Considered to be fundamental sciences, an undergraduate degree in chemistry or biology lays a solid groundwork for success.

Our undergraduate curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and the principles of scientific discovery - the essential tools to prepare you for advanced study or direct entry into the workplace. Together with advisers and faculty, you will identify your goals and interests and design the academic program to best meet those goals.

General education requirements are the same for all students seeking an undergraduate degree at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. Students may pursue programs of study leading to any of the degrees offered. 

Undergraduate Biology Degrees

The B.A. in Biology is for students who want a solid background in biology but need less rigorous studies in the supporting sciences. This degree requires less advanced coursework in math, physics and chemistry than is required for the B.S. in Biology. This is recommended for students who want to combine a biology degree with coursework from other disciplines to accommodate their career goals.

The B.S. in Biology is for students interested in preparing for graduate studies, professional school or entry-level employment in a science-related field. This degree requires more advanced coursework in math, physics and chemistry than is required for the B.A. in Biology. Students will also complete requirements for a minor in chemistry. For students interested in a combined B.S. and M.S. degree, an accelerated program of study is available in which a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology is obtained in five years.

UMKC’s Schools of Biological Sciences and Medicine are offering a premier joint program that prepares students for entrance into professional programs in the life and health sciences. High-achieving biology majors who are looking toward careers as physicians, dentists, medical researchers or in other health care professions are ideal candidates for this emphasis. 

Exclusive Access to Professional Courses

In the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Emphasis program, you’ll have access to classes otherwise reserved for UMKC’s six-year medical degree curriculum and the opportunity to learn from medical professionals.

Career Exploration

As a BMS Emphasis student, you’ll take part in courses that introduce you to the fundamentals of medicine and seminars offering exploration of health care professions. In addition, you’ll participate in facilitated shadowing experiences with professionals in the field.

Medical School Readiness

This program will give you the rigorous training to prepare yourself for medical school entrance at UMKC or elsewhere. You will also be prepared for dental school, pharmacy school and numerous other grad/professional health sciences programs.

Selection Criteria

The BMS Emphasis program begins the third year of undergraduate study. Students may apply at the end of their sophomore year and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.

The practice of medicine is dependent upon high-quality testing performed by professionals in the clinical laboratory sciences. Clinical laboratory scientists work within a variety of healthcare settings, hospitals, private laboratories and doctors’ offices where they perform various analyses in the areas of chemistry, hematology, microbiology urinalysis and blood banking. 

During the first three years of the program you will be completing those prerequisites at UMKC that prepare you for admission into the clinical program. UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences is currently affiliated with the schools of clinical laboratory science at both St. Luke’s and North Kansas City Hospitals. Admission into the hospital programs is competitive, and although our students receive preferential consideration, admission into the clinical program is not guaranteed. As a student pursuing a B.S. in Biology degree with an emphasis in clinical laboratory science, you will be eligible upon completion of your clinical year (senior year) to take the national certification examination. Should a student not gain entrance into the hospital program, they can complete course work during their senior year at UMKC to satisfy the requirements for the B.A. or B.S. in Biology degrees.

This instructional program fully prepares individuals for admission to a professional school in medicine, including allopathic, osteopathic or podiatric medicine programs. By completing the requirements of the bachelor of science in biology with the cellular and molecular basis of health and disease emphasis, students will complete all of the minimum prerequisites and the upper level biology electives which are highly recommended by most medical schools.

The courses selected provide a foundation of knowledge in modern cellular and molecular biology, essential for understanding medical science. The curriculum of general education and biology majors courses, combined with the mathematics, chemistry and physics components, provides the background essential to understanding the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Through proper planning with a School of Biological Sciences adviser, biology majors can use their electives and general education requirements to complete the healing and humanities minor.

This instructional program fully prepares individuals for admission to a professional school in dentistry. By completing the requirements of the bachelor of science in biology with the pre-dentistry concentration, students will complete all of the minimum prerequisites and upper level electives suggested by dental schools across the United States. The courses selected provide a foundation of knowledge in modern dentistry, essential for understanding dental science. The curriculum of general education and biology majors courses, combined with the mathematics, chemistry and physics components, provides the background essential to understanding the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Through proper planning with a School of Biological Sciences adviser, biology majors can use their elective general education requirements to complete the healing and humanities minor.

This instructional program incorporates courses from biology, computer science and mathematics. Students will obtain skills for the analysis of complex data, extraction of information from genomic and proteomic databases, and the design and development of software and algorithms to support these activities.

The curriculum of general education and biology majors courses, combined with the mathematics, chemistry and physics components is designed to provide undergraduate students with a clear program for the undergraduate background needed for a career in bioinformatics or to provide them with a solid, biologically oriented curriculum to pursue graduate level research in this area.

This instructional program is designed to prepare students for careers in the biotechnology industry as well as careers in basic biological research. A B.S. degree in Biology with the Biotechnology Emphasis also is appropriate for those students who wish to pursue advanced degrees in cell and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology or biochemistry.

Our combined bachelor’s and master’s degree option is a unique, accelerated program for motivated students interested in graduate or professional schools or in entering the biological sciences workforce. Students are encouraged to enroll in the program as early as possible, preferably before their sophomore year. It is essential that students pursuing this fast paced program work closely with their adviser every semester for proper selection of courses. Successful students will complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biology degree in 3 1/2 years and begin graduate level courses for a master’s degree during the spring semester of their fourth year. They complete the combined B.S. in Biology / M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology in a total of five years.

Students interested in more information on this program can contact Tammy Welchert, Student Services Coordinator in the School of Biological Sciences.

Undergraduate Chemistry Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry is designed for students with a strong interest in chemistry but who do not plan to work directly in a chemical field or go on to graduate programs.

A B.A. in Chemistry emphasizes a broad education and provides more flexibility than the B.S. in chemistry. Many students pursue the B.A. in preparation for graduate work in dentistry, law and academia. Some students choose to pursue the B.A. in chemistry while also taking courses in biology or another secondary interest.

Students wanting to double-major may find the flexibility of the B.A. more amenable to scheduling and completion of required courses. Requirements and sample schedules can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is designed to offer comprehensive preparation in all areas of chemistry through hands-on laboratory trianing, rigorous coursework and independent research.

A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry provides a comprehensive foundation for students interested pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical, government or academic sectors. Many students go on to pursue studies towards advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science or Ph.D. in various areas of chemistry and molecular sciences.

The UMKC Department of Chemistry’s B.S. degree is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Requirements and sample schedules can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog.

The chemistry minor is designed to allow students to obtain a thorough background in chemistry in conjunction with a major in another academic subject.

A minor in chemistry allows students outside of the department to obtain a strong background in the discipline. The minor is open to all UMKC students and is particularly beneficial to any student whose career aspirations require a basic understanding of the molecular sciences.

Requirements and sample schedules can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog.