Do you dream of curing illnesses, conserving species, or exploring marine life?
When you major in biology, you begin your studies with a solid foundation in fundamental biological principles and practices. Then you'll focus on your specific interests, such as cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, ecology and evolution, or the biology of marine organisms.
We offer programs of study leading to bachelor's degrees in biology and marine biology. Both programs emphasize field and laboratory opportunities, so you will learn biology while studying living organisms. Our semi-rural campus and nearby coastal environments will be your living laboratories.
Our faculty engage in research at the forefront of their fields, with a strong focus on marine biology, ecological and evolutionary genetics, and integrative biology, in which we use diverse approaches to study the complexity of biological organisms.
You'll be prepared for careers in industry and government in areas such as animal biology, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, developmental biology, education, and medicine—or to pursue research in fields such as biomedicine, the environment, and marine science. Our curriculum prepares you for graduate study in biology, medicine, and other health professions. We also offer teacher preparation for students who are interested in teaching biology at the middle or high school level. Learn more about teacher preparation.
For 12 weeks this summer, Biology student Elizabeth Cross '17 researched with a team of doctors in the Nephrology Department at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT.
You'll progress from the study of biology's fundamental principles and practices to electives in your own areas of research interest and career preparation. To guide your progress, we offer advising tracks in:
- general biology
- marine biology
- cellular and molecular biology
- evolution and ecology
- health professions
For the major, you'll complete 120 credits comprised of courses in biology plus related science and mathematics.
Pre-medical studies: As a biology major, you'll be prepared to continue your studies in medical school or other health professional programs (such as dental, optometric, osteopathic, podiatric, or veterinary school).
Advance your studies
- MS in Biology/Marine Biology Earn a master's degree in biology
- PhD in Marine Science: Earn your advanced degree in the UMass intercampus Marine Science doctoral program
- PhD in Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology: Advance your studies at the intersection of biology and engineering
- Teacher preparation: Your path to become a middle or high school teacher.