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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 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:

MATH 212 Calculus II

Category 2:

MATH 209 Introduction to Statistical Modeling

MATH 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:

CMSC 150 Introduction to Computing

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

GEOG 260 Introduction to Geographic Information

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 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 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 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 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

MATH 289 Applied Regression Analysis

CMSC 150 Introduction 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.

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 219 Human Anatomy w/Lab

BIOL 387 Biology Seminar

BIOL 388 Individual Internship

BIOL 389 Independent Study

BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I

BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II

BIOL 394 Undergraduate Research

BIOL 395 Undergraduate Research

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

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 Introductory Chemistry 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 219 Human Anatomy w/Lab

BIOL 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

BIOL 387 Biology Seminar

BIOL 388 Individual Internship

BIOL 389 Independent Study

BIOL 391 Honors Seminar I

BIOL 392 Honors Seminar II

BIOL 394 Undergraduate Research

BIOL 395 Undergraduate Research

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