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Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

The biological sciences encompass many fields. Biologists study the structure and functions of living organisms, from the individual cell to the whole organism and communities. In the past three decades, advances in molecular biology and genetics have been rapid, opening many new, exciting career opportunities in the fields of biotechnology and genetic engineering. Biology graduates can pursue a variety of options including graduate and professional school in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other health-related areas, as well as careers in research or commercial laboratories, private and government agencies, and in teaching.

The Department of Biology recognizes and embraces advancements in the field and has created a number of concentrations to best prepare students for careers and graduate study. Within each concentration students may also select a focus area to further refine their field of study. Upon graduation, students will receive a degree reflecting their specific concentration.

Concentrations

Cell/Molecular/Genetics/Biochemistry

The Cell/Molecular/Genetics/Biochemistry (CMGB) concentration exposes students to several vital disciplines that are among the many research strengths of our faculty. Students in this concentration develop a strong foundation in the basic tenets of modern biology, and investigate the underlying theory behind advances in these disciplines in relation to basic science and medicine. The four required CMBG courses cover basic competencies and include:

  • BIO 244 Genetics or BIO 444 Human Genetics
  • BIO 314 Pharmacology or BIO 404 Structure and Function of Biomolecules
  • BIO 318 Biology of Cancer or BIO 430 Cell Biology of Disease
  • BIO 410 Advanced Molecular Biology

Selection of two additional CMGB electives allows students to tailor their studies to their specific research and career interests. Students also select two elective courses from the other concentrations and two lab electives to provide a breadth of knowledge in the biological sciences. This concentration will prepare students for diverse careers in research, medicine and industry.

Learn more about the CMGB Concentration in the Course Catalog

Ecology/Evolution/Genomics

The Ecology/Evolution/Genomics (EEG) concentration focuses on the study of genes and genomes to elucidate the histories of organismal adaptation, diversification, and species interactions. Students should pursue this concentration if they’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of ecology or evolution and how molecular and computational tools are utilized within these disciplines. Required EEG courses cover important principles in ecology and evolution, techniques in molecular biology and genomics, and computational approaches for the analysis of DNA sequence data. The required courses include:

  • ENVS 326 Molecular Ecology
  • BIO 228 Evolutionary Biology & Human Health or BIO 331 Bioinformatics I
  • BIO 436 Human Population Genetics or ENVS 230 General Ecology

Plus one of the following courses: Microbiology, Parasitology, Virology, Genomics, Vertebrate Morphology and Physiology, Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology, Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Field Botany of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, Diversity, Evolution and Ecology of Alage, Ichthyology and Herpetology, Entomology or Biodiversity.

Selection of two additional EEG electives, two lab electives plus two breadth electives allows students to tailor their studies in this discipline. This concentration will prepare students for research careers in evolutionary or ecological biology, genomics, or bioinformatics. It will also prepare aspiring medical professionals through the incorporation of ecological and evolutionary principles into studies of human health, disease, and evolution.

Learn more about the EEG Concentration in the Course Catalog

General Biology

The General Biology concentration encompasses all areas of biology and is intended for students interested in gaining diverse undergraduate biology training. Students can choose from a variety of electives in three of the other concentrations (Cell/Molecular/Genetics/Biochemistry; Organismal/Physiology; and Ecology/Evolution/Genomics) to fulfill the 24 required credits. Students have maximum flexibility to develop their own unique path of study. The General Biology concentration electives are distributed as follows:

  • Two or three Cell/Molecular/Genetics/Biochemistry (CMGB) electives
  • Two or three Organismal/Physiology electives
  • Two or three Ecology/Evolution/Genomics electives

Students also select two additional lab electives for hands-on-experience in the concentration. This concentration will prepare students for careers in a variety of areas in biology, but may be best suited for students interested in careers in education or science writing, where a wider breadth of biological knowledge may be desirable.

Students considering a career path in education should also explore opportunities with DragonsTeach. DragonsTeach is a collaboration between the College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and School of Education, designed to provide opportunities to students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs to explore a career in education. Through a unique combination of skills development and utilization in classroom experiences, DragonsTeach students can earn a Minor in STEM Education and may become eligible for teaching credentials while completing their major degree program and co-ops.

Learn more about the General Biology Concentration in the Course Catalog\

Organismal Biology/Physiology

The Organismal Biology/Physiology concentration focuses on the biology of organisms, including the diversity of life on Earth and the function of organisms at the physiological level. The four required organismal/physiology courses provide students with a foundation in the cellular or biochemical basis of physiologic events and the diversity of organismal forms, as well as an in-depth study of physiology. Students with interests in pre-health can specialize in human physiology and its application to health and disease. The required courses in the concentration include:

  • BIO 201 Human Physiology or BIO 254 Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology
  • BIO 203 Human Physiology II or BIO 256 Vertebrate Morphology and Physiology
  • BIO 270 Development Biology
  • BIO 412 Biology of Aging or BIO 284 Biology of Stress or BIO 466 Endocrinology

Selection of two additional organismal/physiology electives allows students to tailor their studies to their specific area of interest, while two additional elective courses from the other concentrations and two lab electives complement students' breadth of knowledge in modern biology. This concentration will prepare students for careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and industry, and for further research in human biology, organismal biology or physiology.

Learn more about the OP Concentration in the Course Catalog.

Pathobiology

The Pathobiology concentration focuses on the underlying mechanisms of disease and provides students with the unique option to gain in-depth training in pathogenesis. The four required courses provide students with a foundation in immunology and microbiology, as well as an understanding of how microorganisms contribute to disease and how the body works to prevent disease and infection. Required courses in the concentration include:

  • BIO 221 Microbiology
  • BIO 223 Parasitology or BIO 420 Virology
  • BIO 320 Microbial Pathogenesis
  • BIO 426 Immunology

Selection of two additional pathobiology electives, two lab electives and two selections from the cell/molecular/genetics/biochemistry (CMGB) and ecology/evolution/genomics (EEG) focus areas allows students to apply core knowledge in cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry in order to understand pathogenic diseases and the host response. This concentration will prepare students for careers in public health, medicine, and industry, and for further research in immunology and the mechanisms underlying infectious diseases.

Learn more about the Pathobiology Concentration in the Course Catalog.

Careers

Our alums go on to have careers in medicine, veterinary sciences, dentistry and other allied health professions, including careers as physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists. Many hold research positions in the private sector; become technicians in government and academic labs; or work as research scientists and professors in diverse fields such as cancer biology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, immunology and forensic biology.

Other career paths include genetic counseling, clinical trials coordination, bioinformatics, genomics, clinical lab medicine, public health, policy, science journalism, teaching and law. Biologists may also be employed in “green” jobs in biotechnology, field research, evolutionary biology, biodiversity and conservation. The opportunities are numerous and varied.

Biology Resource Center

The Biology Resource Center is a walk-in tutoring center located in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB) room 121. Please note that course specific office hours are posted on the door.