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The Biology major is designed for students wishing to explore life science at multiple levels ranging from the molecular to the organismal to the ecosystem level. The curriculum seeks to develop organizational and communication skills, critical thinking and the ability to synthesize information. Graduates of the program are well prepared to undertake advanced study in graduate, medical or dental school, or for a career in business or education.

Major requirements include:


  • BI103 General Biology for Majors
  • BI104 General Biology for Majors II
  • BI345 Biostatistics


  • CH130 General Chemistry I
  • CH131 General Chemistry II
  • CH250 Organic Chemistry I
  • CH251 Organic Chemistry II


  • PS121 General Physics I
  • PS122 General Physics II
  • PS131 Classical Physics I
  • PS132 Classical Physics II

The courses above are required, plus seven other courses chosen from those listed below.  At least one course must be selected from each of the following four categories (four courses total).  One of the remaining three biology electives may be replaced with:  Directed Research in Biology (BI421-BI422 or BI423); Internship (BI451 and/or 452); Washington Internship (BI450).  Six of the seven must be lab courses.

Category 1 - Cellular & Molecular Biology

  • BI318 Microbiology
  • BI327 Genetics
  • BI330 Principles of Biotechnology (nonlab)
  • BI333 Cell Biology
  • BI336 Biochemistry
  • BI341 Selected Topics in Biochemistry
  • BI344 Nutrition (nonlab)
  • BI346 Pharmacology (nonlab)

Category 2 - Evolution & Diversity

  • BI210 Field Botany (nonlab)
  • BI325 Evolutionary Biology (nonlab)
  • BI335 Animal Behavior
  • BI329 Plant Biology
  • BI338 Invertebrate Zoology
  • BI347 Ornithology

Category 3 - Organismal Structure & Function

  • BI210 Exercise Physiology (nonlab)
  • BI315 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
  • BI324 Developmental Biology (nonlab)
  • BI331 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BI332 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BI336 Animal Physiology
  • BI339 Endocrinology (nonlab)

Category 4 - Global Issues & Environmental Science

  • BI205 Biosphere at Risk (nonlab)
  • BI319 Aquatic Ecology
  • BI320 Ecology
  • BI328 Conservation Biology
  • BI340 Field Studies in Tropical Biology

To assist students in selecting a balance of courses from several academic areas, each Biology major is assigned a faculty advisor with whom a close advisee-advisor relationship must be developed.  Scientific research is an important aspect of an education in science and each major is strongly recommended to replace one of the seven required courses with one of the following:  (1) under the direction of a faculty member, participate in Directed Research in Biology (BI421-422 or BI423); (2) develop, with the direction from the Internship Facilitator, an individual internship program (BI451 and/or 452); or (3) participate in the Washington Internship Program (BI450).

Course Sequence

Freshman Year
Humanities I Humanities II
Freshman English 103 Freshman English 104
Language Language
Biology 103 Biology 104
Chemistry 130 Chemistry 131
Sophomore Year
Humanities III Humanities IV
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Language Language
Biology Biology
Chemistry 250 Chemistry 251
Junior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Biology Biology
Biology/Elective Biology/Elective
Physics 121 Physics 122
Elective Elective
Senior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Biology Biology
Biology/Elective Biology/Elective
Biology 421 Biology 422
Elective Elective