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Undergraduate Program

BS in Biological Sciences

Computational Biology (BCB) Track

We require students to maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in the major, excluding allied field courses. See the advising page for information on how to declare your major, who your program advisor is, double majors, double degrees, petitioning for exceptions and more.

Want to learn about computational biology? See the Larracuente Lab’s blog post on computational biology to learn about the field and about what computational biologists do.

Major Requirements

Introductory Courses (3 Courses)

One of the following:

  • BIOL 110L: Principles of Biology I with Lab
  • BIOL 112L: Perspectives in Biology I with Lab (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)

One of the following:

  • BIOL111L: Principles of Biology II with Lab
  • BIOL 113L: Perspectives in Biology with Lab I (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)
  • BIOL 115: Introduction to Organismal Evolutionary Biology (not offered after Spring 2017; may use if taken)

One of the following:

  • BIOL 190/198P: The Human Genome 
  • BIOL 198/198P: Principles of Genetics 

Advanced Courses (7-8 Courses)

BIOL 214/218P: Biostatistics with lab. *Effective class of 2021 students who have taken STAT 212 or 213 must also take STAT216 and BIOL 218P to satisfy the BCB statstics requirement (STAT212+STAT216+BIOL218P=BIOL214/218P).  STAT 212 or 213 without STAT216 will no longer be accepted as a substitute for BIOL 214/218P.  

BIOL 253L: Computational Biology with Lab (Will not be offered Spring 2021)

Plus one of the following:

  • BIOL 208: Introduction to Programming for Biologists
  • CSC 171: The Science of Programming
  • CSC 161: The Art of Programming


  • BIOL 257L: Applied Genomics with Lab

Plus one of the following biology electives:

  • BIOL 202: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 205: Evolution
  • BIOL 206: Eukaryotic Genomes
  • BIOL 243: Eukaryotic Gene Regulation
  • BIOL 250L: Introduction to Biochemistry or BIOL 252: Principles of Biochemistry with Lab
  • BIOL 263: Ecology (Canceled AY 2019-2020: Will return Spring 2021)
  • BIOL 265: Molecular Evolution
  • BIOL 267: Human Evolutionary Genetics

Plus one of the following computational electives:

  • CSC 172: Science of Data Structures
  • CSC 240: Introduction to Data Mining
  • BIOL 219L: Genomics of Quantitative Traits with Lab
  • BIOL 259L: Applied Population Biology
  • DSCC 201: Tools for Data Science (only open to non-DSCC majors in the spring)

Plus one additional elective from either the biology or computational electives listed above.

Diversification Elective (1 Course)

One 200-level course outside of the BCB major track, chosen from the diversification-electives list.

Ancillary Requirements (7 Courses with Indicated Labs)

Both of the following general chemistry courses:

  • CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts I (lab included)*
  • CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts II (lab included)*

One of the following organic chemistry I courses:

  • CHEM 203/207: Organic Chemistry I with Lab*
  • CHEM 171/173: First Year Organic Chemistry I with Lab

One of the following physics I courses:

  • PHYS 113: General Physics I (lab included)*
  • PHYS 121: Mechanics (lab included)
  • PHYS 141: Mechanics (Honors) (lab included)

One of the following calculus I courses:

  • MATH 141: Calculus I
  • MATH 161: Calculus I*
  • MATH 171Q: Honors Calculus

One of the following calculus II courses:

  • MATH 142: Calculus II
  • MATH 162: Calculus IIA*
  • MATH 172Q: Honors Calculus II


MATH 150 Discrete Mathematics

*AP credit will also be accepted for this course. See our advising page for more information about AP credit.

Upper-Level Writing (ULW) Requirements (2 Courses)

All biology majors must complete two ULW courses. Although students are strongly encouraged to complete both ULW requirements by taking biological sciences courses (BIOL, BCH, MBI, NSCI), an upper-level writing course within a natural sciences discipline may also be used to meet one of the requirements.

Writing courses within the humanities and social sciences may not be applied to the biology major. See upper-level writing requirement for more information on which courses satisfy this requirement.