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.
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.
4 concentrations available:
- conservation biology
- cell and molecular biology
- ecology and evolution biology
- marine biology
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, students may select concentrations in conservation biology, cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolution biology, and marine biology.
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).
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.
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Brown University
- Johnson & Wales University
- New York University
- Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center
- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Millennium Pharmaceuticals
- MIT Lincoln Laboratory
- Southcoast Hospitals Group
- The Spine and Orthopedic Center
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Zoo New England
Internships and independent study: gain experience or investigate a specialized area of study
- Honors College: take advanced courses, pursue research, and be part of a community of scholars
- Study Abroad: earn academic credits and gain a global perspective on your field
- Undergraduate Research: faculty work with students on cutting-edge research projects
- University Studies: gain the benefit of a broad university education to enhance your knowledge and skills
- 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
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.