Meet Your Major

The bachelor of science in biology curriculum is designed to provide you with a strong science foundation, with depth in life science, and multidisciplinary support in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

What You’ll Learn

Biology is the core life science program. We provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary education offering courses in cellular and molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, physiology, organismal biology, animal behavior, plant biology and physiology, ecology and evolution.

Hands-On Learning

Our curriculum emphasizes experiential learning where you learn by doing. Opportunities include:

We also have a long-term partnership with Pfizer where our students may work alongside world class scientists who are developing innovative, cutting edge solutions to today’s problems. Students have worked in the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism arm of the company and some have researched engineering cells to create purified proteins for therapeutic purposes.

Career Options

Our biology degree prepares you to enter numerous career paths.  Some of our graduates have worked in the following positions:

  • Analyst, Charles River Laboratories
  • Bacteriologist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Medical Technologist, Quest Diagnostics
  • Middle School Science Teacher, Arlington, MA
  • Political Director, Massachusetts Republican Committee 
  • Product Manager, Agilent Technologies
  • Research Coordinator, Saudi Ministry of Health, Riyadh
  • Senior Imaging Core Technician, Wyss Institute, Harvard University
  • Senior Program Manager, Genzyme 
  • Senior Scientist, Pfizer, Inc.

Biology also prepares you to enter graduate school. Many of our graduates have moved on to professional programs in the health professions and are doctors, dentists, veterinarians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and pharmacists. We are committed to advising you if you are interested in pursuing graduate school and also partner with the O’Brien Center for Career Development.

What You’ll Take 

Core Courses

(complete all)

BIO 1027 Principles of Biology I
BIO 1028 Principles of Biology II
BIO 2010 Ecology
BIO 2018 Genetics

Note: Students entering the major after having taken BIO 1025 may substitute that course for BIO 1027. 

Curriculum Concentrations

(choose one track from among A, B and C)

Choosing a curriculum concentration is not required. Instead, you may take a minimum of any five upper-level courses based on your interests.

Area A: Concentration in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biotechnology

BIO 3037 Cellular Biochemistry
BIO 3038 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
BIO 3040 Cell Biology
BIO Elective
BIO Elective


Area B: Concentration in Integrative Biology
(Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Dental)
This is an option for you if you are interested in working in the medical field, including, but not limited to, medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. These careers increasingly demand an integrated understanding of anatomy and physiology with molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, genomics and biochemistry.

LEARN MORE: PRE-MED, PRE-VET AND PRE-DENTAL

Accordingly, the coursework in our Integrative Biology concentration provides you with a strong foundation in these areas. Please consult with our Health Professions Adviser to plan upper level coursework that will satisfy the prerequisites for graduate programs of interest.  

BIO 3037 Cellular Biochemistry
BIO 3040 Cell Biology
BIO 3050  Comparative Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO Elective
BIO Elective  


Area C: Concentration in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

BIO 3072 Evolution
BIO Elective
BIO Elective


Plus, choose two from the following:

BIO 3060 Plant Biology
BIO 3061  Plant Physiology
BIO 3063  Animal Behavior 
BIO 3064 Marine Biology
BIO 3071 Conservation and Restoration Biology 
BIO 3075 Aquatic and Coastal Zone Ecology 


Customized Course Options

If you opt not to choose a concentration area, you may select a minimum of any five upper-level courses in consultation with your adviser.

Biology Electives
You can choose from the following upper-level course selections based on your interests and career path. If you choose not to pursue a concentration in Area A, B or C concentrations, any five of the courses listed can be crafted into a course of study.

BIO 3012 Immunology
BIO 3018 Human Genetics and Personalized Medicine
BIO 3030 Cancer Biology
BIO 3031  Embryonic Development
BIO 3037 Cellular Biochemistry 
BIO 3038 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
BIO 3040 Cell Biology 
BIO 3045  Microbiology
BIO 3050 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 3051  Comparative Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 3060 Plant Biology
BIO 3061   Plant Physiology 
BIO 3063 Animal Behavior
BIO 3064 Marine Biology
BIO 3071 Conservation and Restoration Biology
BIO 3072 Evolution
BIO 3090 Global Field Studies Program
BIO 4081  Special Topics Seminar in Biology  


Additional Course
You may also take one of the three following courses as one of the five upper level courses for the biology major:

BIO 4092 Directed Study/Research I
BIO 4095 Biology Internship 
BIO 4096 Directed Study/Research II 


Health Science Courses
If you are required to take two semesters of Human Anatomy and Physiology through the Health Sciences Department, please take the following:

HSC 1122 Anatomy and Physiology I with Integrated Lab
HSC 1123 Anatomy and Physiology II with Integrated Lab

Note: As part of your course preparation for professional schools, completing both semesters will satisfy one of the five upper electives courses for the biology major.

Cognate Requirements

CHM 1110

General Chemistry I

CHM 2210

Organic Chemistry I

CHM 2220

Organic II

CHM 1120

General Chemistry II

 

 
PHY 2201 
PHY 2202
General Physics I 
General Physics II
OR  

PHY 2211
PHY 2212

Physics I  
Physics II
   

MTH 1217

Calculus I

AND
(select one)

 

MTH 1016

Precalculus 

MTH 1218

Calculus II

MTH 1111

Basic Statistics