Biology, BS

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Major: Biology

Program Overview

The Biology BS degree program 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 for many undergraduates in all programs and are specifically required for students in the Biology BS program. Advanced biology majors may register, with permission, for graduate-level courses in the department and in the School of Medicine.

The Biology BS program is intended to prepare students for work as traditional bench or field research scientists.  In addition to a general background in biology (the same as provided for Biology BA), the Biology BS program requires two semesters of undergraduate research, plus additional courses in quantitative methods (computer programming, statistics, data analysis) and physical chemistry.  The research may be done at the University or at any of its affiliated institutions, but the Biology Department does not formally place students into laboratories.  Because of the extra coursework and research requirements, the Biology BS may present scheduling challenges to students who wish to pursue multiple majors, study abroad, internships, or significant extracurricular activities.  Early, careful planning in consultation with the major advisor is essential to stay on schedule.

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 BS candidates, with the specific exception of BIOL 388S.


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.

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.