Biology AB

Biology AB

(14 courses)

 

The AB in Biology includes 14 courses and offers the opportunity to explore mulitple academic interests within or outside of the field. Prerequisites in math and chemistry support a core of 10 biology (and neuroscience) courses, with some options for related sciences. Within the core, there are course distribution requirements to provide foundational knowledge in different areas of biology as well as requirements for lab and advanced coursework. Students working towards the AB in Biology are not required to pursue research, but many do through semester, summer, or year long opportunities with faculty on campus and beyond. Effective fall 2019 students who declare the Biology AB will complete a senior capstone project based on their interests in the field.

Students are expected to take courses that will count toward the concentration ABC/NC. Students should discuss the S/NC option with their concentration advisor if circumstances warrant special consideration. Students should not register S/NC for a concentration course without advisor pre-approval (mandatory S/NC courses may count toward the concentration). 

Part A. Prerequisite Courses

Course

Options

MATH 0090

- AP/IB may substitute

- MATH 0050/0060 may substitute

MATH 0100 or 0170

- Statistics course may substitute

CHEM 0330

- IB may substitute

CHEM 0350

 

 

Part B. Core Courses (10 courses)

Course

Options

BIOL 0200

-   AP/IB may substitute

-   BIOL 0200 carries lab credit; equivalent placement does not

Lab Courses

 

- Core must include a minimum of 3 lab courses from BIOL or NEUR; these courses can also count towards upper-level and/or area requirements

- BIOL 1950 and 1960 carry ONE total lab credit 

- ½ credit lab courses may be used for lab requirement

- See Courses Page for information about acceptable lab courses

Upper-Level Courses

 

- Core must include a minimum of 2 BIOL or NEUR courses numbered at 1000/2000 level

- Related science courses above 1000 level may NOT substitute

- BIOL 1950 and 1960 carry ONE total advanced level course credit

Area Requirement

- Core must include at least one course from each of the three designated areas (see list below)

Electives

- One or more electives from BIOL, NEUR or approved related sciences to have a minimum of 10 courses in Core

Senior Capstone

* The capstone requirement applies to students who declare in Fall 2019 or later. See the information below regarding the capstone expectations. 

To be fulfilled via ONE of the following in the senior year:

1. One of the following approved courses: BIOL 1100, 1250, 1515, 1555, 1565, 1575, 1600, 1820, 1970.

2. One semester of independent study (BIOL 1950 or 1960).

3. A senior honors thesis. Students register for at least one independent study course (BIOL 1950 1960) to support the thesis. 

Additional Stipulations:

* Biology courses below BIOL 0100 do NOT carry concentration credit

* Core may include up to two related science courses from the approved list (see list below)

* BIOL 0920s, BIOL 1070, and BIOL 1920s can be used ONLY as related science

* Only one First Year Seminar and one Sophomore Seminar may be used towards core


Capstone Requirement

 A senior capstone is required for students declaring the Biology AB beginning in fall 2019.

 *The addition of the capstone requirement beginning fall 2019 does not increase the total number of courses required for the Biology AB concentration. Instead, students will designate one of the ten courses in the core as their capstone course.

Purpose

 The purpose of the Biology AB senior capstone is to provide students with a formal opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the Biology curriculum to a culminating personalized learning experience. Given the array of sub-disciplinary interests among Biology AB concentrators, there are a range of opportunities available to satisfy the capstone requirement: project based advanced Biology courses, independent study, or a senior thesis.

 Process

 Students work with the concentration advisor to develop a capstone plan. Students should be prepared to articulate in the ASK declaration and in meetings with the advisor: 1) how the chosen capstone project meets their personal learning goals in Biology, 2) how the experience pushes them to draw on the knowledge and skills acquired in the concentration, and 3) what the final product will be.

 *The capstone project must take place during the senior year.

 *The capstone must be approved by the concentration advisor, via the ASK concentration declaration, by the close of shopping period in the final semester.

 Biology AB concentrators are invited to present their capstone work at the Spring Biology Undergraduate Research Day. This is encouraged but not required.

 Capstone Options

 The Biology AB capstone requirement may be satisfied through one of the following three options:

 1. Advanced BIOL Course - Appropriate BIOL designated courses at the senior/graduate level, structured to facilitate discussion and depth of learning, and which have a formal opportunity to demonstrate critical and independent thinking through a final paper and/or project that challenges the student do draw on the knowledge and skills acquired in the concentration. The final capstone product should take the form of a substantial research paper/project that goes beyond a typical term paper by paying closer attention to an overarching question or aim, methodology, consideration of evidence, and context within a sub-disciplinary field of interest. Approved capstone courses with appropriate paper/project assignments include: BIOL: 1100, 1250, 1515, 1555, 1565, 1575, 1600, 1820, 1970. Courses over the 2000 level may be used with the approval of Dean Smith. 

 2. Independent Study Course (BIOL 1950 fall, BIOL 1960 spring) - Students may develop an independent research / study experience with a Brown faculty member in the Division of Biology and Medicine (BioMed). The project may take place over one or two semesters and should build on the student’s biological course work and specific interests in the concentration. Such capstone experiences may take the form of laboratory work, field research, advanced literature surveys with meta-analyses, scientific writing, etc. When independent study is used to satisfy the capstone for the Biology AB, the final product should take the form of a substantial research paper/project that goes beyond a typical term paper by paying closer attention to an overarching question or aim, methodology, consideration of evidence, and context within a sub-disciplinary field of interest. Students will register for BIOL 1950 or 1960 with a BioMed faculty member and submit the required independent study project proposal via Biology Undergraduate Education’s website. Information on Biology Independent Study courses and the proposal form may be found here.

 3. Senior Thesis - Students developing a senior thesis in Biology may use the thesis to satisfy the Biology AB capstone requirement. A senior honors thesis in Biology is a substantial body of original scholarly research. Successful theses can be grounded in a number of methodological approaches including bench or field research, clinical study, mathematical models, computer simulations, meta-analyses that test hypotheses or yield new synthesis in a scholarly context. Regardless of the approach, successful theses will be inquiry-based and demonstrate contextual understanding of the work, formal assessment of scientific information, critical thinking, clear communication and a high level of independence. Students will register for BIOL 1950/1960 to support the thesis. Information on theses in the Biological Sciences may be found here. Information on Biology Independent Study courses and the proposal form may be found here.

* The Biology AB Concentration Worksheet may be a useful tool for course planning and can be found as an attachment below.