Biology Degrees

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts

A biology degree at VMI is designed to give the student a solid background in the biological and natural sciences while maintaining the flexibility for the student to select courses that meet interests and career goals.  The required introductory sequence provides the fundamental background in biology to move into the upper-level courses.  The four Core Areas allow flexibility in selecting courses while providing a breadth of background. The Core Areas emphasize ecological or biological diversity concepts, anatomy, organismal functioning, and cellular functioning.  The additional 14 hours of biology course work allow a student to focus on one or several of these core areas.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Inherent to the understanding of biological systems is knowledge of both chemistry and physics.  The requirement for Biology B.S. candidates to complete 20 hours of training in the natural sciences serves to provide a breadth of understanding of biological systems.

Degree Requirements & Year-by-Year Course Planning

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students pursuing a B.A. in Biology degree are required to demonstrate proficiency in a modern language through the 200-level.  Students wishing to have a study abroad experience may find that the B.A. degree program offers the flexibility to incorporate that learning experience into their degree program.

Degree Requirements & Year-by-Year Course Planning


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) - The Concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a collaborative effort between the biology and chemistry departments and is designed for the biology, chemistry, or other science or engineering majors who wish to emphasize biochemical or molecular issues in their studies. It is also designed to offer students undergraduate research opportunities in these areas. This option does not change the credit hours needed for the B.S./B.A. in biology or the B.S./B.A. in chemistry degree.

Ecology, Conservation, and Organismal Sciences (ECOS) - The Concentration in Ecology, Conservation, and Organismal Sciences (ECOS) is intended for cadets who wish to explore field-based and organismal disciplines of biology, including plant and animal biology, conservation, and ecology. The program also is intended to promote hands-on experiences through undergraduate research, internships in related fields, or immersion in a designated intensive field-oriented class. The ECOS option does not affect the credit hours required for the B.S. or B.A. in biology.

Honors in Biology

A cadet can earn departmental honors by completing a research project in their 1st class year and presenting the research to the department. Eligibility to apply for departmental honors requires 1st class standing and a minimum cumulative and biology GPA of 3.000. An application in the form of a research proposal is submitted to the department at the end of the 2nd class year or at the beginning of the 1st class year. If the department approves the proposal, then the cadet will enroll in BI 490/490W (independent research in the fall) and then BI 491/491W (independent research in the spring). By the middle of April, a formal research paper will be submitted to the department at least two weeks prior to the oral presentation (defense). The awarding of Honors in Biology will be made following successful completion of the research project and oral defense.


Exercise Science - This interdisciplinary minor can be declared through the Department of Human Performance and Wellness. It is designed to provide cadets with a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of exercise and fitness.  It will prepare cadets to be eligible to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Instructor Certification Examination or the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Tactical Strength and Conditioning - Facilitator Examinations.




VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders