Biology - Natural History

Bachelor of Arts - Biology; Natural History Concentration

College Humanities & Sciences

Degree Specific Credits: 73

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Catalog Year: 2017-2018

Note: The natural history concentration is designed for students who seek an interdisciplinary science program. This concentration is not research-oriented, and is not considered a preparatory program for traditional research-based graduate programs. It is, however, designed for students seeking careers in environmental education, science writing or illustration, natural history or wildlife film-making, or natural history centers or museums. There is enough latitude in the requirements to allow for a minor or even a double major in a related field of interest (e.g. journalism, art, media arts, etc.).

General Education Requirements

Information regarding these requirements can be found in the General Education Section of the catalog. 


Biology/Microbiology Lower Division Core17
Upper Division Core Courses Required by Natural History Concentration20
Additional Upper Division Major Courses Required for Natural History Concentration4
Required Courses Outside of the Major32
Chemistry and Geology
Cognate Electives
Upper Division Writing Expectation for the Major6-7
Total Hours79-80

Biology/Microbiology Lower Division Core

Rule: All of the following courses are required.

Note: The lower division core should be completed before attempting most upper division major courses.

AP Biology credit may be substituted for either BIOB 160N/BIOB 161N or BIOB 170N/BIOB 171N.

BIOB 160NPrinciples of Living Systems3
BIOB 161NPrncpls of Living Systems Lab1
BIOB 170NPrincpls Biological Diversity3
BIOB 171NPrincpls Biological Dvrsty Lab2
BIOB 260Cellular and Molecular Biology4
BIOB 272Genetics and Evolution4
Total Hours17

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Upper Division Core Courses Required by Natural History Concentration

Rule: All of the following courses are required.

Select one of the following:5
General Ecology
and Gen Ecology Lab (equiv to 271)
Field Ecology (taken at the Flathead Lake Biological Station)
BIOE 406Behavior & Evolution3
BIOO 320General Botany5
BIOO 335Rocky Mountain Flora3
BIOO 462Entomology4
Total Hours20

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Additional Upper Division Major Courses Required for Natural History Concentration

Rule: Complete one of the following courses

BIOO 470Ornithology4
or BIOO 475 Mammalogy
Total Hours4

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Required Courses Outside of the Major

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Chemistry and Geology

Rule: Complete all of the following courses

CHMY 121NIntroduction to General Chemistry3
CHMY 123Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry3
CHMY 124Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry Lab2
GEO 101NIntroduction to Physical Geology3
GEO 102NIntroduction to Physical Geology Lab1
Total Hours12

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Cognate Electives

Rule: Complete 20 credits from the following disciplines (maximum of 10 credits/discipline): ANTY, ASTR, CHMY (excluding CHMY 121N, CHMY 123, CHMY 124), GPHY, GEO (excluding GEO 101N, GEO 102N), FORS, M, PHSX, STAT, or WILD

Note: Students should plan on taking M 121 or higher level M course (prerequisite for BIOB 272 and GER math requirement) and STAT 216 (pre- or co-requisite for BIOE 371).

Students interested in combining the Natural History concentration with another subject area may, with the advisor's permission, substitute 20 credits in English - writing, journalism, photography, art, foreign language, business management, or other appropriate field.

Advanced College Writing Requirement for the Major

Rule: Complete the equivalent of a full writing course (either three 1/3 writing courses or one 2/3 writing course + one 1/3 writing course or one complete writing course).

Note: To meet the Advanced College Writing Requirement, Biology students take 2 or 3 partial writing courses (either three 1/3 writing courses or one 1/3 writing course and one 2/3 writing course) or one complete writing course. The Natural History concentration requires one 2/3 writing course (BIOE 371) and several 1/3 writing courses (BIOO 320, BIOO 470 or BIOO 475). No additional writing courses must be taken to meet this requirement.

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Exception to the Modern/Classical Languages Requirement

Rule: Choose one of the following Math courses

Note: The Division of Biological Sciences has been granted an exception to the Modern/Classical Language Requirement. Either of these Calculus courses will satisfy this requirement. The Natural History concentration does not require a calculus course; the Natural History student may choose to take one year of a modern or classical language, or they may take one of these calculus courses (which will count towards a cognate elective).

M 162Applied Calculus4
or M 171 Calculus I
Total Hours4

Minimum Required Grade: C-