Get started with the basics of biology with the Liberal Arts Biology program. Graduates will earn an associate degree that transfers to biology programs at four-year colleges. This degree can also be a first step toward a range of careers, including research scientist, doctor, dentist, or veterinarian.

Program Overview

What Will You Learn?

Associate in Arts

In this program, you will explore many aspects of biology. You'll learn how cells and molecules work, appreciate the diversity of life, and learn how organisms use genetic information. You will also gain problem solving, scientific communication, and laboratory skills.


In-State Tuition: $223/credit

Out-of-State / International Tuition: $429/credit

Some programs have additional program fees


4 Semesters

62 credits

I learnt a lot of new techniques like using the live cell imaging microscope and it made me excited to learn more things during my time in the lab. With the knowledge I gained from all my professors while at QCC, this was my next step towards a successful career in research.

- Disha Khanna, Liberal Arts-Biology

Learn Online

This program may be completed 50% or more online.


High School Diploma or GED/HiSET.


  • This program may be completed at QCC Worcester (Main Campus).
  • This program may be completed face-to-face.

Career Stats

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More Info
Course TitleCourse #Semester OfferedCreditsPrerequisites

Semester 1

  • Apply and get accepted to this program (Program Code: LABI).
  • Register for and successfully complete all courses to graduate in four semesters.
  • Attend Transfer Services events. For information see
  • Complete CHM 105, ENG 101, and MAT 122.
  • Complete prerequisite(s) for MAT 123.
Biology I: Introduction to Organismal DiversityBIO 106F/S4Coreq: ENG 101
General Chemistry ICHM 105F/S/SU4MAT 095 with a grade of “C” or higher or approp place score
Composition IENG 101F/S/SU3Placement into college level English
StatisticsMAT 122F/S/SU3College level math course or QMAT placement score > 21 or Coreq: MAT 052

Semester 2

  • Meet with Academic Advisor to review choices (CHM 201 or PHY 101 or PHY 105) that depend on transfer plans and mathematics prerequisite(s) completed.
  • Meet with a Transfer Services Advisor. See Attend Transfer Services events.
  • Complete BIO 107.
Biology II: Introduction to Cells and MoleculesBIO 107F/S/SU4CHM 105 or CHM 123, ENG 101
General Chemistry IICHM 106F/S/SU4CHM 105
Composition IIENG 102F/S/SU3ENG 101
College Mathematics I: Pre-CalculusMAT 123F/S/SU3MAT 100 or approp place score
Social Science Foundational Elective---F/S/SU3 

Semester 3

  • Meet with representatives of four-year schools to discuss/begin the transfer application process.
  • Confirm that MassTransfer general education transfer block can be completed.
Principles of GeneticsBIO 262F/S4BIO 106, BIO 107, MAT 122
Organic Chemistry I ORCHM 201F/S/SU4CHM 106 or CHM 124
Physics I ORPHY 101F/SUMAT 148 or Coreq: MAT 124
General Physics I: Newtonian MechanicsPHY 105F/S/SUMAT 233
College Mathematics II: TrigonometryMAT 124F/S/SU3MAT 123 or approp place score
Literature, Philosophy, or Language Elective---F/S/SU3 
U.S. or World History Survey Elective---F/S/SU3 

Semester 4

  • Continue with/complete the transfer application process.
  • Submit an Intent to Graduate Form, located on The Q.
General Microbiology ORBIO 231F/S4BIO 107
Cell BiologyBIO 259
Organic Chemistry II ORCHM 202F/S/SU4CHM 201
Physics II ORPHY 102S/SUPHY 101
General Physics II: Electricity & MagnetismPHY 107F/S/SUMAT 234, PHY 105
Creative Arts Elective---F/S/SU3 
Multiple Perspectives Elective---F/S/SU3 
Total Credits Required:  62 

Program Goals:

The Liberal Arts - Biology Option provides a curriculum with an emphasis on courses that the student will need to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in the biological sciences or a pre-professional field. This program also provides a well-rounded foundational education in the liberal arts disciplines, while fostering and honing high-level communication and critical reasoning skills, which are vital for success in a bachelor’s degree program or professional career.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of general biology principles, including evolution and organismal diversity, cell structure and function, metabolism and enzyme function, cell reproduction and genetics.
  • Explain how the chemical principles of matter and energy affect processes in biological systems.
  • Employ the scientific method to investigate scientific principles, analyze and interpret data, and solve complex problems.
  • Demonstrate proper use of basic laboratory equipment, adhering to laboratory safety protocols, as well as a technical proficiency in computer technology for data analysis.
  • Apply mathematical reasoning to explore biological and chemical concepts, including data analysis using statistics, the correct composition and interpretation of graphs, and solution chemistry and calculations to support the preparation of reagents.
  • Demonstrate clear and effective communication skills, including verbal, written, graphic, and numerical, with emphasis on the presentation of experimental results.
  • Identify reliable sources of information for use in the formation and support of evidence-based arguments.
  • Utilize the broad-based liberal arts curriculum to recognize the value of multiple perspectives needed to participate in a global society.

Admissions Process:

Admissions inquiries should be directed to Prospective students may apply to the program of their choice by following the enrollment steps at

Program Admissions Requirements:

Students should note that some first semester courses carry minimum prerequisites. Refer to the program grid.

  • High School Diploma or GED/HiSET.

CORI, SORI, Finger Printing & Drug Testing:

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) checks are not required. Fingerprinting and drug testing are not required.

Additional Cost:

See the Program Fees page.

Technical Performance Standards:

See the Technical Performance Standards page. (Note: Not all programs have technical performance standards).

Credit for Prior Learning:

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) allows students to use skills they already have towards a college degree or certificate. Work, life, volunteer and military experience may be translated into credit, allowing students to take fewer classes and earn their degree faster. CPL eliminates redundancies for students who have already earned credentials or mastered skills required for their program of study. Email for more information and eligibility.

Career Outlook:

Please consult the Massachusetts Career Information System at or the Occupational Outlook Handbook at for specific occupational information. The CIP code for this program is 26.0101.

Transfer Articulations & Opportunities:

Prospective students may learn more about transfer articulation agreements at More information regarding transfer opportunities is available at