Location: Bowdoin / Biology / Requirements


Department Requirements

Requirements for the Minor in Biology. The minor consists of five courses in the department exclusive of independent study and courses below the 1100 level. Minors are required to complete Biology 1102 or 1109, and two courses to be taken from two of three core groups.

Requirements for the Major in Biology. The major consists of eight courses in the department exclusive of independent study and courses below the 1100 level.  Majors are required to complete Biology 1102 or 1109, and three of the twelve core courses. Core courses are divided into three groups. One course must be taken from each group. Majors are also required to complete four elective courses, at least two of which have to be above 2550.

Group 1

Bio 2112: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Bio 2135: Neurobiology
Bio 2175: Developmental Biology
Bio 2118: Microbiology
Bio 2124: Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Group 2

Bio 2210: Plant Physiology
Bio 2135: Neurobiology
Bio 2214: Comparative Physiology
Bio 2175: Developmental Biology

Group 3

Bio 2315: Behavioral Ecology and Population Biology
Bio 2316: Evolution
Bio 2319: Biology of Marine Organisms
Bio 2325: Biodiversity and Conservation Science
Bio 2330 Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Majors must also complete, Mathematics 1700 (or above) or Math 1600 and one of the following: Math 1300, Psych 2520.  Additional requirements are Physics 1130 (or any physics course that has a prerequisite of Physics 1130), Chemistry 1102 or Chemistry 1109, and Chemistry 2250. Students are advised to complete Biology 1102 or 1109 and the mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses by the end of the sophomore year.

Students planning postgraduate education in science or the health professions should note that graduate and professional schools are likely to have additional admissions requirements in mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

Advanced placement credits may not be used to fulfill any of the course requirements for the major.

Students should check in with Pam Bryer (Hatch 206B) at either the end of their junior year or the beginning of their senior year as to their progress towards the major requirements.

Biology Majors are encouraged to attend the department seminars offered throughout the fall and spring semesters.

*Students may not count Credit/D/Fail courses toward the Biology major or minor.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ's for the Biology Major, Prerequisites for Core and Advanced Courses, &  Student Research

Biology Honors: If you would like information about earning departmental honors, please review the Biology Requirements for Honors.

If you are considering off-campus study while completing a biology major, please review the Biology Department's off-campus study statement.