Degree Programs

The Major

There are five categories of courses within the biology curriculum, each designed for different needs.

The first group (BIOL 103 through 160) consists of courses for non-majors and may include consideration of scientific methodology as well as subject matter of interest to non-scientists. These courses may not be taken for credit toward the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in biology.

The second category (BIOL 200 through BIOL 239) is part of both the major and minor requirements and consists of courses that introduce key aspects of biology.

Courses in the third group (BIOL 250 through 360) are designed to provide a firm foundation in basic sub-disciplines. By careful selection with a faculty advisor, students can tailor a program to fit individual career goals. Note that only Comparative Physiology (BIOL 334) or Human Physiology (BIOL 344) will count towards the biology degree. Similarly, only Vertebrate Anatomy (BIOL 337) or Human Anatomy (BIOL 317) will count towards the biology degree. Most of the courses in this category have prerequisites and are taken by majors, but non-majors who have the prerequisites often enroll.

The fourth category (BIOL 403 through 460) provides an opportunity for biology majors to take part in research under faculty supervision. A two-semester sequence is required of all B.S. majors except those taking departmental honors (BIOL 499).

In courses in the fifth category, the biology seminars (BIOL 394, BIOL 495, BIOL 496), junior and senior students learn about careers in biology, research methods, and present and share the results of their research.

Students entering the biology major must have successfully completed BIOL 200 and BIOL 201 or equivalent courses, achieved a major GPA of 2.0 or higher at the time of declaration, and submit grades of each class. 

The Minor

To earn a minor in biology, students must complete:

BIOL 200 and 201
BIOL 238 or 239
Three additional courses from BIOL 238–360 (except 341), of which a minimum of two must include a significant laboratory or field component, by contract with department faculty.

Bachelor of Science requirements

Bachelor of Arts requirements



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