Students who major in biology may pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree.

All courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the B.A. or B.S. degree or for the minor must be taken using the A-F grading system (except for Bio 461 which can be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). Bio 453 does not count towards the requirement of the Biology major/minor.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology

  • Nine courses in Biology, which include:
    • The four-course core sequence: Biology 110 or 111 or 113, 112 or 118, 211, and 212
    • One course from each of these three areas:
      Cellular/Molecular: Biology 114, 115 (Spring 2016), 230, 251, 320, 332, 334, 335, 340, 351, 359
      Organismal: Biology 115 (Spring 2015, 2017), 202, 204, 217, 221, 224, 227, 228
      Population/Community: Biology 205, 225, 240, 306, 307, 314, 316, 361, 390; ES 211, ES 350
    • Two additional elective courses, selected from the areas listed above or in Research Methodology (Biology 260*, 460, and 461)
    Bio 111 (or 110) and 112 are prerequisites for all upper level Biology courses.
    Bio 113 can substitute for Bio 111 (or Bio 110)
    Bio 110 is intended as a prerequisite to Bio 112 for non-Biology majors.
  • Four courses in related departments, to include:
    • Chemistry 107 (or 105) and 108 (or 118) - to be typically taken in the first year
    • A mathematics course, selected from: Biology 260*; Mathematics 105-106, 107, 111, 112
    • One elective, selected from: Chemistry 203, 204; Chem/Phy 246; Computer Science 111 (or 107); Environmental Studies 223; Physics 103, 104 or 109; 110, 111, or 112; Psychology 236, 237, or 238

*Note: If Biology 260 is chosen to meet the mathematics course requirement, it may not also count as a biology elective course.

  • A Capstone Experience - Fulfilled by Biology 307, 314, 320, 334, 335, 351, 460, or 461. All of these courses require independent research as well as a research or review paper.

    NOTE:  Bio 340 no longer fulfills the capstone experience. Bio 335 Neurobiology does now fulfill the capstone experience.
  • Interdisciplinary Course Cluster - Can be fulfilled either with courses outside of the major, by student-proposed course combinations, or by meeting the course cluster requirement embedded in Biology 212.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology

Students seeking the B.S. in Biology must fulfill all of the requirements listed for the B.A., plus the following:

  • One additional elective biology course (for a total of 10 biology courses)
  • One additional course in a related department (from the above list for a total of five courses in related departments - only one of the CS courses can count for the Biology major)

For those considering graduate or medical school

Students applying to most medical school programs, and some other medically-related graduate schools, such as dental school, are required to complete two years of Chemistry (105 or 107, 108, 203, & 204), one year of Physics (103-104 or 109-110 or 111-112), and one or two courses in Mathematics (usually 105-106, or 111 and/or 112).  Most PhD programs are more flexible (see:, but some do also prefer students to take both Organic Chemistry (Chem 203 & 204) and Physics, in addition to the usual Biology major requirements. Students who do complete all of these courses only need 5 Biology electives (instead of 6) for the B.S., or 4 Biology electives (instead of 5) for the B. A.  Students considering any graduate program should work closely with their advisor to plan their course of study.

Requirements for the Minor in Biology

Students qualify for a minor in Biology by completing six courses in Biology:

  • Biology 111 (or 110 or 113) and 112 (or 118). Both courses with at least a C- grade.
  • Four additional Biology courses that count toward the major.

Students selecting upper-level courses to meet the requirements for the minor must also fulfill any prerequisites that may be required for those courses