Biological Sciences, BSGS


The bachelor's degree requirements are 45 units total and include distribution, writing, and elective courses, and the major requirements.

Biological Sciences Major Requirements

Course Title
BIOL_SCI 215-CNGenetics and Molecular Biology 1
BIOL_SCI 217-CNPhysiology
BIOL_SCI 219-CNCell Biology 2
BIOL_SCI 220-CNGenetic and Molecular Processes Laboratory
BIOL_SCI 221-CNCellular Processes Laboratory
BIOL_SCI 222-CNInvestigative Lab
BIOL_SCI 308-CNBiochemistry 3
BIOL_SCI 342-CNEvolutionary Processes
CHEM 110-CNQuantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Lab
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry Lab 2
CHEM 210-AOrganic Chemistry
CHEM 210-B
CHEM 230-B
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
MATH 220-ASingle-Variable Differential Calculus 4
MATH 220-BSingle-Variable Integral Calculus 5
College Physics I
and Physics Laboratory I
College Physics II
and Physics Laboratory II
College Physics III
and Physics Laboratory III
STAT 202-CNIntroduction to Statistics
Plus four courses selected from the following:
Fundamentals of Neurobiology
Human Anatomy
Advanced Cell Biology
Human Structure and Function
Advanced Human Physiology
Biology of Aging
300-level biological anthropology course 6


Degree Requirements

SPS programs lead to one of three Northwestern University bachelor’s degrees: the bachelor of philosophy (BPhil), the bachelor of science in general studies (BSGS), and the bachelor of philosophy in communication (BPhilCom), which is conferred by the School of Communication.

The bachelor of philosophy (BPhil) and the bachelor of science in general studies (BSGS) degrees are conferred by the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The primary difference between the two degrees is that the BPhil includes a modern language requirement. Some majors offer a choice of the BPhil or the BSGS degree.

Bachelor of Science in General Studies

To earn the BSGS degree, students must complete 45 units, including a writing requirement, distribution requirements, a major, and electives. Minors are optional.

Courses Units Earned
English 111 or 205 and 113 2
Humanities 4
Science 4
Social Sciences 4
Major Requirements 10-20
Electives Up to 21
Total 45

About the Writing Requirement

The writing requirement ensures that all students can meet the rigorous writing demands of courses in all disciplines. Transfer and performance-based admission students must fulfill the writing requirement through one of two options:

Option 1: Complete an English composition course at SPS.

Demonstrate successfully completion of English 111 or 205. A grade of C or higher is required. 

Option 2: Successfully appeal the writing requirement.

Students who believe they have the writing skills necessary for university-level research and analytical papers may appeal the SPS writing requirement. Submit a letter of appeal and two college/university research papers written during previous studies or at SPS. Following the review of the appeal, students will receive an email reporting the results, followed by a letter. Send appeal materials to:

Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs
School of Professional Studies
Northwestern University
339 East Chicago Avenue, 6th floor
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Appeal materials must be submitted by the quarter deadline before entry.

About the Distribution Requirements

Students complete course work in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences to obtain a broad experience in the liberal arts. Courses that satisfy these distribution requirements include the following areas:


Art history, classics, comparative literary studies, English literature, foreign languages (up to two units), history, music history, philosophy, religion, and some courses in African American studies, foreign languages with literature, gender studies, performance studies, radio/television/film, and theatre.


Astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering, geography, information systems, mathematics, physics and some courses in anthropology, communication sciences and disorders, psychology, radio/television/film and statistics.

Social Sciences

Anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, political science, sociology, and some courses in African American studies, communication sciences and disorders, gender studies, psychology and statistics.