The undergraduate option in biology is designed to build on a solid foundation in mathematics and physical science by providing an introduction to the basic facts, concepts, problems, and methodologies of biological science. The option serves as a basis for graduate study in any field of biology or for admission to the study of medicine. Instruction is offered in the form of participation in the ongoing research programs of the division, as well as informal course work. Course work emphasizes the more general and fundamental properties of living organisms, and areas of current research interest, rather than the traditional distinct fields within the life sciences.
The division encourages undergraduate participation in its research program and believes that research participation should be a part of each student's program of study. Students may elect to prepare an undergraduate thesis (Bi 90). Research opportunities may be arranged with individual faculty members, or guidance may be obtained from a student's individual faculty adviser in the division or from the biology undergraduate student adviser.
The requirements listed below for the biology option are minimal requirements. An adequate preparation for graduate work in biology will normally include additional elective research or course work in biology and/or advanced course work in other sciences or in mathematics. Flexibility to accommodate varied individual scientific interests, within the broad scope of biology, is achieved through the provision of elective courses, arrangements for individual research (Bi 22), and tutorial instruction (Bi 23). In addition, arrangements may be made to take courses at neighboring institutions in fields of biology that are not represented in our curriculum.
The undergraduate course for premedical students is essentially the same as that for biology students and is intended as a basis for later careers in research as well as in the practice of medicine. It differs in some respects from premedical curricula of other schools; however, it has been quite generally accepted as satisfying admission requirements of medical schools. It is recommended that all students contemplating application to medical school consult with the premed adviser at the Career Development Center or Professor David Chan in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering.