College Requirements


The biology major at Iowa State is offered through two colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (AgLS).  The college a student enrolls in affects the general education requirements they are expected to complete to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in biology.  A summary of the differences between these requirements for the two colleges is described below:

  LAS Requirement AgLS Requirement
Foreign Language 101/102 college level language proficiency or 3+ years in high school none required
Advanced Communications advanced writing (ENGL 302 to 316) -or- speech fundamentals (SP CM 212) speech fundamentals (SP CM 212)
Math (met by biology requirements) mathematics and/or statistics mathematics AND statistics
Science (met by biology requirements) natural sciences biological and physical sciences
Arts and Humanities 12 credits total (about 4 courses) 3 credits total (about 1 course)
Social Sciences 9 credits total (about 3 courses) 3 credits total (about 1 course)
Ethics None required 3 credits total (about 1 course)

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also requires completion of 45 credits of 300-level coursework from a 4-year college or university.  All but 7 of these are met by completing the minimum requirements of the biology major, and students opting for the full year of organic chemistry will have it met without needing to take 300-level coursework outside of the sciences.  General education courses are frequently double-counted with other graduation requirements, such as International Perspectives, U.S. Diversity, or biology major requirements.  

Additional details regarding the general education requirements for the two colleges may be found here: Iowa State University Catalog – LAS Curriculum and Iowa State University Catalog – AgLS Curriculum