Biology Undergraduate Concentrations
Undergraduate concentrations in Biology include: Biology ScB, Biology AB, Health & Human Biology AB, Applied Math-Biology ScB, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ScB, Biophysics ScB, Computational Biology ScB & AB, Biomedical Engineering ScB, and ScB Neuroscience.
For Biology ScB and AB, and Health & Human Biology AB, concentration advisors are
assigned by Dean Katherine Smith after the pre-planning meeting takes place between the prospective concentrator and the Dean or an Academic Advisor. See the calendar of available hours and contact the office scheduler at the BUE for a pre-planning appointment.
For students interested in Applied Math-Biology ScB, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ScB, Biophysics ScB, Computational Biology ScB & AB, Biomedical Engineering ScB, and Neuroscience ScB should contact the advisor(s) listed at the Concentrations pages.
Which is right for me, the A.B. or Sc.B. degree?
STEM students often ponder this question as they move toward declaring a concentration. Check out the Brown Daily Herald article A.B. and Sc.B. degrees split STEM concentrators over breadth versus depth to learn more. A quote from the article reads, "Across a variety of departments, students and professors repeatedly voiced the idea that the name of the degree itself matters far less than the work students pursue as undergraduates." We echo this in Biology. We advise our students to consider their full range of academic interests, extracurricular passions, and career goals when selecting a concentration.
The A.B. programs in Biology offer students the most flexibility in and out of the concentration. Students aiming to pursue a second concentration, to study abroad, or those who want to delve deeply into a specific sub-discipline of Biology may benefit from the A.B. While research is not required, students pursuing the A.B. in Biology or Health & Human Biology can, and do, develop independent research projects with campus and hospital-based faculty mentors. Many of these students go on to complete senior honors theses.
Our Sc.B. programs offer students more depth of study in the physical sciences and the core sub-disciplines of Biology. Students pursuing the Sc.B. in one of the several Biology concentrations develop analytical competencies and inquiry-based skills through required lab coursework and independent research. Many Sc.B. students develop senior honors theses with guidance from campus and hospital-based faculty mentors.
Biology students in A.B. and Sc.B. programs pursue a diversity of professional paths including careers in medicine, life science research, business, education, and law. Academic advisors in the BUE Office are available to help students determine which concentration is the best fit. Students can also seek advice from peers in the various Biology Departmental Undergraduate Groups as well as alumni who can be located through BrownConnect.