Reflecting our position as a modern, research-oriented department of a liberal arts college, the biology department offers two degree programs.
The bachelor of science (BS) curriculum is broader in basic sciences, and it allows the student ample opportunity to explore advanced areas in biology (suggested BS course schedule). The bachelor of arts (AB) curriculum combines a solid background in biology with increased opportunity for the student to explore other fields of study (suggested AB course schedule). Although either degree will prepare the student for a variety of career paths, the BS curriculum is most popular among students planning to pursue graduate degrees in biology. Historically, each curriculum has been taken by equal numbers of students planning careers in the health professions. Students who are undecided about which curriculum to pursue are advised to begin with the BS curriculum; this will assure an easy transition to the AB curriculum if the student so desires.
There is more to an undergraduate education than the traditional classroom experience. Biology majors are encouraged to consider the diverse opportunities available through field stations, internships, or semesters at other academic institutions, both domestic and abroad. Information about these opportunities can be found on the bulletin boards on the first floor of Kunkel Hall; in some cases financial support from the department may be available. Perhaps the most important non-traditional experience available to biology majors is to become involved in a faculty research program by designing and carrying out a research project under faculty guidance. Taking full advantage of these opportunities requires careful planning and students are urged to discuss their plans and interests with their academic advisers as early as possible.