IB majors study how the different components of life interact, from molecules through global cycles. Our courses and curricula focus on problem-solving, collaborative learning, and communication skills across the content areas. An IB major prepares students in genetics and evolution, anatomy and physiology of plants and animals, ecology and behavior and molecular biology. After completion of the core sequence in IB, students complete the required additional approved coursework by either taking a variety of courses or specializing in such areas as health professions, biotechnology, biodiversity and conservation and environmental sciences.

Additional Opportunities

IB plus Teaching Licensure

Your work and extracurricular activities indicate that you enjoy explaining ideas or have an interest in contributing to the improvement of our schools. If your passion is getting others excited about biology, teaching may be the path for you.

To become certified to teach biology in a public middle or high school, you can major in IB and earn teaching licensure through the Secondary Education Minor.


* Denotes course with laboratory component.

Introductory Courses

IB 150 Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
MCB 150 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life


Core Biology Courses

IB 202 Physiology*
IB 203 Ecology*
IB 204 Genetics*
IB 302 Evolution*

Additional advanced courses totaling a minimum of 14 hours at the 300- to 400-level are required. Course selection from the list of Courses for IB Major Advanced Hours must include:

1) One course from two of the following three areas:
Area I: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
Area II: Behavior, Ecology, and the Environment
Area III: Integrative Anatomy, Physiology, and Molecular Biology
2) One course with a laboratory and/or field component


Supporting Courses

STAT 212 Biostatistics
MATH 220 or 221 Calculus
CHEM 102 General Chemistry I
CHEM 103 General Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 104 General Chemistry II
CHEM 105 General Chemistry II Lab
CHEM 232 Elementary Organic Chemistry
CHEM 233 Elementary Organic Chemistry Lab
PHYS 101 College Physics*
PHYS 102 College Physics*


Secondary Education Minor Courses

EDUC 201 Identity and Difference in Education
EDUC 202 Social Justice, School, & Society
CI 401 Introductory Teaching in a Diverse Society
CI 403 Teaching a Diverse High School Student Population
CI 404 Teaching and Assessing Secondary School Students
CI 473 Disciplinary Literacy
EPSY 201 Educational Psychology
EPSY 485 Assessing Student Performance
SPED 405 Gen Educator’s Role in SPED
EDPR 442 Educational Practice in Secondary Education

"IB has given me ample opportunities to learn how to be a great teacher.  Not only was I taught the curriculum well, but I got to observe some of the best teachers in action.  Plus, everyone is very helpful when it comes to reaching your goals." 
Kristyn Klein


Additional Requirements

GEOL 107 Physical Geology

Select one:

  • ASTR 100 Perspectives in Astronomy
  • ASTR 210 General Astronomy



Details and Admission

For more detail on the Teaching Biology program and admission to the program, please visit:


For Additional Information

Email: las-teach@illinois.edu
Council on Teacher Education


Individual Plan of Study (IPS), Entomology

Our department has a long tradition of excellence in undergraduate education in entomology. Although never numerous, our undergraduate alumni have achieved distinction; recent graduates include in their ranks two winners of the Entomological Society of America Undergraduate Achievement Award and a Churchill Fellow. With over a million species, insects are the most diverse terrestrial organisms on the planet; moreover, insects arguably have a greater impact on human health and well-being than any other class of organisms. These impacts mean that the science of entomology has applied aspects that are not always easily accommodated within traditional life science boundaries or, indeed, within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Entomology is currently available as an IPS major, or Individual Plan of Study. For more information on the IPS program, please read this information from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or view a sample Entomology IPS curriculum. Graduates in our IPS can find entry-level positions in research at universities or in research, development and technical sales in agrochemical, seed, and biotechnology companies, in state or federal cooperative extension service or experiment stations, in federal regulatory agencies, in zoos, museums, corporate farms, or nurseries, in integrated pest management consulting firms, in sanitary inspection service, in mosquito abatement programs, and in conservation and natural heritage non-governmental agencies. As well, an undergraduate concentration in entomology is excellent preparation for admission to graduate programs in entomology and allied disciplines as well as for admission to professional programs (including medical school; one of our recent undergraduate alumni, after working as a laboratory technician after graduation in a life science laboratory was admitted to medical school at UIUC).

The faculty within our department and in our graduate program (spanning four Colleges on the campus) have historically been extremely supportive of undergraduate research. Independent research is a key component of the entomology IPS and we stand eager to provide opportunities and mentoring. Our department head, May Berenbaum, works personally to insure that our IPS students can gain admission into courses they need and can facilitate their interactions with an entomology community on campus and at the Illinois Natural History Survey that exceeds 3 dozen in number. This is an outstanding opportunity for motivated students and we pledge our support to accommodate their interests, which, as entomologists ourselves, we understand and relate to with great enthusiasm!