General Questions

General Questions

1. What is the difference between the Pre-Biology and the Biology major?

PRE-BIOLOGY majors are students in the process of completing the introductory sequences of Biology and Chemistry and preparing to take upper-level Biology courses.
BIOLOGY majors have requested a change of major and have been approved by the department.

2. What are the requirements to declare a Biology major?

Entering freshmen are eligible to declare a major in Biology after completion of BIOL 2120, BIOL 2120L, CHEM 1251, and CHEM 1251L. Entering transfer students are eligible to declare a major in Biology if they have received transfer credit for BIOL 2120 and BIOL 2120L or BIOL 2130 and BIOL 2130L and CHEM 1251 and CHEM 1251L. Continuing students who have earned credit at UNC Charlotte are eligible to declare a major in Biology if: (1) they have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 and (2) have completed BIOL 2120, BIOL 2120L, CHEM 1251, and CHEM 1251L with a Biology GPA of at least 2.0.

3. When can I see a Department of Biological Sciences faculty advisor?

You will be assigned a biology faculty advisor once you have been approved as a Biology major. You will need to submit an online change of major form to change your major to Biology.

4. How can I take a course at another university or college and have the credit transferred here?

To ensure that courses that you take at another institution will be accepted as equivalent you need to complete a permit for transient study. If you are a biology major, the form must be submitted to the Biological Sciences Department before taking the course. College of Science policy information that we adhere to is available here. You can check current equivalency information with the Undergraduate Admission Transfer Credit Advisor.

Biology Degree Requirements and Classes

1. What is the difference between a B.S. and a B.A. in Biology?

The B.A. degree requires 32 hours of Biology courses including 3 labs at the 3000/4000 level. The B.S. degree requires 44 hours of Biology courses including 4 labs at the 3000/4000 level. The B.S. degree also requires an additional math course and additional Physics and Chemistry courses. Please see the detailed requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Do all Biology classes count towards a B.A. or B.S. in Biology?

No. All classes at the 1000 level are designated as non-majors courses. Additionally, BIOL 2259, 2259 lab, 2273, and 2273 lab will not count towards the major in Biology. Please see the detailed course descriptions in the University catalog.

3. Which Biology classes count as electives?

Most courses at the 3000 level or above that are not core courses (3111, 3144, 3166, or 3273) are considered Biology electives. Please note that certain electives have specific prerequisites. See the Undergraduate Catalog for more details.

4. How many Biology labs do I have to take?

All Biology majors must complete BIOL 2120 lab, BIOL 2130 lab, and BIOL 3111 lab. If you are a B.A. major, you need 2 additional labs at the 3000/4000 level. If you are a B.S. major, you need 4 additional labs at the 3000/4000 level. Chemistry and Physics labs do not count towards your Biology lab requirements.

5. Can I take CHEM 2130 instead of CHEM 2131?

You may take CHEM 2130 for credit only if you are a B.A. major. Note that CHEM 2130 has not been offered for many years.

6. I heard that certain classes can count as lab credit. Is this true?

Yes, certain classes count as lab credit. For example, BIOL 3900 may count for up to two labs depending on how many hours completed. Completion of the honors sequence (BIOL 4700 and 4701) may also substitute for two lab credits. Students can receive a maximum of two lab course credits for any combination of BIOL 3900, 4700 or 4701. Field courses offered in the pre-session may also satisfy a lab requirement. In addition some 4 credit hour courses (i.e. BIOL 4293) may also satisfy a lab requirement.

Graduation and GPA Requirements

1. How many hours do I need in order to graduate?

Even if you have completed all of your Biology requirements and General Education requirements, you must have a total of 120 hours to graduate.

2. What GPA is required to graduate?

You must have an overall GPA of 2.0 AND a Biology GPA (this is your GPA in all of your major’s level Biology courses) of at least 2.0 to graduate. Even if you have enough earned hours to graduate, you will not be eligible with a GPA below 2.0.

3. What is my Biology GPA?

DegreeWorks displays your current overall GPA as well as your Biology GPA. Alternatively, you can calculate your Biology GPA on your own at the UNC Charlotte GPA calculator online. You must include every Biology class you have taken. If you have repeated a course, you must include both grades in the calculation. If you elected to utilize the grade replacement policy for a course, the lower of the 2 grades will not be included in the GPA calculation.

4. How do I find out if I have enough credits/all classes required to graduate?

DegreeWorks shows a current degree audit including a degree completion percentage, completion of General Education requirements, and completion of declared degrees and minors. Any open red boxes on the left indicate requirements that have not yet been met. If you have any questions about its accuracy, you should contact your Biology academic advisor.

5. How many times can I take a class?

Regarding Biology 2120 and 2130, the catalog-stated policy is as follows: After twice receiving a grade below C in any of the following courses: BIOL 2120, 2120L, 2130, 2130L, a student cannot enroll in the course again.

All other Biology courses can be taken a maximum of three times.

6. What if my biology GPA falls below 2.0 for more than one semester?

The Department of Biological Sciences has a policy on cumulative GPA that reads: A student who has two successive semesters with a cumulative GPA in Biology of less than 2.0 is ineligible for continuation in bachelors’ degree programs in Biology. This means that you must select another major.

7. Do I have to make a C or better in all biology classes?

You must make a C or better in any biology class that is a prerequisite for another class. For example, you must make a C or better in BIOL 2120, 2130, and 3111.

8. What if I make a D in a course that is not a prerequisite for another course (BIOL 3144 for example)?

While this is not ideal, a D is considered passing. If you are not taking another class that requires the class you made a D in as a prerequisite, you do not have to take the class again. However, you still must maintain at least a 2.0 overall and Biology GPA. If you made below a C in a class that is a prerequisite for another Biology class, you will have to retake the class.

9. What if I made a D in a chemistry class?

If you are pursuing the B.A. degree, you must earn a C or better in both CHEM 1251 (and 1251L) and CHEM 1252 (and 1252L) as they are prerequisites for many BIOL courses you will need to take. If you are pursuing the B.S. degree, you can earn a D in CHEM 2132 (and 2132L). You will need to earn a C or better in CHEM 1251 (and 1251L), CHEM 1252 (and 1252L), and CHEM 2131 (2131L).

10. What is the grade replacement policy?

Effective Fall 2021, UNC Charlotte has implemented a new grade replacement policy. Undergraduate students may replace up to two (2) courses (maximum of 8 hours) for grade replacement. Both grades will be reflected on the transcript. However, the higher of the two grades will be used in calculation of the GPA. Grade replacement will automatically be applied for the first two courses (maximum of 8 credit hours) repeated where the previous grade earned was a C or below. A repeated course may not be selected retroactively to use this grade replacement policy. You have until the withdrawal deadline for the term or session to “opt-out” of using grade replacement or apply grade replacement to a different course being repeated during the same term.

11. What is the withdrawal policy?

Effective Fall 2014, UNC Charlotte has a new withdrawal policy that allows a total of 16 hours of withdrawal over a student’s entire academic career.

Registration for Classes and Restricted Courses

1. Where do I find important dates for registration, drop-add, etc.?

Visit the Office of the Registrar’s website

2. Can I bypass prerequisites for a course?

No. You must have the required prerequisites for a course. Even if Banner allows you to register, the department will have you removed from the class if you do not have the proper prerequisites.

3. How do I get a permit for a class?

In order to get a permit for a restricted class, you must email the instructor of the class. Please note that if a class is closed, you should use the waitlist feature in Banner (if available) as instructors cannot add additional students to a closed class.

4. How and when do I sign up for senior seminar?

Senior Seminar (BIOL 4600) is no longer a required course for the Biology major but it can be taken as an elective course. This course is restricted to Biology majors. You can sign up for Senior Seminar as a senior, defined as 90+ earned credit hours. You must have completed all core classes (3111, 3144, 3166, and 3273) before you sign up for senior seminar.

5. How do I sign up for tutorial (3800) or undergrad research (3900)?

These are both restricted courses. You should identify a Faculty member that is willing to mentor your research efforts; read about his/her research program and his/her publications and then talk with faculty or members of their laboratory groups to solidify your interests. If the faculty member is agreeable, you will need to complete an agreement for individualized instruction before a permit for registration is provided. Please note that you must have a Biology GPA above 3.0 to be eligible for these classes.

6. How do I sign up for honors research?

Honors research is by invitation only. You must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 and a minimum Biology GPA of 3.4 to participate. If you are eligible, you will receive an invitation during your junior year. If you did not receive an invitaion and feel that you qualify, you may contact Dr. Didier Dreau. You will need to complete an agreement for individualized instruction.