Course Requirements

Requirements for completing the Biology major are formally stated in the Villanova University Catalog - Undergraduate Studies and summarized in the Enchiridion. Completion involves three components—Biology courses, other sciences, and College Core requirements—that must total at least 136 earned credit hours. Current requirements are as follows:

Required Biology Courses

  • At least 37 total credits (beginning with class of 2021) in Biology or in approved related subjects (e.g., Biochemistry)
  • Two semesters of General Biology with laboratory ( BIO 2105 , BIO 2106 )
  • One semester of Genetics ( BIO 3351)
  • Capstone course (Biology 5300- 3 credits; taken either Fall or Spring of senior year) or Senior seminar (Biology 5100- 1 credit; taken Spring of senior year as part of senior thesis). Capstones emphasize higher-order learning and student presentations, with Bio 5100 focusing on preparation for an oral presentation of thesis research. 
  • Biology Laboratory & Distribution Requirement: Five biology laboratories at the 3000 level or above, including at least one course with laboratory from each of the following subdisciplinary categories:
Cell & Molecular
Ecology & Population

BIO 3595

BIO 3055

BIO 3015

BIO 4105

BIO 3155

BIO 3255

BIO 4205

BIO 3405

BIO 3485

BIO 4285

BIO 3455

BIO 4305

BIO 4355

BIO 3505

BIO 4451 */ BIO 4452

BIO 4505

BIO 3525

Graduate Level

BIO 4605

BIO 3555

BIO 7105

Graduate Level

BIO 3651 / BIO 3652

BIO 7151 */ BIO 7152

BIO 7321 */ BIO 7322

BIO 3755

BIO 7705

BIO 7905

BIO 3801 / BIO 3802

BIO 7555

BIO 7960

BIO 3905

BIO 7755

BIO 8101

BIO 3955

BIO 7955

BIO 8151

BIO 4251 */ BIO 4252

BIO 8455 *

BIO 8171

Graduate Level


BIO 8295

BIO 7205


BIO 8555

BIO 7905


BIO 8705

BIO 7921 *


BIO 8251


BIO 8252


BIO 8601


BIO 8602


Note that most Biology majors will need to take 3-4 additional Biology credits in addition to the specific course requirements listed above to reach the total of 37 credits. The remaining 3-4 credits, which should be considered as Biology electives, do not necessarily have to include laboratory.

Other Required Science Courses

Miscellaneous Requirements

Other Science Requirements

Two semesters of inorganic chemistry (CHM 1151/CHM 1152) with laboratory (CHM 1103/CHM 1104)

Two semesters of organic chemistry (CHM 2211/CHM 2212) with laboratory (CHM 2201/CHM 2202).

Two semesters of mathematics, including at least one semester of calculus (MAT 1312 or MAT 1500) and one of the following: MAT 1313:Statistics for Life Sciences, MAT 1314:Modeling for Life Sciences, MAT 1505:Calculus II or MAT 4310:Stat Methods.

Two semesters of physics (PHY 1100 /PHY 1102) with laboratory ( PHY 1101/PHY 1103).

Total Number of Credits for Graduation

Biology majors must accumulate a total of at least 136 earned credit hours of course work (major requirements + Core Curriculum requirements + electives), including any approved advanced placement or transfer credits. Students must also take at least two Biology courses, numbered 3000 or higher, designated as writing enriched. (Students do not earn credit toward the total required for graduation for courses that they fail.) Students must earn an overall GPA of 2.0 to graduate; in addition, Biology majors must maintain a "technical GPA" (i.e., a grade-point average in science and mathematics courses) of ≥ 2.0.

* For undergraduate Biology majors: courses indicated with asterisks (lecture-only courses) cannot be used by themselves to fulfill the distribution requirement in any of the three subdisciplinary areas.