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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
Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science Degree

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).

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-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-394 (taken twice for 0.5 unit 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 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics or CHEM-192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

  • CHEM-205 Organic Chemistry I

  • CHEM-206 Organic Chemistry II

  • Quantitative-Physical Science Requirement

    • MATH-211 Calculus I and two additional units chosen from the following three categories (must by chosen from two different categories):

    • Category 1:

    • Category 2:

      • DSST-189 Introduction to Statistical Modeling

      • DSST-289 Introduction to Data Science

      • 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)

    • Category 3:

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.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts Degree

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).

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree provides excellent training in biology while allowing the student flexibility to integrate interests in other academic disciplines with their biology coursework.

14 units, including:

  • Biology Courses:

    • BIOL-199 Introduction to Biological Thinking 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-394 (taken twice for 0.5 unit 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 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics orCHEM-192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

    • CHEM-205 Organic Chemistry I

  • Quantitative-physical science, one unit chosen from:

    • DSST-189 Introduction to Statistical Modeling

    • MATH-211  Calculus I

    • DSST-289 Introduction to Data Science

    • CMSC-150Introduction to Computing

    • PHYS-127 General Physics 1 or PHYS-131 General Physics with Calculus I

    • 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

Students pursuing a B.A. will work with their advisors to identify three or more thematically-linked courses outside of the sciences that demonstrate a thoughtful connection between their biology interests and another scholarly area (e.g., supporting study in science journalism, science and religion, bioethics, art in the sciences, history of science, etc.).  Only one of these courses may be counted towards another major, minor, or general education requirement.  The student, after consulting with their advisor, will prepare a brief rationale explaining their selection of courses and how their proposed B.A. plan of study applies to their post-graduate interests and objectives.

Minor

The Biology Minor

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).

Six units, including:

  • BIOL-199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL-192 Science Math and Research Training with Laboratory

  • BIOL-200 Integrated Biological Principles I

  • BIOL-202 Integrated Biological Principles II

  • Two additional units in Biology, at or above the 200 level, at least one with lab

  • CHEM-141 Chemistry: Structure, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics or CHEM-192 Science, Math and Research Training with Laboratory

  • 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:

Biochemistry (CHEM-326) may count toward the major or minor as a non-lab 300-level biology course.