Skip Main Navigation

Biology - AS

Do you have an endless sense of curiosity and a desire to understand how things work? Those are traits you share with many of the scientists and doctors who are focused on finding cures for life-threatening diseases and developing life-saving vaccines. A background in Biology, or the study of all living things, is a strong foundation for careers in many fields, including medicine, medical research, healthcare, forensics, and environmental conservation. A Biology program will help you learn scientific methods and evidence-based approaches for collecting and interpreting data about people, plants, animals, and other living organisms.

An associate degree in Biology can lead to a wide array of professional roles, including molecular biologist, lab technician, genetic counselor, forensic investigator, or environmental scientist. This degree is transferable to universities offering a bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Students should work closely with their advisor and contact their transfer institution choices for more specific transfer information.

The first year of a Biology program will include math and English courses to meet general education requirements. The completion of introductory math and English courses in your first year is proven to greatly increase your likelihood of crossing the graduation stage, boosting your momentum along the academic pathway you select. Other general education courses on your pathway will cover topics in Arts and Humanities, History, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Natural and Physical Sciences. 

Program-specific courses may begin as soon as your first semester. These courses will become more advanced as you move along your degree pathway. Through this sequence of courses, your knowledge of biological systems and processes will grow and deepen. Coursework will include General College Biology, General College Chemistry, and Calculus. After completing a 60-credit associate degree, your degree pathway can continue with guaranteed transfer to a college that offers bachelor’s degrees.

Biology - AS (60 credits)
Required Courses that Fulfill General Education Requirements (36 Credit Hours)
  Credit Hours Course Number and Title
(Written) Communication 6 ENG 121/1021 English Composition I and ENG 122/1022 English Composition II
ENG 122/1022 English Composition II and a GT Pathways approved CO3 course
Mathematics 5 MAT 201/2410 Calculus I
Arts & Humanities  6 Two GT Pathways Arts & Humanities courses (GT-AH1, GT- AH2, GT-AH3, or GT-AH4)
History  3 One GT Pathways History course (GT-HI1) 
Social & Behavioral Sciences 6 Two GT Pathways Social & Behavioral Sciences courses (GT-SS1, GT-SS2, GT-SS3)
Natural & Physical Sciences

5 BIO 111/1111 General College Biology I w/Lab 
5 CHE 111/1111 General College Chemistry I w/Lab
*Additional Required Courses & Electives (24 Credit Hours)
Credit Hours Course Number and Title
BIO 112/1112 General College Biology II w/Lab
CHE 112/1112 General College Chemistry II w/Lab 
PHY 111/1111 Physics: Algebra-based I w/Lab
PHY 112/1112 Physics: Algebra-based II w/Lab 
Electives - 4 credit hours

*Please note: if these credits are not required for the major at a receiving 4-year institution, they will be applied to the bachelor’s degree as elective credit toward graduation. Please check with the receiving institution to determine in which way these courses will be applied. 

**Students are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising prior to registration regarding the acceptability of online science courses if they anticipate transferring to a 4-year institution or completing graduate work in the sciences or health professions. It should be noted that per Colorado Revised Statute, §23-1-125(1)(e), general education courses taken online are guaranteed to satisfy core course (GT Pathways) requirements at all Colorado public institutions of higher education.

Otero College is a part of a Statewide Transfer Articulation Agreement between Colorado community colleges and universities. These agreements allow you to graduate from a community college with a 60-credit Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree with designation; enroll with junior status at a university; and complete your bachelor’s degree. If you attend full-time and follow the structured schedule, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in 4 years.

The following Colorado public four-year institutions will accept your completed Biology AS degree from Otero College.

Adams State University
[B.S. Biology; Cellular & Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology, &
Wildlife Biology emphases]

Colorado Mesa University
[B.S. Biological Sciences; Biology concentration]

Colorado State University-Ft Collins
[B.S. Biological Sciences]

Colorado State University-Pueblo
[B.S. Biology]

Fort Lewis College
[B.S. Biology; General Biology option]

Metropolitan State University of Denver
[B.S. Biology]

University of Colorado Boulder
[B.A. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology]

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
[B.S. Biology]

University of Colorado Denver
[B.S. Biology]

University of Northern Colorado
[B.S. Biological Sciences; Cell & Molecular Biology, Ecology &
Evolutionary Biology, Pre-Health & Biomedical Sciences emphases]

Western Colorado University
[B.A. Biology; Cell Biology/Pre-medicine, Environmental Biology &
Ecology, General Biology, Pre-allied Health emphases]