Systems Biology, BS

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Major: Systems Biology

Program Overview

Systems biology is a rapidly emerging area of research activity at the interface of mathematics, computer science, and the biological sciences. Many modern areas of biology research (e.g., biochemical, neural, behavioral, and ecosystem networks) require the mastery of advanced quantitative and computational skills. The Systems Biology BS degree program is intended to provide the quantitative and multidisciplinary understanding that is necessary for work in these areas. This skill set is different from that produced by traditional undergraduate programs in biology. Consequently, the Systems Biology BS program adds two core courses (in modelling and analysis of biological systems) beyond the three core lectures used in the Biology BA and Biology BS programs, as well as foundation courses from computer science and advanced mathematics. The traditional biology core laboratory courses are not required, but may be taken as electives.  Undergraduate research is strongly recommended (as BIOL 388S Undergraduate Research - SAGES Capstone and BIOL 390 Advanced Undergraduate Research) but is not formally required.

The Systems Biology BS 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. Theoretical, mathematical, and computational approaches to these fields are emphasized in the Systems Biology BS program. 

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.


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.