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 freshman are eligible to declare a major in Biology during the semester they are enrolled in BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130, and co-enrolled in CHEM 1251 and CHEM 1251L. Entering transfer students are eligible to declare a major in Biology if: (1) they have received transfer credit for BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130 and CHEM 1251 and CHEM 1251L, or (2) they are enrolled in BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130, and co-enrolled in 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 are enrolled in BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130, and co-enrolled in CHEM 1251 and CHEM 1251L, (2) they have completed BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130 and CHEM 1251 and 1251L and have a minimum overall GPA and Biology GPA of 2.0, or (3) they have completed BIOL 2120 or BIOL 2130 and are enrolled in CHEM 1251 and 1251L and have a minimum overall GPA and Biology GPA of 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. You can find that form and detailed instructions here. If you are a biology major, the form must be submitted to the Biological Sciences Department before taking the course. CLAS 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 5 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. Any class at the 1000 level is designated as a non-majors course. Additionally some courses at the 2000 level will not count towards the major in Biology (i.e. BIOL 2259). 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. 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 course (3111, 3144, 3166, 3273, or 4600) 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 the two-credit BIOL 2140 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.

7. What are the concentrations in Biology?

We offer several concentrations in Biology so B.S. students can focus their degree in a specific area. It is neither a separate degree nor a requirement of the Biology program. 

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?

While Banner displays your overall GPA in your transcript, it does not currently display your Biology GPA. You must calculate this on your own at the UNCC 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?

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, 2130 and 2140L, 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. What is the grade replacement policy?

Effective Fall 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” online 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.

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 pre-requisites for a course?

No. You must have the required pre-requisites 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 pre-requisites.

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?

This course is restricted to Biology majors. You should sign up for senior seminar (BIOL 4600) 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 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.  You will need to complete an agreement for individualized instruction.

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.