Biology students may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology. Students preparing for graduate or professional schools are strongly encouraged to pursue the BS degree. Students interested in a particular field of biology may decide to pursue a concentration. BA students may choose a concentration in Genetics, Molecular, and Cellular Biology or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. BS students may choose a concentration in Genetics, Molecular, and Cellular Biology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; or Public Health. Students should consult with a biology faculty member to determine which path is most appropriate for their goals and whether adding a concentration to their biology major will be beneficial for their career path.
The biology program starts with a two course sequence that provides an overview of biologically related fields, emphasizes connections between biological concepts, as well as relevance and social implications of biological research, and helps students navigate the broad field of biology. Biology majors draw basic theoretical and practical tools from allied sciences by completing required courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Collaboration and research as a learning process is a pervasive theme of the biology major. Many biology courses feature independent or team original research projects as the focus of the laboratory. During the junior and senior years, students participate in the biology seminar program, and in the senior year they present a seminar drawn from their research. Internships that introduce students to careers in the basic biological sciences, health sciences, and industry are emphasized.
Although not required, the Biology department strongly encourages students to participate in Collaborative Research (BIOL 4010), or an internship. Collaborative research and internships are not counted as electives within the major and are not required, but are highly recommended.