Majors & Certificate


The Biological Sciences Department offers an undergraduate certificate in Life Sciences Research. This certificate is designed to help students obtain research training, apply key concepts in experimental research, practice good science communication & conduct, and develop critical thinking skills. Students must complete one year of Introductory Biology and 2 cr. of mentored research before applying. You must apply and be accepted to the program before you begin or declare this certificate.


*The final opportunity to declare the Bioinformatics major was August 2019. Students should now look to the new Computational Biology major.

Bioinformatics is the theory, application and development of computing tools to solve problems and create hypotheses in all areas of biological sciences. The program is operated jointly by the Departments of Biological Sciences and Computer Science and offers training that builds a solid foundation in chemistry, biology, computer science, mathematics and statistics.


Biological Sciences offers you the freedom to accomplish either great breadth or a deep focus in an area of specialization not represented in the department’s other majors. Core biology requirements are combined with electives to allow you to make your own individualized combination of courses to promote and further your special interests. 


Computational Biology, offered jointly between the Departments of Biological Sciences (Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences) and Computer Science (School of Computing and Information), will prepare students to understand core principles, models, and theories in the fields of biology and computer science and use them strategically to solve key problems in Computational Biology. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to pursue graduate study or careers in industry.


Ecology and evolution examines fundamental questions of how species live and interact in nature and the evolutionary origins of species. You can study morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations of animals, plants, and microorganisms; genetic mechanisms of evolution; and ecological relationships of organisms at the individual, population, community, ecosystem, and global levels.


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, including viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protists. Microorganisms are important for nutrient cycling, production of antibiotics, food production and infectious disease. Our program provides intensive training in modern microbiology, including cutting-edge research in genomics and genetic engineering.


Molecular Biology is the study of molecules that make up organisms, the forces that operate among these molecules, the chemical changes involved in the dynamic processes of life, and the genetic control of these processes.  Students in this major can specialize in Biochemistry or Cell & Developmental Biology.