Biochemistry focuses on the structure and function of biomolecules—proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids—and encompasses all the chemical processes of organisms. The B.A. Biochemistry major includes one year of biochemistry, including laboratories, as well as upper-division courses in gene expression and biological physical chemistry. The B.S. Biochemistry major includes two semesters of calculus designed for engineering or other physical science students, one year of biochemistry with laboratories, a semester of analytical chemistry with laboratory, a semester of biological physical chemistry, as well as upper-division courses in gene expression and related elective courses.
Biology is the broadest major available in biological sciences at KU. The B.A. Biology degree provides students with much flexibility in their major course choices. Several core course options include ecology, microbiology, organismal physiology, and biochemistry. The B.S. degree allows students to specialize in one of several academic emphases, or subplans. For students who entered KU in or after Fall 2014, there are two options: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology; and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. By requiring an area of emphasis, the B.S. degree option allows students to focus on those aspects of biology that most interest them, while retaining a core selection of course options that may include biochemistry, cell structure and function, evolutionary biology, and organismal physiology.
The Biology concentration within the Human Biology major allows students to focus on science and upper-division biology lecture and laboratory courses. Students may experience the interdisciplinary nature of this major by taking courses from Human Biology affiliated departments to fulfill degree requirements. Within the major requirements, Biology concentration students may choose to complete courses in two of the following categories: Development & Genetics; Anatomy & Physiology; Evolution, Ecology, & Adaptation; and Human Disease.
We encourage students to consider becoming involved in undergraduate research and to make connections with faculty. The Biology concentration is the only Human Biology concentration in which students can earn Departmental Honors in Biology.
Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi, the immune system, and their roles in human health, the environment and beyond. Job prospects for Microbiologists with a bachelor’s or higher degree continue to be strong. The upper-division major courses in immunology, pathogenic microbiology, virology and microbial genetics couple laboratory courses with lecture courses in order to provide students with hands-on practical experience with the material. The B.A. Microbiology major includes a choice of three of the upper-division lecture and laboratory course pairs, while the B.S. Microbiology major includes all four of the upper-division lecture and laboratory course pairs.
The Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology B.S. and B.A. degrees provide students with a broad understanding of biological systems at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. The MCDB degree includes study of genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, cancer biology, and neurobiology. Students have the option of elective courses in these areas for an advanced, in-depth learning experience.