The curriculum for a major in biology is divided into three tiers, offering increasing levels of challenge, greater emphasis on independent work, and more extensive use of literature reporting primary research. All biology majors take an introductory series of 14 credits (BIOL 201, 202, 204, and 206) in the first of these tiers. These core courses cover the central concepts of modern biology and provide a foundation for more specialized study at higher levels. The second tier courses (BIOL 301-399) build on this foundation and offer study on a broad range of topics at an intermediate level, including research (BIOL 391-392). All third-tier courses (BIOL 401-498) require the completion of specific second-tier courses and involve advanced scholarship, independent research projects, and extensive use of primary literature.
Core Courses (12 credits; click for more information)
Elective Courses: (24 credits; at least 4 of which must be at the 400-level)
Required Allied Courses: (16 credits)
Elective Allied Courses: (8 credits; selected in consultation with departmental adviser)
Alternative course combinations to satisfy elective allied requirements may be proposed by majors for approval by the department chair.
Recommended Course Schedule
The following represents a recommended schedule for completing course requirements for the major in Biology. Its purpose is to demonstrate an appropriate sequence in which courses might be taken. Elective courses that appear in parentheses are strongly recommended for students intending to apply to graduate school, medical school, and many other professional programs. It is strongly recommended that biology majors complete chemistry requirements by their sophomore year, and physics courses by their junior year.
BIOL 300-level elective
BIOL 300-level electives
|BIOL 300-level electives|
BIOL 300-level or 400-level electives
|BIOL 300-level or 400-level electives|
The Department of Biology strongly encourages students to consult our faculty and staff about the wide range of opportunities we provide for students to engage in biology outside the curriculum. These include study abroad, research with faculty and staff, and internships with local industry, hospitals, government, and private organizations. We also advise all our students on graduate programs and careers in biology and biologically-related fields in business and industry, the health professions, governmental and private organizations, and education. We encourage students to participate in biology seminars and other department experiences that highlight these opportunities.