and 22 hours of elective biology courses.
Total: 50-55 semester hours
Core Courses
(20 hours)
BIO 110
Concepts of Biology
BIO 203
General Botany
BIO 208
BIO 218
General Zoology
BIO 326
BIO 340
Other Requirements I
(5-9 hours)
Select one of the following options:
Option A
Option B
Option C
Other Requirements II
(3-4 hours)
Select one of the following:
PHS 101
Survey of Physical Science
College Physics I
(22 hours)
Biology electives to be selected in consultation with a biology advisor.

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