Biological and Natural Resource Sciences, Bachelor of Science

Arts and Sciences

Provost Office

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 66 units of major requirements 

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • For this major the prefixes include BSC and BIO. 

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 125
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Biological and Natural Resource Sciences program is to provide an excellent, integrated education to prepare students from the Lower Colorado River region to enter the health, teaching, research, and natural resource management professions and to promote life-long learning. 
The BS in Biological and Natural Resource Sciences (B&NRS) provides applied, cross-disciplinary training to prepare students to take part in scientific research and discovery using the scientific method and core knowledge in biology and the natural sciences. Students gain this knowledge through their individual research or internship experiences and coursework in ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, and the physical sciences.  The BS in B&NRS program's rigorous training in the biological and natural sciences prepares graduates for successful careers in industry, government agencies, and research institutions. Our graduates can successfully communicate science at different levels of engagement from research scientists to the general public on a wide range of currently relevant biological topics. The B&NRS curriculum trains students how to describe and perform empirical research and analysis. The research and practical skills gained by B&NRS students help them continue to expand their knowledge long after they graduate from the program. This training and experience helps our graduates assume leadership roles in biological and natural science fields. Finally, the BS in B&NRS program prepares students for entry into graduate and professional programs in the biological sciences, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, dentistry, and other related fields if they choose to continue in an academic track.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates can identify, describe, and apply the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings in the biological sciences.  Students will be able to identify, describe and apply the following:
  • The theory of evolution; that the diversity of life evolved over time by processes of genetic change, diversification, and extinction.
  • The basic units of structure define the function of all living things, and that the physical and chemical characteristics of each biological structure influence its interactions with other structures as well as its function.
  • Context-specific expression of genetic information regulates growth and behavior of organisms, and that the phenotype of an organism is controlled by its genotype and the environment.
  • Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Graduates will analyze how the biological knowledge base has and continues to be acquired utilizing core scientific principles.  Students will be able to:
  • Apply the process of science, particularly that science is evidence-based and grounded in the formal practices of observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing.
  • Use quantitative reasoning by evaluating and summarizing experimental evidence using mathematical reasoning.
  • Examine models/simulations of ecosystems. 
  • Graduates will demonstrate research skills in the biological sciences.  Students will be able to:
  • Use computers and other technology for a variety of purposes including the acquisition of relevant and valid information
  • Apply basic research methods in research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Critically review empirical research. 
  • Graduates can apply the knowledge base and ethical issues in the biological sciences to their professional and personal lives, and when possible, use the scientific approach to solve problems related to the life sciences.  Students will be able to:
  • Utilize, communicate with, and collaborate with other disciplines.
  • Communicate science in multiple forms, including written, oral, and electronic, to diverse audiences.
  • Understand the relationship between science and society.

Major Requirements

  • Please note many of the following major requirements also satisfy the Liberal Studies requirements. 

    Physical Science Foundation:

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.