Jul 12, 2020  
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major (B.S.)

The biology major leading to a Bachelor of Science degree is a holistic and flexible option for students interested in medical, veterinary, and dental schools, graduate school, or jobs in a variety of disciplines, including biotechnology, environmental science and sustainability, marine science, zoology, botany, and human biology. The Bachelor of Science degree is the standard option for biology students and requires 39 credits: 21 credits of specified courses, one 4 credit upper level plant course elective or ecology course elective, and 14 credits of biology electives (22 credits without Physics), and 6-8 support courses. Majors normally take an introductory core of six courses in the sequence listed below, plus a senior seminar.  

Required Support Courses

The following science and mathematics support courses are also required of all Bachelor of Science biology majors:

Plant or Ecology Course Electives

One upper-level plant or ecology course is required. Choose from the courses below or an approved course from Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, the Creation Care Studies Program, or another off-campus program.


An additional 14 credits in biology must be taken to complete a concentration below.

Biology Concentrations

Professional Concentration (B.S.)

The Professional Concentration provides flexibility in course selection for students with a holistic interest in biology. The B.S. in biology is particularly appropriate for students wishing to enter graduate school, whereas the B.A. in biology is best for students with a double major outside of the natural sciences. A total of 14 credits of biology electives required (22 credits without Physics).

Health Professions Concentration (B.S.)

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.

Health Professions Tracks

Courses for these concentrations are listed as tracks under the Health Professions Program:

Premedicine, Dentistry, Veterinary - See Track 1   

Prenursing - See Track 2   

Preoptometry - See Track 4   

Prepharmacy See Track 5   

Prephysical Therapy - See Track 6   

Prephysician’s Assistant - See Track 7     

Biotechnology Concentration (B.S.)

The biotechnology concentration is recommended for those who want experience in biotechnology and want to be prepared for the business world as well as research.

The following courses are required:

Environmental Concentration (B.S.)

The environmental concentration prepares students for a range of careers in environmental research and conservation, particularly with an emphasis in sustainability and stewardship.

The following courses are required:

Marine Biology Concentration (B.S.)

The marine biology concentration can take advantage of Gordon’s location on the coast as well as collaborations with Wood’s Hole, Marine Studies Consortium, and Au Sable Institute.

The following courses are required:

Biology with Secondary Education Double Major

Students planning to teach biology at the secondary level (grades 8-12) should consult the education and biology chairs for specific requirements. The Bachelor of Arts in biology is recommended.