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  • Zoology

    Zoology majors focus on the study of individual organisms and populations, as well as their relationships to each other and the environment, with the core foundation of evolution and ecology. Courses also emphasize the disciplines of anatomy, behavior, genetics, physiology and other specialized fields.

    About This Major

    • College: Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Degree: Bachelor of Science
    • Credits for Degree: 120

    Critical TrackingRecommended Semester Plan


    Courses introduce zoology majors to a wide variety of topics while allowing individual interests to be pursued. Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in research with faculty.

    Most career opportunities require advanced studies beyond the bachelor's degree. This includes preparation for graduate studies or employment in disciplines such as zoology, ecology, conservation and biology research; preparation for medical, dental or veterinary programs; or preparation for secondary-school teaching.

    Ultimately, the undergraduate degree in zoology will be shaped by students' coursework, laboratory experience, field work, and the instructors they encounter. These experiences will help to shape their goals as biologists with a focus on zoology.

    Majors should work both with a department advisor and a CLAS advisor. CLAS advisors will assist with degree requirements, university and college policy and course selection. Department advisors will help students select appropriate graduate programs, guide them in the admissions process and help identify appropriate career choices.

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    Coursework for the Major

    A zoology major consists of a minimum of 32 credits of core coursework plus a minimum of 31 credits of related coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics/statistics. Courses used toward the major must be completed with minimum grades of C.

    Required Foundation Coursework

    • General Chemistry: CHM 2045/2045L and CHM 2046/2046L, 8 credits
    • Organic Chemistry: CHM 2210 and CHM 2211/2211L, 8 credits
    • Mathematics: MAC 2311 and MAC 2312 -or- STA 2023, 7-8 credits
    • Physics: PHY 2053/2053L and PHY 2054/2054L, 10 credits or
      PHY 2048/2048L and PHY 2049/2049L, 8 credits

    Required Core Coursework

    • Integrated Principles of Biology (BSC 2010/2010L and BSC 2011/2011L), 8 credits
    • Genetics (PCB 3063), 4 credits
    • At least three courses in zoology, 9-10 credits, from any 3000/4000-level zoology course, BSC 3402, BSC 4936, PCB 4043C, PCB 4674, PCB 5415C or PCB 4723C
      Students may not apply ZOO 4232, ZOO 4905 or ZOO 4940 toward this requirement.
    • Additional zoology courses, including up to two zoology major-approved biological science courses (3000/5000 level) outside of zoology, 11 credits minimum. (Total of 32 credits of core requirements)
    • Up to six credits of Individual Studies in Zoology (BOT 4911, BSC 4910, BSC 4912, ZOO 4905, ZOO 4911) will count toward the 32 credit requirement

    Students should begin the chemistry and math sequences as soon as possible. A full year of calculus and a course in statistics (such as STA 2023) are highly recommended.

    Transfer students must take at least three courses from the Department of Biology (excluding ZOO 4905, ZOO 4926 and ZOO 4940) at the University of Florida as part of the requirements for the major.

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    Relevant Minors and/or Certificates

    Majors in zoology can minor in most other disciplines, and this is a good way to organize students' electives around areas of interest. For instance, a zoology major can earn a minor in chemistry by adding just two chemistry courses: CHM 3400, 3610 or any 4000-level CHM course. Students could also consider language and humanities minors. Note that zoology majors cannot minor in biology, nor can biology majors minor in zoology (the curricula for the zoology and biology majors are too similar)

    Zoology students might want to consider the UFTeach Program. There is a severe shortage of qualified high school science teachers in Florida and nationwide. Students interested in the high-demand teaching profession should see a biology department advisor or the UFTeach advisor. Students who complete the UFTeach minor in science teaching and a B.S. in zoology will have the coursework and preparation for professional teacher certification in Florida when they graduate.

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    All zoology majors are strongly encouraged to participate in research. Research experience is valuable on many levels: it diversifies your college experience; it teaches you how scientists apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world questions; it gives you the opportunity to work with and get to know researchers who are the best in their field; it introduces you to cutting-edge scientific questions and techniques; it enhances your resume/CV if you apply to graduate or professional school; and finally, it is essential in helping you determine if science is a good career choice for you.

    CLAS zoology majors may participate in research for course credit, as a scholar (e.g., University Scholar, HHMI Science for Life Scholar, Beckman Scholar), as a volunteer, or, in rare cases, as a paid research assistant. Please visit Undergraduate Research for more information regarding course credit. Students who plan to enroll for course credit must contact potential research mentors before the end of drop/add. If they miss the drop/add window, they should still contact potential research mentors, if only to discuss upcoming opportunities.

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    Critical Tracking

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

    Semester 1:

    • Complete one of the following in BSC, CHM or MAC: BSC 2010/2010L; CHM 1025 or CHM 2045/2045L; MAC 1114, 1140, 1147 or 2311
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2:

    • Complete CHM 2045/2045L; and BSC 2010/2010L or MAC 2311
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3:

    • Complete BSC 2010/2010L and MAC 2311 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4:

    • Complete CHM 2046/2046L and BSC 2011/2011L with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5:

    • Complete CHM 2210 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
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    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    Semester 1 Credits
    CHM 2045 and 2045L General Chemistry 1 (3) and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (1) (State Core GE-P) 4
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H)​ 3​
    MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 (State Core GE-M) 4
    Elective (BSC 1920 First Year Introduction: Biology at UF recommended) 1
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (State Core GE-S) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 2 Credits
    CHM 2046 and 2046L General Chemistry 2 (3) and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (1) 4
    MAC 2312 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2 (GE-M) (4) or
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (GE-M) (3)
    Composition (State Core GE-C) (WR) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 13-14
    Semester 3 Credits
    BSC 2010 and 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology 1 (3) and Laboratory Integrated Principles of Biology 1 (1) (GE-B) 4
    CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry 1 (3) or
    CHM 3217 Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry 1 (4)
    Elective 3
    Humanities (State Core GE-H) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 16-17
    Semester 4 Credits
    BSC 2011 and 2011L Integrated Principles of Biology 2 (3) and Integrated Principles of Biology 2 Laboratory (1) (GE-B) 4
    CHM 2211 Organic Chemistry 2 (3) - if CHM 2210 was taken Semester 3 - or
    CHM 3218 Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry 2
    CHM 2211L Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
    Elective 3
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Total 15-16
    Semester 5 Credits
    PHY 2053 and 2053L Physics 1 (4) and Physics 1 Laboratory (1) 5
    Composition (GE-C) 3
    Zoology courses 5-10
    Total 13-18
    Semester 6 Credits
    PCB 3063 Genetics 4
    PHY 2054 and 2054L Physics 2 (4) and Physics 2 Laboratory (1) 5
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major, if needed) 4
    Zoology course or other approved biological sciences course 3-5
    Total 16-18
    Semester 7 Credits
    Elective 4
    ​Elective (BSC 4936 recommended) ​2
    Foreign language 5
    Zoology courses 6-7
    Total 17-18
    Semester 8 Credits
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major, if needed) 4
    Foreign language 5
    Zoology course 3-5
    Zoology course or other approved biological sciences course 3-4
    Total 15-18
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majors: zoology