Nov 28, 2021  
School of Undergraduate Studies 2021-2022 
School of Undergraduate Studies 2021-2022

Biology Major (B.S.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Programs

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 of biology: 19 credits of specified courses, one 4 credit upper level plant or ecology course, and 16 credits of biology electives (24 credits without physics). Six to eight support courses in chemistry, physics, and math are also required. Majors normally take an introductory core of eight 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 16 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 16 credits of biology electives required (24 credits without Physics).

Nursing Concentration (B.S.)

In the dual-degree nursing program, students earn a Bachelor of Science in either biology or kinesiology through an accelerated three-year curriculum at Gordon (including summer classes) and a Bachelor of Science with a nursing major through an accelerated 16-month curriculum at Curry College. The average program completion time is four years and three months.

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:

Educator Licensure - Biology

Students interested in teaching biology should consult the program chairs of biology and education for specific course requirements. The Bachelor of Arts in biology is recommended.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Programs