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Butler University Bulletin

Biology Requirements

A total of 39 credit hours in biology are required. All first-year students must complete BI111 (Contemporary Issues in Biology), the three fundamentals courses, which consist of BI210 (Genetics—Fundamentals), BI220 (Cellular and Molecular Biology—Fundamentals), BI230 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology—Fundamentals), and BI250 (Biostatistics – Fundamentals). BI230 is a prerequisite for all BI courses numbered 300 and higher. BI250 should be taken in the fall or spring of the sophomore year.   All students must also complete BI299—Biology Seminar in the spring semester of their second year in the major. To acquire the remaining credit hours for the major, students must take biology electives at the 300 level or above; at least four of these electives must be lab courses. One of the electives must be an organism-based course chosen from the following: BI301, BI302, BI311, or BI438 (indicated with an asterisk below). All senior biology majors must complete BI480 (Biology Capstone). In addition, all biology majors must take general chemistry (CH105–106 or CH107). Note: BI325, Principles of Pathogenic Microbiology, cannot be counted toward the 39-hour minimum required for the biology major. Students are allowed to use a maximum of 3 hours of independent study credit, internship credit, research, or honors thesis credit toward the 39-hour minimum required for the biology major.

Students must earn a grade of C-minus or better in all prerequisite courses as well as in all required courses for the major. 

View the Biological Sciences Course Catalog.

Required Courses

  • BI111, Contemporary Issues in Biology (first-semester majors and exploratory students only; transfer students and those joining the major after their first semester at Butler are exempt from BI111 but must complete an additional hour of biology elective credit at the 300 level or above)
  • BI210, Genetics—Fundamentals
  • BI220, Cellular and Molecular Biology—Fundamentals (prerequisite BI210 with a grade of C-minus or better)
  • BI230, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology— Fundamentals (prerequisite BI220 with a grade of C-minus or better)
  • BI250, Biostatistics—Fundamentals (prerequisite BI220 with a grade of C- or better)
  • BI299, Biology Seminar
  • BI480, Senior Biology Capstone (prerequisite BI230 and senior standing)

Elective Courses

Note that all BI courses numbered 300 and above require BI230 with a C-minus or better except where noted below:

  • BI301*, Principles of Zoology
  • BI302*, Principles of Botany
  • BI306, Mammalogy
  • BI307, Vertebrate Biology
  • BI308, Tropical Field Biology
  • BI309, Local Flora
  • BI311*, Principles of Mycology
  • BI314, Ornithology
  • BI320, Animal Behavior
  • BI323, Principles of Immunology
  • BI339, Philosophy of Biology
  • BI401–403, Independent Study
  • BI405–409, Topics in Biology
  • BI411, Principles of Physiology
  • BI413, Vertebrate Histology and Microtechnique
  • BI417, Tropical Terrestrial Biology
  • BI418, Advanced Ecology
  • BI419, Conservation Biology
  • BI423, Advanced Evolutionary Biology
  • BI430, Animal Development
  • BI431, Plant Development
  • BI432, Plant Physiology
  • BI427, Molecular Ecology
  • BI433, Advanced Cell Biology
  • BI434, Transmission Genetics
  • BI435, Molecular Genetics
  • BI436, Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Gene Evolution
  • BI438*, Microbiology
  • BI440, Molecular Virology
  • BI446, Ecosystem Ecology
  • BI442, Comparative Biomechanics
  • BI460, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • BI490, Internship in Biological Sciences
  • BI499, Honors Thesis

* Indicates organism-based courses, one of which must be taken as an elective for credit toward major.

Requirements for the Minor

The minor consists of 21 credit hours. Students must complete the three fundamentals courses (BI210, BI220, and BI230) and two BI elective courses with lab at the 300 level or above (excluding BI325).

NOTE: The information found on this website with respect to major/minor/program requirements is primarily directed at providing prospective students a general roadmap of the curriculum. Current Butler students are expected to review their degree audit report at and speak with their advisor regularly for detailed information regarding their specific degree requirements and their progress toward degree completion.