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What Is Biology?

Biology is the science of life, from simple bacteria to complicated organisms. Biologists pursue a wide range of interests, among them researching diseases, exploring the evolution of organisms, modeling the complexity of ecosystems and examining the distribution of living organisms.

Why Study Biology?

Why do people get old and die? Why do seeds grow up, not down? How does injecting someone with a virus prevent them from catching it? Biologists learn the answers. Students of biology develop an understanding of how living things work and affect each other. They work to answer new questions about the natural world, whether it is about environmental impact or human health and well-being. Will building a new dam destroy a rare flower or increase populations of parasites? Where did the latest Salmonella outbreak originate? Why are some cancers resistant to chemotherapy? How do we make a vaccine for AIDS? Biologists perform research to discover answers to these questions, apply their research, and teach the discoveries to a new generation.

A note on pathways: A pathway is an advising guide to help students prepare for their intended bachelor’s degree major. By following the course of study outlined in the appropriate Associate of Arts or Associate of Science pathway, students will have the necessary prerequisite courses to continue in their chosen disciplines. A pathway is not a major and will not be represented on the diploma.

For the latest information about the required courses in the Biology pathway view the Associate-Level Undergraduate Catalog


Biology opens the door to a variety of careers and leads to roles such as:

    • Botanist
    • Ecologist
    • Food and drug inspector
    • Forensic scientist
    • Forestry management specialist
    • Geneticist
    • Immunologist
    • Marine biologist
    • Science or medical writer
    • Physician
    • Microbiologist
    • Nuclear medicine technician
    • Pharmacist
    • Public health administrator
    • Researcher
    • Veterinarian
    • Wildlife biologist
    • Zoo educator
  Check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ listings for biological scientists and other biology careers.

The Biology pathway leads to an Associate of Science degree.

1917 Biology Pathway

Associate of Science, Pathway – Biology

Areas A-E of the Core Curriculum (42) Recommendations Area A:
  • Required course: MATH 1112 College Trigonometry (3), MATH 1113 Precalculus (3), or any higher-level mathematics course) (3)
Area D: Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Pathway (18)
  1. Carry over from Areas A and/or D (1-2):
    • Students will carry one additional credit hour over to Area F for each 4-credit-hour mathematics course taken in Area A and/or Area D.
  2. Required Courses (unless used to satisfy Area D requirements) (16):
    • BIOL 2107 Principles of Biology I (3) and BIOL 2107 Principles of Biology I Lab (1)
    • BIOL 2108 Principles of Biology II (3) and BIOL 2108 Principles of Biology II Lab (1)
    • CHEM 1211 Principles of Chemistry I (3) and CHEM 1211 Principles of Chemistry I Lab (1)
    • CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry II (3) and CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry II Lab (1)
  3. Select from the following to complete 18 hours in Area F:
  • Students intending to pursue the B.S. in Biology at Georgia State University-Atlanta must complete the courses indicated (*) as follows: one of the two-semester physics sequences and any of the biology and research (RSCH) courses in the list as needed to complete Area F. Please consult with your academic advisor for additional guidance.
  • All separate lecture and lab course combinations above (e.g., BIOL 2107 and BIOL 2107L; CHEM 1211 and CHEM 1211K) are commonly offered as a combined course at Georgia State University-Atlanta (e.g., BIOL 2107K; CHEM 1211K. The combined (K) courses and separate lecture and lab (L) courses cover the same subject matter and are considered equivalent courses.
For the latest information about the required courses in the Biology pathway view the Associate-Level Undergraduate Catalog  

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