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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:

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

One of the following:

  • BIO 111: Principles of Biology II
  • BIO 113: Perspectives in Biology I (pre-requires AP biology exam score of 4 or 5)
  • BIO 115: Introduction to Organismal Evolutionary Biology (not offered after spring 2017; may use if taken)

One of the following:

  • BIO 190/198P: The Human Genome with lab
  • BIO 198/198P: Principles of Genetics

Advanced Courses (7 Courses)

BIO 214/218P: Biostatistics with lab
BIO 253: Computational Biology with lab

Plus one of the following:

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


  • 257: Applied Genomics

Plus one of the following biology electives:

  • BIO 202: Molecular Biology
  • BIO 205: Evolution
  • BIO 206: Eukaryotic Genomes
  • BIO 243: Eukaryotic Gene Regulation
  • BIO 250: Introduction to Biochemistry or BIO 252: Principles of Biochemistry
  • BIO 263: Ecology
  • BIO 265: Molecular Evolution

Plus one of the following computational electives:

  • CSC 172: Science of Data Structures
  • CSC 240: Introduction to Data Mining
  • BIO 219: Genomics of Quantitative Traits
  • BIO 254: Data Mining for Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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 (6 Courses with Indicated Labs)

Both of the following general chemistry courses:

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

One of the following organic chemistry I courses:

  • CHM 203/207: Organic Chemistry I with lab*
  • CHM 171/173: First Year Organic Chemistry I with lab

One of the following physics I courses:

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

One of the following calculus I courses:

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

One of the following calculus II courses:

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

*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 (BIO, BCH, MBI, NSC), 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.