What is biology?

Biology is the study of living organisms. It is a broad-based science, one that has areas of specialization for almost anyone interested in science. From the structure and function of molecules and the remarkable interaction of plants and animals within their environment to animal behavior and toxicology, Biology is an excellent major to pursue if you have an inquisitive mind, are interested in science and enjoy hard work. Biologists use mathematics and their knowledge of physical and chemical sciences as tools to study living things. They routinely work cooperatively and need to possess good communication skills to present their ideas to others.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology. The B.A. in Biology is intended for students who have an interest in science, particularly biology, and wish to integrate the sciences more fully into the arts and humanities curriculum.

How do I know if the B.A. in Biology is right for me?

  • You want to broaden your study of biology in an interdisciplinary program which bridges the biological and physical sciences with the social sciences, arts and humanities.
  • You want a strong background in the biological sciences, but you want to pursue a career in an allied health area, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, occupational therapy, chiropractic medicine or nursing. You might also be interested in law, environmental policy, pharmaceutical sales or other jobs related to biology.
  • You should pursue the B.S. in Biology or B.S. in Health Science if you are planning to study biology in preparation for admission to medical school, pharmacy, dental or other similar health-professional schools, master’s or doctoral programs in the medicinal sciences.

How does the program work?

The B.A. in Biology has a core set of courses that all majors take. Students can also select one of two concentrations in the major to focus their studies on particular aspects of the broad field of biology that are interesting to them, or of importance in preparing them for a particular career.

The core courses include two semesters of introductory biology with one lab, three semesters of chemistry with labs, biostatistics, trigonometry and a course in ethics.

The two concentrations are:

  • Allied Health: coursework to prepare students for professional study in an allied health field with a combination of biology courses, physics, and social science courses in psychology and sociology.

  • Liberal Arts: course in biology, social science and humanities that allow students to explore connections between biology and the liberal arts, including religion, ethics, philosophy, sociology and psychology.

What can you do with a B.A. in Biology?

The B.A. in Biology is intended for students who are interested in biological sciences and interdisciplinary studies but may not plan to attend medical or dental school. The B.A. in Biology is a good major for a variety of other health professions or those who want a versatile university degree in preparation for the many other careers related to Biology. Visit our Careers in Biology page to learn more.

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Yvonne Kumon
Assistant to the Dean
(630) 829-6084

Bonnie Beezhold, Ph.D.
Associate Dean
(630) 829-6528

Cheryl Mascarenhas, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science & Health
(630) 829-6587