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Career Information

Why choose biology as a major?

  • Biology is the science of life and includes a wide range of subjects such as: anatomy, botany, cytology, ecology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, physiology, and zoology. Within biology, there is something of interest for everyone.
  • Each year, science and technology are becoming more important in today's global society. Many of the most significant economic, environmental, medical, and social problems in today's world have biological aspects to them. In increasing numbers, biologists will be important contributors to solutions for the critical global and local problems.
  • A degree in biology is the launching pad for many careers, such as those in medical and health-related areas, education, environmental science, biotechnology and other industrial areas, and many government agencies. Employment can be found at every level- Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. Job duties can range from laboratory (or bench) researchers to field biologists. In addition, it is important for many educators, policy makers, and technical writers to have an appropriate science background.

What kind of high school preparation is necessary for success as a biology major at RIC?

  • You should meet the minimum requirements for admission to RIC: A college prep program including at least one biology and one chemistry course.
  • You should be curious about the life around you, from slimy seaweed to furry foxes.
  • You should be motivated to explore how things work, from molecular motors to ecosystem energetics.
  • You should have the desire to work hard to achieve your goals, one of which is a degree in Biology from RIC.

What courses will I take as a biology major at RIC?

  • As a freshman, you will take two semesters of introductory biology and two semesters of general chemistry along with a college writing course and courses in the General Education 2000 program.
  • As a sophomore, you will take cell & molecular biology, genetics, two semesters of organic chemistry, additional General Education (Gen. Ed.) 2000 courses, and electives of your own choosing.
  • In your junior and senior years, you will take ecology and pick at least three other upper-level biology courses along with two semesters of general physics, and remaining Gen. Ed. 2000 requirements and various electives. You might consider pursuing an undergraduate research project at this time, which is an upper-level course taken for credit.

What is special about the biology program at RIC?

  • Students have direct and frequent access to biology faculty. Our small class size (lab sections have a 24 student maximum) creates many opportunities for student-faculty and student-student interaction. All lab sections at RIC are taught by faculty members.
  • Nurturing the intellectual development of undergraduate biology majors is the top priority of all biology faculty at RIC. Motivated students are encouraged to become involved in research and other activities such as laboratory preparation to gain "hands-on" experience that will provide a direct pay-off in building a career in the biological sciences.
  • At RIC, capable and motivated biology majors may elect to get on the "fast track" to complete both a BA and MA degree in 5 years.
  • The success of our graduates speaks to the quality of the educational experience biology majors receive at RIC. Many of our graduates who go on to graduate and professional schools with graduates from other colleges and universities (including some of the most "prestigious" institutions in the country) report to us that our program prepared them extremely well.

Page last updated: August 6, 2013