Concentrations within the Biology Major

Biology Majors do not need to have a Concentration or Interest Area within the major. However, a student who wishes to may choose one of the following Concentrations (which will be noted on their transcript). Alternatively, a student may select courses in the regular Biology Major in order to pursue an Interest Area (which will not be noted on their transcript).

Computational Biology and Mathematical Biology concentrations 

Many areas in genetics, ecology, and evolution depend on sophisticated quantitative analysis. For example, the advent of data from the human genome project (and similar data from other species) has shown the need for computer, statistical and mathematical methods to store, retrieve and analyze massive data sets. The new field of Computational and Mathematical Biology has emerged to address questions posed by these developments. Students interested in computational and mathematical biology, but not able to complete all the required courses for this concentration, are encouraged to select courses for his or her Biology major from the list for the Computational Biology and Mathematical Biology courses. If you are interested in either the Computational Biology Concentration or the Mathematical Biology Concentration, please read the online information describing the requirements or you can pick up a handout from the Biology Academic Office.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology concentration 

The Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology provides intensive training in both ecology and evolutionary biology, along with essential background in the statistical and mathematical methods essential for these areas. If you are interested in pursuing this Concentration, please read the online information describing the requirements or you can pick up a handout from the Biology Academic Office.

Mechanisms of Disease concentration

Understanding the mechanisms that underlie disease is of interest to students planning medical careers but also to those interested in fundamental research, biotechnology, and public health. The Mechanisms of Disease concentration is a rigorous course of study requiring 18 classes beginning with BIOL 121 The Molecular Biology of Life. Advanced electives are selected from the fields of Microbes and Infectious Disease, Genetic Disease, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, and Biochemistry. Students interested in this concentration should read the online information describing the requirements or you can pick up a handout from the Biology Academic Office.

Molecular and Cell Biology concentration

The development of molecular and genetic tools has revolutionized our understanding of cell function. The Molecular and Cell Biology Concentration is an integrated program that provides in-depth understanding of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and cell biology. Students interested in this concentration are encouraged to read the online information and requirements as soon as possible since it is important to begin planning the required coursework early in your college career. A handout is available in the Biology Department Academic Office. A student who is interested in molecular biology, but not able to complete all the required courses for this concentration, is encouraged to select courses for his or her Biology major from the list for the Molecular and Cell Biology courses.

Neurobiology concentration

The Neurobiology Concentration provides fundamental training in brain function and behavior, coupled with a molecular genetic background essential to address molecular mechanisms of brain function at the gene and protein levels. If you are interested in pursuing this Concentration, please read the online information describing the course and credit unit requirements or you can pick up a handout from the Biology Academic Office.

If you pursue one of the above Concentrations but do not complete the requirements, you must fulfill all the requirements for the general major, including some which may not have been required for your specific Concentration. Specifically, you will need the appropriate breadth and number of intermediate courses.  A student who wishes to have two Concentrations noted on his or her transcript must complete at least 5 cu of course work that is unique to the second Concentration and is not counted toward the first Concentration. In addition, the student's research must be relevant to the subject matter of both Concentrations (usually by completing a single research project which is relevant to both Concentrations). Finally, if either or both of the Concentrations require 2 cu of Independent Study, then the student must complete at least 3 cu of Independent Study (with the second Biol 499 counting as one of the "unique" courses in the second Concentration).