Biology Major Requirements

The Major in Biology

In addition to the college-wide distribution requirements and First-Year Seminar, every biology major must complete:

  • Two semesters (at least 6 credits) of introductory courses (numbered 140-190). Students typically take these courses during their first year.
  • Core courses (200-level):
    • A sequence of Genetics and Evolution (BIO 201) and Ecology and Evolution (BIO 202); typically taken during the second year.
    • Biostatistics (BIO 244). Students typically take this course in their second or third year.
  • Electivesa minimum of 8 credits (two courses) in biology laboratory courses at the 300-level or greater.
  • Upper college seminars: a minimum of two 400-level courses. All 400-level courses require students to read and present the primary literature.
  • To broaden their exposure to other areas of science, students should take two courses (8 credits) before their senior year, not necessarily in a sequence, from the following list:
    • Chemistry courses numbered 141 or above (e.g. General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry)
    • Physics courses numbered 141 or above (e.g. Introduction to Physics, Modern Physics)
    • Computer science courses numbered 141 or above (e.g. Object-oriented Programming with Robots, Data Structures, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)
    • Math courses numbered 200 or above (e.g. Linear Algebra)
  • The 1-credit Biology Seminar course is offered every semester. All Biology majors must take the course for credit at least twice before graduation.
  • Senior Project I and II
    (read more about Senior Project in Biology in this pdf document)

Moderation in Biology

To moderate into the Biology program, a student needs to complete at least six credits of introductory biology courses (numbered 140-199) and either BIO 201 (Genetics and Evolution) or BIO 202 (Ecology and Evolution), with concurrent enrollment in the other 200-level course at the time of moderation.

Read more about the process of Biology moderation here.