Biology Major

Biology Major Requirements

For a 67-credit to 71-credit major in biology, students complete the following:

BI 0170
0170L
General Biology I
and General Biology I Lab
4
BI 0171
0171L
General Biology II
and General Biology II Lab
4
BI 0172
0172L
General Biology III
and General Biology III Lab
4
BI 0399Capstone Seminar (Shell)3
CH 0111
0111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
4
CH 0112
0112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
4
CH 0211
0211L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
CH 0212
0212L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
4
MA 0119Applied Calculus I3-4
or MA 0171 Calculus I
MA 0120Applied Calculus II3-4
or MA 0172 Calculus II
or MA 0217 Accelerated Statistics
PS 0115
0115L
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
4
PS 0116
0116L
General Physics II
and General Physics II Lab
4
Biology Block Electives 122-24
Total Credits67-71
1

Various upper-level courses may be double-counted toward the departmental concentrations in molecular biology or marine science.

Biology Block Electives and Additional Requirements

During the second semester of sophomore year through senior year of the degree, a minimum of six biology courses and a capstone experience (described below) are required. To ensure breadth of exposure, at least one course must be taken from each of the following three blocks. The three remaining biology course electives may be any 200- or 300-level courses from the blocks listed below. Four of the six courses taken during the sophomore (second semester) through senior years must include a laboratory component.

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Block
BI 0261Genetics4
BI 0327Cell Biology4
BI 0342Developmental Biology4
BI 0352Fundamentals of Microbiology4
BI 0354Molecular Biology3
BI 0357General Virology3
Biochemistry and Physiology Block
BI 0107
BI 0108
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II 2
8
BI 0251Human Nutrition3
BI 0262Human Physiology4
BI 0310Community Nutrition4
BI 0314Endocrinology3
BI 0315Anatomy: Form and Function3
BI 0324Biochemistry I3
BI 0325Biochemistry II3
BI 0330Nutrient Metabolism3
BI 0356Immunology3
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Science Block
BI 0218Vertebrate Zoology3
BI 0260Ecology4
BI 0319Zoology Field Experience3
BI 0362Marine Invertebrate Zoology4
BI 0364Freshwater Ecology4
BI 0365Evolutionary Biology4
BI 0366Ornithology4
BI 0372Environmental Toxicology4
Biology Elective
BI 0216Introductory Principles of Epidemiology3
BI 0317Biostatistics for Health Research3
2

BI 0107 and BI 0108 may be taken by students pursuing allied health programs, where this course is required. This full-year sequence will count as one Biochemistry and Physiology block upper-level elective with lab; however, they cannot count for the major if BI 0262 Human Physiology has been taken previously and will instead be recorded as extra biology electives. Permission of the department chair is required.

The choice of block electives, advanced biology electives, and general electives inside or outside the department varies according to a student's career objective and interest. Students make their choices after consultation with appropriate department advisors. Students interested in molecular biology may, for example, take advanced courses to fulfill a concentration in molecular biology.

Students interested in graduate, medical, dental, or allied health schools may select electives that meet the requirements for admission to graduate or professional schools. Students interested in science writing or teaching in biology may choose to earn minors in English or education.

Capstone Seminar

During their capstone experience, students connect the diverse experience and knowledge they have acquired as biology majors, focusing these skills on examining in depth, a specific topic. In a small class setting (10-12 students maximum), students and the professor delve deeply into the chosen topic, assessing the peer-reviewed literature and most current trends around the particular subject. Students bring their breadth of knowledge to the discussion, and apply what they have learned over the course of their academic training to critically analyze the arguments and experiments presented in the literature. In most cases, students will be responsible for presenting a paper to the class, driving the content of discussion and debate with their fellow students and instructor. The capstone is a reading extensive experience, and, by definition, shows that the biology major is able to synthesize and apply their knowledge to examine interesting questions.

To maximize the value of the capstone experience, students enroll in an upper-level seminar course (BI 0399) during their senior year. See course descriptions for topics.

Research and Internship Experience

Faculty research specializations provide opportunities for qualified students to participate in laboratory research or library investigations in their chosen interest areas under a professor's guidance. Internships at off-campus institutions can also be arranged for qualified students. These opportunities expand and enhance the biology program's numerous possibilities for individualization.

Students intending to continue their studies in graduate school should consider participating in two or more terms of research. All on-campus research experiences require pre-arrangement with a faculty research advisor.

Off-campus research or internship experiences require an on-campus faculty mentor and approval from the department chair or internship director. Prior consultation is required to assure that the particular activity meets the requirements of the biology major curriculum.

Research and internship experiences are extra courses and do not count towards the biology major degree requirements.

Biology Major with a Concentration in Molecular Biology

As part of the six electives noted, students take four courses from the molecular, cell, and developmental biology block. BI 0325 Biochemistry II and BI 0356 Immunology may also be accepted. Interested students should consult with Dr. Phyllis Braun for advisement and completion of appropriate paperwork.

Biology Major with a Concentration in Marine Science

As part of the six electives noted, students take four courses from the marine sciences biology block. Interested students should consult with Dr. Diane Brousseau for advisement and completion of appropriate paperwork.

Select four of the following12
Introduction to Marine Science
Marine Invertebrate Zoology
Senior Capstone Seminar: Coral Reef Ecology
Senior Capstone Seminar: Ecology of the North Atlantic Coast
Senior Capstone Seminar: Principles of Aquaculture
Biology Research I
Biology Research II
Biology Research III
Biology Research IV
Internship
Internship

Biology Major with a Minor in Educational Studies and the Five-Year Teacher Education Program

Biology majors who elect a minor in Educational Studies and who have been admitted to the 5-year Integrated Bachelors-Masters Degree and Teacher Certification program should consult with Dr. Olivia Harriott, education advisor and Dr. Patricia Calderwood, director of the 5-year certificate program to insure that appropriate thought and reflection on their choices for upper division biology curriculum be made in assuring the best outcome for this unique 5-year program.

Biology Major

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
BI 0170
0170L
General Biology I
and General Biology I Lab
4
CH 0111
0111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
4
MA 0119
Applied Calculus I
or Calculus I
3-4
Core Curriculum Courses 6
 Credits17-18
Spring
BI 0171
0171L
General Biology II
and General Biology II Lab
4
CH 0112
0112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
4
MA 0120
Applied Calculus II
or Calculus II
or Accelerated Statistics
3-4
Core Curriculum Courses 6
 Credits17-18
Second Year
Fall
BI 0172
0172L
General Biology III
and General Biology III Lab
4
CH 0211
0211L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
PS 0115
0115L
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab 1
4
Core Curriculum Courses 6
 Credits18
Spring
CH 0212
0212L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
4
PS 0116
0116L
General Physics II
and General Physics II Lab 1
4
Biology Block Elective 2 3-4
Core Curriculum Courses 6
 Credits17-18
Third Year
Biology Block Electives 2 6-8
Biology Electives 2, 3 6-8
Core Curriculum Courses 12
General Electives 2 6-8
 Credits30-36
Fourth Year
BI 0399 Capstone Seminar (Shell) 3
Biology Electives 2, 3 3-4
Core Curriculum Courses 12
General Electives 2 12-16
 Credits30-35
 Total Credits129-143
1

Physics may be taken in the second or third year.

2

The sequence for biology block electives and general electives shown here are only suggestions. You may arrange them differently.

3

Various upper-level courses may be double-counted toward the departmental concentrations in molecular biology or marine science.