This minor may only be completed by students admitted to Elementary Education options leading to certification in K-9 or Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence. A minor is not required to complete the K-9 certification program, but students may elect to complete one.

Minors provide a depth of study in a particular area of interest and also inform classroom instruction. The completion of a minor is required to teach middle school in some states and may benefit students particularly interested in teaching at this level.

Students may wish to consult with a biology undergraduate advisor to discuss course selection and other issues related to this field of study. The Biology Major website is also a good resource, providing information about areas of study within biology and upcoming biology-related activities on campus. Biology is offered as a major in both the College of Letters & Science and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Upon completion, the subject area of the minor will be posted on the UW-Madison transcript. Students will not receive an additional certification or license in the subject area as was possible prior to fall 2022 program admission.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does not offer content licenses in association with the K-9 educator license.

This minor may only be declared by students completing Elementary Education certification in either K-9 or Middle-Childhood-through-Early-Adolescence. The declaration form is located on the School of Education's Undergraduate Admissions page and can be submitted any time after admission into the program.

The biology minor requires a minimum of 24 credits. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 is required, based on all biology minor coursework taken on the UW–Madison campus. Biocore sequence coursework may also be used to meet these requirements; consult with an advisor in Education Student Services.

Discipline-related course work is also required, but not calculated into the minor credits or gpa.

Required Discipline-Related Courses

Select a minimum of 6 credits in Mathematics and/or Statistics, college level, excluding MATH 130–MATH 132
Select one of the following:5-10
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II
Select one of the following:8-10
General Physics
and General Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
General Physics
and General Physics


Introductory Biology. Select one of the following options:

Option 1: 1
BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  101 Animal Biology3
BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  102 Animal Biology Laboratory2
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  130 General Botany5
Option 2:
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 Introductory Biology5
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  152 Introductory Biology5

Students earning Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology scores of 4 or above are given credit for BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 at UW–Madison. This course fulfills the entire 151–152 sequence. Students taking BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 coursework at UW–Madison or transfer it from another campus must complete both BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 and BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  152 to complete the 151–152 sequence.


GENETICS 466 Principles of Genetics3


Complete biology elective coursework from the approved lists to reach a minimum of 24 credits. The courses must be numbered 300 and above and include at least one course from two of the following three areas: (1) Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, (2) Cell and Molecular Biology, and (3) Physiology. Additional courses may, with the  consent of an advisor, be selected to meet the elective requirements.

Area 1: Ecology/Evolution/Genetics

AN SCI 610 Quantitative Genetics3
BOTANY 300 Plant Anatomy 14
BOTANY 305 Plant Morphology and Evolution 14
BOTANY 330 Algae3
BOTANY/​PL PATH  332 Fungi 14
BOTANY 400 Plant Systematics 14
BOTANY 401 Vascular Flora of Wisconsin 14
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  402 Dendrology: Woody Plant Identification and Ecology 12
BOTANY 403 Field Collections and Identification 11-4
BOTANY 422 Plant Geography3
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  455 The Vegetation of Wisconsin 14
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  460 General Ecology 14
BOTANY/​PL PATH  563 Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data3
ZOOLOGY/​ENTOM  302 Introduction to Entomology 14
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  315 Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources2
ZOOLOGY 316 Laboratory for Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources 12-3
ZOOLOGY/​ENTOM/​M M & I/​PATH-BIO  350 Parasitology3
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST/​F&W ECOL  360 Extinction of Species3
ZOOLOGY/​ANTHRO/​BOTANY  410 Evolutionary Biology3
ZOOLOGY 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates5
ZOOLOGY/​BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  460 General Ecology 14
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  510 Ecology of Fishes3
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  511 Ecology of Fishes Lab 12
ZOOLOGY/​AN SCI/​F&W ECOL  520 Ornithology3
ZOOLOGY/​AN SCI/​F&W ECOL  521 Birds of Southern Wisconsin 13
ZOOLOGY 525 Tropical Herpetology1
MICROBIO 607 Advanced Microbial Genetics3
ENTOM 331 Taxonomy of Mature Insects 14
ENTOM 468 Studies in Field Entomology 13
GENETICS/​MD GENET  565 Human Genetics3
GENETICS/​BIOCHEM/​MICROBIO  612 Prokaryotic Molecular Biology3
GENETICS/​BIOCHEM/​MD GENET  620 Eukaryotic Molecular Biology3
HORT/​AGRONOMY  501 Principles of Plant Breeding3
LAND ARC/​ENVIR ST  361 Wetlands Ecology 13
PL PATH 300 Introduction to Plant Pathology 14

Courses are lab or field courses.

Area 2: Cell and Molecular Biology 

MICROBIO 303 Biology of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 607 Advanced Microbial Genetics3
M M & I/​PATH-BIO  528 Immunology3
BOTANY/​PL PATH  563 Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data3
PL PATH/​ONCOLOGY  640 General Virology-Multiplication of Viruses3
GENETICS/​BIOCHEM/​MICROBIO  612 Prokaryotic Molecular Biology3
ZOOLOGY 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates5
ZOOLOGY 570 Cell Biology3

Area 3: Physiology

BOTANY 500 Plant Physiology3-4
ZOOLOGY 611 Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology3
ZOOLOGY 612 Comparative Physiology Laboratory 12
ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology 15

Courses are lab or field courses.