The study of life spans a tremendous scale of inquiry from individual molecules to whole organisms to entire ecosystems. At each level exists a complexity that is both wonderful to observe and yet challenging to understand – and this is what makes biology one of the most dynamic and compelling of the sciences. Whether it is the study of habitat loss due to climate change or developing an AIDS vaccine – both endeavors are built on the fundamental understanding of biological systems.
The breadth of topics in modern biology is reflected in the 78 different courses that together constitute the undergraduate curriculum of the Department of Biology. Our courses span the whole range of student engagement from intensive laboratory-only offerings that start in second-year to small fourth-year seminar courses where the focus is on refining communication skills. As an undergraduate student you have the freedom to focus on a particular subdiscipline of Biology (e.g. Genetics, Ecosystem Health) or receive a broad education that touches on many areas.
The overall goal of the Biology undergraduate program is firmly rooted in a liberal education where students develop into open-minded, skeptical and engaged citizens. Within the framework of the study of biology emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking and communication skills, helping you prepare for a career in a wide range of areas including scientific research and the professions of law, medicine and education.