Biology ScB

Biology ScB

(20 Courses)

Important Update for senior concentrators: Research Requirement for Biology ScB Seniors AY 20-21

New Track offering in Biomedical Informatics as of Spring 2020!
This video offers an introduction to undergraduate study in biomedical informatics at Brown. View here or on Youtube.

The ScB in Biology includes 20 courses. Prerequisites in math, chemistry and physics support a core of biological sciences courses, with some options for related sciences. In addition, students choose a focal track of three courses in one of the available sub-disciplines, which include Cellular & Molecular Biology, Immunopathology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Physiology/BioTech, Neurobiology, Biomedical Informatics, Marine Biology, or Physical 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. Research is a required part of the core ScB Program and should reflect the theme of the track selected. 

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 



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              


CHEM 0360 or BIOL 0280

- Marine Biology students can substitute upper-level Geology course for this requirement with advisor approval

PHYS 0030

- AP/IB may substitute

- PHYS 0050 or ENGN 0030 may substitute

PHYS 0040

- PHYS 0060 or ENGN 0040 may  substitute

Part B. Core Courses (10 courses) 



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

- each semester of research (BIOL 1950/60 or other departmental independent study equivalent) can be counted as either ONE lab or ONE 1000+ course towards core

- 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

- each semester of research (BIOL 1950/60 or other departmental independent study equivalent) can be counted as either ONE lab or ONE 1000+ course towards core

Area Requirement

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



- Two semesters of research, or the equivalent, are required

- May be fulfilled by BIOL 1950 and 1960, or advisor-approved research conducted over summer or away from Brown

- Away or summer projects do not count towards the Core and must be replaced by additional courses to make up difference

- Students are encouraged to pursue research related to their track


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

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 FYS and one Sophomore Seminar may be used towards core

Part C. Track Courses (3 courses)


- Three cohesive track courses (minimum of 2 at 1000+ level)

- Eight tracks offered (see sheet below for details)

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