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Department of Biology

The Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Minor in Biology, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Immunology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Biology is designed to prepare students for professional careers in the biological sciences, medical and health service fields, research, industry, and education. The program of study is structured around a comprehensive core curriculum that includes genetics, physiology, cell biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mathematics. At the upper-division level, students wanting to specialize can choose one of four area concentrations: Cell and Molecular Biology, Integrative Biology, Neurobiology, or Plant Biology.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology is designed to prepare students for professional careers in the medical and health service fields, research, industry, education and as specialists in industrial quality testing and control, and as regulatory workers in government agencies and public health laboratories. The program of study is structured around a comprehensive core curriculum that is similar to the Biology degree but upper-division level coursework is designed to achieve a deeper education in several specialized areas of microbiology.

The UTSA Department of Biology offers two accelerated degree programs in conjunction with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). The DEAP program allows students to earn both the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from UTSA and their Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree at the UTHSCSA Dental School within a seven year period. For eligibility requirements and application visit the DEAP web site. The FAME program allows students to earn both the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from UTSA and their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree at the UTHSCSA Medical School within a seven year period. For eligibility requirements and application visit the FAME Web site.

Admission Policy for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and the Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Immunology

The goal of the Department of Biology is to provide undergraduate students a program of study with the highest possible standards. To achieve this goal, the admission policy of the Department of Biology is designed to identify those students most likely to succeed in their undergraduate biology education. All applicants for admission to the Department of Biology will be admitted to the Department as prebiology (PBI) students. In order to declare either a major in Biology or a major in Microbiology and Immunology, a student’s academic performance will be evaluated after the five courses listed below have been completed. To declare either major, a PBI student must have:

  • a grade point average of at least 2.0 for all UTSA coursework
  • a grade point average of at least 2.25 for all UTSA Department of Biology coursework
  • successfully satisfied all three sections (mathematics, reading, and writing) of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
  • successfully completed the following or equivalent courses with a grade of “C-” or better:

    BIO  1404  Biosciences I
    BIO  1413  Biosciences II
    CHE  1103  General Chemistry I
    MAT  1193  Calculus for the Biosciences
    PHY  1943  Physics for Scientists and Engineers I or PHY 1603 Algebra-based Physics I

Applicants who have completed all the above courses as equivalent transferable college credit with a grade of “C-” or better and have no UTSA coursework can declare either a Biology major or a Microbiology and Immunology major if they:

  • meet all UTSA undergraduate admission requirements
  • have a cumulative grade point average of 2.25 or better for all college-level courses completed
  • have successfully satisfied all three sections (mathematics, reading, and writing) of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).

PBI students are restricted from registering for upper-division (3000- and 4000-level) Biology courses without the consent of an undergraduate academic advisor. A student who does not meet all the above requirements after completing 60 hours of UTSA credit will no longer be considered a PBI student and their major will be changed from PBI to undeclared (UND) in the University student record system. The student must choose a major other than the Biology major or the Microbiology and Immunology major. A Biology minor is, however, available to all UTSA students who seek to complement a different academic major with a strong foundation in biology. Students can be reinstated as a Biology major or a Microbiology and Immunology major, but only after successfully completing all the PBI requirements, and upon approval of the Biology Department.

Academic Standing Policy for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and the Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Immunology


All B.S. Majors in Biology or Microbiology and Immunology must maintain:

  • a minimum overall UTSA grade point average of 2.0.
  • a minimum overall grade point average of 2.25 in all Department of Biology courses.

Students who do not meet these requirements are placed on Department of Biology academic probation. Students on Depart­ment of Biology academic probation must achieve the minimum required grade point averages by the end of the next enrolled long semester at UTSA (Fall or Spring) that follows the semester in which the student falls below the required grade point averages. Students who do not meet the minimum requirements by the end of the next subsequent-enrolled long semester will be dismissed from the B.S. degree in Biology or the B.S. degree in Microbiology and Immunology and classified as undeclared (UND) in the University student record system. The student must choose a major other than Biology or Microbiology and Immunology. A biology minor is, however, available to all UTSA ­students who seek to complement a different academic major with a strong foundation in biology. Dismissed students may appeal one time for reinstatement to either B.S. degree program: such appeals will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances. The deadline for appeal is no later than four weeks into the semester immediately following dismissal. See Life and Health Sciences Advising for required forms. All Biology majors and Microbiology and Immunology majors must have the required minimum grade point averages in order to receive the Bachelor of Science degree.

Degrees and Minors



Course Descriptions