Part-time Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Biological Sciences Major

The science of biology is the study of living organisms at all levels of complexity and in all their diversity. The biological sciences major in Northwestern University School of Professional Studies’ part-time degree program develops and enhances the intellectual and creative potential of life sciences students. The program, comprised of evening and Saturday courses, provides a foundation in biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics. A major in biological sciences is the first step toward a careers as a physician, dentist, veterinarian or researcher, or in the fields of healthcare, education, and pharmaceutical sales.

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organization and function of basic biological systems, including genetics, physiology, evolutionary,  molecular and cellular biology
  • Integrate core mathematical, chemical, and physical principles with fundamental concepts of biological sciences
  • Analyze, interpret and critically evaluate scientific data and primary literature
  • Apply the scientific method to form and test hypotheses using appropriate laboratory techniques
  • Communicate biological principles effectively through written work and oral presentations
  • Convey an advanced knowledge of human biological processes

Required Courses

  • BIOL SCI 215 Genetics and Molecular Biology+
  • BIOL SCI 217 Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 219 Cell Biology*
  • BIOL SCI 220 Genetic and Molecular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 221 Cellular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 222 Investigative Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 308 Biochemistry**
  • BIOL SCI 342 Evolutionary Processes
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry (with lab, CHEM 121)
  • CHEM 102 General Inorganic Chemistry (with lab, CHEM 122)
  • CHEM 103 General Physical Chemistry (with lab, CHEM 123)
  • CHEM 210-A Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 210-B Organic Chemistry II (with lab, CHEM 230-B)
  • MATH 220 Differential Calculus of One-Variable Functions
  • MATH 224 Integral Calculus of One-Variable Functions
  • PHYSICS 130-A,B,C College Physics
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics

Plus four courses, selected from the following courses:

  • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
  • BIOL SCI 315 Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL SCI 316 Human Structure and Function
  • BIOL SCI 318 Advanced Human Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 327 Biology of Aging
  • BIOL SCI 328 Microbiology
  • BIOL SCI 355 Immunobiology
  • 300-level biological anthropology course***

+BIOL SCI 215-CN is scheduled in an intensive session in September. In 2016, the course will meet Mondays and Wednesdays 6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. and Saturdays 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

* Formerly BIOL SCI 216 Cell Biology

** Formerly BIOL SCI 218 Biochemistry

*** A maximum of one anthropology course can be applied toward the biology requirement

Program Details

The biological sciences major is a robust combination of Northwestern University science curriculum and courses in human biology that are unique to the School of Professional Studies. This rigorous, part-time program in SPS provides students with deep and current knowledge of human biology through courses taught by Northwestern University faculty and researchers.