The Biology concentration invites students to study, in depth and in breadth, the science of life and living matter. Whether pursuing the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or Science (Sc.B.) in biology, students can expect to learn broadly in the discipline through a selection of courses in three areas: cell and molecular biology, structure and function, and organismal biology. In addition, students pursuing the Sc.B. complete a thematic track through which they gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subfield (such as, Immunopathology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Physiology/Biotechnology; Cell and Molecular Biology; Physical Sciences. The concentration also emphasizes practical skills and experimental design. Concentrators are required to take at least 3 courses with a laboratory or fieldwork component. Within all of these requirements, students have a high degree of flexibility and choice. Broad research opportunities are also available across several departments within the basic sciences as well.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Learn cell and molecular biology, biological structure and function, and organismal biology
  • Understand the organization and function of basic biological systems
  • Know the core mathematical and chemical principles relevant to biology and genetics
  • Attain in-depth understanding of one biological subfield
  • Know how to handle and interpret scientific data
  • Gain laboratory experience
  • Engage in independent research


Requirements are posted here. For instructions for declaring this concentration, please visit the Biology Undergraduate website. Prospective concentrators should contact to schedule a concentration planning meeting.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

Students pursuing an Sc.B. in Biology must conduct independent research and enroll in BIOL 1950/1960. Students aspiring to receive Honors in biology must complete a thesis project representing the culmination of two or more semesters of research. An oral presentation is also required. Upon completion of the research, the faculty advisor and a second reader provide an evaluation in which the student’s work must be assessed as satisfactory or better in order for Honors to be awarded. Quality grades (A, B, and/or S with distinction) within the concentration are also required for Honors. Please see the department's website for a complete description of program requirements.


  • Cell and Molecular Biology - Sc.B. only
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Sc.B. only
  • Immunobiology - Sc.B. only
  • Marine Biology
  • Neurobiology - Sc.B. only
  • Physical Sciences - Sc.B. only
  • Physiology/Biotechnology - Sc.B. only

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Experience scientific inquiry

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201387  36 
2014112  30 
2015138  54 
2016121  56 
2017102  37 

Alumni Pathways

Biology alumni often enter health careers including medicine, psychology, and public health, as well as careers in academia and in industry.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Joshua Amaya
  • Erika Denour
  • Karisma Chhabria
  • Crystal Viramontes Tse

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.