BA in Biology—Behavioral Biology Specialization

The requirements for the specialization in Behavioral Biology include a total of twelve courses in biology, anthropology, and psychology, the two-credit Seminar in Behavioral Biology (CAS BI 224), and seven related chemistry, math/computer science, and physics courses.

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in all Biology (and/or Anthropology and/or Psychology), Math or Computer Science, and Physics courses. A grade of C- or higher is required for credit in the prerequisite and corequisite chemistry courses.

Course titles and full descriptions are located in the Courses portion of this Bulletin.
Following two semesters of Introductory Biology (CAS BI 107 or CGS NS 201, and BI 108 or BI 118), students fulfill a breadth requirement by selecting at least one course in each of the following areas:

Breadth Requirement Courses

Cell & Molecular Biology (CM):

  • CAS BI 203 or BI 213
  • CAS BI 206 (recommended) or BI 216

Physiology and Neurobiology (PN)

  • CAS BI 315*
  • CAS BI 325 or CAS NE 203*

Ecology, Behavior, Evolution (EBE)

  • CAS BI 407*

*Course will also satisfy one of the three-lab requirements.

Required 2-credit Seminar

  • CAS BI 224

Primary Electives

Choose two:

  • CAS BI 230
  • CAS BI 444*
  • CAS BI 502
  • CAS BI 508
  • CAS BI 520
  • CAS BI 545
  • CAS BI 554
  • CAS AN 335 (counts as 1 of 2 AN or PS requirements)

*Course will also satisfy one of the three-lab requirements.

Biology, Anthropology, and Psychology Electives

Choose five (a maximum of two must have an AN or PS designation, unless CAS AN 335 is taken as a primary elective course):

  • CAS BI 230
  • CAS BI 260
  • CAS BI 302*
  • CAS BI 303*
  • CAS BI 306*
  • CAS BI 309
  • CAS BI 325 (or NE 203*)
  • CAS BI 414
  • CAS BI 425
  • CAS BI 444*
  • CAS BI 502
  • CAS BI 504
  • CAS BI 506
  • CAS BI 508
  • CAS BI 512*
  • CAS BI 515
  • CAS BI 519
  • CAS BI 520
  • CAS BI 545
  • CAS BI 554
  • CAS BI 582 (2 cr)
  • CAS BI 599
  • CAS AN 263
  • CAS AN 331
  • CAS AN 333
  • CAS AN 335
  • CAS AN 338
  • CAS AN 339
  • CAS AN 552
  • CAS AN 558
  • CAS PS 231
  • CAS PS 234
  • CAS PS 333
  • CAS PS 337
  • CAS PS 338
  • CAS PS 528

Note: Among the breadth requirement courses, primary elective courses, and biology, anthropology, and psychology elective courses, at least three must be at the 300–500 level, and three must have a laboratory component. A 300–500-level course with a laboratory simultaneously counts as one of the seven biology elective courses, a 300-500-level, and a laboratory requirement.

*Course will also satisfy one of the three-lab requirements.

Tropical Ecology Program (TEP)*:

  • CAS BI/GE 438
  • CAS BI/GE 439
  • CAS BI/GE 440
  • CAS BI/GE 441

Marine Semester (MS)*:

  • CAS BI 531
  • CAS BI 546
  • CAS BI 563
  • CAS BI 569

*Note: Students must apply and be accepted into the TEP and MS to take the courses listed above. TEP and MS courses fulfill 4 of the 6 additional principal biology courses and satisfy the biology concentration requirement of three courses at the 300–500 level, and three courses with a laboratory or field component.

Undergraduate Research Options

CAS BI 191/192 or BI 291/292 may be taken for elective credit by freshmen and sophomores, respectively; these courses may only be taken for 2 credits per semester and do not count toward the major.

To receive credit toward the major, research must be done on an approved topic in courses open to juniors and seniors. A maximum of 8 credits (two courses) from the following courses may be counted as Biology, Anthropology, and Psychology electives, but no more than 4 credits (one course) will apply toward the laboratory requirement. Students do not need to take two consecutive semesters of research to apply 8 credits toward the major (ex. students can take CAS BI 391 and BI 491 and apply all 8 credits toward the major).

  • CAS BI 391/392
  • CAS BI 401/402
  • CAS BI 491/492

Note: Junior and senior biology research or their equivalents in biological anthropology or psychology may be counted toward the behavioral specialization.

Prerequisite and Corequisite Chemistry Courses

Three courses in chemistry are required for the biology major and may be chosen from the following tracks:

Standard (recommended) track:

  • CAS CH 101 (or 109 or 111); plus
  • CAS CH 102 (or 110 or 112); plus
  • CAS CH 203 (or 211)

Alternative track (not for students interested in medical school or other health-related professions):

  • CAS CH 171; plus
  • CAS CH 174; plus
  • CAS CH 273

Note: It is recommended that CAS CH 101/102 (or 171/174) be taken concurrently with CAS BI 107/108 (or 107/118) freshman year, if possible. CAS CH 203 (or 211 or 273) is a corequisite for CAS BI 203 and a prerequisite for CAS BI 206. Most biology majors elect to take a fourth semester of chemistry, CAS BI 204 (or 212 or 214), which is a requirement for medical and other professional schools.

Required Mathematics or Mathematics/Computer Science Courses

Two courses in mathematics (calculus or statistics) or one course in mathematics and one in computer science, from the list below.

Calculus courses:

  • CAS MA 121
  • CAS MA 122
  • CAS MA 123
  • CAS MA 124
  • CAS MA 196
  • CAS MA 127
  • CAS MA 129

Note: Only one of CAS MA 121 and 123 can be taken for credit; similarly, only one of CAS MA 122, 124, 127, or 129 can be taken for credit. CAS MA 127 or MA 129 satisfies the two-course mathematics or mathematics/computer science requirement for this major.

Statistics courses:

  • CAS MA 115
  • CAS MA 116
  • CAS MA 213
  • CAS MA 214

Note: Only one of CAS MA 113, 115, or 213 can be taken for credit; similarly, only one of CAS MA 116 or 214 can be taken for credit.

Computer Science courses:

  • CAS CS 105
  • CAS CS 108
  • CAS CS 111

Combinations:

  • Any one course in calculus plus any one course in statistics from those listed above.
  • Any one course in calculus plus any one course in computer science from those listed above.
  • Any one course in statistics plus any one course in computer science from those listed above.

Required Physics Courses

Two courses in physics from one of the following four sequences:

  • CAS PY 105/106 or
  • CAS PY 211/212 or
  • CAS PY 241/242 or
  • CAS PY 241/242