Bachelor of Arts in Biology George Mason University
The BA in Biology provides a sound liberal arts education with substantial experience in quantitative and analytical thought, along with preparation for related professions.
The program provides the strong background necessary not only for graduate study in the life sciences, but also enables students to develop careers in a wide variety of disciplines, including teaching, environmental management, microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, wildlife management, fisheries biology, and marine science.
In addition to their Biology and related science classes, BA students take courses in the humanities, foreign language, social sciences, and the arts. The BA in Biology degree offers no concentration.
Why Choose This Degree?
- 1,300 The number of students majoring in Biology, making it the largest major in the College of Science and the second largest at Mason.
- 24 Average biology lab size: you're more than just a number.
- 80,000 The Biology Department supports the third largest herbarium in Virginia that contains over 80,000 plants specimens from around the world
- Our curriculum prepares students for careers in the health sciences including medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, and related allied health disciplines.
- We offer a lab-focused program, hands-on training, and award-winning faculty.
- Our proximity to Washington, D.C. gives us a unique opportunity to partner with many organizations and government agencies that deal with health sciences.
Mason Biology Majors have participated in:
- Cheetah Conservation Fund Internship
- INOVA Biomedical Internship in Chronic Diseases
- Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Internship Program
The Undergraduate Research Semester gives you the chance to get involved and immersed in the ongoing scientific research at Mason, working one-on-one with a Mason scientist.
Total credits: minimum 120
Biology, BA majors are required to complete the following coursework with the option of also completing a concentration.
Biology Core Courses
- BIOL 213 Cell Structure and Function 4
- BIOL 214 Biostatistics for Biology Majors 4
- BIOL 300 BioDiversity 4
- BIOL 308 Foundations of Ecology and Evolution 2 5
- BIOL 311 General Genetics 4
Total Credits 21
- Complete 11 credits of additional biology courses 11
- CHEM 211 & CHEM 213 General Chemistry I (Mason Core) and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core) (Natural Science course) 4
- CHEM 212 & CHEM 214 General Chemistry II (Mason Core) and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core) (Natural Science course) 4
Total Credits 8
Select one from the following: 3-6
- MATH 111 Linear Mathematical Modeling (Mason Core) (Quantitative Reasoning courses) or MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
- MATH 123 & MATH 124 Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A and Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B (Mason Core)
Total Credits 3-6
Select one from the following: 3
- CDS 130 Computing for Scientists (Mason Core) 1
- Any course(s) that fulfills the Mason Core: Information Technology requirement
Total Credits 3
Concentration in Biological Illustration (BIOI)
This optional concentration consists of a selection of courses designed to address the needs and interests of students who wish to study biology and simultaneously have the aptitude to draw, animate, or design art for textbooks, videos, and papers. This concentration has significant biology, chemistry, and physics components like all biology majors, and includes art classes that will prepare students for the opportunity to use their love of biology and art in one degree.
Choose 6-7 credits from the following Mason Core: Natural Science Courses 6-7
- ASTR 103 Astronomy (Mason Core)
- ASTR 111 The Solar System (Mason Core)
- ASTR 113 Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Mason Core)
- GEOL 101 & GEOL 103 Physical Geology (Mason Core) and Physical Geology Lab
- GEOL 102 Historical Geology (Mason Core)
- PHYS 160 University Physics I (Mason Core)
- PHYS 243 College Physics I (Mason Core)
- PHYS 245 College Physics II (Mason Core)
- PHYS 260 University Physics II (Mason Core)
Art and Visual Technology
- AVT 180 New Media in the Creative Arts (Mason Core) 3
- AVT 222 Drawing I (Mason Core) 3
- AVT 385 EcoArt (Mason Core) 3 or AVT 497 Senior Project (Mason Core)
Choose 12 additional art credits from the following courses: 12
- AVT 323 Drawing II
- AVT 324 Figure Drawing
- AVT 327 Illustration
- AVT 328 Mixed Media
- AVT 382 2D Experimental Animation
- AVT 383 3D Experimental Animation
- AVT 422 Drawing III
Total Credits 27-28
Concentration in Biological Health (BIOH)
This concentration is specially designed for students who have a previous four-year degree and wish to change careers to pursue a profession in the health sciences. Students are encouraged to work closely with an advisor on their program of study as it relates to their transfer coursework.
- CHEM 313 & CHEM 315 Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry Lab I 5
- CHEM 314 & CHEM 318 Organic Chemistry II and Organic Chemistry Lab II 4-5 or BIOL 483 General Biochemistry
- PHYS 243 & PHYS 244 College Physics I (Mason Core) and College Physics I Lab (Mason Core) 4
- PHYS 245 & PHYS 246 College Physics II (Mason Core) and College Physics II Lab (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 17-18
Mason Core and Elective Requirements
In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires additional credits (specific credit counts by concentration are shown below), which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements (outlined below), Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees (refer to AP.5.3.2), College Requirements for the BA Degree (outlined below), and elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors to ensure that they fulfill all requirements.
- Without concentration: 71-74 credits
- BIOI concentration: 43-47 credits
- BIOH concentration: 53-57 credits
Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.
- Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
- Oral Communication 3
- Quantitative Reasoning 3
- Information Technology and Computing 3
- Arts 3
- Global Understanding 3
- Literature 3
- Natural Science 7
- Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
- Western Civilization/World History 3
- Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
- Writing-Intensive 3
- Synthesis/Capstone 3
Total Credits 40