Biology majors are not required to declare a concentration. Concentrations are meant to act as a course guide for a student who wishes to focus their studies in one area of Biology. Students who do not wish to officially pursue a concentration may still use the information on concentrations to guide them in selecting their elective courses within the general Biology major to further their knowledge in their area(s) of interest.
Students who officially pursue one of the concentrations below but do not complete the requirements are responsible for fulfilling all the requirements for the general major. This responsibility may include taking some courses which may not have been required for their concentration. Specifically, students will need the appropriate breadth and number of intermediate Biology courses.
To make a request to apply for one of the Biology concentrations, please log-in to Path@Penn, select Path forms, then choose "Declare/Update Field of Study". Also, please fill out the Student Information form and Course Sequence Worksheet for the corresponding concentration and submit them to the following link. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
*Sophomores and Juniors, when submitting your declaration request on Path@Penn, please do so for the Spring 2024 semester.
*Please note: Requests will not be reviewed until all materials are submitted.
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 digital, statistical, and mathematical methods to store, retrieve and analyze massive data sets. The fields of Computational and Mathematical Biology emerged to address questions posed by these developments. Students who are interested in computational and mathematical biology but not able to complete all the concentration requirements are encouraged to consider elective courses from the Computational and Mathematical Biology course lists.
The concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology delivers intensive training in ecological processes at all levels in addition to providing students with a background in the theories governing evolutionary principles. Students within this concentration are encouraged to develop the mathematical and statistical tools necessary to properly model and consider ecological and evolutionary systems.
Understanding the mechanisms that underlie disease is of interest to students planning medical careers as well as 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 the introductory Biology sequence. Advanced electives are selected from the fields of Microbes and Infectious Disease, Genetic Disease, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, and Biochemistry.
The emergence of novel molecular and genetic tools has revolutionized our understanding of cellular functioning. The Molecular and Cell Biology Concentration is an integrated program that provides an in-depth understanding of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and cell biology. In addition to the concentration coursework, students are expected to engage in a research experience that enables them to directly apply their theoretical learning to some biological question at the molecular and cellular level.
The Neurobiology Concentration provides fundamental training in brain physiology at the microscopic level and organismal behavior at the macroscopic level. This concentration emphasizes a molecular and genetic background, which is essential to understanding brain functioning at the gene and protein levels.