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Contact Information:
Department of
Biological Sciences
120 Flagg Road,
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881 - 0816.
Phone: (401) 874-2373.
Fax: (401) 874-2065.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

The Major

B.A. Biology The Bachelor of Arts in Biology is a broad program of study for students interested in having a high degree of flexibility in their education. Students earn a liberal arts degree, which provides a basic foundation in biology together with the option to choose courses in other disciplines. Students may want to use this opportunity to obtain further in-depth training in a particular subdiscipline of biology, to participate in independent study or research with faculty members in Biological Sciences and other departments in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, or to take courses in other degree programs to explore other fields and increase their choice of future careers.


B.A. Biology Majors must complete at least 28 credits in BIO/MIC, including 2 semesters of introductory biology (BIO 101, 102) and 1 semester of microbiology (MIC 201 or 211). Of the 28 credits, students must choose at least 3 credits each from the BIO plant, animal, and integrative course lists. The remaining 7 credits may include other BIO and MIC courses. Up to 3 credits of independent study/research (491, 492, 493, 494, or 495 in AFS, AVS, BCH, BIO, MIC, NRS, PLS, or OCG programs) may be used as a BIO elective. A minimum GPA in BIO/MIC courses used to satisfy the major is required. Students must take 2 semesters of chemistry with laboratories. General Education requirements are 6 credits of English Communication (including WRT 104, 105, or 106), 3 credits in Mathematics, 3 credits in Fine Arts, 3 credits in Literature, 6 credits each in Letters and Social Sciences (2 different course codes per area), and 2 semesters of a Foreign Language. At least 42 credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above.

Official URI course information may be found in the printed Bulletin of the University of Rhode Island. An on-line version of the Bulletin and an HTML list of courses taught by the Department of Biological Sciences is available. Undergraduate programs typically incorporate courses at the 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-levels. The courses for Biology students are listed below. You can access the URI catalogue at
Academic Options & Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to perform research or independent study projects with faculty in Biological Sciences and other departments in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences for academic credit, participate in internships during the academic year or the summer (e.g., via the Coastal Fellows and EPSCoR Fellows Programs, or the Graduate School of Oceanography’s REU SURFO Program), or study at other universities in national and international exchange programs arranged through URI’s Office of International Education.

Career Opportunities

The B.A. in Biology directly serves students who wish to combine the study of biology with another major as a means of gaining broad training for careers in areas needing depth of scientific knowledge along with other background and skills. As an example, students wishing to teach science in primary or secondary school earn degrees in both education and biology. Similarly, students can prepare for careers like scientific illustration or technical writing by double majoring in biology and art, or biology and English or journalism. Combining a major in business administration with one in biology is excellent preparation to enter the growing field of hospital administration or the business sector of the pharmaceutical industry. And finally, students who wish to enter law school to practice environmental law, biotechnology patent law or forensic science find that a major in biology provides a strong background for advanced studies in these areas, with room in their schedules to explore related subjects. Although it is possible to meet the requirements for entering professional schools with a B.A. degree, most students aiming toward premedical, pre-dental, or pre-veterinary study or graduate school in biology follow a B.S. curriculum, which requires the courses in math, chemistry, and physics expected for admission to such advanced degree programs.

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BA Biology
Curriculum sheets

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