Jun 15, 2024  
School of Undergraduate Studies 2022-2023 
School of Undergraduate Studies 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major (B.A.)

The biology major leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree is tailored to help students double-majoring in education or planning specific careers in allied health such as nursing and physician assistant. This degree requires 47 credits of biology: 19 credits in specified courses, one 4 credit upper level plant or ecology course elective, and 24 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.



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 Arts biology majors:

Plant or Ecology Course Requirement

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.


In addition, majors choose from one of the concentrations below while adhering to these course/credit requirements:

  • 24 additional credits of biology courses are required
  • At least three upper-level (300- or above) biology courses are required
  • No more than two courses (four credits) of Advanced Human Anatomy courses will apply to the major (BIO/KIN 410 BIO/KIN 411 BIO/KIN 412 BIO/KIN 413 BIO/KIN 414 

Biology Concentrations

In addition, a concentration is required from the following:

  Provides flexibility in course selection for students with a holistic interest in biology.

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

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

  Recommended for those who want experience in biotechnology and want to be prepared for the business world as well as research.

Health Professions: 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 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. Sean Clark, Director of Health Professions, or Dr Craig Story, Health Professions advisor, for additional information.

Health Professions Tracks







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.