The Biology Department considers a basic understanding of biological systems to be an essential skill in our increasingly technological society and offers a range of courses for both biology majors and non-majors. Courses are designed to promote scientific literacy and a sophisticated understanding of complex biological systems. Our courses introduce students to life at various levels of organization, with topics ranging from the molecular basis of cellular function, to the coordination of organ systems in the physiology of organisms, to the interactions of organisms with each other and the environment. The importance of research and experimentation in biology is stressed throughout the curriculum, which includes both lab courses and research experiences.

The Biology Department offers the following degrees:

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology is a structured program for biology majors who are interested in pursuing those aspects of the field that require a strong background knowledge in physics, chemistry, and mathematics and for students who want to fulfill premedical/predental requirements.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology is a flexible program that can prepare students for graduate school in the life sciences or can be integrated with other areas, including law, ethics, history, sociology, computer science, and management. The B.A. provides a solid foundation in biology but allows more flexibility in course selection by removing some of the chemistry and quantitative requirements that characterize the B.S. program. Thus, students in the B.A. program can either add more depth and focus around a sub-discipline or have more breadth, either within the biology curriculum or by taking advantage of the B.A. elective options. Students should note that, unlike the B.S. program, the B.A. program does not fulfill medical school admission requirements.

The Biology Department offers a minor in Biology, a concentration in Bioinformatics, and also co-sponsors a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biochemistry together with the Chemistry Department. The Biochemistry degree is described separately in this Catalog. Requirements for the Biology minor and bioinformatics concentration can be found on the Biology Department website.