University Requirements


Students enrolled in any major at Iowa State University, including the biology major, must complete a common set of general education requirements.  All students must maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative grade point average (GPA) to complete a degree, and complete 120 credits of coursework.  At least 32 credits of coursework must be taken at Iowa State University to complete any degree, and the final 32 credits of work must be taken at Iowa State unless otherwise approved at the college level.  Up to 65 semester hours (97 quarter hours) earned at two-year colleges can be applied to this total.  Students are also expected to complete:

Course # Course Name Credits
ENGL 150 Critical Thinking and Communication 3
ENGL 250 Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition 3
(variable) advanced communications (determined by major/college) 3
LIB 160 Information Literacy 1
(variable) International Perspective 3
(variable) U.S. Diversity 3

Additional information about University requirements is located here: Iowa State University Catalog - Colleges and Curricula.  

Additional information about communications coursework, including test-out and placement tests, can be found here: Department of English – ISUComm.  

Lists of approved courses that meet the International Perspective and U.S. Diversity requirement, as well as additional information about there requirements, can be found here: Office of the Registrar – US/IP Guidelines.

In the biology major, the advanced communications requirement is met either by taking a speech course (SP CM 212), or by taking an advanced writing course (ENGL 302 to 316).  Students enrolling in biology under the College of Agriculture are required to take a speech course (see here for more information about college requirements).