A Biology major has the goal of earning an Associate of Science degree in Biology and/or transferring to university in Biology. Starting at ACC is an excellent decision for a biology major. At ACC, you will be taught in small classes by dedicated faculty members who have either a Master's or Ph.D., who care about your success. Studies have shown that transfer students do as well as or even better than those who started at university.
A Note on Overloading Biology Classes:
Biology will NEVER overload courses with a lab because of lab safety requirements and we do not have waiting lists. The ONLY way to register for a biology class is when there is a seat available.
Students are dropped for nonpayment on Friday evenings during registration. You may check the web schedule for open classes on Saturdays, starting at 9:00am. You may also check the web schedule for open classes on the first two days of the semester during the add/drop period. If you are able to register during one of these times, be sure to pay right away to avoid being dropped yourself.
Getting Started: Biology Degree Plan and Transfer Information
The Biology degree plan shows the courses and recommended sequence to earn the two-year associate's degree. This is the best place to get an overview of the courses you will want to take in your first two years of college. To earn your Associate's degree you will take all the courses on the degree plan. If you plan on transferring without the Associate's degree, universities will accept up to 66 credit hours from ACC.
The courses on the degree plan are designed to be accepted by nearly all Texas universities. However, there are some preferences for courses by individual 4-year universities and colleges. You may check out the requirements for your degree plan at your chosen university at ACC's transfer page. It is often helpful to contact an advisor at your transfer institution for the most up-to-date advice.
ACC will accept comparable courses taken at other institutions. When you apply to ACC, your transcript(s) will be evaluated and the credits posted at your student site at online services. This may take several months so plan accordingly.
Major Level Courses
College biology for majors begins with BIOL 1406 Cellular and Molecular Biology (sometimes called Introduction to Biology at other institutions). This is a freshman level course (the '1' of 1406) that has an integrated lecture and lab (the '4' of 1406). Both lecture and lab must be taken at the same time in the same section. ACC will transfer an Introduction to Biology course taken elsewhere, but it must have an associated lab component. BIOL 1406 is a rigorous course, which requires the student to be disciplined and focused in doing college-level work (common course objectives).
Our departmental analysis shows that less than sixty percent of students starting BIOL 1406 finish the course with a passing grade. Reasons for this include difficulty transitioning to college from high school, time out of school and a weak background in Biology. To find out if you have the background to take BIOL 1406, take the following Biology readiness quiz. The Biology Department offers BIOL 1308 Biology Fundamentals to help improve your success in BIOL 1406.
The prerequisites for BIOL 1406 are:
- Passing scores on TASP and COMPASS tests OR exemption by proving you have attended another university or college.
- One year of high school chemistry or one semester of college chemistry and
- Two years of high school algebra or MATD 0390 Intermediate Algebra.
Biology faculty will check these prerequisites at the start of the semester and will drop any student who is not compliant.
Other Majors Biology Courses
Congratulations! You have successfully completed BIOL 1406 and are now ready for other major-level biology courses.
BIOL 1407 Organismal Biology [common course objectives] [master syllabus] is the second course in the sequence. This lab and lecture combined course uses the second half of the freshman biology textbook and together with BIOL 1406 forms the typical freshman sequence. The prerequisite for BIOL 1407 is BIOL 1406. The department recommends that students take BIOL 1407 immediately following BIOL 1406, but it is not required.
The following courses are designated for biology majors. The specific courses you choose will depend on your expected specialization. As before, check with your transfer institution to make sure you take the courses they want you to take.
BIOL 1323 Human Nutrition [common course objectives] [master syllabus] This course explores the aspects of nutrition with special emphasis on the role nutrition plays in the current health care delivery system. BIOL 1323 is required for most BSN students and fulfills the requirements for a science elective in the college of Natural Sciences at UT.
BIOL 1411 General Botany [common course objectives] is a 4-credit lab and lecture course that surveys plant science, including the life history and interactions in the environment. BIOL 1411 transfers to most universities.
BIOL 1413 General Zoology [common course objectives] surveys the animal kingdom and animal-like protists from an evolutionary perspective. This 4-credit lecture and lab course transfers to most universities.
BIOL 1414 Introduction to Biotechnology is an introduction to biotechnology including career exploration, history and applications of DNA/RNA technology molecular biology, bioethics, and laboratory safe practices. The prerequisites for BIOL 1414 are high school biology and high school chemistry or a co-requisite of BIOL 1406. BIOL 1414 transfers to some universities such as A&M and is co-enrolled with BITC 1311.
BIOL 1424 Native Plants [common course objectives] explores the flora of Central Texas and includes the medicinal, edible and horticultural uses of native plants. This 4-credit course with field trips transfers to most universities.
BIOL 2316 Genetics Lecture and BIOL 2116 Genetics Lab [common course objectives] [master syllabus] is the introduction to the hereditary concepts of Mendelian, molecular and population genetics. This transfers to many universities as biology credit. Biology majors need to take both lecture and lab but they are not combined as in the other courses. BIOL 1406 is a prerequisite for Genetics.
BIOL 2421 Microbiology [common course objectives] [master syllabus] This transfers to most universities as a 4-credit course (An exception is Stephen F Austin State University which does not take this course). Do not take BIOL 2420 Microbiology for the Health Sciences (formerly Introduction to Microbiology) since it does not usually transfer for Biology Majors.
Biology majors earning an Associate's degree should speak with an ACC advisor or a Biology faculty member (Ask-a-Biology-Professor) in the beginning of their sophomore year to make sure they will have completed all the requirements for graduation by the end of the following semester.
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