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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
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: 2,3,4
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
BIOL 1865
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
BIOL 1865
Toxicology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)1
Diversity of Life
The Fossil Record: Life through Time on Earth
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
Invertebrate Zoology
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
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).
3. A senior Honors thesis in Biology; Students can register for BIOL 1950 or BIOL 1960 or both.
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
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 an equivalent placement)
Or a statistics course, to be approved by the concentration advisor.
Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or IB credit)
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
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
BIOL 1865
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
BIOL 1865
Toxicology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Area 3 (Organismal Biology)1
Diversity of Life
The Fossil Record: Life through Time on Earth
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
Invertebrate Zoology
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
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: 5
Typically, two courses in Core are advanced level research (BIOL 1950,1960).
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 an advisor and/or Associate Dean of Biology, Katherine Smith3
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
Stem Cell Biology
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Experimental Design in Ecology
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
Animal Locomotion
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Immunobiology
Host-microbiome Interactions in Health and Disease
Cancer Biology
Innate Immunity
Biology of Emerging Microbial Diseases
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
Polymer Science for Biomaterials
Cell Physiology and Biophysics
Topics in Signal Transduction
Biomaterials
Tissue Engineering
Stem Cell Engineering
Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
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 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.