Biology Major Requirements (B.A.)

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

The B.A. degree in biology is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in modern biology, with special emphasis on the molecular aspects of the discipline.

All courses required for the biology major must be taken for a letter grade (not S/U) and be passed with a grade of C- or better with one exception. The department will accept one passing grade below C- in the senior year provided that the average for all formal lecture and laboratory courses is at least 2.0. 

AS.110.106Calculus I (Biology and Social Sciences)4
or AS.110.108 Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
AS.110.107Calculus II (For Biological and Social Science)4
or AS.110.109 Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)
or AS.110.113 Honors Single Variable Calculus
AS.171.101General Physics: Physical Science Major I4
or AS.171.103 General Physics I for Biological Science Majors
or AS.171.107 General Physics for Physical Sciences Majors (AL)
AS.171.102General Physics: Physical Science Major II4
or AS.171.104 General Physics/Biology Majors II
or AS.171.108 General Physics for Physical Science Majors (AL)
AS.173.111General Physics Laboratory I1
AS.173.112General Physics Laboratory II1
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II
or AS.030.103 Applied Chemical Equilibrium and Reactivity w/lab
AS.030.205Introductory Organic Chemistry I4
AS.030.206Organic Chemistry II4
or AS.030.212 Honors Organic Chemistry II with Applications in Biochemistry and Medicine
AS.030.225Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
or AS.030.227 Chemical Chirality: An Introduction in Organic Chem. Lab, Techniques
AS.020.151General Biology I3
AS.020.152General Biology II3
AS.020.340Developmental Genetics Lab2
AS.020.304Molecular Biology3
AS.020.306Cell Biology4
AS.020.316Cell Biology Lab1
AS.020.315Biochemistry Project lab2-3
or AS.250.253 Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab
or AS.250.254 Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
AS.020.363Developmental Biology3
At least three courses totaling at least seven credits (see POS-Tag BIOL-UL in the Schedule of Classes) from the courses approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. At least one course must be taught by the Biology Department ( and be a 2 or 3 credit course.8
Total Credits73-74

Sample Program of Study

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
 12 12
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.030.225 or 2273AS.020.3402
 7 9
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.020.315 or AS.250 2531AS.020.3161
AS.171.103 or 1014AS.171.104 or 1024
AS.020.3043Upper Level Biology Elective2-3
 13 12-13
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Upper Level Biology Elective2-3AS.020.3633
 Upper Level Biology Elective2-3
 2-3 5-6
Total Credits 72-75

Honors in Biology

Students completing the B.A. in Biology are eligible to receive their degree with honors. 

The B.A. in biology with honors requires, in addition to the regular requirements for the B.A. in biology, a 3.5 GPA for natural sciences and quantitative studies courses, two semesters of research, a presentation of a poster describing the independent research, and a recommendation from the research sponsor.

The research requirement must be completed under the direction of a faculty member in a department associated with the Johns Hopkins University or the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. If the student’s research director for independent research is not a member of the Department of Biology, a Biology faculty member must serve as a sponsor and approve the recommendation from the research director.