UMKC Catalog


School of Biological Sciences General Education Requirements

To earn a bachelor's degree in a program administered by the School of Biological Sciences, students must satisfy requirements in each of the areas listed below:


A. Communicating (9 credit hours)

To develop students' effective use of the English language and quantitative and other symbolic systems essential to their success in school and in the world. Students should be able to read and listen critically, and to write and speak with thoughtfulness, clarity, coherence and persuasiveness.

  1. Writing and Critical Analysis: Students must satisfactorily complete ENGLISH 110 and ENGLISH 225. In addition, students must pass the Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT) or satisfactorily complete ENGLISH 299. A student earning a score of 30 or better on the ACT English subtest or 690 or better on the SAT Verbal, may be exempt from the ENGLISH 110 requirement.
  2. Oral Augmentation/Speech: Students must satisfactorily complete COMM-ST 110 or COMM-ST 140.

B. Higher Order Thinking, Managing Information, and Valuing (6 credit hours)

To develop students' ability to distinguish among opinions, facts, and inferences; to identify underlying or implicit assumptions; to make informed judgments; and to solve problems by applying evaluative standards. To develop students' abilities to locate, organize, store, retrieve, evaluate, synthesize, and annotate information from print, electronic, and other sources in preparation for solving problems and making informed decisions. To develop students' abilities to understand the moral and ethical values of a diverse society and to understand that many courses of action are guided by value judgments about the way things ought to be. Students should be able to make informed decisions through identifying personal values and the values of others and through understanding how such values develop. They should be able to analyze the ethical implications of choices made on the basis of these values. Students must successfully complete 6 hours from at least two different fields, chosen from the following list:

These courses, in addition to the remainder of the general education block of 42 hours, satisfy the three skill area goals of Higher Order Thinking, Managing Information, and Valuing. Courses chosen from this list may also be used to satisfy other general education requirements where appropriate.

C. Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 credit hours)

To develop students' understanding of themselves and the world around them through study of content and the processes used by historians and social and behavioral scientists to discover, describe, explain and predict human behavior and social systems. Students must understand the diversities and complexities of the cultural and social world, past and present, and come to an informed sense of self and others. (Students must fulfill the state statute requirements for the United States and Missouri constitutions.)

  1. Constitution course chosen from: HISTORY 101, HISTORY 102, HISTORY 360R or POL-SCI 210 (3 hours).
  2. Six additional credit hours from at least one field other than above, chosen from economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology, social science, geography, criminal justice (6 hours).

D. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credit hours)

To develop students' understanding of the ways in which humans have addressed their condition through imaginative work in the humanities and fine arts; to deepen their understanding of how that imaginative process is informed and limited by social, cultural, linguistic, and historical circumstances; and to appreciate the world of the creative imagination as a form of knowledge.

  1. One 3 credit hour course chosen from English, communication studies, foreign Language, or philosophy.
  2. One 3 credit hour course chosen from art/art history, conservatory or theater.

E. Mathematics (3 credit hours)

To develop students' understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and applications. Students should develop a level of quantitative literacy that would enable them to make decisions and solve problems, and which could serve as a basis for continued learning. (The mathematics requirement for general education should have the same prerequisite(s) and level of rigor as college algebra.)

  • MATH 110 or higher (including MATH 116).
  • Students majoring in Biology will fulfill this requirement with the biology major's mathematics requirement of MATH 210 (Calculus I) or MATH 216 ( Biomath I) or STAT 235 (Statistics).

F. Life and Physical Sciences (8 credit hours)

To develop students' understanding of the principles and laboratory procedures of life and physical sciences and to cultivate their abilities to apply the empirical methods of scientific inquiry. Students should understand how scientific discovery changes theoretical views of the world, informs our imaginations, and shapes human history. Students should also understand that science is shaped by historical and social contexts.

  • One life science and one physical science, to include at least one laboratory component.
  • Students majoring in biology will fulfill this requirement as a part of their major.


G. Total Credit Hours

In addition to the specific area requirements listed above, students must meet other University graduation requirements including, but not limited to, 120 total credit hours, 60 credit hours from a four-year institution if coursework is transferred from a non-Missouri institution, unless described otherwise in a specific articulation agreement with the School of Biological Sciences; 36 junior/senior level credit hours, taking the EPP Exam and the Major Field Exam, residency requirements, minimum GPA standards, and other requirements that may be specified.