New BIOS Curriculum

Below is the information regarding the new BIOS curriculum.

New BIOS Curriculum Email

On March 6th, 2019, an email was sent to all declared Biological Sciences students regarding the department’s new Biological Sciences Curriculum.

We have some VERY important information regarding upcoming changes to the Biological Sciences Curriculum that will take place starting in the fall 2019 semester. Please read all of this information carefully. It is critical that you have a thorough understanding of these changes and how it may impact your degree progress moving forward.
Please review this information often in the next couple of weeks as you prepare to evaluate your degree progress and select courses for the fall 2019 semester.

                                                                         ***IMPORTANT***

These changes will only be mandated for students who start at UIC during or after the fall 2019 semester. All current students at UIC who are currently majoring in, or pursuing Biological Sciences as their major, will be given the option of graduating under the catalog year in which they entered, or graduating under the new catalog that will take effect in the fall 2019 semester.
Due to limitations in time and competing obligations, we will be unable to respond via email in a prompt manner to questions regarding these changes. Students who are graduating in the fall 2019 semester will be given priority in terms of email correspondence regarding these curriculum changes.Please do not attempt to call the Biological Sciences advising department. Rather, you must email biosciadvising@uic.edu. These changes may affect previous course plans that you have constructed and reviewed with advisors. We encourage all students, regardless of graduation timeline, to meet with us during an appointment or during drop-in advising on Tuesdays to address any specific question/s you have regarding the upcoming changes and how they may affect your degree progress. We are planning to hold several workshops during late spring/early summer to review these changes and give students an opportunity to ask questions. Once these workshops are developed, you will be able to RSVP via student.las.uic.edu.

Revisions and Updated BIOS Curriculum

These Revisions and Updates for the BIOS curriculum are effective beginning Fall 2019 Semester.

  1. Establishment of three Concentrations for the Biological Sciences Major.
    1. Concentration in General Biology (GB)
    2. Concentration in Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology (MCOB)
    3. Concentration in Evolution, Ecology, and Environmental Biology (EEEB)
  2. Reduction of credit hours for introductory 100-level BIOS courses from 5 credits to 4 credits each.
  3. Removal of BIOS 221, Genetics Laboratory, as a requirement for the major. A new laboratory course in genetics has been added as BIOS 310.
  4. Removal of BIOS 240, Principles of Animal Physiology, as a required course for the major. Two distinct physiology courses have been created: BIOS 340 “Environmental Physiology” and BIOS 343 “Animal Physiological Systems”.
  5. Replacement of the requirement of 4-10 hours of selective laboratory coursework at the 200-level or above with the requirement to complete at least 9 hours of coursework in the category titled “Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses”. Each concentration has a different set of required and selective courses.
  6. Revision of the core sequence. The core will now consist of 17 credit hours. BIOS 110, 120, 220, 222, and 230.
  7. Revision of the total number of credit hours to complete the major to 40 credit hours. In addition to the core sequence, students will be required to complete at least 23 credit hours from 200-level or above BIOS courses, with at least 9 credit hours from 300/400 level BIOS courses.
  8. Increase in the number of BIOS credit hours allowed at the 100 level from 10 to 11 (and as indicated above, the major required 100-level courses will use 8 of those 11 credits)
  9. Elimination of the following courses: BIOS 322, Advanced Cell Biology; BIOS 335, History of Life; BIOS 398, Research Methods Workshop in Biological Sciences, and BIOS 435, Plant Evolution.
  10. Elimination of the current rule “Students who complete KN 251 and KN 252, or an advanced-level course equivalent to KN 252, may request that KN 252 be substituted for one required biological sciences laboratory course.”

Justification for Revisions:

The reduction in the number of required credit hours in BIOS 110 (formerly, BIOS 100) and BIOS 120 (formerly, BIOS 101) will allow students to take one of these courses in their second semester at UIC without exceeding a 15-credit per semester load. This change will allow students who come to UIC with interest in the life sciences to begin their major coursework as a first-year student. By completing the biology requirements and the chemistry and mathematics prerequisites earlier, students will be better able to stay on track for a 4-year graduation goal. Students will also be better informed for their final major declaration at 60 completed hours.

The removal of BIOS 221 and BIOS 240 as core courses is consistent with the transition to concentrations within the major. The department has reorganized the content of these 200-level courses to eliminate redundancies and provide foundational content as entryways to the three concentrations.

The change in wording from “laboratory courses” to “Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses” acknowledges that some modern biology procedures do not occur in a laboratory. For example, the modern and quickly-growing fields of computational biology,bioinformatics, and genomics primarily involve work in silico, outside the traditional “laboratory.” Courses providing experience in these areas accomplish the same educational and research goals.

KN 252 may no longer be used as a substitute for Biological Sciences laboratory courses because the new curriculum now offers an integrated sequence in systems physiology that is more aligned with the programmatic goals of the Biological Sciences major: the lecture-based BIOS 343, Animal Physiological Systems (formerly, BIOS 240, Principles of Animal Physiology), and the companion laboratory BIOS 443, Animal Physiological Systems Laboratory.

Summary of Changes for the new biology program:

  1. Establishment of three concentrations
  2. Revision of core courses (BIOS 110, 120, 220, 222 and 230; 17 credit hours)
  3. Requirement of at least 9 credit hours in Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses
  4. Requirement of at least 14 additional credit hours of 200-level or above BIOS classes
  5. Requirement of at least 9 credit hours of 300-400 level to be fulfilled within a concentration
  6. No more than 11 credit hours of BIOS 100-level courses can be applied to the 40 credit hour requirement for the major.
  7. No more than 5 credit hours of BIOS 391 (Independent Study) and BIOS 399 (Independent Research) courses may be applied to the 40 credit hour requirement for the major
  8. KN 251/252 do not count toward the 40 semester hours of the BIOS major
  9. Concentration Requirements (outlined below)

Revised course requirements for the new Biological Sciences major:

  1. Core Requirements (17 credit hours):
    1. BIOS 110 Biology of Cells and Organisms, formerly BIOS 100 (4 hrs)
    2. BIOS 120 Biology of Populations and Communities, formerly BIOS 101 (4 hrs)
    3. BIOS 220 Genetics (3 hrs)
    4. BIOS 222 Cell Biology (3 hrs)
    5. BIOS 230 Evolution and Ecology (3 hrs)
  2. Biological Sciences Major Concentrations
    Overall, the three concentrations require at least 23 credit hours including extensive coursework in Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses, as well as, additional courses that provide a foundation in that concentration topic. The three concentrations are:

    1. General Biology (GB)
      1. Completion of a minimum of 9 credit hours in Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses are chosen from the following courses:
        BIOS 272 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 hrs)
        BIOS 310 Genetics Laboratory, formerly BIOS 221 (3 hrs)
        BIOS 312 Cell Biology Laboratory, formerly BIOS 223 (2 hrs)
        BIOS 321 Developmental Biology Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 323 Molecular Biology Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 326 Embryology Laboratory (1 hr)
        BIOS 331 General Ecology Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 336 Animal Behavior Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 351 Microbiology Laboratory (2 hrs)
        BIOS 360 Introduction to Paleontology (4 hrs)
        BIOS 399 Independent Research (2 hrs)
        BIOS 420 Genomics (3 hrs)
        BIOS 443 Animal Physiological System Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 480 Introduction to Modern Biostatistics with R (3 hrs)
      2. Completion of an additional 14 hours of 200 level or above BIOS course chosen in consultation with an advisor
    2. Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology (MCOB)
      1. Completion of three core concentration courses:
        BIOS 310 Genetics Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 312 Cell Biology Laboratory (2 hrs)
        BIOS 343 Animal Physiological Systems (3 hrs)
      2. Completion of an additional 4 credit hours in Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses chosen from the following courses:
        BIOS 272 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 hrs)
        BIOS 321 Developmental Biology Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 323 Molecular Biology Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 326 Embryology Laboratory (1 hr)
        BIOS 351 Microbiology Laboratory (2 hrs)
        BIOS 399 Independent Research (2 hrs)
        BIOS 420 Genomics (3 hrs)
        BIOS 443 Animal Physiological System Laboratory (3 hrs)
      3. Completion of three additional courses in molecular, cellular, and organismal biology from the following courses:
        BIOS 320 Developmental Biology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 325 Human Embryology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 350 General Microbiology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 443 Animal Physiological Systems (3 hrs)
        BIOS 450 Advanced Microbiology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 458 Biotechnology and Drug Discovery (3 hrs)
        BIOS 352 Introductory Biochemistry (3 hrs) OR BIOS 452 Biochemistry I (4 hrs) and BIOS 454 Biochemistry II (4 hrs)
      4. Completion of additional BIOS elective courses, if needed, to bring the total to 40 credit hours
    3. Evolution, Ecology, and Environmental Biology(EEEB)
      1. Completion of one core concentration course:
        BIOS 331 General Ecology Laboratory (3 hrs)
      2. Completion of at least six additional credit hours in Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses from the following courses:
        BIOS 310 Genetics Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 336 Animal Behavior Laboratory (3 hrs)
        BIOS 351 Microbiology Laboratory (2 hrs)
        BIOS 399 Independent Research (2 hrs)
        BIOS 420 Genomics (3 hrs)
        BIOS 480 Introduction to Modern Biostatistics with R (3 hrs)
      3. Completion of three additional courses in ecology and environment chosen from the following courses:
        BIOS 236 Animal Behavior (3 hrs)
        BIOS 340 Environmental Physiology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 350 General Microbiology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 365 Human Ecological Systems (3 hrs)
        BIOS 427 Ecosystem Ecology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 431 Plant and Animal Interactions (3 hrs)
        BIOS 437 Topics in Tropical Ecology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 490 Topics in Ecology and Evolution (3hrs)
      4. Completion of one course in evolution and genomics chosen from the following courses:
        BIOS 305 Plant Evolutionary Ecology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 430 Evolution (4 hrs)
        BIOS450 Advanced Microbiology (3 hrs)
        BIOS 490 Topics in Ecology and Evolution (3 hrs)
      5. Completion of additional BIOS elective courses, if needed, to bring the total to 40 credit hours

** Note for the MCOB and EEEB concentrations, one course cannot count towards more than one requirement and BIOS 399 may only be counted once towards the Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses credit requirement.

New courses to be introduced effective Fall 2019 

BIOS 305, Plant Evolutionary Ecology
BIOS 326, Embryology Laboratory
BIOS 340, Environmental Physiology
BIOS 420, Genomics
BIOS 427, Ecosystem Ecology
BIOS 480, Introduction to Modern Biostatistics with R

Justifications for changes in course requirements/curriculum structure:

The revision of the Biological Sciences curriculum reflects current trends in the field of study and provides opportunities for you to pursue advanced study in specific areas of interest. Changes to courses and the addition of three concentrations allow you to begin major coursework earlier in your academic career and advance to program concentrations by the beginning of your junior year. Some courses have been revised and consequently renumbered to eliminate course redundancies and provide foundational content as entryways to the three concentrations. Ultimately, the restructuring of the Biological Sciences curriculum allows for a stronger foundation in the four major levels of organization in life sciences -molecules, cells, organisms, and communities, while also allowing more choices for you to pick courses based on personal interests and needs.

Curriculum Flow Chart

Flow Chart

Above is the flowchart showing the new Fall 2019 BIOS curriculum.

Current vs. New Catalog Comparison

Click on the link below to view the comparison of the current and new catalog.

Current List of all BIOS Courses

Click on the links below to learn more about BIOS’ current and new courses.

CHEM & PHYS Changes

Changes to Organic Chemistry sequence:

The revised curriculum now has two options to meet the chemistry requirements: CHEM 232, or the newly designed course CHEM 230 (Organic Chemistry for Biological Systems). CHEM 230 merges biology relevant content from CHEM 232 and 234. 

CHEM 230. Organic Chemistry of Biological Systems 4 hours.

One-semester introduction to organic chemistry as it pertains to biological systems, biomedical sciences, and chemical biology. To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Quiz. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in 

CHEM 124 and Grade of C or better in CHEM 125; or Grade of C or better in CHEM 118. No credit given if the student has credit in CHEM 232 or CHEM 234. 

Changes to Physics sequence: 

The introductory Physics sequence (105 -106 and 107-108) will now be Physics for Life Sciences sequence 

(PHYS 131 and 132) for a total of 8 credit hours (currently is 10) for Fall 2019. These revised courses place physics concepts in biological applications. PHYS 105/106 will be offered for the final time in the Summer 2019 semester. PHYS 107/108 will be offered for the final time in the Fall 2019 semester. PHYS 131 will be first offered in the Fall 2019 semester, and PHYS 132 will be first offered in the Spring 2020 semester. If you have already earned credit in PHYS 105-106 and 107-108, there is no need to take the new PHYS 131 and 132 sequence. 

PHYS 131. Introductory Physics for Life Sciences I. 4 hours.

Algebra-based physics and its relationship to the life sciences, including mechanics, waves, diffusion and fluids with applications to molecular, cell and human biology. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): High school algebra and trigonometry. Credit for PHYS 131 is not given if student has credit in PHYS 141. To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Laboratory, one Lecture and one Discussion/Recitation. Natural World – With Lab course.

PHYS 132. Introductory Physics for Life Sciences II. 4 hours.

Algebra- based physics and its relationship to the life sciences, including electromagnetism, optical, quantum, and thermal physics, with applications to molecular, cell and human biology. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in PHYS 131. Credit will not be given for PHYS 132 if student has credit in PHYS 142. To be properly registered, student must enroll in one Laboratory, one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture.Natural World – With Lab course

FAQ

  • What if I am graduating during the Spring 2019 or Summer 2019 semester?

Then disregard these changes! The changes will not take effect until the 2019 Fall Semester.

  • Am I required to pursue my Biological Sciences degree under the new catalog?

No, these changes will only be mandated for students who start at UIC during or after the Fall 2019 semester. All current students at UIC who are currently majoring in, or pursuing Biological Sciences as their major, will be given the option of graduating under the old catalog or graduating under the new catalog. 

  • If I choose to graduate under the old catalog, what do I do if I haven’t earned credit in BIOS 240 yet?

BIOS 240 (Principles of Animal Physiology) is being eliminated. For students who intend to graduate in Biological Sciences on the old catalog, you must earn credit in either BIOS 340 or BIOS 343, which will serve as a replacement for BIOS 240. 

  • If I choose to graduate under the new catalog, am I required to take asubstitute course (BIOS 340 or 343) for BIOS 240?

No, only students who plan to pursue the Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology (MCOB) concentration will be required to earn credit in BIOS 343. If you plan to pursue the General Biology (GB) concentration or the Evolution, Ecology, and Environmental Biology (EEEB)concentration under the new catalog, you will not be required to earn credit in B IOS 340 or 343. BIOS 340 is a selective course for the EEEB concentration. 

  • If I have already earned credit in a course (e.g. BIOS 240, BIOS 335) that will no longer exist, what implications does this have toward my degree progress? 

Any student who has earned credit in a course that is being removed from the catalog will still be able to utilize it as credit toward their Biological Sciences degree, regardless of whether they choose to graduate under the old or new catalog. Students who plan to pursue the MCOB concentration under the new catalog will not be required to take BIOS 343 if they have already earned credit in BIOS 240. Students who plan to pursue the EEEB concentration can use earned credit in BIOS 240 as one of the selectives in place of BIOS 340.

  • Am I allowed to pursue and graduate with more than one concentration? 

No, students are only allowed to graduate in one specific concentration within the Biological Sciences major. 

  • I have already earned credit in KN 252 and plan to graduate under the new catalog. Will I be allowed to count it toward my advanced hours for the Biological Sciences major?

Yes, students who started before the Fall 2019 semester at UIC will be allowed to utilize KN 252 as advanced hours toward their Biological Sciences major under the new catalog. However, it will not count toward the 9 hours of Experimental Techniques and Data Analyses that are required. Rather, it will count toward the additional 14 hours of required advanced 200-400 level biology courses. Only if you intend to graduate under the old catalog will you beallowed to apply that course toward your lab requirement for the biological sciences major. 

  • If I have already earned credit in PHYS 105/106 or PHYS 141, am I required to take PHYS 131 in order to enroll in PHYS 132?

No, students who have earned PHYS 105/106 or 141 credit will be able to enroll directly into PHYS 132, and thus will not be required to take PHYS 131. 

  • If I have already earned credit in BIOS 221, do I need to take BIOS 310? 

No

  • If I have already earned credit in BIOS 223, do I need to take BIOS 312? 

No

  • If I already earned credit in a course (e.g. BIOS 221 or BIOS 223) that will be restructured into a 300 level course in the Fall 2019 semester, will I be able to utilize that credit toward the requirement of 300-400 level BIOS coursework?

No, that course will be honored as 200 level, since it was considered 200 level during the semester in which you enrolled. Thus, you are unable to apply that course toward the credit hour minimum requirement for 300-400 level BIOS coursework. 

  • If I have already earned credit in BIOS 325 (Vertebrate Embryology), how does the course restructuring impact my credit? 

With BIOS 325 being restructured into a separate lecture (325) and lab (326) format, all students who have earned credit in BIOS 325 prior to the Fall2019 semester will have met the requirement for BIOS 326, and thus are not required to take BIOS 326. 

  • How can I learn more information about the new courses that are being introduced? 

The BIOS department is in the process of assembling course information for each of these new courses. When complete, the course information will become available on bios.uic.edu/new-courses.Please be patient!