Biology

The Biology concentration invites students to study, in depth and in breadth, the science of life and living matter. Whether pursuing the A.B. or Sc.B. in biology, students can expect to learn broadly in the discipline through a selection of courses in three areas: cell and molecular biology, structure and function, and organismal biology. In addition, students pursuing the Sc.B. complete a thematic track through which they gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subfield (such as, Immunopathology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Physiology/Biotechnology; Cell and Molecular Biology; Physical Sciences; Marine Biology (through 2016). The concentration also emphasizes practical skills and experimental design. Concentrators are required to take at least 3 courses with a laboratory or fieldwork component. Within all of these requirements, students have a high degree of flexibility and choice. Broad research opportunities are also available across several departments within the basic sciences as well.

Standard program for the A.B. Biology

The concentration program for the A.B. in Biology consists of four prerequisite courses in math, chemistry, and a statistics course as well as ten courses in biological sciences, including  at least one course in each of the following three areas: Area 1: Cell/Molecular Biology, Area 2: Structure/Function, and Area 3: Organismal Biology.

Prerequisites: 1
Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure
Organic Chemistry
Introductory Calculus, Part I (or placement. MATH 0050/MATH 0060 may be substituted for MATH 0090.)
One of the following:
Introductory Calculus, Part II (or placement)
Advanced Placement Calculus (or equivalent placement)
Or a statistics course, to be approved by the concentration advisor.
Ten Core Courses: 2,4
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (Required course; AP credit or similar IB or A-levels accepted, placement test available.)1
The Area requirement must be fulfilled by taking at least one course in each of these groups: 33
Area 1 (Cell/Molecular Biology)
Introductory Biochemistry
Genetics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Introductory Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Developmental Biology
Principles of Neurobiology
Area 2 (Structure/Function)
Biological Design: Structural Architecture of Organisms
Invertebrate Zoology
Inquiry in Plant Biology: Analysis of Plant Growth, Reproduction and Adaptive Responses
Principles of Physiology
Biomaterials
Developmental Biology
Biology of Reproduction
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)
Conservation Medicine
Diversity of Life
The Fossil Record: Life through Time on Earth
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
Invertebrate Zoology
Microbes in the Environment
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Evolutionary Biology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Environmental Science in a Changing World
Six additional courses chosen from BIOL and/or NEUR offerings for concentrators. At least two at the advanced (1000-2000) level. The Core may include up to two related sciences, with advisor approval.6
Total Credits10
1

 AP scores of 4 or above may substitute Math courses.

2

 At least two biology and/or neuroscience courses must be at the advanced level (between 1000-2999).  EXCLUSIONS: BIOL 0920 series courses, BIOL 1070, & BIOL 1920 series courses.  *Courses numbered below BIOL 0100 do not carry concentration credit.  At least three of the Biology and/or Neuroscience courses must include laboratory or fieldworkBIOL 1950/BIOL 1960, (Directed Research) may be included, but is not required. If a lab project, this can count for ONE of the three lab course requirements, and one advanced course.

3

 No substitutions per above Area list. If a course is listed in more than one area, it may be used to fulfill one of those, the other must be fulfilled by a different course.

4

Biology courses for concentration credit include those numbered greater than 0100 with some exceptions noted within the course descriptions. Courses numbered over 3000 do not count towards Undergraduate requirements either quantity or for concentration.


Honors: Honors in biology requires a thesis and presentation based on a research project (conducted via BIOL 1950/BIOL 1960), and quality grades in the concentration. Guidelines and information on faculty research are available in the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education or found at http://www.brown.edu/academics/biology/undergraduate-education/.

Standard Program for the Sc.B. Biology

The concentration program for the Sc.B. in Biology consists of seven prerequisite courses in math, chemistry, and physics as well as thirteen to fourteen courses in biological sciences, including courses in each of the following three areas: Area 1: Cell/Molecular Biology, Area 2: Structure/Function, and Area 3: Organismal Biology, and the three-course Track.  The biological sciences requirement also requires research (BIOL 1950/BIOL 1960), which should reflect the advanced cluster.

As of the 2014-15 academic year, students pursuing a ScB in Biology have the option to substitute a course for CHEM 0360 (Organic Chemistry) in their background core. For students pursuing the Marine Biology track, an upper level course in Geological Sciences may replace CHEM 0360. For students pursuing all other tracks, BIOL 0280 (Introductory Biochemistry) may serve as the replacement course.  Please note that approval from the concentration advisor is required for these background course substitutions. If the student has already declared, then a revised concentration plan must be submitted and approved via the ASK system. If BIOL 0280 is used as a substitute for CHEM 0360, it cannot be counted as a core course, as a laboratory course, or as an Area 1 course. Students planning to apply to medical or graduate school should seek additional advising (such as from the Health Careers Office) in crafting their course plan.

Prerequisites: 1
Introductory Calculus, Part I (or placement. MATH 0050/MATH 0060 may be substituted for MATH 0090)
Introductory Calculus, Part II
Advanced Placement Calculus
Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or IB credit)
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Introductory Biochemistry
Basic Physics (or equivalent. PHYS 0050 or ENGN 0030 may be substituted for PHYS 0030.)
Basic Physics (or equivalent. PHYS 0060 or ENGN 0040 may be substituted for PHYS 0040.)
Core Courses: 2, 3
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or placement)1
The Area requirement must be fulfilled by taking at least one course in each of these groups:3
Area 1 (Cell/Molecular Biology)
Introductory Biochemistry
Genetics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Introductory Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Developmental Biology
Principles of Neurobiology
Area 2 (Structure/Function)
Biological Design: Structural Architecture of Organisms
Invertebrate Zoology
Inquiry in Plant Biology: Analysis of Plant Growth, Reproduction and Adaptive Responses
Principles of Physiology
Biomaterials
Developmental Biology
Biology of Reproduction
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)
Conservation Medicine
Diversity of Life
The Fossil Record: Life through Time on Earth
BIOL 0370 - Experimental Evolution
Invertebrate Zoology
Microbes in the Environment
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Evolutionary Biology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Environmental Science in a Changing World
Five additional courses chosen from BIOL and/or NEUR offerings for concentrators. Alternatively, students may may include up to two related (non-BIOL/NEUR) sciences suitable for science concentrators. 45
RESEARCH: 5
Typically, two courses in Track is advanced level research (BIOL 1950,1960).1-2
TRACK:
The Track consists of three additional biological sciences courses (not including BIOL 1950/1960 research) that form a Track. Tracks include: Immuno/Pathobiology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Physiology and Biotechnology; Neurobiology; Physical Sciences; Marine Biology; Cell and Molecular Biology. 63
Total Credits13-14
1

 AP scores of 4 or 5 may substitute Math courses.

2

 At least two biology and/or neuroscience courses numbered at the 1000 or 2000 level.  EXCLUSIONS: BIOL 0920 series courses, BIOL 1070,  or BIOL 1920 series courses. *Courses numbered below BIOL 0100 do not carry concentration credit.  At least three of the biology and/or neuroscience courses must include laboratory or fieldwork.  No substitutions per above Area lists. If a course is listed in more than one area, it may be used to fulfill one of those; the other must be fulfilled by a different course

3

Biology courses for concentration credit include those numbered greater than 0100 with some exceptions noted within the course descriptions. Courses numbered over 3000 do not count towards Undergraduate requirements either quantity or for concentration.

4

 See listing at http://biology.brown.edu/bug/ for options.  Related sciences must be above prerequisite level, and suitable for science concentrators.

5

 If substantial research is carried out away from Brown, it must be approved by an appropriate Brown BioMed faculty member but does not carry course credit toward the Core program.

6

At least two, and preferably all three, must be above 1000-level.  Courses used for the cluster, must be approved by an advisor and/or Associate Dean of Biology, Katherine Smith.

Honors: Honors in biology requires a thesis and presentation based on a research project (usually conducted via BIOL 1950/BIOL 1960), and quality grades in the concentration. Guidelines and information on faculty research are available in the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education or at http://www.brown.edu/academics/biology/undergraduate-education/.

Stipulations for Biology Programs:

  1. For double concentrations, no more than two courses may overlap (i.e., be used to meet requirements of both) programs, prerequisites excepted.
  2. No more than two semesters of directed research may be used as concentration credits. Each does count as an individual core towards the program, but only carry one lab credit towards the three required.
  3. A limited number of transfer or study abroad courses may be used within the program, subject to approval of advisor, and Associate Dean of Biology, Katherine Smith.