Concentration in the Integrative Biology Major

Highlights of IB Honors:

  Small classes with outstanding faculty
  Cohesive group of students in a focused curriculum
  Open-ended investigation in the lab and field
  An honors program, not just an honors section

IB Honors Informational Meeting

Spring semester 2017
PLACE: Chem. Life Science Bldg. auditorium
(across from Krannert Center on S. Goodwin)
DATE: Thurs February 9, 2017
TIME: 5:15pm


Integrative Biology Honors is a complete curriculum designed for superior students wishing to pursue an intensive program in integrative biology and, concurrently, to gain a strong background in the physical sciences and mathematics.

With enrollment limited to 25-30 students per year and all classes and labs taught by outstanding professors, students are virtually assured the daily interactions with faculty that are critical to developing scientific techniques, critical thinking, and communication skills. Each year, participation in open-ended laboratory and field courses fosters cohesiveness among all the students in the program, creating a mutual support system unique among biology majors.

Three, semester-long core honors courses have one over-arching theme, the integration of biology at multiple levels of organization, from cells and molecules, to organisms, to ecosystems. Supplemented with a strong background in chemistry, the physical sciences, mathematics and statistics, and Independent Study research experiences, IB Honors students are among the best prepared students at the University, whether their career goals be graduate and professional schools (Medical, Veterinary, Dental or others), as well as biology careers in the private and public sectors.

Admission to the Concentration:


A minimum overall 3.0 GPA is required to apply for admission. Application and interview of individual applicants occurs in the Spring semester of the freshman year. Admitted students will be notified in advance of pre-registration for the Fall semester. Applicants who become successful in the Integrative Honors Concentration show strong interest in biology and evidence of success in math and science courses. General chemistry courses should be completed before beginning IB Honor courses

For Additional Information:

Email: honors@sib.illinois.edu
Phone: 217-333-3044
IBH Blog and Videos

Requirements for the Degree in Honors Integrative Biology:

Note: The following information applies to incoming students from Fall 2016 and on.
For IBH students admitted prior to Fall 2016 please refer to pdf
Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours
4 IB 150 – Organismal & Evolutionary Biology
4 MCB 150 –Molecular & Cellular Basis of Life
5 IB 270 – Evolution of Molecules and Cells--the major evolutionary transitions of biomolecules and cells, including energy acquisition and metabolism; information inheritance, system regulation, and genomes; the origin of life, the prokaryotic cell, eukaryotic cell, and multicellularity. Lecture and lab.
5 IB 271 – Organismal Biology--integrated study of the diversity and structure and function of plants and animals in evolutionary and environmental contexts. Conceptual themes and techniques of molecular and cellular levels of biological organization will be integrated as well.  Lecture and lab.
5 IB 372 – Ecology and Evolution1--integrated study of ecology, population genetics, and evolution. Conceptual themes and techniques from the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of biology will be integrated as well. Lecture, Lab, and field work.
MATH 220 (Biocalculus section) or MATH 221 – Calculus I
MATH 231 – Calculus II or
IB 494 - Theoretical Biology and Models2
8-10 Select ONE group of courses:
CHEM 202 – Accelerated Chemistry I
CHEM 203 – Accelerated Chemistry Lab I
CHEM 204 – Accelerated Chemistry II, and
CHEM 205 – Accelerated Chemistry Lab II


CHEM 102 – General Chemistry I3
CHEM 103 – General Chemistry Lab I
CHEM 104 – General Chemistry II
CHEM 105 – General Chemistry Lab II
6 Select ONE group of courses:
CHEM 236 – Fundamental Organic Chem I
CHEM 237 – Structure and Synthesis


CHEM 232 – Elementary Organic Chem I
CHEM 233 – Elementary Organic Chem I lab
6-8 At least Six Hours of Advanced Courses in Chemistry4
3 MCB 450 – Introductory Biochemistry
8-14 Select ONE group of courses:
PHYS 211 – Univ. Physics: Mechanics (4 hrs)
PHYS 212 – Univ. Physics: E&M (4 hrs)


PHYS 101 – College Physics: Mech & Heat (5 hrs)
PHYS 102 – College Physics: E&M & Modern (5 hrs)
An approved 300- or 400-level course that includes physical/math principles (3-4 hrs)5
3 An approved 300- or 400-level course in statistics6
6 IB 490 – Independent Research (2 semesters)7
10 300- or 400-level courses in the biological sciences

*Effective beginning in Fall semester 2016.
Requirements for IBH class of 2017 and 2018 are separately listed

Minimum required courses normally equate to 80-91 hours. Students earning the Integrative Biology Honors Concentration will also earn the CHEM minor

1 Continuation in the Integrative Biology Honors Concentration requires a grade of B or better in each of IB 270, IB 271, and IB 372 and a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA.
2 If IB 494 is taken instead of Math 231, it will not count towards the requirement of 10 hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the biological sciences.
3 Introductory chemistry should be completed prior to enrolling in IB 270.
4 Recommended courses are: CHEM 312, CHEM 332, CHEM 360, CHEM 437, CHEM 440. Students should discuss alternate choices with the IB advising office. To earn the Chemistry minor students must choose 3 or 4 hour Chemistry courses, excluding research or independent study.
5 Recommended courses are: ATMS421, ANSC448, MCB432 or IBH Director approved.
6 NRES 421 is recommended. Other suitable courses are CPSC 440 or STAT 400
7 Independent study equivalent to IB490 in non-IB programs must first be approved by Director of IBH Concentration.

Other requirements:

Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

No more than 8 hours of credit in 100-level courses in IB or MCB may be counted toward graduation.

Students may count toward graduation no more than a combined maximum of 10 hours of IB 390 and IB 490 credit offered for independent study.

Substitutions or other changes in the requirements below may be made only by petition to and approval of the Director of the Integrative Biology Honors Concentration.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Students must consult with their Integrative Biology honors adviser at least once each semester.