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 (Three 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:

  • BIOL 111L: 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 (Seven to Eight Courses)

BIOL 214 Biostatistics + BIOL 218P Data Analysis in R (No offerings in 2023-23 academic year; returning fall of 2023, see below for alternatives):

Class of 2023 may use BIOL 214/218P if already taken or contact Dr. Amanda Larracuente or the undergraduate coordinator to discuss their options. Class of 2024, 25, 26… May take BIOL 214/218P next year or substitute with one of the following options:

  • STAT 212 Applied Statistics + STAT 216 Applied Statistics Methods + BIOL 218P Data Analysis in R
  • CSC 262 Computational Introduction to Statistics

BIOL 253L: Computational Biology with Lab

Plus one of the following:

  • *BIOL 208: Introduction to Programming for Biologists (No offerings in 2022-23 academic year; returning fall 2023, see below for alternatives)
  • 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 250 or 250L: Introduction to Biochemistry or BIOL 252: Principles of Biochemistry
  • BIOL 263: Ecology
  • 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 (One Course)

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

Ancillary Requirements (Seven Courses with Indicated Labs)

Both of the following general chemistry courses:

  • CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts I with Lab*
  • CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts II with Lab*

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 with Lab*
  • PHYS 121: Mechanics with Lab
  • PHYS 141: Mechanics (Honors) with Lab

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 (Two 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 cannot be applied to the biology major. See the upper-level writing requirement page for more information on which courses satisfy this requirement.