School of
Integrative Biology

Prospective Undergraduate
IB Students

Transfer Student FAQ


What is Integrative Biology?

Integrative Biology is the study of life, from the level of molecules and cells to that of global ecosystems. The word integrative merely means that the emphasis is on how different parts of biological systems interact with one another.

How is IB different from MCB?

As the name implies, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) has a heavy emphasis on cells and the molecules that make them function, including DNA. Integrative Biology (IB), on the other hand, has an emphasis on systems biology, in which the relationship of one component is studied in relation to other components.

Is Integrative Biology a good major to prepare for medical or dental school or for training in other health professions?

Yes! IB majors are highly competitive in gaining admission to professional schools, including medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy. While you can gain admission to a professional school via a wide variety of majors, many students choose to major in Integrative Biology because our courses prepare students well for the necessary admissions test (for example: MCAT, DAT, GRE) and also provide a solid foundation for the demands of future schooling. Also check out The Career Center's FAQ for more information on this topic.

Does it cost more to be a Biology student?

Yes. Instruction that involves laboratory or field work is much more expensive than that involving lectures only. For this reason, the University charges a higher (differential) tuition to students majoring in many STEM fields, including biology (both IB and MCB).

What are IB certificates?

Certificate programs typically involve fewer courses than a minor, while enabling students to develop additional knowledge in a field or subfield.

Can I still graduate in four years, as a transfer student?

With appropriate foundational coursework at your previous institution, yes.

How much of my coursework will transfer?

Transferology is a great website containing course articulations for many classes that have already been evaluated by U of I; so, check there first. Please note that the transfer course equivalencies contained there, and the reports generated from the system do not constitute a contract between the student and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Do I have to take both MCB 150 and IB 150 equivalents before transferring to UIUC?

Yes, students must satisfactorily complete coursework equivalent to these two courses prior to admission. IB advisors also strongly suggest taking General Chemistry before transferring. Other recommended courses include Organic Chemistry, Physics and Calculus.

If I go to summer school, can I take these courses anywhere or do I have to take them here?

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires a certain number of credit hours to be earned here on campus. If you take summer courses here, these will count toward these residency requirements. You should contact your LAS Records Officer in the Student Affairs Office for more detailed information.

What kind of jobs can I get with this degree?

The major in Integrative Biology is great preparation for just about any career in the life sciences. Check out our Careers area for more information about career development and making career connections.

How do I get tutoring assistance in biology, chemistry, physics, and math?

Each department offers academic assistance to students. Check out our webpage devoted to students getting academic assistance.

Can I study abroad as a transfer student?

Yes, we have had lots of IB transfer students go abroad to earn credit hours toward graduation. Many great opportunities exist across the world to study biology abroad.

Can I get research experience even though I'm a transfer student?

Yes. Faculty make no distinction between students who started at the UIUC and those who transferred from elsewhere. Check out our Undergraduate Research web page for additional information.

What minors are available to me?

Students may choose any minor; many IB students have supplemented their academic records with minors in a foreign language, Business, Anthropology, Chemistry, and the Environmental Fellows Program. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has detailed information regarding minors.