The Curriculum

Barry A. Logan, Department Chair
Mary Keenan, Department Coordinator

Professors: Patsy S. Dickinson (Neuroscience), Amy S. Johnson, Bruce D. Kohorn (Biochemistry), Barry A. Logan, Michael F. Palopoli
Associate Professors: Jack R. Bateman, David B. Carlon, Vladimir Douhovnikoff, Hadley Wilson Horch† (Neuroscience), William R. Jackman, Anne E. McBride (Biochemistry) 
Assistant Professors: Patricia Jones, Mary Rogalski (Environmental Studies)
Director of Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island: Patricia Jones Director of Schiller Coastal Studies Center: David B. Carlon Lecturer: Stephanie A. Richards
Visiting Faculty: Sarah Kingston
Fellow: Brittany Jellison
Laboratory Instructors: Pamela J. Bryer, Shana Stewart Deeds, Aimee M. Eldridge, Kate R. Farnham, Sandra Fussell, Stephen A. Hauptman, Jaret S. Reblin, Bethany Whalon

Requirements for the Major in Biology

Students majoring in biology can meet their major requirements by completing either the Integrative Biology concentration or Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology concentration. Each concentration consists of twelve courses, including at least eight courses in the department, exclusive of independent study and courses below 1100.

Integrative Biology Concentration

Required courses:

  • Biology 1102 or 1109
  • Chemistry 1092, 1102, or 1109 or higher
  • two courses chosen from any two of the following departments:
    • courses higher than 1100 in computer science, earth and oceanographic science, or physics; mathematics 1300 or higher
    • Psychology 2520 may also satisfy this requirement in place of Mathematics 1300, or higher.
  • one 2000-level course (or above) in any of the natural sciences including biology (division a courses), or one course in Mathematics 1300 or higher
  • three of the thirteen core courses listed below:
    • Core courses are divided into three groups.
    • One course must be taken from each of the three groups.
    • Courses listed in more than one group may not be double-counted between groups.
  • four elective courses
    • Two of the elective courses must be numbered higher than 2499.

Group 1:

  • Biology 2112, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Biology 2118, Microbiology
  • Biology 2124, Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Biology 2135, Neurobiology
  • Biology 2175, Developmental Biology

Group 2:

  • Biology 2135, Neurobiology
  • Biology 2175, Developmental Biology
  • Biology 2210, Plant Ecophysiology
  • Biology 2214, Comparative Physiology

Group 3:

  • Biology 2315, Behavioral Ecology and Population Biology
  • Biology 2316, Evolution
  • Biology 2319, Biology of Marine Organisms
  • Biology 2325, Biodiversity and Conservation Science
  • Biology 2327, Ecology
  • Biology 2330, Marine Molecular

Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology Concentration

Required courses:

  • Biology 1102 or 1109
  • Chemistry 1092, 1102, 1109, or higher
  • a mathematics course 1300 or higher; or Psychology 2520, Data Analysis
  • Biology 3308, Research in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
  • foundation in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology:
    • two courses from:
      • Biology 2327, Ecology
      • Biology 2316, Evolution
      • Biology 2319, Biology of Marine Organisms, or the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (if not used to meet another requirement)
  • breadth in the biological sciences:
    • one course from each of the following groups:
      • genetics, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology
        • Biology 2112, Genetics and Molecular
        • Biology 2118, Microbiology
        • Biology 2124, Biochemistry and Cell Biology
        • Biology 2175, Developmental Biology
      • integrative physiology
        • Biology 2210, Plant Ecophysiology
        • Biology 2214, Comparative Physiology
        • Biology 2135, Neurobiology
  • advanced topics in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology:
    • two courses from the advanced topics options (one must be higher than 2500):
      • The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester can count for both advanced topic options (if not used to meet another requirement).
      • Biology 2554, Biomechanics
      • Biology 2577, The Omics Revolution: Computational Genomics
      • Biology 2581, Forest Ecology and Conservation
      • Biology 3280, Plant Responses to the Environment
      • Biology 3307, Evolutionary Developmental Biology
      • Biology 3317, Molecular Evolution
      • Biology 3581, Ecological Genetics
  • natural and computational science:
    • two courses from:
      • Biology 1101, Biological Principles
      • Biology 1174, Biomathematics
      • Biology 2210, Plant Ecophysiology (if not used to meet another requirement)
      • Biology 2319, Biology of Marine Organisms (if not used to meet another requirement)
      • Biology 3314, Advanced Genetics and Epigenetics
      • Chemistry 2050, Environmental Chemistry
      • Computer Science 1101 or higher
      • Environmental Studies 2004, Understanding Place: GIS and Remote Sensing
      • Environmental Studies 2201, Perspectives in Environmental Science
      • EOS 1505, Oceanography
      • EOS 2005, Biogeochemistry
      • EOS 2251, Marine Biogeochemistry
      • Physics 1130, Introductory Physics I, or Physics 1140, Introductory Physics II
      • The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (if not used to meet another requirement; can satisfy both course requirements)

Students are advised to complete Biology 1102 or 1109 and courses in chemistry for the major by the end of the sophomore year. Students planning postgraduate education in science or the health professions should note that graduate and professional schools may have additional admissions requirements in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. It is strongly advised that students consult with faculty on the design of their major and discuss the options of research projects through independent studies, fellowship-funded summer research, and honors projects. Students planning careers in the health professions should contact Seth Ramus, director of health professions advising.

Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits may not be used to fulfill any of the course requirements for the major.

The biology department participates in the biochemistry, environmental studies, and neuroscience programs. Students majoring or minoring in biology may not also major in biochemistry or neuroscience.

With departmental approval, students are allowed to count courses taken at a different college or university toward the major.

Requirements for the Minor in Biology

The minor consists of five courses within the department, exclusive of independent study and courses below the 1100 level.

Required courses:

  • Biology 1102 or 1109
  • two core courses
    • To focus on integrative biology, take one course each from a different core group (see requirements for the major in Integrative Biology).
    • To focus on ecology, evolution, and marine biology, take two courses from the foundation in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology requirement list.
  • two elective courses above the 1100 level
    • To focus on integrative biology, these courses can be any course in biology above 1100 or Math 1808.
    • To focus on ecology, evolution, and marine biology, take two courses on the advanced topics in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology requirement list, or one on the advanced topics list and one on the natural and computational science requirement list.

Grade Requirements

Only one D grade is allowed in courses required for the major or minor. This D must be offset by a grade of B or higher in another course also required for the major or minor. Courses that count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).