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Biology

The Biology concentration invites students to study, in depth and in breadth, the science of life and living matter. Whether pursuing the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or Science (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. 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.

The Biology A.B. Concentration Worksheet may be a useful tool for course planning.

Prerequisites: 1
Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure
Organic Chemistry I
Single Variable Calculus, Part I (or placement. MATH 0050/MATH 0060 may be substituted for MATH 0090.)
One of the following:
Single Variable Calculus, Part II (or placement)
Single Variable Calculus, Part II (Accelerated) (or equivalent placement)
Or a statistics course, to be approved by the concentration advisor.
Ten Core Courses: 2,3,4
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (Required course; AP credit or similar IB or A-levels accepted, placement test available.)1
Area 1 (Cell/Molecular Biology)1
Biochemistry
Genetics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Introductory Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Developmental Biology
Conservation in the Genomics Age
21st Century Applications in Cell and Molecular Biology
Toxicology
Principles of Neurobiology
Area 2 (Structure/Function)1
Biological Design: Structural Architecture of Organisms
Invertebrate Zoology
Inquiry in Plant Biology: Analysis of Plant Growth, Reproduction and Adaptive Responses
Principles of Physiology
Biomaterials
Hormones and Behavior
Developmental Biology
Biology of Reproduction
Animal Locomotion
Toxicology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)1
Diversity of Life
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
Invertebrate Zoology
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Terrestrial Biogeochemistry and the Functioning of Ecosystems
Conservation in the Genomics Age
Animal Locomotion
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Environmental Science in a Changing World
Six additional courses chosen from BIOL and/or NEUR offerings for concentrators. The Core may include up to two related sciences, with advisor approval. The Core must also include a Senior Capstone.6
SENIOR CAPSTONE: *Only apples to students who have declared in Fall 2019 or later.* To be fulfilled via ONE of the following:
1. One of the following approved courses: BIOL 1100, 1250, 1515, 1555, 1565, 1575, 1600, 1820, 1970A.
2. One semester of independent research/independent study (BIOL 1950 or BIOL 1960).
Please visit the BUE webpage for more information.
Total Credits10


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.

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 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.

The Biology Sc.B. Concentration Worksheet may be a useful tool for course planning.

Prerequisites: 1
Single Variable Calculus, Part I (or placement. MATH 0050/MATH 0060 may be substituted for MATH 0090)
One of the following:
Single Variable Calculus, Part II (or placement)
Single Variable Calculus, Part II (Accelerated)
or a statistics course to be approved by the concentration advisor
Each of the following:
Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or IB credit)
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Biochemistry
Basic Physics A (or equivalent. PHYS 0050 PHYS 0070, or ENGN 0030 may be substituted for PHYS 0030.)
Basic Physics B (or equivalent. PHYS 0060 or ENGN 0040 may be substituted for PHYS 0040.)
Core Courses: 2,3,4
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or placement)1
Area 1 (Cell/Molecular Biology)1
Biochemistry
Genetics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Introductory Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Developmental Biology
Conservation in the Genomics Age
21st Century Applications in Cell and Molecular Biology
Toxicology
Principles of Neurobiology
Area 2 (Structure/Function)1
Biological Design: Structural Architecture of Organisms
Invertebrate Zoology
Inquiry in Plant Biology: Analysis of Plant Growth, Reproduction and Adaptive Responses
Principles of Physiology
Biomaterials
Hormones and Behavior
Developmental Biology
Biology of Reproduction
Animal Locomotion
Toxicology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)1
Diversity of Life
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
Invertebrate Zoology
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Terrestrial Biogeochemistry and the Functioning of Ecosystems
Conservation in the Genomics Age
Animal Locomotion
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Environmental Science in a Changing World
Six additional courses chosen from BIOL and/or NEUR offerings for concentrators. The Core may include up to two related sciences, with advisor approval. The Core must also include research. 46
RESEARCH:
The two semester research requirement may be satisfied by any two of the opportunities listed below. Students may find the following resources useful in planning for research: the annual BUE-PLME Finding, Securing and Succeeding in Research workshop, the BUE Research webpage, and the Sheridan Center’s Undergraduate Research & Experiential Opportunities webpage. Following conversation and agreement with the advisor, students articulate the research plan in the ASK declaration (in the designated text box) which is submitted for review and approval by the advisor.
Choose two:
Directed Research/Independent Study
Directed Research/Independent Study
Independent Study
Independent study course in a related discipline (i.e. STEM disciplines, ENVS, PHP, etc.) if the project is relevant to the student’s learning goals and interests in the concentration.
The following COEX courses: BIOL 0190R, BIOL 0285, BIOL 0440, BIOL 0600, BIOL 0940G, BIOL 1515, BIOL 1555; NEUR 1630, CLPS 1195. New COEX courses will be considered as they are developed and offered at Brown, and as relevant to the concentration.
A summer research experience equivalent in scope and scale to work the student would pursue in a Biology independent study course. Examples include UTRAs, LINK awards, approved research programs at other institutions, etc. These experiences do not count as a course in the 10 course core requirement, but they can be used to satisfy the one semester of the research requirement. Advisors will work with students to review these experiences - drawing on a range of potential materials including a written summary of the experience, formal work plans, materials produced (i.e. presentations/papers), and in some cases a letter from the supporting advisor.
Other equivalent opportunities not listed - with approval from the concentration advisor and Dean Smith
Students are encouraged to pursue research related to their track
TRACK:
The advanced thematic 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; Biomedical Informatics. At least two track courses, and preferably all three, must be above 1000-level. Track courses should form a cohesive grouping approved by the concentration advisor.3
Biomedical Informatics - BIOL 1565 is required for this track along with 2 additional courses from the following:
Methods in Informatics and Data Science for Health
Evaluation of Health Information Systems
Artificial Intelligence in Biomedicine
Cell and Molecular Biology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Advanced Biochemistry
Biomolecular Interactions: Health, Disease and Drug Design
Developmental Biology
Biology of Reproduction
Molecular Genetics
Human Genetics and Genomics
21st Century Applications in Cell and Molecular Biology
Toxicology
Stem Cell Biology
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Experimental Design in Ecology
Foundations of Population Genetics
Computational Methods for Studying Demographic History with Molecular Data
Marine Biology
Community Ecology
Human Population Genomics
Conservation Biology
Biogeography
Terrestrial Biogeochemistry and the Functioning of Ecosystems
500 Million Years of Land Plants
Conservation in the Genomics Age
Human Genetics and Genomics
Animal Locomotion
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Immunobiology
Host-microbiome Interactions in Health and Disease
Cancer Biology
Innate Immunity
Parasitism: Biology and Disease
Virology
Development of Vaccines to Infectious Diseases
Marine Biology
Marine Biology
GEOL (EEPS) listings 1000 level or above. Must be a coherent set of courses that are above the introductory level and approved by advisor
Neurobiology
Cell Physiology and Biophysics
Topics in Signal Transduction
Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
Physiological Pharmacology
NEUR listings 1000 level or above
Physiology and Biotechnology
Biotechnology and Global Health
Polymer Science for Biomaterials
Cell Physiology and Biophysics
Topics in Signal Transduction
Biomaterials
Tissue Engineering
Stem Cell Engineering
Principles of Exercise Physiology
Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
Physiological Pharmacology
Biomolecular Interactions: Health, Disease and Drug Design
Physical Sciences
Must be a coherent set of courses drawn from the Physical Sciences; courses must be above the introductory level and approved by advisor
Total Credits13

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). This includes prerequisite courses.
  2. No more than two semesters of directed research may be used as concentration credits. Each does count as an individual core course 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.