The biological sciences are organized into three departments: the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB), and the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology (PNB). Introductory level courses are listed under General Biology (BIOL). Other courses are listed separately under individual departments.
The Bachelor of Science degree is generally recommended for students planning a scientific career in biology, but the Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences allows a richer liberal arts program and provides good preparation for many careers, including subsequent graduate study.
Credit restriction: In no case may students receive more than 12 credits for courses in biology at the 1000-level.
Biological Sciences Major
The requirements for the major in Biological Sciences are designed to ensure a sound and broad background in biology, with opportunities to explore related fields. Biological Sciences majors must take BIOL 1107 and 1108, but majors interested primarily in botany may wish to take BIOL 1110 in addition or may substitute BIOL 1110 for BIOL 1108. Students wishing to complete this major must take at least 24 credits of 2000-level or higher courses from EEB, MCB, and PNB, of which at least three credits must be at the 3000 level or above. It is strongly recommended that at least four courses include laboratory or field work. In addition to laboratory work associated directly with courses, an Independent Study course in any of the three biology departments will provide majors with a means of gaining specific research experience. A maximum of 3 independent study credits from among EEB 3899, MCB 3899, MCB 3989, MCB 4989, and PNB 3299 may count toward the 24-credit requirement. Courses chosen for the major must include at least one course or course sequence from each of the following three groups:
- MCB 2000, 2210, 2400, 2410, 2610, or 3010
- EEB 2244/W or 2245/W.
- PNB 2250, or 2274–2275. (Note: PNB 2274–2275 must be taken in sequence to be counted towards the Biology major.)
To satisfy the writing in the major and information literacy competency requirements, all students must pass at least one of the following courses: EEB 2244W, 2245W, 3220W, 4230W, 4276W, 4896W, 5335W; MCB 3841W, 4026W, 4997W; PNB 3263WQ, 4296W; or any W course approved for this major.
A maximum of eight 2000-level or above transfer credits in EEB, MCB, or PNB may count toward the major with approval of the respective department.
A minor in Biological Sciences is described in the Minors section.
Majors are also offered in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Physiology and Neurobiology, and Structural Biology and Biophysics. These majors are described in separate sections in the Catalog.