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Biological Science Area of Concentration Degree

Associate of Science


Biological Sciences Program

The biological science degree allows students to tailor their program of study to fit the needs of most, if not all, colleges and universities offering a degree in biology or the biological sciences.

Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution prior to attending medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy, podiatry, or chiropractic school will find all or most of the prerequisite courses needed for admission to these professional schools. Students planning to transfer to pharmacy, medical technology, or optometry school programs that accept students after two years of undergraduate education will find all the courses needed for admission into these programs.

Students are strongly advised to work closely with a biology or chemistry faculty member or an academic transfer counselor in order to select courses that will prevent or minimize the loss of credits upon transfer.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Identify, describe, and explain basic biological concepts.
  • Use an interdisciplinary approach to explain and solve life science concepts (from knowledge learned in biological, chemical, and physical sciences and mathematics).
  • Utilize the scientific method to analyze problems in the life sciences.

Program Advising Guide

Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer. The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process.

Transfer Opportunities

MC has a long history of successfully preparing students for transfer to four-year institutions. Biological science majors are strongly advised to work closely with a biology or chemistry faculty member or an academic transfer counselor in order to select courses that will prevent or minimize the loss of credits upon transfer. 

Students pursuing an associate's in biological sciences may be able to transfer into many related programs, like: 

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Biological and Biomedical Sciences,
Biology, General
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
Botany/Plant Biology
Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
Molecular Medicine
Neurobiology and Neurosciences
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences
Zoology/Animal Biology

Students in Maryland may attend the schools below and pay in-state tuition for these Academic Common Market majors related to biological sciences:

BS, Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Science, University of Tennessee
BS, Marine Biology, Biology Old Dominion University
BS, Biometric Systems, West Virginia University
BS, Zoology, Biological Sciences Mississippi State University
BS, Agricultural, Biotechnology University of Kentucky
BS, Biomedical Sciences University of Alabama at Birmingham

See the University of Maryland College Park website for majors in: Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Environmental Science and Policy-Biodiversity and Conservation - these are all Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP's at UM) with specific gateway course requirements. 

UM College Park's Biological Science Major at the Universities at Shady Grove is not a LEP (Limited Enrollment Program).  See advising notes for this major which has a concentration in Neurobiology.

UM - MC Course Equivalencies for Biological Science Majors

Along with biology, chemistry, and calculus courses, students are recommended to take both courses of any 2-course sequence at the same school as the courses may not match up topic by topic as well.  See Physics Course Sequence below.  

Biology Core Courses:
BSCI 105 (Principles I) = MC's BIOL150 Principles of Biology I [formerly BI107]
BSCI 106 (Principles II)= MC's BIOL151 Principles of Biology I [formerly BI108]
BSCI 207 (Principles III) - MC's BIOL 252 Principles of Biology III
BSCI 222 (Principles of Genetics). = MC's  BIOL 222 or 209 Genetics, BIOL 222 preferred
Mathematics Course Sequence for Biological Sciences at UMCP:   choose one from - 

MATH 130 & 131 Calculus for Life Sciences I & II & 131 = MC's MATH 170 & 171 Calculus for Life Sciences I & II
MATH 140 & 141 Calculus I & II= MC's MATH 181 & 182 Calculus I & II

Chemistry Course Sequence @ UMCP:

CHEM 131      General Chemistry I & Lab = MC's CHEM 131 Principles of Chemistry I [formerly CH101]
CHEM 231      Organic Chemistry I & Lab = MC's CHEM 203 Organic Chemistry I [CH203]
CHEM 241      Organic Chemistry II & Lab = MC's CHEM 204 Organic Chem II [CH204]
CHEM 271      General Chemistry and Energetics = MC's CHEM 132 Principles of Chem. II [CH102]
CHEM 272      Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab, 2 credits - There is no equivalent @ MC, students take this after transfer or while enrolled at MC through MTAP

MC students who have completed MC's Principles of Chem I & II  and Organic Chem I & II [CHEM 131, 132, 203, and 204] will have to take CHEM 272 Bioanalytical Chem Lab [2 cr.] (but not CHEM 271) at UMCP to complete the chemistry requirement for a Life Science major at UMCP. Students who wish to take CHEM272 at UMCP may do so through the MTAP program, where students may take one course at UMCP while enrolled at MC.    

Physics Course Sequence: UMCP has a new Physics for Life Sciences sequence.  The Four-Year Plan pages for the following majors indicate that students will take the PHYS series in the Junior Year; this is true also for the UMCP Biological Sciences Major offered at Shady Grove.  Montgomery College's PHYS 203 & 204 is no longer accepted for Biological Sciences majors at UMCP unless taken prior to Fall 2013; however, Montgomery College now offers PHYS 233 & 234 Physics for Life Sciences at the Rockville Campus for students who would like to complete the Physics series prior to transfer.

Montgomery College's PHYS 233 - PHYSICS FOR LIFE SCIENCES I - 4 credits
The first part of a two-semester course in general physics specifically oriented towards applications relevant for students in biology and pre-medical programs. The course covers basic mechanics including forces and energy, properties of matter, and thermodynamics done in authentic biological contexts. PREREQUISITES: MATH 181, BIOL 150, BIOL 151, and CHEM 131, or consent of department. COREQUISITE: MATH 182. 3 hours lecture, 4 hours laboratory/discussion each week. 
See UMCP Four-Year Plans for suggested course sequencing: The Biological Sciences Major is also offered by UMCP at the Shady Grove Campus. 
Biological Sciences at UMBC
UMBC offers both the B.A. and B.S. degree programs in Biological Sciences. Students choose their course of study according to their career objectives. 

The B.A. in Biological Sciences curriculum is designed for students who plan to pursue a medical or other health profession, or who wish to combine another area of study—such as education, environmental studies, or scientific writing—with a solid background in biology. 

The BS in Biological Sciences curriculum is most appropriate for students planning to pursue graduate study in biology or to work in a technical or laboratory research setting.  

UMBC also offers a B.S. degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, which combines biological knowledge with computer science and mathematics. 

For transfer advising and information for pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapist, pre-physician assistant, pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-optometry, or pre-veterinary, see Health Professions Advising

See all transfer agreements.


For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required. Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. See links below chart for further guidance and/or connect with a Program Advisor to discuss career goals.

Career fields for biological science majors include occupations like biological technician, biostatistician, bioinformatics scientist, molecular and cellular biologist, epidemiologist, or medical and clinical laboratory technologist. Some may require a bachelor's or advanced degree.

  • MC Student Employment Services: Speak with the Student Employment Specialist for help with resume writing, interviewing, setting up a College Central Network (CCN)new window account and other job search topics.
  • Career Coach: Explore Career Coach to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests! Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area.


Suggested Course Sequence: Biological Sciences

A suggested course sequence for Biological Sciences majors follows.

Suggested Course Sequence

Students should complete the required English and Math foundation courses within the first 24 credit hours. A suggested course sequence for full-time students follows. All students should review the Program Advising Guide and consult an advisor.

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

Fourth Semester

ENGL 101/ENGL 101A, if needed for ENGL 102/ENGL 103, or program elective.

** Behavioral and Social Science Distribution (BSSD) courses must come from different disciplines.

*** If ENGF has already been taken, then choose an arts distribution course (ARTD).

† Program electives: (Program electives range from 2-5 credits. Students are encouraged to speak with their transfer institution when selecting program electives.  It is recommended that in a 2 semester chemistry sequence, both courses be taken at the same institution, e.g. CHEM 203 and CHEM 204.) BIOL 202BIOL 210, BIOL 212, BIOL 213, BIOL 217, BIOL 226, BIOL 228, BIOL 230, BIOL 252, BIOT 120CHEM 203, CHEM 204CMSC 140, CMSC 203, CMSC 204MATH 171, MATH 182, MATH 280, MATH 282, PHYS 161, PHYS 203, PHYS 204, PHYS 233, PHYS 234, PHYS 262, PHYS 263, SCIR 297

†† Students planning to transfer to UMCP should take MATH 170, and should choose as electives: BIOL 252, CHEM 203CHEM 204, and MATH 171. Students that enter calculus ready should consider taking PHYS 233 and PHYS 234.

AA and AS programs require one global and cultural perspectives (GCP) General Education course.

How To Apply and Register

Related Programs and Courses

General Studies Degree

Students who major in general studies explore personal, professional, and academic areas of interest within a flexible framework supporting transfer.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

MC offers a wide variety of noncredit classes. These courses are designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.