The Biology Minor

Getting a minor in Biology

To get a minor in Biology, you need to take Biology 141 and 142 and the laboratories, and 15 additional credits of upper level elective courses. Electives must be selected from at least three out of the five course groups (Cellular, Organismal, Genetics, Population, and Molecular), and three credits must be laboratory courses.

So the 15 credits would typically look like:

  • 2 lecture/lab courses (such as Histology, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental, etc., which are 5 credits each) + 2 3-credit lecture courses (16 credits total)
  • 1 lecture/lab courses (such as Histology, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental, etc., which are 5 credits each) + General Physiology lecture & Lab (4.5 credits) + 2 3-credit lecture courses (15.5 credits)
  • 2 lecture/lab courses (such as Histology, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental, etc., which are 5 credits each) + General Physiology lecture & Lab (4.5 credits) + 1 1.5-credit course (such as Molecular Biology of Cancer) (16 credits)

Biology majors getting minors in other subjects

Minors in the university typically involve taking 18 credits (six 3-credit courses) in the field of choice.

Perhaps the most common minor for Biology majors is a minor in Biochemistry. Because of the similarity of the programs, many of the required courses for a Biochemistry minor are typically taken by Biology majors:

  • Chem 232 and 233 (Organic Chemistry I and II) - required by the Biology major
  • 3 credits of laboratory (200 level or higher) - Chem 232L and 233L are required by the Biology major
  • Biochemistry I
  • Biochemistry II or Biophysical Chemistry I

Note: Biochemistry I normally counts as a major elective towards the Biology major. However, if you already took Biochemistry I, and you subsequently declare a Biochemistry minor, Biochem I no longer counts as credits towards your major (so you will have to take another 3-credit Biology elective)

Another common minor is one in a foreign language. You can get a minor by taking 18 credits in a foreign language of your choice. Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, or Spanish are routinely offered at the University, but you can get minors in other languages (such as Japanese or Russian) if you find alternate ways of obtaining your credits (such as study abroad).

Note that some of the credits that you use for your foreign language minor can also count towards your Humanities requirements and towards your Free Electives.

If you want a minor in Economics, Finance, Management, or Operations Management

These are attractive minors for Biology students who are interested in going into a business-related field following graduation. If you are interested in doing this, it is advisable to start EARLY in your undergraduate career (sophomore year).

These minors are offered by the Kania School of Management (KSOM). A minor in any one of the fields requires 6 3-credit courses. If you are interested in getting a minor in KSOM, your best course of action would be to speak with someone from the KSOM Advising Center (or call them at 570-941-6100) - they would be more than happy to assist you with any questions that you may have.

In lieu of a minor, you could also try to enter the Business Leadership program. The business leadership program provides an excellent background for any student considering a career in education, management, marketing, finance, or any other field in which leadership qualities are emphasized. This program provides students the opportunity to develop special skills for business leadership, and includes specific sections of key business courses taught from a leadership perspective, leadership seminars, a mentor/internship program, and an independent leadership project. This highly selective program accepts 15 sophomore students each spring. The students then begin a two-year curriculum the following fall semester. For more information, please contact Dr Rob McKeage, Program Director, Phone 570-941-7703, Brennan Hall 329. You can also visit the web page.

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