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Biology Major & Minor

Studying biology gives you the tools to understand and think critically about how life works and evolves at all different levels, from molecules to cells, to organisms, to ecosystems. A degree in biology also serves as a gateway for careers in healthcare, research, teaching or scientific journalism. Studying biology at Richmond means:


 

Biology
Major

The Biology Major

Note: The grade point average of the coursework in biology and chemistry must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.7).

For the Bachelor of Science Degree

The B.S. degree in Biology provides a broad foundation in the biological sciences, and requires competency in closely related scientific disciplines and mathematics. It prepares students to integrate the natural and quantitative sciences.

14 units, including

BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory

BIOL 200 Integrated Biological Principles I

BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II

Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and three with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take two of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL 350 (taken twice for 0.5 U each), BIOL 395 (1 Unit) or completion of BIOL 406 (summer undergraduate research) or by the department chair's approval of an external summer research program.

CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I

CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry II

Quantitative-physical science, MATH 211 Calculus I or MATH 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science and two additional units chosen from:

One unit from the following:

  • MATH 209 Introduction to Statistical Modeling
  • MATH 212 Calculus II or MATH 232 Scientific Calculus II
  • MATH 289 Applied Regression Analysis

One unit from the following:

  • CMSC 150 Introduction to Computing
  • PHYS 127 General Physics 1 or PHYS 131 General Physics with Calculus I or PHYS 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 2 with lab.
  • PSYC 200 Methods and Analyses OR BIOL 320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (BIOL 320 may count only for quantitative–physical science requirement or 300 level additional unit in biology, but not both; MATH 209 cannot be taken in combination with PSYC 200 or BIOL 320)
  • GEOG 260 Introduction to Geographic Information
Completion of the 2 semester IQS course meets the quantitative-physical science requirement for the BS in Biology

Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major/minor. Prerequisites do not count toward the major/minor unless otherwise noted.

For the Bachelor of Arts Degree

The BA degree provides a broad foundation in the biological sciences, and allows students flexibility to study a cohesive program in the liberal arts. It prepares students to integrate the humanities, social sciences and/or arts with the biological sciences.

14 units, including

Biology Courses:

  • BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training I with Laboratory
  • BIOL 200 Integrated Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 202 Integrated Principles of Biology II
  • Five additional units in biology, including at least four approved courses at the 300 level and three with a lab. Students with one unit of research may take two of the five with a lab. The one unit of research may be satisfied by BIOL 350 (taken twice for 0.5 U each), BIOL 395 (1 Unit) or completion of BIOL 406 (summer undergraduate research) or by the department chair's approval of an external summer research program.

Chemistry Courses:

  • CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math and Research Training II with Laboratory
  • CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I

Quantitative-physical science, one unit chosen from:

  • MATH 209 Introduction to Statistical Modeling
  • MATH 211 Calculus I or MATH 231 Scientific Calculus I or MATH 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science
  • MATH 289 Applied Regression Analysis
  • CMSC 150 Introduction to Computing
  • PHYS 127 General Physics 1 or PHYS 131 General Physics with Calculus I or PHYS 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 2 with lab.
  • PSYC 200 Methods and Analyses
  • BIOL 320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (BIOL 320 may count only for quantitative–physical science requirement or 300 level additional unit in biology, but not both)
  • GEOG 260 Introduction to Geographic Information

Three units chosen from the social sciences, humanities, languages or arts. Students pursuing a BA will work with their advisors to create a proposal for a thematically linked course of study (e.g., supporting study in science journalism, science and religion, bioethics, art in the sciences, history of science, etc.)

Approved Courses for the Biology Major and Minor

All 200- and 300-level courses may be used to meet major or minor requirements with the following exceptions:

  • BIOL 350 Undergraduate Research
  • BIOL 387 Biology Seminar
  • BIOL 388 Individual Internship
  • BIOL 389 Independent Study
  • BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I
  • BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II
  • BIOL 395 Honors Research
Biochemistry (CHEM 326) may count toward the major or minor as a non-lab 300-level biology course.
Minor

The Biology Minor

6 units, including

  • BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory I
  • BIOL 200 Integrated Biological Principles I
  • BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II
  • Two additional units in Biology, at least one with lab, and at least one at the 300 level elected from approved 300-level courses
  • CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory or CHEM 192 Science, Math, and Research Training II

Approved Courses for the Biology Major and Minor

All 200- and 300-level courses may be used to meet major or minor requirements with the following exceptions:

  • BIOL 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • BIOL 350 Undergraduate Research
  • BIOL 387 Biology Seminar
  • BIOL 388 Individual Internship
  • BIOL 389 Independent Study
  • BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I
  • BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II
  • BIOL 395 Honors Research
Biochemistry (CHEM 326) may count toward the major or minor as a non-lab 300-level biology course.