The Undergraduate Biology Program

Biology is the study of organisms, including the molecular and cellular basis of life, development of the individual and its genetic basis, maintenance of the individual, and interaction of organisms with their biotic and physical environment.

The Biology major introduces students to the concepts and methodologies associ­ated with the multiple levels of biological complexity. Students explore the Fundamentals of Biology (BIO 201, 202, 203), a thorough introduction to organisms, ecosystems, cellular and molecular biology, and physiology. These courses, along with the Introductory Biology Laboratory Course (BIO 204, 205), provide a solid background for students interested in the health professions. Students go on to advanced laboratory work and have the opportunity to specialize in any of several areas, including: biomedical engineering, developmental genetics, ecology and evolution, environmental biology, and neuroscience. Students may also elect the General Biology specialization. Students may design their own curriculum, in consultation with an advisor, within the context of these specializations, based on individual interest. The Biology major requires a strong foundation in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

Majors are encouraged to explore research opportunities in biology, typically beginning in their second or third year.

Most positions for biologists require graduate training. Most students majoring in biology prepare for professional study in the biological or health sciences. Some prepare for secondary school teaching, and others for technical positions in industry, including biotechnology, government agencies, and research institutes.

Students should contact the Undergrad­uate Biology Office for information and brochures related to the Biology major and minor, and for the forms mentioned in requirements and some course descriptions. The office receives completed forms and petitions concerning the Biology major and minor and all requests for evaluations of transferred biology courses. The office also coordinates advising and processes graduation clearances for major and minor requirements. Students may not declare a double major among biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, marine sciences and marine vertebrate biology.