Requirements for Biology Majors at USC

January 20, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Requirements for Biology Majors at USC

The Biology major at the University of Southern California offers a wide range of biology-related programs and resources for students interested in the life sciences. The requirements for Biology majors at USC vary depending on the specific program or track that a student chooses to follow. However, some general requirements for the major include completing a certain number of biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses.

Additionally, along with the major consisting of required core courses, elective courses, and laboratory work, students may be required to complete laboratory work and a senior thesis.

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It is recommended that students consult the university or speak with an academic advisor for specific requirements for Biology majors at USC, for the program they are interested in pursuing.

Does USC have a Good Biology Program?

Does USC have a good biology program? The biology department at the University of Southern California (USC) is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Students who choose to major in biology at USC receive an all-encompassing education in the life sciences.

Additionally, the major provides students with a wide variety of resources and opportunities to gain practical experience and investigate their areas of interest in greater depth.

The Department of Biological Sciences provides students with a variety of educational opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels.

The research conducted in this department spans the scales of biological organization, from molecules and cells to organisms, populations, species, and communities. The department is home to a thriving community of life scientists.

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An emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative research provides faculty and students with opportunities to investigate a diverse array of living systems using a wide variety of research approaches and tools.

Some of these methods and tools include X-ray crystallography, molecular assays, and computational genomic analyses. Others include advanced microscopy, electrophysiology, and field research in Antarctica, Africa, and the Pacific Ocean.

The Department of Biological Sciences at USC is composed of faculty members who are both highly qualified and experienced. These faculty members are also involved in research and have a broad range of knowledge in various subfields of biology.

Students at USC have access to a variety of research centers and facilities on campus, such as the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, where they can take part in research projects and gain practical experience in the subject matter that most piques their academic curiosity.

The University of Southern California (USC) is consistently ranked among the best universities in the United States and around the world, and its biology program is widely regarded as being among the very best in the entirety of the United States.

In addition, the university has a number of student organizations, such as the Biology Club and the Pre-Health Professions Club, that give students the opportunity to participate in events and activities that are connected to the life sciences. For example, students can present research at the Biology Club.

What are the Requirements for Biology Majors at USC?

What are the requirements for biology majors at USC? Students who wish to pursue a degree in biology at the University of Southern California are required to take a sequence of classes that together offer a well-rounded education in the various life science disciplines.

Applicable here are general education, writing, and foreign language requirements, as well as the diversity requirements, for a degree from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. This degree offers a broad education in life sciences and can be combined with other studies to create a double major.

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Within the Biological Sciences major, there are four subfields that students can concentrate their studies on to receive a more narrowly tailored education. Biotechnology, Ecology, Evolution, and the Environment, Marine Biology, and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology are the four subfields that fall under this category. On transcripts, the areas of emphasis are marked with an asterisk. Here are the following requirements for Biology majors at USC:

Lower-Division BISC Core Courses (8 units)

  • BISC 120Lg General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution Units: 4 or
  • BISC 121Lg Advanced General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution Units: 4
  • BISC 220Lg General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology Units: 4 or
  • BISC 221Lg Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology Units: 4

Collateral Sciences Courses (32 units)

General Chemistry Requirement: 8 units

  • CHEM 105aLg General Chemistry Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 107Lg General Chemistry for Chemistry Majors Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 115aLg Advanced General Chemistry Units: 4
  • CHEM 105bL General Chemistry Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 108L General Chemistry for Chemistry Majors: Kinetics and Equilibrium Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 115bL Advanced General Chemistry Units: 4

Organic Chemistry Requirement: 8 units

  • CHEM 322aL Organic Chemistry Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 325aL Organic Chemistry Units: 4
  • CHEM 322bL Organic Chemistry Units: 4 or
  • CHEM 325bL Organic Chemistry Units: 4

Calculus Requirement: 4 units

  • MATH 125g Calculus I Units: 4

Statistics Requirement: 4 units

  • MATH 208x Elementary Probability and Statistics Units: 4 or
  • QBIO 305g Statistics for Biological Sciences Units: 4 or
  • QBIO 310 Statistical Thinking for Quantitative Biology Units: 4

Physics Requirement: 8 units

  • PHYS 135aLg Physics for the Life Sciences Units: 4 or
  • PHYS 151Lg Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics Units: 4
  • PHYS 135bL Physics for the Life Sciences Units: 4 or
  • PHYS 152L Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism Units: 4

Introduction to Research-Active Faculty (1 to 2 units)

Students may enroll in one or both courses.

  • BISC 193 Introduction to Research I Units: 1 and/or
  • BISC 194 Introduction to Research II Units: 1

Upper-Division BISC Core Courses (12 units)

  • BISC 320Lg Molecular Biology Units: 4
  • BISC 325 Genetics Units: 4
  • BISC 330L Biochemistry Units: 4

Upper-Division Electives (8 units)

As part of the requirements for Biology majors at USC, it is necessary to complete eight units of upper-division BISC coursework that can count toward major credit.

To satisfy the need for upper-division electives, you may only use a maximum of four units from the BISC 490x course. In addition, the upper-division elective requirement can be satisfied by taking a maximum of two seminars (BISC 460 through BISC 462), which together make up a total of four units.

It is anticipated that students will complete BISC core courses at the 100-level during their first year of study, two BISC core courses at the 300-level during their second year of study, and the remaining core courses along with the 300- or 400-level BISC major elective courses during their third and fourth years of study respectively.

What is the Average GPA for Biology Majors?

What is the average GPA for biology majors? A student’s grade point average (GPA) is one of the most important prerequisites for admission to the University of Southern California because it reflects the student’s overall academic success.

A grade point average of 3.79 is required for admission to USC. Taking an Advanced Placement (AP) course will boost a student’s weighted grade point average to reflect the difficulty of the course, but it will not affect the student’s unweighted grade point average. As a result, it could have a negative impact on the unweighted GPA.

The typical grade point average for biology students at a given institution and within a certain program might be somewhat different from one another.

To maintain excellent academic standing and be eligible for graduation from a program, institutions typically require a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher from their students. However, the grade point average for biology majors may be significantly higher than the grade point average for students in other majors, and it may range from approximately 3.0 to 3.5 or even higher.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the average GPA can be affected by a number of different factors, including the level of competition in the program, the level of difficulty in the courses, and the academic credentials of the student body as a whole.

Additionally, it is essential to keep in mind that this is merely an average, and while this does not indicate that it is impossible to graduate with a lower GPA, it does mean that it will be difficult to gain admission to graduate programs or find work in the area.

It is always advisable to verify with the biology department of the university for further specific information as well as the requirements for the program. In addition, speaking with an academic counselor might provide you with a clearer picture of the academic results you should anticipate based on your current performance.

How Hard is it to get into USC?

How hard is it to get into USC? Due to its high ranking and widespread esteem, the University of Southern California (USC) is notoriously difficult to gain admission to. During the admissions process, a number of different aspects are taken into consideration. These aspects include academic performance (grade point average and test scores), extracurricular activities, personal essays, and recommendation letters.

In terms of academic achievement, USC focuses on applicants who have a high school GPA and test scores (ACT/SAT) that are at or above the median range for admitted students. In addition, USC favors applicants who have participated in extracurricular activities.

The typical grade point average for admitted students is approximately 3.8, while the typical SAT score for admitted students is approximately 1370. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that they are merely averages and that they are not the only element taken into consideration throughout the admissions process.

The applicant’s personality, interests, and potential for success at USC can be gleaned from their extracurricular activities, personal essays, and letters of recommendation, all of which are crucial parts of the application process.

Admission at USC is extremely hard; the acceptance rate for the Fall 2021 semester was approximately 12%, which indicates that only 12 students out of every 100 who applied were ultimately selected. This indicates that the admissions procedure is highly selective, and it is possible that a large number of applicants who are well-qualified will not get accepted.

However, it is important to note that USC is committed to assessing each application holistically and encourages individuals to submit even if their academic credentials may not be as strong as the average student who gets admitted. This is something that should be kept in mind.

It is always a good idea to check with the admissions office of the university to find out more detailed information and to see what the requirements for applying are.

Want to learn more about the requirements for Biology majors at USC? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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