2014-2015 Catalog 
    Apr 22, 2021  
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major

Major Requirements

The biology major consists of the following (16 courses minimum):

  1. BIOL 043L KS - Introductory Biology  
    or BIOL 040L KS - Introduction to Biological Chemistry , and
    BIOL 044L KS - Introductory Biology  
  2. CHEM 014L KS - Basic Principles of Chemistry  
    or CHEM 040L KS - Introduction to Biological Chemistry , and
    CHEM 015L KS - Basic Principles of Chemistry ,
    CHEM 029L KS - Accelerated General Chemistry  
  3. PHYS 030L KS - General Physics  and PHYS 031L KS - General Physics , or
    PHYS 033L KS - Principles of Physics  and PHYS 034L KS - Principles of Physics  
  4. MATH 030 CM - Calculus I  (should be taken before Physics)
  5. CHEM 116L KS - Organic Chemistry  and CHEM 117L KS - Organic Chemistry  
  6. Electives: six advanced courses in biology (numbered 100 and above), including at least three courses with labs. These elective courses should be selected in consultation with a Keck Science faculty member, and may be chosen so as to obtain depth in one area of biology (e.g. cellular/molecular, organismal, or population-level), or breadth across all areas.
  7. Senior Thesis: biology majors must complete a one- or two-semester thesis in biology. For further information, see Senior Thesis in Science .


  • Requirements 1, 2, and 3 will also be completed by both semesters of the Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS ).

Special Options for Majors

Dual Majors

Students with a dual major including biology may waive one lab elective and one non-lab elective.


Learning Goals of the Program in Biology

The biology discipline of the Keck Science Department aims to provide students with skills and knowledge to prepare them as citizens to effectively engage and evaluate biological science issues and innovations in the wider world, and to prepare them as leaders in research, biotechnology, and health-related career fields.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Program in Biology

In addition to the Keck Science overall learning outcomes, the Biology major also has the following outcomes.

We see the following specific student learning goals as critical to achieving the learning goals above.

  1. Understanding foundational scientific principles and findings in a student’s major field;
  2. Develop critical thinking and analytical skills by developing specific hypotheses and designing controlled experiments to test these hypotheses.
  3. Read, understand and critique original research articles.