Discover the mysteries of life!
Why Biology?

From classroom discussions and lab experiments to fieldwork and study abroad, Florida Southern provides you the foundation in the biological sciences to pursue your passion to understand our world.

Whether your dream is to be a scientist, physician, or teacher, FSC faculty are dedicated to giving you the knowledge of biology, mathematics, chemistry, and physics that you need to succeed.

You’ll take a specific set of core biology courses, which include Biological Essentials, General Zoology, General Botany, Microbiology or Cell Biology, and two semesters of research. Beyond the core, you’ll choose the biology courses that fit your interests and career goals.

Courses outside of biology—such as chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biostatistics—provide important background for your upper-level biology courses and give you a broad understanding of science.

Learn More About  

  • Program Requirements
  • Course Descriptions

We Mean Business
Cheryl Lodwick talks about her Florida Southern College experience preparing for medical school.

Quick Facts

The ultimate learning experience
Two Semesters of Research

As a biology major at FSC, you’ll get the ultimate learning experience—two semesters of research on a project you design and carry out!

Guaranteed Entrance
Pre-med Excellence

Our agreement with the University of South Florida College of Medicine means pre-med students in the Honors Program who qualify are guaranteed entrance into USF’s medical program.


Learn by doing.

At Florida Southern College, you’ll put learning into practice through experiments and detailed and extensive observations of the natural world, you’ll actively engage in the practice of science.

You’ll also have firsthand experience working with advanced equipment and instrumentation, collecting and analyzing data, and communicating the results. After mastering the basics of science in lower-level courses, you’ll apply everything you’ve learned in research courses your junior and senior year by carrying out an original research project.

In the classroom, you’ll expand your abilities as a scientist by engaging in discussions, group projects, and case studies where you’ll apply theories to real-life situations and hone your critical thinking skills.

 

Hands-on and real-world
Internships

What are you interested in?

Florida Southern College’s extensive internship program is designed to maximize your learning and give you the experience you need to launch your career.

Many of our majors are interested in health professions such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, and physical therapy. Students seriously thinking about applying to a professional school complete an elaborate internship. As a result, our majors graduate having observed and worked with medical professionals in hospital settings, clinics, and private practice securing critical hands-on experience needed to succeed in today's competitive environment.

Even our students considering other paths outside of direct patient contact have had amazing experiences in venues such as:

  • Center for Cancer Care and Research
  • Polk County Health Department
  • Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • Lowry Park Zoo
  • Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Reedy Creek Improvement District
 

  • Matt Jimmerson

    Bimini Biological Field Station

    I worked tagging lemon and other shark species.

  • Hillary Lipham

    The Rhino Orphanage

    I worked as a caregiver for orphaned rhinos. My duties varied but included feeding, cleaning their rooms, taking them on walks, and providing them with love and attention.

  • Jeremy Jones

    Samspon Chiropractic and Sports Injuries

    I worked in a chiropractic office and assisted in the daily office operations. I also helped facilitate patient check in for the doctor.

Immerse Yourself
Biology Activities

Clubs & Organizations

The Biology department sponsors Beta Beta Beta, the society for biology students affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and AMSA/Pre-Professional Society, a chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

Get to know us


What will my degree lead to?
Life After FSC

Where are Mocs now?

Jennifer Bruno

For Jennifer Bruno ’11, a student at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine, the small size of the classes in Florida Southern’s Biology Department fostered personal relationships with her professors that both influenced and inspired her.

Ready to change your life?

Biology Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 70 -72 hours
BIO 1500 Biological Essentials
BIO 2230 General Zoology
BIO 2235 General Botany
BIO 3400 Microbiology
or  
BIO 3800 Cell Biology
CHE 1111 Principles of Chemistry I
CHE 1112 Principles of Chemistry II
CHE 2221 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 2222 Organic Chemistry II
PHY 2010 General Physics I (Algebra Based) and
PHY 2020 General Physics II (Algebra Based)
or  
PHY 2110 General Physics I (Calculus Based) and
PHY 2120 General Physics II (Calculus Based)
MAT 2032 Biostatics

One other 2000-level course in Mathematics

Sixteen semester hours chosen from the following:
BIO 1900 Human Genetics
BIO/ENV 2200 Environmental Issues
BIO/ENV 2201 Environmental Science
BIO 2215 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 2216 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 2750 Evolution
BIO 2800 Marine Biology
BIO 3100 Plant Taxonomy
BIO/ENV 3150 Ecology
BIO 3160 Developmental Biology
BIO 3215 Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 3216 Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 3302 Plant Nutrition
BIO 3316 Tropical Ecology
BIO 3360 Medical Botany
BIO/CHE 3361 Biochemistry: Structure and Function
BIO/CHE 3362 Biochemistry: Molecular Biology
BIO/REL 3378 Dialogues in Science and Religion
BIO 3400 Microbiology
BIO/HMP/PED 3575 Exercise Physiology
BIO 3700 Genetics
BIO 3800 Cell Biology
BIO 3900 Animal Behavior
BIO 4150 Plant Physiology
BIO 4200 Histology
BIO 4960/61 Internship

Two courses selected from the following:

BIO 4461/4462 Research: Ecology
BIO 4561/4562 Research: Molecular Biology
BIO/ENV 2201 Environmental Science
C. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
D. Electives 0-2 hours
E. Total 124 hours

For a complete listing of requirements, please refer to the
Academic Catalog  

Interested in teaching biology?

Choose to combine your biology degree with the professional courses required by the School of Education and you will be ready to teach biology in the state of Florida.

Seaworld Internship

Marine Biology

Interested in majoring in Marine Biology? To learn more about the program visit Marine Biology for more information.

3-Year Fast Track

3-Year Fast Track

You can earn your biology degree in three years. View the 3-Year Fast Track Plan for a B.S. in biology.

BIO 1000 BIOLOGY FOR YOUR LIFE
Four hours. Does not count toward major or minor. This course focuses on how biological concepts impact our daily lives. Topics include the cell, ecology, evolution, and heredity. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 1500 BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALS
Four hours. The first in a three-course sequence required for biology majors. A rigorous introduction to the principles that the lay the foundations for the biological sciences. Examines the relationships between metabolism, genetics, cell biology, and evolution. Students learn the mechanics and style of scientific reporting on laboratory exercises in cell and molecular biology utilizing techniques such as spectrophotometry and electrophoresis. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 1900 HUMAN GENETICS
Four hours. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 3700. Explores the basic principles of inheritance and their applications to medicine, behavior, forensics and populations. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 2200 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Four hours. Same as ENV 2200. A study of public policy; environmental conservation and preservation; and current environmental issues, their origins, their consequences and possible solutions. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, An); NW

BIO 2201 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Four hours. Same as ENV 2201. Prerequisite: BIO 1500. An introduction to the methods, technology, and equipment used to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental data. Students will apply the techniques they learn to an investigation of an environmental problem.

BIO 2209 HUMAN ANATOMY
Four hours. Functional gross anatomy of the human body. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 2210 HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Four hours. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 4408. Structure and function of the major organ systems of the human body with emphasis on the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 2230 GENERAL ZOOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. Adaptational biology of animals, with emphasis on the vertebrates; group relationships of major phyla; principles of development, ecology, and evolution.

BIO 2235 GENERAL BOTANY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or HRT 2100 or permission of the instructor. The flowering plant, major plant groups, metabolism, genetics, ecology, and economic botany.

BIO 2280 APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 1011. Corequisite: CHE 1012. Does not count towards Biology major. Morphology and physiology of microorganisms, particularly bacteria, with emphasis on clinical disease.

BIO 2750 EVOLUTION
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 2230 and BIO 2235. Theory, patterns, and processes in the biological evolution of organisms.

BIO 2800 MARINE BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2230. A study of the ecology, functional morphology, behavior and group relationships of marine vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and grasses with several field trips to specific ecosystems on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.

BIO 3100 PLANT TAXONOMY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500. The history and uses of plants in medicine in the U.S. and other cultures around the world. Special emphasis is placed on plant medicine in European history and modern uses in other areas of the world.

BIO 3150 ECOLOGY
Four hours. Same as ENV 3150. Prerequisites: BIO 2235. Nomenclature, classification, and Identification of flowering plants, especially those of Central Florida.

BIO 3160 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2230. A study of the developmental processes of invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

BIO 3302 PLANT NUTRITION
Four hours. Same as HRT 3302. Prerequisites: HRT 3301 and either BIO 2235 or HRT 2100. This course deals with the relationship of plants to soil in their acquisition of the mineral nutrients needed for life. Students will examine the chemical and physical properties of plant mineral nutrients, their reactions in the soil, and how the plant absorbs, transports, modifies, stores, and utilizes them. There will be an emphasis on Florida soils and crops.

BIO 3316 TROPICAL ECOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. A field course studying the geology, history, vegetation, and ecology of a tropical region.

BIO 3360 MEDICAL BOTANY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500. The history and uses of plants in medicine in the U.S. and other cultures around the world. Special emphasis is placed on plant medicine in European history and modern uses in other areas of the world.

BIO 3361 BIOCHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Same as CHE 3361. Prerequisite: CHE 2222. Biochemistry is the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of living systems. Topics covered in Biochemistry I include water, structure and function of biomolecules, enzymes, bioenergetics, major metabolic pathways, and metabolic regulation.

BIO 3362 BIOCHEMISTRY II: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Four hours. Same as CHE 3362. Prerequisite: BIO 3361 or CHE 3361. Students will consider important topics in molecular genetics, including structure, function and manipulation of DNA, and selected topics in metabolism and signaling.

BIO 3378 DIALOGUES IN SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Four hours. Same as REL 3378. Prerequisites: any 1000 level or above course in the natural sciences and any 2000 level or above course in religion. Offered in the spring semester every other year. Considers the cultural, philosophical and intellectual factors that have contributed to the development of the relationship between science and religion in Western thought. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An)

BIO 3400 MICROBIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 2221. Morphology and physiology of microorganisms, with particular emphasis on bacteria.

BIO 3575 EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY
Four hours. Same as PED/HMP 3575. The effects of exercise on human physiological systems. Students will use didactic and psychomotor skills in a laboratory setting to reinforce physiological principles.

BIO 3700 GENETICS
Four hours. No credit will be awarded if student has completed BIO 1900. This course helps students explore the principles of heredity as applied to all living organisms, the use of genetics to investigate evolution, and the application of genetics to the topics of immunology, cancer, and development.

BIO 3800 CELL BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 2221. Structure and functions of the cell as the basic unit of life, with emphasis on those features common to all living cells.

BIO 3900 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. Analysis of behavior patterns and their importance in the natural environment.

BIO 4150 PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 2235 and either CHE 1011 or 1111, or permission of the instructor. Photosynthesis, respiration, and other metabolic processes, growth, and water relationships in vascular plants. 

BIO 4200 HISTOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2230. A study of the structure and function of human tissues.

BIO 4250 PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
Four hours. Pathophysiology is the study of physiological mechanisms altered by disease processes. As such, the subject matter of the course provides a basic link between the scientific disciplines of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry and their application to clinical practice.

BIO 4408 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2230. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2210. Structure and function of the major organ systems of the vertebrate body as related to the maintenance of an optimum internal environment.

BIO 4462 RESEARCH: ECOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: any 3000 level BIO course, junior or senior standing, permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Students will learn basic techniques in ecological research, and design and carry out research in ecology. Research projects can be carried over into a second semester. Gen Ed: EC-C

BIO 4462 RESEARCH: ECOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: any 3000 level BIO course, junior or senior standing, permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Students will learn basic techniques in ecological research, and design and carry out research in ecology. Research projects can be carried over into a second semester. Gen Ed: EC-C

BIO 4551 RESEARCH: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: any 3000 level BIO course, junior or senior standing, permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Students will learn basic techniques in molecular biology research, and design and carry out research in molecular biology. Research projects can be carried over into a second semester. Gen Ed: EC-C

BIO 4552 RESEARCH: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: any 3000 level BIO course, junior or senior standing, permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Students will learn basic techniques in molecular biology research, and design and carry out research in molecular biology. Research projects can be carried over into a second semester. Gen Ed: EC-C

BIO 4960 BIOLOGY INTERNSHIP
One to eight hours. (eight hours maximum.) Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; permission of and consultation with a full time faculty member the semester prior to the internship; minimum 3.0 grade point average. Correlating theory and practice in at least one operational setting; supervision by cooperating professionals and faculty.

BIO 4961 BIOLOGY INTERNSHIP
One to eight hours. (eight hours maximum.) Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; permission of and consultation with a full time faculty member the semester prior to the internship; minimum 3.0 grade point average. Correlating theory and practice in at least one operational setting; supervision by cooperating professionals and faculty.

BIO 4999 SENIOR SEMINAR
Two hours. Prerequisite: Senior Standing. Review of major biological concepts. Preparation and delivery of papers based on the current biological literature.