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    May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Biology Major (BA)


Biology students may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). Students preparing for graduate or professional schools are strongly encouraged to pursue the BS degree. Students especially 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 what 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 the field of biology while emphasizing core concepts that apply across all subdisciplines within biology. In these introductory courses, students also learn how the findings of biological research are relevant to society and to the environment. After completing the two introductory courses, students then go on to explore different areas of biology through taking six elective courses. 

Biology majors also gain understanding of basic theoretical and practical tools from completing coursework from allied sciences (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, physics), and learn about the importance of inclusion and equity in science through taking a Diversity, Equity, Ethics, and Inclusion (DEEI) course. Collaboration and research as a learning process is a pervasive theme of the biology major. Research projects designed and carried out by teams of students are a major part of the laboratory component for most of our courses. Although not required, the Biology department strongly encourages students to participate in Collaborative Research (BIOL 4010) either during the summer or during the regular academic year. Students are also encouraged to participate in an internship that introduces them to careers in the biological sciences, health sciences, industry, non-profits, or government agencies. During the junior and senior years, students participate in the biology seminar program, and in their senior year they give a presentation to students and faculty in the seminar about their own research.