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Academic Requirements

Students have two options for the degree in biology—with lots of customization.

First, the department offers a B. S. in Biology in which students can choose electives from all areas giving them a general background, or they may select electives from one area, such as cell and molecular biology or ecology, thus specializing in that area. The second degree option is a B. S. in Biology with a Concentration in Biochemistry for students with a strong interest in studying biology at the chemical level.

Many students also choose to minor in biology, see the requirements below.

B.S. Biology

B.S. in Biology with a Concentration in Biochemistry

Minor in Biology

  • Requirements For The Biology Minor. The course requirements for the biology minor include General Biology (BIO 111,112) and five upper-level biology courses. By petition of the biology department, an appropriate upper-level course in chemistry, psychology, or environmental studies may be substituted for one of the required advanced biology courses. Students planning on using the biology minor as a basis for further studies in the biological sciences or for employment should seriously consider taking a year of General Chemistry (CHE 111, 112). All students should note that CHE 111, 112 is a prerequisite for some upper-level biology courses.
  • Students from a wide variety of majors have received minors in Biology, including: Environmental Studies, Chemistry, Psychology, Spanish, Sociology, Humanities, Business and Drama

Non-majors: Natural Science Distribution Options in Biology

  • Students looking to fulfill their Natural Science Distribution requirement with one or two courses are encouraged to take BIO 100 Current Topics in Biology, offered in the fall semester and/or BIO 104 Society, Ecology and the Chesapeake Bay, offered in the spring semester. Neither course has any prerequisites.
  • The majors-level introductory courses BIO 111 and 112 are targeted towards students majoring in the sciences. The lecture is rigorous and content-heavy and the laboratories have a substantial workload associated with the goal of training students in hypothesis formation, experimental design, data collection analysis and graphing, and reading, interpreting and paraphrasing the scientific literature.
  • Off-campus summer/winter biology courses including BIO 210 Community Ecology of Coastal Maine, BIO 212 The Bermuda Environment and BIO 296 Subtropical Biology of Puerto Rico do not count for Natural Science Distribution.
  • Student who would like to take a biology course over the summer at another college need to consider the following when considering a course.
    • The course must be an introductory ‘survey’ course, meaning that it cannot address only specific elements of one field of biology (a microbiology or human physiology course, for example, would not suffice).
    • The course must have an associated lab.
    • A Transfer Course Permit form should be filled out (download one here, or pick one up from the Registrar’s Office in the Basement of Bunting) and a copy of the course description printed. These documents should then be brought to the chair of the biology department for approval.