Bachelor of Science (BS) - Biological Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

What is a bachelor degree in biological sciences?

Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree program provides a non-human, health-oriented science track for students who want to pursue an impactful career in STEM. This program is ideal for students who are curious about the natural world and desire to improve the world through the application of biological principles.

Biological sciences majors will learn to seek answers to questions that will help us better understand and live in this world. Explore areas like molecular and cellular functions, genetics, ecology, microbiology, organisms and more. This degree serves as the first step for students to enter into a biology, natural, life and/or health sciences-related field. Gain foundational knowledge in multidisciplinary science, as well as the skills to develop hypotheses, design experiments, use instruments/tools, work in a labs and engage in research. This career path also focuses on the collection, evaluation, interpretation and application of scientific data.

A career path in biological sciences can lead to challenges, yet rewarding discoveries in areas that make a difference like health and disease, global climate change, sustainability, environmental conservation and threats to species, among many others.

What subjects are included in the biological sciences bachelor’s program? The program’s curriculum introduces students to general biology, general chemistry and fundamental physics. Moving through the program, students will engage in these subject matters:

  • Principles of Genetics
  • Analysis of Biological Diversification
  • Interdisciplinary Applications of Biology
  • Fundamentals of Ecology
  • Vertebrate Zoology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Conversation Biology

Most courses include both a lecture and lab, so students can apply theories and concepts learned in class to projects outside of class. The program ends with an Applied Field Research and Capstone Thesis in Biology courses. In these courses, students have the opportunity to apply that they’ve learned throughout the program to a hands-on, real-world project in a specific area of biology and interest. Students can expect the capstone course to be rigorous and writing intensive for strong learning outcomes.

What can you do with a BS in Biological Sciences degree?

GCU’s bachelor’s in biological sciences degree provides a well-rounded foundation for students to further explore and specialize within an area. Potential career opportunities include the following occupations:

  • Life, physical and social science technician
  • Natural sciences manager
  • Forester
  • Biological technician
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  • Chemical technician
  • Environmental science and protection technician
  • Forest and conservation technician
  • Museum technician and conservator

Students may also choose to move right into graduate studies to build specialized knowledge and advanced skill sets in areas such as biological/academic/hospital research, medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, forensic science, wildlife management and other health- or natural science-related fields.

Why earn your bachelor of biological science at GCU?

Earning your Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences opens a door of possibility for a meaningful career path for those passionate about the natural sciences, en Rich text Toggle Actions Text environment and world. Students may even choose to advance their education to enter into human-oriented, life and health sciences.

At GCU, students also earn their degree within a values-based, faith-integrated learning environment, following a curriculum based on GCU’s Christian worldview. This is a unique aspect to GCU where a faith focus deepens a student’s understanding of God and the universe to advance faith-science inquiry. Faith guides students in shaping complex thoughts, ideas and practice through scientific exploration and discovery. Students also engage in dialogue surrounding ethics and values in regard to biological and natural science principles and decision making.

GCU’s campus offers state-of-the-art STEM-focused learning facilities equipped with modern labs. Students have access to high-tech equipment and tools for outside-of-the-classroom, project-based learning experiences.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
64 credits
Open Elective Credits:
16-22 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO-181L.

Course Description

This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO-181.

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization. Relationships of different life forms are studied, noting characteristics and general lifecycles of the different types of organisms, including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Plant structure, function, and reproduction are studied, as well as photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Ecological principles are discussed, including organism interactions at the various ecological levels. Principles of conservation are introduced. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-182L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-182. Organisms are examined to recognize similarities and differences among different types. Plant structure and processes, including photosynthesis and water transport, are investigated through observation and activities. Concepts of ecology are explored through study of species interactions projects and other activities. Co-requisite: BIO-182.

Course Description

This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Co-Requisite: CHM-113L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Co-Requisite: CHM-113.

Course Description

Fundamental Physics focuses on the intersection of physics and biology focusing on physics as it relates to life, from the molecules to living organisms. Students will explore the ways in which fundamental laws of physics which direct biological organization at every level by limiting cellular processes. The ultimate focus will be on basic models that enable students to quantify the innate randomness and variability of cellular processes. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261, or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-105L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of Fundamental Physics reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261, or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-105.

Course Description

This is the second course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students demonstrate knowledge and/or skill in solving problems involving the principles of chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics; understanding chemical reactions using kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics; comparing and contrasting the principal theories of acids and bases; solving equilibrium involving acids, bases, and buffers; describing solubility equilibrium; describing terms associated with electrochemistry and solving problems associated with electrochemistry; and describing fundamentals and applications of nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. Prerequisites: CHM-113 and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-115 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of rate law, examples of Le Châtelier’s principle, the use of pH indicators, buffer preparation, experimental determination of thermodynamic quantities, the use of electrochemical cells, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Prerequisites: CHM-113L and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115.

Course Description

This course explores the principles of Mendelian and molecular genetics, focusing on the relationship of inheritance to biological function at multiple levels: molecular, cellular, and with multicellular organisms. By examining the multiple levels of genetic organization, students will master concepts related to patterns of inheritance, genetic relationships across species, and biotechnological applications. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This writing intensive course requires students to analyze and apply the scientific method in the context of the scientific literature and other science communications. Students will read and understand primary literature and will apply the fundamentals of scientific writing and presentation. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L.

Course Description

This courses introduces students to biological change at multiple levels of life, including molecular, cellular, organismal, and population. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms of change and how they work, as well as the patterns that result by examining molecular and organismal data, geological time, fossil evidence, and the history of Earth and man. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

Course Description: Interdisciplinary Applications of Biology introduces students to the intersections of biology with other fields of study, i.e. archaeology, paleontology, geology, psychology, and anthropology. Focus will be on how these disciplines intersect in research, practice, and application and include many real-world examples. Prerequisite: SCI-328.

Course Description

A study of plants and animals as individuals and in communities in relation to their physical and biological environment. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-320L.

Course Description

A laboratory course designed to complement and support the principles being learned in Biology (BIO-320). Co-requisite: BIO-320.

Course Description

This course is a study of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. By integrating their history, morphology, physiology, ecology, and behavioral adaptations, students will develop a greater understanding of vertebrates and how they survive effectively in their natural habitats. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-415L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of Vertebrate Zoology reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-415.

Course Description

This course examines the complexities of animal behaviors and how we study them. Specifically, students will develop an understanding of how animals learn and communicate with each other, as well as other behaviors to help them survive and thrive in their natural habitats, by integrating concepts, theories, and models of the discipline with behavioral analyses and an historical perspective. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-328L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of Animal Behavior reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-328.

Course Description

Conservation biology systematically and scientifically studies biological diversity and the events and processes that affect the maintenance, loss, and recovery of biological diversity. This courses delves into the concepts and theories behind biological diversity and environmental conservation. As an interdisciplinary field, students will also consider perspectives from ecology, economics, psychology, sociology, and financing. Prerequisites: BIO-320 and BIO-320L.

Course Description

This courses immerses students in a variety of topics related to field work, including hypothesis and methods development, principles and procedures of field methodology, data collection, analysis, and communication, and problems encountered in field research. Prerequisite: Senior Status.

Course Description

This writing intensive capstone course requires students to integrate and apply what they have learned in the Biological Sciences program. To do this, students will engage in projects and assignments that will demonstrate the knowledge and research skills gained in the program, including literature review, developing a research project, data collection and analysis, and written and oral communication of findings. Prerequisite: Senior Status.

Program Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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