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Majors and Courses

Four Majors

The Department of Biological Sciences administers four majors:

The Department of Biology administers four majors: Biochemistry, Biology, Environmental Science and Natural Science. In each of these majors, the curriculum is designed to:

  1. Explore the fundamental properties of life from the molecular to the community/ecosystem level,
  2. Critically evaluate life properties through rigorous application of the scientific method, and
  3. Incorporate this body of information into the framework of modern evolutionary theory. Laboratory and field work are important components of all four majors.


For the liberal-arts major, with a general interest in  the study of living things, Biology 101 and Biology 102 explore the scientific way of thinking, the basic methods of science, the diversity of living things, and the relationship of the biological sciences to many of  the current problems facing a modern society.

In addition, "The Biosphere at Risk" (Biology  205), an introductory environmental science course, explores environmental issues of global significance, providing a scientific basis for both understanding the causes of  and developing solutions for environmental problems.

Performance Requirements

Students are required to earn a minimum of a "C" average (2.0) in General Biology BI103 and BI104  and in General Chemistry CH130 and CH131, the traditional first year biology and chemistry courses, to continue enrollment in a biology department-administered major into the second year.

A student receiving a final letter grade below "C" in either General Biology BI103  or General Chemistry CH130  will be placed on probationary status in his or her respective major until meeting the performance requirements in  both General Biology BI104 and General Chemistry CH131. A student earning less than a "C" average (2.0) in either the General Biology (BI103 and BI104) or the General Chemistry (CH130 and CH131) course pairings will not be permitted to continue in a Biology Department administered major.

A student meeting the minimum 2.0 average after receiving a final letter grade below "C-" in any of the above-mentioned courses must repeat the course and earn a grade of "C" or better to remain in the major. The student will remain on probationary status until such courses are repeated. The repeated courses must be completed with a final grade of "C" or better by the start of the following academic year or the student will have to repeat these courses at Saint Anselm College by the end of  the next academic year. In either case, these students must consult and seek permission of the Chair to remain in any of the Biology Department administered majors. It is the student's responsibility to provide evidence of successful completion of these courses to the Chair and the Registrar at his or her earliest convenience but no later than one week prior to the first day of classes. Beyond the introductory courses, students must maintain each semester a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in their major courses (biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics) in order to continue in their respective majors.

For liberal arts students electing one of the Biology Department's four majors, course work completed in  General Biology 101 and/or General Biology 102 may be used in lieu of the corresponding General Biology 103 and/or General Biology 104, provided that a minimum average grade of B+ is earned in BI101 and BI102. These students must consult and seek permission of the Chair prior to changing majors.

Students completing the BI101-102 sequence but failing to earn a B+ average may also be admitted into a Biology Department major by meeting the minimum grade requirements described above for a typical major's  sequence, i.e. enrolling and successfully completing BI103-104 and CH130-131 with a C average or better across all four courses. These students must also take two additional electives to replace BI101-102, in accordance with the College's policy on repeating courses.