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Major in biology

Bachelor’s degree in Biology

B.S. in Biology Program Overview

The versatility of this program makes it ideal for those who wish to pursue a career in the life sciences, environmental science or health care. With a major in biology, you can confidently pave the way to a successful future.


Biological, Physical, and Human Sciences

Department chair name:

Brian Butterfield
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Paul Fader

Learning at FHU


The Bachelor of Science in Biology has been specifically designed to cater to pre-professional majors, including pre-med, pre-dental, pre-optometry, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy and medical technology. It is also an excellent choice for students who intend to continue their education with an advanced degree at the graduate level or have a keen interest in environmental opportunities.

Student conducting science experiment

Program Highlights:

  • High-quality and comprehensive education
  • Catered to pre-professional majors
  • Experienced professors and faculty
  • Unparalleled research opportunities
  • Opportunities for academic involvement
  • Guidance and support for your professional journey
chemistry lab with beakers

Careers for Biology Majors

The B.S. in Biology program is an excellent option for pre-professional majors pursuing medicine, dentistry, physical therapy and more. Additionally, biology majors can pursue graduate studies or work with environmental scientists in opportunities such as park management and water testing. For aspiring educators, the program also offers a path toward a career in biology education.

  • Healthcare
  • Research & Development
  • Environmental Opportunities
  • Education
  • Quality Assurance/Food Safety
  • Government Agencies
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Marine Biology

Biology Degree Requirements

A Bachelor’s Degree in Biology is a challenging and rewarding path for students interested in the scientific world. To earn this degree, students must complete the following prerequisite course and requirements:

I. Liberal Arts Core Requirements - 35 hours

Listed in this catalog under Academics: Liberal Arts Core

Limit II. C. Basic skills to any MAT course that fulfills the liberal arts core requirement except MAT 100 Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics

Limit III. B. Natural Sciences to CHE 121 General Chemistry I with CHE 121L General Chemistry I Lab

II. Major Requirements - 23 hours
BIO 111 General Biology I 4
BIO 112 General Biology II 4
BIO 205 Cell Biology 3
BIO 321 Ecology (W) 3
BIO 333 Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics OR 3
BIO 335 Genetics 3
BIO 444 Biological Concepts of Origins (W) 3
BPH 100 Special Topics in Science 0.5
BPH 200 Special Topics in Science 0.5
III. Additional Requirements (Choose one emphasis below) - 18-22 hours

A. Biology – General (18-19 hours)
(Recommended for those seeking Teacher Licensure or admission to Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy School.)

BIO Biology (upper-division Botany) 4
BIO Biology (upper-division Zoology)* 3 (4)
BIO Electives 5
BPH 300 Special Topics in Science 1
BPH 400 Science Seminar (W) 1
CHE 122 General Chemistry II 3
CHE 122L General Chemistry II Lab 1

B. Biology – Professional (21-22 hours)
(Recommended for those seeking admission to medical school.)

BIO Biology (upper-division Botany) 4
BIO Biology (upper-division Zoology)* 3 (4)
BIO Electives 12
BPH 300 Special Topics in Science 1
BPH 400 Science Seminar (W) 1

C. Environmental Science

BIO 323 Plant Taxonomy 4
BIO 345 Wildlife Ecology (W) 4
BPH 300 Special Topics in Science 1
BPH 400 Science Seminar (W) 1
MAT 235 Introductory Statistics 3

Plus eight (8) hours chosen from the following courses:

BIO 105 Principles of Conservation Biology (3)
BIO 215 Microbiology (4)
BIO 299B/399B Biology of Freshwater Game Fishes (3)
BIO 299G/399G Field Research (3)
BIO 299I/399I Environmental Pollution (3)
BIO 311 Entomology (4)
BIO 331 Vertebrate Zoology (4)
BIO 355 Natural Resource Conservation (W) (4)
BIO 416 Herpetology (W) (4)
BIO 417 Animal Behavior (W) (4)
BIO 498 Research (W) (1-3)
IV. Required Chemistry minor for Professional and Environmental Science Emphasis - 16 hours
CHE 122 General Chemistry II 3
CHE 122L   General Chemistry II Lab 1
CHE 321 Organic Chemistry I (W) 4
CHE 322 Organic Chemistry II (W) 4
CHE 331 Biochemistry I (W) (Professional Emphasis) OR 4
CHE 356 Aquatic Chemistry (W) (Environmental Emphasis) (4)
V. Electives (including additional Bible) - 34-54 hours

A foreign language, mathematics (including MAT 235 Introductory Statistics), and physics are strongly recommended.

A foreign language, mathematics (including MAT 235 Introductory Statistics), and physics are strongly recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Biology Degree Program


Below are answers to questions prospective students often have when considering a major in Biology. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact admissions@fhu.edu and they will happily answer questions and provide additional details about our program

What can majors in Biology expect from FHU?

Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) is a private Christian institution that offers an exceptional educational experience to its students. FHU provides a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum for those majoring in Biology to prepare them for various career paths and graduate studies. Here are some aspects that Biology majors can expect from FHU:

  1. Solid Academic Foundation: FHU’s Biology program emphasizes a strong foundation in the biological sciences, including coursework in cellular and molecular biology, ecology, genetics, and physiology. This ensures that students gain a deep understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles in the field.
  2. Faculty Expertise: The biology faculty at FHU hold advanced degrees and have extensive research and teaching experience. They are dedicated to providing personalized attention and mentorship to their students, ensuring they receive a high-quality education and are well-prepared for their chosen careers.
  3. Research Opportunities: FHU encourages undergraduate research, with many Biology majors participating in faculty-led research projects or pursuing independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. These opportunities allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world problems, develop critical thinking skills and gain valuable experience that can benefit graduate school or future employment.
  4. Hands-on Learning: The Biology program at FHU includes numerous laboratory courses where students will gain hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. This practical learning approach helps students develop essential skills and confidence in their abilities as scientists.
  5. Christian Environment: FHU integrates Christian principles and perspectives into the Biology curriculum as a faith-based institution. This unique approach allows students to explore the relationship between science and faith, fostering a deeper understanding of the ethical implications of scientific advancements.
  6. Career Preparation: FHU’s Biology program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in the life sciences, including research, healthcare, education, and environmental management. Additionally, the program provides a strong foundation for those planning to pursue graduate studies in biology, medicine, dentistry or other related fields.
  7. Community Involvement: Biology students at FHU have opportunities to engage with the local community through service projects and outreach initiatives. This involvement helps students develop valuable leadership skills while positively impacting the world around them.

Freed-Hardeman University offers Biology majors a comprehensive education that combines rigorous academics, hands-on learning, research opportunities, and a Christian environment. FHU’s Biology program graduates can expect to be well-prepared for successful careers in the life sciences or further education in graduate or professional programs.

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Science in Biology and the Bachelor of Arts in Biology degree programs?

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology degrees are two undergraduate degree programs that provide students with a foundation in biological sciences. While both degrees share some commonalities, there are essential differences between the two programs in terms of focus, curriculum and career opportunities.


The B.S. in Biology is designed for students who want to pursue a career or graduate studies in the biological sciences, such as research, healthcare, or environmental management. This degree program strongly emphasizes scientific knowledge, quantitative skills and laboratory experience.

In contrast, the B.A. in Biology offers a broader, more flexible education combining a solid biology foundation with humanities and social sciences coursework. This degree program is ideal for students who wish to explore the intersections between biology and other disciplines or pursue careers in science, communication, policy or education.


Both the B.S. and B.A. in Biology programs typically cover fundamental concepts in both cellular biology and molecular biology, genetics, ecology, and physiology. However, the B.S. program generally requires more advanced biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics coursework. This additional coursework gives students a deeper understanding of biological research’s scientific principles and techniques.

The B.A. program, on the other hand, allows students to customize their education by selecting elective courses from a wide range of subjects outside of biology. This interdisciplinary approach enables students to develop a well-rounded knowledge base, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to various professional settings.

Career Opportunities:

The B.S. in Biology program graduates are well-prepared for careers in research, healthcare, biotechnology, and environmental management and for pursuing advanced degrees in biology, medicine, dentistry, or other related fields.

The B.A. in Biology program, with its interdisciplinary focus, prepares students for a broader range of career options, including science education, science writing, public health, policy, and law. Moreover, B.A. graduates can also pursue graduate studies in biology or interdisciplinary programs that combine biology with other fields.

The main differences between the B.S. and B.A. in Biology degree programs lie in their focus, curriculum, and career opportunities. The B.S. program is more specialized and science-intensive, while the B.A. program offers a broader, interdisciplinary education. Students should choose the degree program that best aligns with their interests and career goals.

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Biology at FHU, don’t hesitate to contact admissions@fhu.edu. We look forward to helping you make an informed decision about your future! 

What are the career options for graduates with a major in biology?

Graduates with a biology major have diverse career options, thanks to the broad and interdisciplinary nature of the biological sciences. The skills and knowledge acquired during their studies can be applied in various fields, including research, healthcare, education, environmental management, and more. Here are some popular career options for biology graduates:

  1. Research Scientist: Biology graduates can work as research scientists in academia, government agencies, or private industry. They may conduct genetics, microbiology, ecology, or molecular biology research, contributing to our understanding of life processes and developing new technologies or treatments.
  2. Healthcare Professional: With additional training or education, biology majors can pursue careers in healthcare, such as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, or physician assistants. Their background in biology provides a strong foundation for understanding human health and disease.
  3. Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry: Biology graduates can work in research and development, quality control, or regulatory affairs in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. They may be involved in developing new drugs, medical devices, or diagnostic tools.
  4. Environmental Management and Conservation: Biology majors can apply their knowledge of ecosystems and organisms to environmental management and conservation careers. They may work for government agencies, non-profit organizations, or consulting firms, focusing on habitat restoration, wildlife management, or environmental policy.
  5. Science Education: Biology graduates can become primary, secondary, or post-secondary science educators. With a strong background in biology, they can effectively teach and inspire the next generation of scientists.
  6. Science Communication and Outreach: For those with strong communication skills, careers in science writing, journalism, or public relations can be an excellent fit. Biology graduates can use their expertise to accurately and engagingly convey scientific information to the public.
  7. Government and Policy: Biology majors can work in government agencies or non-governmental organizations, contributing to the development and implementation of policies related to public health, environmental protection, or scientific research.
  8. Forensic Science: With additional training, biology graduates can pursue careers in forensic science, using their knowledge of biological processes to analyze evidence and solve crimes.

These are just a few examples of the many career options available to graduates with a major in biology. The versatility of a biology degree equips students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a wide range of professional settings, allowing them to make a meaningful impact in various fields.

What is a pre-professional major?

A pre-professional major is a specialized undergraduate educational track designed to prepare students to enter specific professional or graduate programs. These majors provide students with the foundational knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to succeed in their chosen fields, such as medicine, dentistry, law, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy.

Pre-professional majors differ from traditional academic majors because they aim to prepare students for further education and training in a specific profession rather than providing a broad-based education in a particular subject or discipline. They typically include general education, core courses related to the industry, and electives that allow students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals.

Some key aspects of pre-professional majors include:

  1. Curriculum: Pre-professional majors feature a curriculum that covers the prerequisite courses required for admission to professional or graduate programs in the respective fields. This ensures that students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the demands of these advanced programs.
  2. Advising and Support: Universities and colleges often provide dedicated advising and support services for students pursuing pre-professional majors. These advisors help students navigate the application process, select appropriate courses, and identify opportunities for internships, research, or volunteering relevant to their chosen professions.
  3. Experiential Learning: Pre-professional majors often emphasize experiential learning, such as internships, clinical rotations, or research projects, which enable students to gain practical experience in their chosen fields. These opportunities help students build essential skills, develop professional networks and enhance resumes.
  4. Preparation for Standardized Tests: Many professional and graduate programs require applicants to take standardized tests, such as the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, or DAT. Pre-professional majors often include resources and guidance to help students prepare for these exams and improve their chances of admission to competitive programs.

It is important to note that pre-professional majors are not the only pathway to professional and graduate programs. Many students successfully enter these programs with traditional academic majors by completing the required prerequisites and gaining relevant experiences alongside their chosen major.

A pre-professional major is an undergraduate educational track that prepares students to enter specific professional or other graduate degree programs. It focuses on providing the foundational knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for success in the chosen profession while offering guidance and support throughout the application process.

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