Course Requirements

Biological Sciences Core


Students are typically expected to take the first year chemistry courses simultaneously with Biology 191, 192, and 193.


Students may substitute comparable sequences of Physics courses designed for science majors. 


Choose one of the following three course Calculus sequences:

Students may be advised on the basis of their performance on the Mathematics Diagnostic test to take one or more course before calculus. 

Concentration Requirements

Students must also complete the requirements from one of the following concentrations: Integrative Biology; Biotechnology; Medicine and Health; Neuroscience; Ecology and Evolution; or Cell & Molecular Biology.  Students are limited to only declaring one concentration.


Since programs in the Biological Sciences tend to be structured, it is useful for students to take courses in sequence. Students should begin with the General Biology and General Chemistry sequences. These are prerequisite to higher level requirements such as Ecology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Organic Chemistry, which should preferably be taken in the sophomore year. Since calculus is required for the degree, students should also begin their study of mathematics as soon as possible, preferably prior to their junior year, so that they can be adequately prepared for the General Physics sequence, best taken in the junior year. Because of this highly structured sequence, students are strongly encouraged to work with their Departmental advisor in order to plan their course schedules and plan alternatives if necessary. Such planning is particularly important for transfer students, as the sequence presented above is highly recommended and most likely to be completed in a timely fashion.

The predominance of chemistry and biology course sequences required in the freshman and sophomore years generally dictates that, with the exception of the Liberal Studies Core courses, the majority of the Liberal Studies courses may be postponed until the junior and senior years. Students may therefore be taking fewer Liberal Studies courses in the first two years than many other programs, concentrating instead on major field requirements, which are prerequisites to upper division courses.