Oct 21, 2018  
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major (B.A.)

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The biology major leading to a Bachelor of Arts requires 47 credits of biology: 21 credits in specified courses, 26 credits of biology electives.  Three support courses: two courses in chemistry and one course in biostatistics are also required.

The Bachelor of Arts degree differs from the Bachelor of Science degree requiring fewer supporting courses and more biology courses.  Specifically students doing the BA are not required to take Physics I and II or Organic Chemistry I and II or Calculus.  This is five fewer courses.  BA students are, however, required to take two additional upper level biology courses, leaving a net reduction of three courses between the two degrees.  Students going into PA school ought to check specific requirements of schools to which they are interested in applying.  Some require one semester of Organic Chemistry.

General concentration requirements are for either degree.  (See  Biology Concentrations section below.)

Majors normally take an introductory core of six courses in the sequence listed below, plus a senior seminar.  Transfer students and those beginning the major after their first semester freshman year may have BIO 100  waived; please see your advisor.


Students select an additional 26 credits of biology electives in consultation with their advisor. These electives must include at least one upper-level plant course (e.g., botany, plant anatomy and physiology, ecology or approved Au Sable course) and at least three upper-level (300- or above) biology courses.

Required Mathematics and Support Courses

Biology Concentrations

Professional Concentration (B.A.)

The Professional Concentration provides flexibility in course selection.  A total of 26 credits of biology electives required, including at least one upper-level plant course.

Health Professions Concentration (B.A.)

Biology is a popular choice of major for many students entering medicine or other health professions. Biology provides a breadth of experiences related to living organisms, including humans, which provides a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing medical-related fields. The B.A. in biology may be appropriate for those pursuing prenursing and physician’s assistant programs, while the B.S. in biology may be more appropriate for the premedical, preveterinary, predental and prephysical therapy tracks.

Students interested in a career in the health professions fields should declare a health professions concentration and track. The specific requirements for different health professions tracks are listed under the Health Professions Program  section of this catalog. Contact Dr. Craig Story, Director of Health Professions, for additional information.

Biotechnology Concentration (B.A.)

The following courses are required:

Environmental Concentration (B.A.)

The following courses are required:

Marine Biology Concentration (B.A.)

Biology electives (18 credits) approved by the department


BIO 310 - Ecology  and courses from the Marine Studies Consortium or Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies are strongly recommended.

Biology with Middle School or Secondary Education Double Major

Students planning to teach biology at the middle school or secondary level should consult the education and biology chairs for specific requirements.  The Bachelor of Arts in biology is recommended.

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