University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Biology B.A. - Natural History

Bachelor of Arts - Biology; Natural History Concentration

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 Concentration24
Required Courses Outside of the Major34
Chemistry and Geology
Cognate Electives
Total Hours75


Degree Specific Credits: 75

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

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.).

Biology/Microbiology Lower-Division Core

Note: The lower-division core should be completed before attempting most upper-division major courses. AP Biology credit with a score of 3 may be substituted for either BIOB 160N/BIOB 161N or BIOB 170N/BIOB 171N.

Complete all of the following courses:
BIOB 160NPrinciples of Living Systems3
BIOB 161NPrinciples of Living Systems Lab1
BIOB 170NPrinciples of Biological Diversity3
BIOB 171NPrinciples of Biological Diversity 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

Complete one of the following Ecology courses:5
Field Ecology
General Ecology
and General Ecology Lab (equivalent to 271)
Complete all of the following courses:
BIOE 406Behavior & Evolution3
BIOO 320General Botany5
BIOO 335Rocky Mountain Flora3
BIOO 462Entomology4
Complete one of the following courses:4
Total Hours24

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Required Courses Outside of the Major

Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Complete all of the following courses:
CHMY 121NIntroduction to General Chemistry4
CHMY 123Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry4
CHMY 124Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry Lab2
ERTH 101NEarth Systems Science3
ERTH 103NEarth Systems Science Lab1
Total Hours14

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Cognate Electives


  • 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 10 credits in English - writing, journalism, photography, art, modern & classical language, business management, or other appropriate field.

Complete 20 credits in the following disciplines, with a maximum of 10 credits in any one discipline:20
Anthropology (ANTY)
Astronomy (ASTR)
Chemistry (CHMY) - excluding CHMY 121N, 123, and 124
Geography (GPHY)
Geology (GEO) - excluding GEO 101N and 102N
Forestry/Natural Resource Management (FORS/NRSM)
Mathematics/Statistics (M/STAT)
Physics (PHSX)
Wildlife Biology (WILD)
Total Hours20

Minimum Required Grade: C-