Incoming Freshman

Biology students

Department of Biology

Dear Biology and Neuroscience major,

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Nevada, Reno and welcome to the College of Science (COS). To get started, please make sure to sign up for a summer orientation.

You will get advised at summer orientation, at which time your advising hold will be removed. After your hold is removed, you will be able to access and modify your first semester course enrollment using MyNEVADA. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the COS Dean's Office.

Thank you, we look forward to meeting you.


  • Try to fulfill the core curriculum requirements (except for CAPSTONE courses, done in Senior year) as soon as possible.
  • The first Biology course you will be taking is Biology 190, General Biology I (lecture only). This is a prerequisite for many of the upper division Biology courses. However, there is a prerequisite for Biology 190 and that is Chemistry 121. So plan on taking Chem 121 as soon as possible - preferably your first semester here.
  • Chem 121 has a co-requisite of Math 127 or 128 (Pre-Calculus), which is also required for the Biology major so plan to take Math 127 or 128 your first semester if possible.
  •  You will not be able to take any biology your first semester, because of the Chemistry prerequisite.
  • Take English 101 and 102 as early as you can, to get them out of the way.
  • After having completed English 102, you can start the Core Humanities sequence - CH 201 first, then CH 202 or 203 in any order.
  • Early on, take a Fine arts course and a social science course. Only one 3 credit course is required of each.
  • After taking Biology 190, take Biology 191, which is lecture only. We strongly suggest you take Biology 192 (2 credit lab) concurrently with 191, but you can take 192 later.
  • After taking Biology 190/191/192, take Genetics (Biology 300) as soon as you can, since it's a prerequisite for several other courses.
  • After taking Biology 300, you can take either 314 and 394 (Ecology and Population Biology and the lab) OR 315 and 395 (Cell Biology and Genetics and cell lab; those interested in medicine/health usually take this option).
  • Comparative Animal Physiology (Bio 316) is also a must. You must have completed Chem 122 however.
  • After taking Math 127 or 128, take calculus: MATH 181. You can then take STAT 152 or APST 270 both are statistics classes. Be aware that some graduate or professional schools MIGHT require a second semester of calculus. You would then have to take Math 182 as a general elective.
  • Don't forget all those Physics classes... they have a Math 127 or 128 prerequisite.
  • Since the Biology major has so many physics and chemistry requirements we do not require you to have a foreign language requirement like many other majors require. Biology majors also do not need to declare a minor.