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General Questions

Biology Degree Requirements and Classes

Graduation and GPA Requirements

Registration for Classes and Restricted Courses


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General Questions

1. What is the difference between the Pre-Biology (PBIO) and the Biology (BIOL) Major?

PBIO Majors are students in the process of completing the introductory sequences of Biology and Chemistry and preparing to take upper-level Biology courses. BIOL Majors are students who have completed all PBIO requirements with a C or better, have both a Biology GPA and an overall GPA of 2.0 or greater, and have been approved to change their major to Biology.

2. What are the PBIO requirements?

PBIO Majors are required to complete BIOL 2120, and CHEM 1251+L  with a C or better and must maintain an overall UNC Charlotte GPA of 2.0 or higher. Transfer students must establish an overall and BIOL GPA of 2.0 or above to declare the major.

3. When can I see a biology faculty advisor?

You will be assigned a biology faculty advisor once you have changed your major to Biology. This can be done after successfully completing the PBIO requirements. You will need to submit a change of major form to change your major from PBIO to BIOL. (Forms can be obtain in the Registrar's Office or the Biology Office.) If you have not yet completed the PBIO requirements, or are still declared a Pre-Biology major, your advisor can be found in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center located in Fretwell 324 (704‑687‑3800).

4. How do I find out who my biology advisor is?

Your advisor is listed on your General Student Record in Banner Self-Service. To access this information:

  1. Log into 49er Express

  2. Click on “Banner Self-Service”

  3. Click on “Student Services/Financial Aid/Student Accounts”

  4. Click on “Student Records”; “General Student Record” is the first link

If you are a Pre-Biology Major you will be advised in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center (Fretwell 324, 704‑687‑3800). If you are a Biology Major, you will have an assigned faculty advisor.

5. How do I make appointments with my advisor?

Please understand that all biology advisors are full time instructors in the department. While some departments have professional advisors (meaning that is all they do), we do not. Therefore it is usually necessary for you to set up an appointment in advance with your advisor. During the registration period, your advisor will disseminate instructions about scheduling an appointment. If it is outside of the normal registration period, you should email your advisor to set up an appointment. (To find your advisor’s email address, click on the "Directory" link from the menu on the left hand side of this page).

6. I have a hold on my account, what do I need to do?

If you have an advising hold, this means you must make an appointment to see your advisor to have the hold removed. See the previous FAQ on how to make an appointment with your advisor. Please remember that your advisor can only remove holds placed on your account by the Biology Department. If you have a hold from another department (a second major or minor), or a hold due to financial reasons we cannot remove those holds.

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 5 labs at the 3000/4000 level. The B.S. degree also requires an additional math course, two semesters of physics with labs (1101 and 1102), and chemistry 2132 and lab.

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

No. Any class at the 1000 level is designated as a non-majors course. Additionally, BIOL 2273, 2274, and 2259 do not count towards the major in biology. If you take Biol 1110, 1110 lab, and 1115 with  and later become a biology major, you can receive 4 hours of biology elective credit.

3. Which biology classes count as electives?

Anything at the 3000 level or above that is not a core course (3111, 3144, 3166, 3273, or 4600) is considered a biology elective. There are many such classes to choose from. 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 the two-credit BIOL 2130L lab. If you are a B.A. major, you need 3 additional labs at the 3000/4000 level. If you are a B.S. major, you need 5 additional labs at the 3000/4000 level. These must be biology labs. 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 count as a single lab credit as well.

7. What if I am applying to a professional school (for example, pharmacy) that requires two semesters of anatomy and physiology?

Students may count Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs (BIOL 2273/2273L & 2274/2274L), eight hours total, as four hours of biology major elective credit towards the B.A. or B.S. degree program if the grades in all four courses are B or better. The resulting GPA will not be included in the calculation of the biology major GPA. (Note: this does not replace or substitute for the physiology requirement (BIOL 3272 or 3273).

8. What are the “options” or "concentrations" in biology?

We offer several options or concentrations in biology. These are a way for students to focus their degree in a specific area. It is neither a separate degree nor a requirement of the Biology program. A list of each option and its requirements is listed on this website.

9. Can I change my major from a B.S. to a B.A. in biology?

Yes. Simply complete a change of major form which can be obtained from the Biology Office or the Registrar's Office and submit it to the Biology Office (Woodward 257). Alternatively, you may use the link (above on this page) to complete the form online.

10. What labs do I have to take?

The labs that all students must take are BIOL 2130 and 3111 labs.

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, you must have a total of 120 hours to graduate.

2. What GPA do I have to have 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?

While Banner displays your overall GPA in your transcript, it does not currently display your Biology GPA. You must calculate this by hand. 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?

Print out a copy of our degree checklist (either B.S. or B.A.) and your CAPP degree audit from Banner. Simply check off the classes you have completed and this will leave you with the remaining courses you need to take. Please do not ask your advisors to do this for you. If you have done this and still have questions, we will be glad to answer them.

5. How many times can I take a class?

Regarding Biology 2120 and 2130, the Departmental Policy is as follows: After twice receiving a grade below C in any of the following courses, BIOL 2120, 2120L, 2130 and 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 prerequisite for another biology class, you will have to retake the class.

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

You must make a C or better in all chemistry classes except for your final organic class. The chemistry department requires a C or better to move on to the next course. If you are pursuing the B.A. degree, you can make a D in CHEM 2130 or 2131 (assuming you have made a C or better in CHEM 1251 and 1252) and still meet the biology requirements because you do not have to take any more chemistry courses. If you are doing the B.S. degree, you can make a D in CHEM 2132 (assuming you made a C or better in 1251, 1252, and 2131).

10. I've heard about a "grade replacement policy". What is that?

Beginning for the fall of 2007, UNC Charlotte has implemented a new grade replacement policy. It reads: “Undergraduate students may replace up to two (2) courses (maximum of 8 hours) for grade replacement. Both grades will be reflected on transcript. However, the higher of the two grades will be used in calculation of the GPA.” This policy may ONLY be applied to courses taken during or after the fall semester of 2007. In order to use this policy, students must file a completed “Grade Replacement Form” with the Registrar’s Office by the last day to drop a course with no record in the semester or summer session in which the course is to be repeated. A repeated course may not be selected retroactively to use this grade replacement policy. Once a student has filed a grade replacement form for a course, that choice cannot be revoked due to withdrawing from the class or from the University. [Medical or special circumstances may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.] The original course grade will be the grade of record for the course and not the W. Any such withdrawal still consumes one of the two course substitutions permitted under this policy.

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 pre-requisites for a course?

No. You must have the required pre-requisites for a course. Even if Banner allows you to register, your instructor can have you removed from the class if you do not have the proper pre-requisites.

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

In order to get a permit for a restricted or closed class, you must see the instructor of the class. They will be able to issue the permit. Please note that if a class is closed, instructors generally cannot add additional students but there may be a wait list available.

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

You should sign up for senior seminar (Biol 4600) as a senior. You must have completed all core classes (2120, 2130, 3111, 3144, 3166, and 3273) before you sign up for seminar.

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

These are both restricted classes. You must identify a professor who you would like to work with and talk with them about the potential for undergraduate research. If they are agreeable, they will ask the Vice Chair for Academic Programs to issue you a permit for the course. 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 3.4 and a biology GPA of 3.4 to participate. If you are eligible, you will receive a written invitation during your junior year. If you did not receive a letter and feel that you qualify, you may contact Dr. Ken Bost at