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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 Science in Biological Sciences

The Major

B.A. Biology The B.S. Biological Sciences program reflects the Department’s belief that professional biologists, regardless of their ultimate focus in biology, benefit from sound undergraduate training in basic subdisciplines of biology and the supporting sciences of mathematics, chemistry, and physics. After a year of Introductory Biology (which may be satisfied by AP credit), students choose four core biology courses, and take Biology elective courses as soon as prerequisites are met. The program is highly flexible, allowing students to specialize in plant or animal biology, and in one or several subdisciplines, such as ecology, physiology, evolution, behavior, cell or developmental biology.


B.A. Biology Majors must complete 35 credits in biological sciences including 2 semesters of introductory biology (BIO 101, 102) and one course from each of 4 core areas chosen from the following 6: Cell and Development, BIO 302, 311, 341, 453; Ecology and Evolution, BIO 262, 272; Genetics, BIO 352; Molecular Biology, BIO 437; Organismal Diversity, BIO 304, 321, 323, 354, 365, 366; and Physiology, BIO 201, 242/244, 346. The remaining credits may be chosen from any of the BIO major electives listed for the B.S. Altogether, at least 3 credits must be chosen from each of the plant biology and animal biology elective lists and at least 3 BIO laboratory courses must be completed (excluding BIO 101, 102 and independent study/research). Up to 3 credits of independent study/research (491, 492, 493, 494, 495) may be used as major electives from one of the following programs: AFS, AVS, BCH, BIO, MIC, NRS, PLS, OCG. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in BIO courses used to satisfy the major. Students must complete 2 semesters of mathematics (MTH 131, 132 or MTH 141, 142) or 1 semester each of calculus and statistics (MTH 131 or 141 and STA 308), 2 semesters of general chemistry with lab (CHM 101, 102, 112, 114), 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab (CHM 227, 228, 226) or 1 semester each of organic chemistry with lab and biochemistry (CHM 124, 126, BCH 311), 2 semesters of physics with lab (PHY 111, 112, 185, 186), and 1 semester of microbiology (MIC 201 or 211). General Education courses in English Communication, Fine Arts and Literature, Foreign Language and Culture, Letters, and Social Science follow the requirements of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences.

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.S. Biological Sciences degree is an ideal major for students contemplating admission to a professional school (medical, dental, veterinary) or to graduate school for further study in the biological sciences and related fields. Students are also well-prepared to embark on a wide range of biology-related careers in education, government, industry, or the private sector.

Visit admissions to learn more about URI and how to apply.


BS Biological Sciences
Curriculum sheets

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