Biology is a diverse discipline, ranging from the molecular biology and biochemistry of individual cells to the functioning of organisms and entire ecosystems. The Biology major at Cleveland State University provides education in the fundamentals of all the major areas of modern Biology and training in current laboratory skills, while at the same time allowing students some freedom to tailor an individual plan of study.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
A BS in Biology will prepare you for a variety of jobs as well as the ability to move on to a variety of MS, PhD and professional programs including but not limited to: MD, DDS, DVM and PA. With a PhD in Biology, your career opportunities include: College or University faculty (with or without a research program); Director of research in government labs, hospitals, research centers, industrial labs, and zoos; Program officers for the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation; Museum Curator; Science writer; Product manager for pharmaceutical and lab supply companies; Medical Communications Specialist; Medical Science Liaison. With a MS in Biology, your career opportunities include: Research associates in university research labs, government research labs, hospitals, research centers, industrial labs and zoos; Science writer; Medical Communications Specialist; Medical Science Liaison; Technical sales and service representatives; High school teachers of biology/science (licensure required). With a BS in Biology, your career opportunities include: Entry-level technicians in university research labs, government research labs, hospitals, research centers, industrial labs and zoos; Museum coordinator; Science writer; Technical sales and service representatives; High school teacher of science (licensure required).
What skills are developed within this major?
Skills developed within this major include but are not limited to: a working knowledge of chemistry, physics, and math and in-depth knowledge of the biological world around you, critical thinking and analysis, experimental design, communication, time management, and problem-solving.
Honors program, Pre-Professional program (medicine, dentistry, veterinary science), B.S. Biology - Medical Laboratory Science 3+1 program, 4+1 B.S./M.S. , Secondary Teacher Licensure program.
Suggested Freshman Program
To minimize the time needed to complete the major-field requirements, academically proficient students are advised to complete the Introductory Biology (BIO 200 /BIO 201 and BIO 202 /BIO 203 ) and the General Chemistry (CHM 261 /CHM 266 and CHM 262 /CHM 267 ) sequences in their first year.
Hours Required for Degree
Minimum number of hours for the degree: 120
Minimum hours required for major: 71
Minimum hours required for minor: 16
See college page for college requirements.
Required Grade-Point Average
To qualify for graduation, all Biology majors must have a cumulative GPA of not less than 2.00 across all CSU biology courses used to fulfill the major-field requirements. This is in addition to the university requirement of a cumulative GPA of not less than 2.00. Check the University Regulations section of this catalog to determine how a GPA is calculated.
Requirements of the College of Sciences and Health Professions
A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for a degree, of which 42 semester credit hours must be earned in 300- and/or 400-level courses.
Bachelor of Science (General Requirements)
Biology Core Courses (26 credit hours)
GROUP A - Two of the following three courses with labs*
GROUP B - Two of the following three courses with labs*
Biology Electives (19 credit hours)
*BIO courses numbered 300 to 311 not used as Group A or Group B can be used as biology electives.
Both BIO 390 and BIO 391 may be used once as a biology elective course.
Select from all biology courses numbered 401 to 497, with two restrictions
- A maximum of 8 credits of BIO 391 , BIO 451 , BIO 491 , BIO 492 , BIO 496 , and BIO 497 may be used as biology electives. A maximum of 12 credits of and may be used as biology electives.
- BIO 495 does not count as an elective the first time taken.
A maximum of nine credits from the following list of courses may be used as Biology electives.
Chemistry Courses (12-13 credit hours)
Math / Quantitative Literacy Requirement (6-8 credit hours)
Students must complete one of the sequences listed below
Statistics / Calculus Sequence
Physics Courses (8-10 credit hours)
Specific Tracks in the Bachelor of Science Program
The curriculum for the Biology major provides students with the knowledge to take the aptitude tests required for admission by most professional schools. A suggested program of study for premedical students might consist of the following courses:
All the specified courses (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics) for the B.S. in Biology, including BIO 306 /BIO 307 and BIO 308 /BIO 309 .
Suggested Biology Electives
Additional course required by medical schools
Suggested Additional Courses:
- Economics - one course
- Psychology - one course
The COSHP pre-professional adviser coordinates a seminar program for all students at which representatives from professional schools (medical, dental, veterinary, etc.) discuss their program’s admission requirements and procedures. Contact the COSHP pre-professional adviser at 216-687-9321 for an advising appointment and check the Pre-Professional Programs website (http://www.csuohio.edu/sciences/preprof/pre-professional-health-programs) for the seminar schedule.
A Post-baccalaureate Program is available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree who lack the minimal science requirements for graduate or professional schools. Pre-professional applicants should contact the COSHP advising center at 216-687-9321; applicants interested in graduate study in one of the BGES programs should contact the BGES graduate program director at 216-687-2440.
B.S. Biology - Medical Laboratory Science (3+1)
The Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences concentration in Medical Laboratory Science involves three years of study at CSU followed by one year (32 credits, July through June) of full-time clinical laboratory training at the Cleveland Clinic School of Medical Laboratory Science (CC-MLS). During the clinical year, students will register for classes at CSU, allowing them to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.
Medical Laboratory Sciences 3+1 students must apply for admission into the clinical training program during Fall semester of their junior year. Successful completion of the program leads to a B.S. degree with a major in Biology from CSU and eligibility to take the national certifying examination of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
Students interested in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program may contact the undergraduate advisor for biology at 216-687-2440 or email@example.com.
Medical Laboratory Science is a focused discipline employing and designing a wide variety of laboratory tests on body fluids and tissues in order to determine the presence or absence of disease, monitor a patient’s response to therapy and/or aid in the prevention of illness and maintenance of health. The Biology - Medical Laboratory Science major at Cleveland State University provides education in the fundamentals of modern biology and training in current laboratory skills focused on human health and disease.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
A BS in Biology - Medical Laboratory Science will prepare you for a variety of jobs as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in: hospital laboratories, commercial reference laboratories, private laboratories, public health laboratories, clinics, research centers, industrial sales, and public relations. Additionally, a BS in Biology-Medical Laboratory Science will prepare you to move on to a variety of MS and PhD programs.
What skills are developed within this major?
Skills developed within this major include but are not limited to: in-depth knowledge of biology focused on biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and immunology as well as a working knowledge of chemistry and math, critical thinking and analysis, experimental design, communication, time management, and problem-solving.
Biology Courses (27 credit hours)
Recommended Biology Electives
When choosing electives, the courses below are strongly recommended to increase the chances of admission to the competitive clinical year:
Mathematics and Physical Science Courses (18-19 credit hours)
General and Organic Chemistry
One Statistics I and one Statistics II course
Required Clinical Year
Students must apply to the CC School of Medical Laboratory Science clinical training program during fall semester of their third year. Students accepted into the program will register for two full time, consecutive sessions of clinical coursework that run from July to June of the following year. During these two sessions, students will complete the following coursework:
The Medical Laboratory Sciences track is highly competitive and admission is NOT guaranteed. Only a few CSU students are accepted into the CC School of Medical Laboratory Sciences clinical training program each year. It is highly recommended that students considering this track regularly discuss their academic plans and progress with their biology advisor. Students successfully completing the clinical year at CC will be eligible to take the national certifying examination of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Students who are not accepted into the CC-MLS clinical training program can still complete a standard BS in Biology at CSU during their fourth year and apply to Medical Laboratory Science programs for clinical training after receiving their degree.
The CC-MLS clinical training program is directed by:
Susan Harrington, PhD, D(ABMM), MLS (ASCP)CM
Barbara Zingale, MSIT, MLS(ASCP)CM
Biology with Secondary Teacher Licensure
The CSUteach Program offers an integrated science license. This licensure programs require coursework from the College of Sciences and Health Professions and the College of Education and Human Services. Contact the CSUteach Program for education courses required for undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Teacher Licensure programs (216-687-4625, JH 170).
See also Education, Adolescent and Young Adult with Licensure, Grades 7-12 .
BS in Biology, Integrated Science Licensure, Grades 7-12
Biology Courses (36 credit hours)
Environmental Science Courses (10 credit hours)
Chemistry Courses (15 credit hours)
Mathematics Courses (7 credit hours)
Physics Courses (13 credit hours)
Students will also need to complete additional CSUteach education courses. Please see the College of Education, CSUteach program catalog for details.
Biology majors with junior or senior standing, with grade-point averages of at least 3.0 overall and at least 3.2 in courses required for the Biology major are encouraged to apply to the departmental honors program. This program requires a minimum of three credits of honors research (BIO 491 ), presentation of the work at a venue outside the department, and a successful oral defense of a written thesis (BIO 492 ). A maximum of 8 credits of BIO 391 , BIO 451 , BIO 491 , BIO 492 , BIO 496 , and BIO 497 may be applied to the elective credits required for the BS in Biology.
Honors students will undertake research in a supervising faculty member’s laboratory on a project approved by the faculty member and by the Honors Program Committee. The research must be spread across at least two semesters. A written report on the research project must be defended before a three-person faculty review committee. To remain in the program the student must sustain the grade-point averages required for admission to the program, as well as the approval of the faculty member supervising the student’s honors research.
Students in the University Honors Program must complete independent research in a faculty member’s laboratory, must present this work at a venue outside the department and must complete a successful oral defense of a written thesis. Student must register for a minimum of 5 credit hours of Honors Research (BIO 491 ) and must enroll in BIO 492 - Honors Thesis & Defense . A maximum of 8 credits of BIO 391 , BIO 451 , BIO 491 , BIO 492 , BIO 496 , and BIO 497 may be applied to the elective credits required for the BS in Biology.
Honors students will undertake research in a supervising faculty member’s laboratory on a project approved by the faculty member and by the Honors Program Committee. The research must be spread across at least two semesters. A written report on the research project must be defended before a three-person faculty review committee. To remain in the program the student must sustain the academic requirements of the University Honors Program.
University scholars, who are Biology majors, are required to perform 8 credits of specialized coursework within the upper division electives required for their degree. Scholars who qualify for the departmental honors program and obtain a faculty mentor may satisfy this requirement by completing the Departmental Biology Honors Program. Alternately, they fulfill this requirement by taking at least 8 credits of any combination of the following:
- BIO 496 - Independent Study In Biology
- BIO 497 - Independent Research in Biology
- 300- or 400-level BIO or courses taken as a “contract” course. Scholars students must make arrangements with a faculty member during the semester prior to registration to use a course as a contract course. The relevant forms and paperwork are processed by the University Honors Program.
- Graduate level (500) Biology Courses