Biology is the study of the principles governing living organisms, and spans a continuum of organization from molecules and cells to individuals and ecosystems. The field involves a wide range of sub-specialties, including molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, neurobiology, ecology and others with many intellectual links between them.


The biology program includes a required five-course core of a two-semester introductory sequence, plus cell biology, genetics and ecology, which introduce the fundamentals of contemporary biology. This is followed by at least three (B.A.) to six (B.S.) advanced biology electives. Courses in calculus, chemistry and physics are also required and are prerequisites for some biology courses. Opportunities for independent study and undergraduate research are available.

Program Goals

After completing the program, students should: 

  • thoroughly understanding of the principal levels of organization of living organisms
  • understand the biochemical and biophysical principles that underlie living organisms
  • comprehend principles that govern interaction between and within cells, tissues and organisms
  • understand major principals of the discipline, such as proliferation, generation of diversity, evolution by natural selection
  • critically evaluate experimental data and be familiar with laboratory procedures
  • communicate using oral, written, or electronic media, and understand attribution and acknowledgement of sources

The list of majors offered by the Biology department is available here.