Biology, BA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Major: Biology

Program Overview

The Biology BA degree program provides a general background in biology and has the most flexible scheduling of the three biology degrees offered. It is especially recommended for students who are pre-professional, have multiple majors, intend to study abroad or participate in an internship program, or have significant extracurricular commitments (e.g., varsity athletics, student government, Greek life, or other campus involvement). Since the Biology BA degree does not formally require undergraduate research, students interested in graduate research careers should plan to take at least one semester of undergraduate research as an elective (BIOL 388 Undergraduate Research or BIOL 388S Undergraduate Research - SAGES Capstone) sometime during the senior year.

The Biology, BA has a core of foundation courses and provides options for specialization in a variety of areas, including biotechnology and genetic engineering, molecular and cellular biology, genetics, immunology, chemical biology, physiology and biophysics, neurobiology and animal behavior, developmental biology, population biology, ecology, and environmental science. Individual research projects form a significant part of the curriculum. Advanced biology majors may register, with permission, for graduate-level courses in the department and in the School of Medicine.

Ordinarily, all students begin their biology programs in their first year. All students must complete the SAGES seminar and General Education Requirements (GER) of the College of Arts and Sciences. While some BIOL courses serve as SAGES Departmental Seminars or SAGES Capstones, none of these are required courses for biology degree candidates. A Biology BA student, for example, is free to take a non-BIOL SAGES Departmental Seminar or SAGES Capstone course, assuming that prerequisites are met (or waived by the instructor).


Biology faculty advisors are assigned to students at the time of major or minor declaration. All biology majors are required to meet with their departmental advisors at least once each semester to discuss their academic program, receive clearance for electronic course registration, and obtain approval for any drops, adds, or withdrawals. Please contact the undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Biology for information about major or minor declaration.

Teacher Licensure

This program offers a special option for undergraduate students who wish to pursue this major and a career in teaching. The Teacher Education Program prepares CWRU students to receive an Ohio Teaching License for grades K-12 (Multi-Age) or grades 7-12 (Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA)) depending on major area of study. Students declare a second major in education—which involves 36 hours in education and practicum requirements—and complete a planned sequence of major content coursework within the context of this major. The program is designed to offer several unique features not found in other programs and to place students in mentored teaching situations throughout their teacher preparation career. This small, rigorous program is designed to capitalize on the strengths of CWRU’s departments, its Teacher Education Program, and the relationships the university has built with area schools.
For the subject area requirements for teacher licensure, please visit the program page for the Teacher Education, BA.

Undergraduate Policies

For undergraduate policies and procedures, please review the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.

Accelerated Master's Programs

Undergraduate students may participate in accelerated programs toward graduate or professional degrees. For more information and details of the policies and procedures related to accelerated studies, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.