University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Biology B.S. - Field Ecology

Bachelor of Science - Biology; Field Ecology 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 for the Field Ecology Concentration5
Additional Upper Division Major Courses Required for the Field Ecology Concentration8
Evolution Course Requirement
-Ology Course Requirement
Ecology Requirement at the Flathead Lake Biological Station13
Aquatic Emphasis
Terrestrial Emphasis
Required Courses Outside of the Major28-42
Mathematics - Calculus
Mathematics - Statistics
Advanced College Writing Requirement
Total Hours71-85


Degree Specific Credits: 71-84

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Note: The Field Ecology Concentration is for students interested in field-based ecology. Students with this concentration spend one or two summers taking field courses at the Flathead Lake Biological Station. This concentration is a graduate prep program, and is for students interested in academia or employment at a governmental, private, or non-profit agency.

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 for the Field Ecology Concentration

Complete one of the following courses:5
Field Ecology (at Flathead Lake Biological Station)
General Ecology
and General Ecology Lab (equivalent to 271)
Total Hours5

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Additional Upper-Division Major Courses Required for the Field Ecology Concentration

Rule: Complete a minimum of 8 credits of upper-division Biology or Microbiology (BIOB, BIOE, BIOH, BIOL, BIOM, or BIOO), with at least one course from each of the following subcategories. 8 total credits required.

Evolution Course Requirement

Complete at least one evolutionary biology course from the following list:3
Conservation Genetics
Phylogenics and Evolution
Behavior & Evolution
Plant Evolution
Host-Microbe Interactions
Total Hours3

Minimum Required Grade: C-

-Ology Course Requirement

Complete one of the following courses:3-5
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Lab (equiv to 260)
General Parasitology
and General Parasitology Lab
General Botany
Rocky Mountain Flora
Biology and Management of Fishes
Total Hours3-5

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Ecology Requirement at the Flathead Lake Biological Station

Rule: Complete either the Aquatic Emphasis or the Terrestrial Emphasis. 

Aquatic Emphasis

If choosing the Aquatic Emphasis:
Complete all of the following courses:
BIOE 440Conservation Ecology3
BIOE 451Landscape Ecology3
BIOB 494Seminar in Biology1
Complete 2 of the following courses:6
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Stream Ecology
Lake Ecology
Total Hours13

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Terrestrial Emphasis

If choosing the Terrestrial Emphasis:
Complete all of the following courses:
BIOE 416Alpine Ecology3
BIOE 440Conservation Ecology3
BIOE 451Landscape Ecology3
BIOE 458Forest and Fire Ecology3
BIOB 494Seminar in Biology1
Total Hours13

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Required Courses Outside of the Major

Mathematics - Calculus

Complete one of the following courses:4
Applied Calculus
Calculus I
Total Hours4

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Mathematics - Statistics

Complete either one semester or a full year of statistics from the following:4-8
One Semester:
Introduction to Statistics
Full Year:
Statistical Methods I
and Statistical Methods II
Computer Data Analysis I
and Computer Data Analysis II
Total Hours4-8

Minimum Required Grade: C-



  • Students who begin in the advanced chemistry sequence may substitute those courses for introductory sequence courses at the discretion of the major advisor. 
Complete a sequence of general and organic chemistry:10-20
Introductory Chemistry (10 credits):
Introduction to General Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
and Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry Lab
Advanced Chemistry (20 credits):
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Lab
College Chemistry II
and College Chemistry II Lab
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
Total Hours10-20

Minimum Required Grade: C-


Complete one of the following Physics sequences:10
Algebra- and Trigonometry-based Physics:
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
Calculus-based Physics:
Fundamentals of Physics with Calculus I
and Physics Laboratory I with Calculus
Fundamentals of Physics with Calculus II
and Physics Laboratory II with Calculus (require M 171 and M 172)
Total Hours10

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Advanced College Writing Requirement

Rule:  To complete 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 Field Ecology concentration requires BIOE 371 or BIOE 342 (both 2/3 writing courses). The Advanced College Writing Requirement is completed with one additional course, chosen from any of the following.

1/3 Advanced Writing Courses

BCH 482Advanced Biochemistry II3
BIOB 410Immunology3
BIOB 425Advanced Cellular & Molecular Biology3
BIOB 483Phylogenics and Evolution3
BIOE 403Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy4
BIOE 409Behavior & Evolution Discussion1
BIOE 428Freshwater Ecology5
BIOM 402Medical Bacteriology& Mycology3
BIOO 320General Botany5
BIOO 434Plant Physiology Lab1
BIOO 470Ornithology4
BIOO 475Mammalogy4

Minimum Required Grade: C-

2/3 Advanced Writing Courses

BCH 486Biochemistry Research Lab3
BCH 499Senior Thesis/Capstone3-6
BIOB 411Immunology Laboratory2
BIOB 499Undergraduate Thesis3-6
BIOE 342Field Ecology5
BIOE 371General Ecology Lab (equivalent to 271)2
BIOM 411Experimental Microbial Genetics Lab1
BIOM 499Undergraduate Thesis3-6

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Complete Advanced Writing Course

BIOH 462Principles of Medical Physiology3
BIOM 420Host-Microbe Interactions3

Minimum Required Grade: C-