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.

To begin the major declaration process for BS in Biological Sciences: Computational Biology, please use this link to access our departmental form.

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

Students planning to major in the biological sciences should take BIOL 110L and 111L (or 112L and 113L), and CHEM 131-132 in their first year, and BIOL 198 or 190 and CHEM 203/207 in the fall of their second year.

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)

One of the following:

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

Advanced Courses (Seven to Eight Courses)

  • STAT 190 (formerly CSC 262): Introduction to Statistical Methodology


  • STAT 180 (formerly STAT 212): Introduction to Applied Statistical Methodology + STAT 216 Applied Statistics Methods


  • BIOL 253L: Computational Biology with Lab

Plus one of the following:

  • 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
  • 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 BCB 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

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.

Biochemistry majors are also welcome to take CHEM 210W: Organic Chemistry Lab II to fulfill part of this requirement. All other majors need permission from their biology advisor.

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.

Diversification Electives List

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for prerequisites and official course descriptions.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact your major advisor for consultation on course selections and approval of other biological sciences courses not listed.

  • BIOL 204: Principles of Human Physiology
  • BIOL 220: Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL 222: Biology of Aging
  • BIOL 225: Lab in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (For BEB Majors)
  • BIOL 226: Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 228A&B: iGEM I&II International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Course Series
  • BIOL 260: Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 399: Communication Engagement Practicum (four credit version only)
  • IND 408: Advanced Biochemistry
  • MBI 220: Introduction to Microbiology
  • MBI 221W: Microbiology Laboratory
  • MBI 414: Pathogenesis of Microorganisms
  • MBI 473: Immunology
  • NSCI 201: Basic Neurobiology
  • NSCI 241: Neurons, Circuits, and Systems
  • NSCI 243: Neurochemical Foundations of Behavior
  • NSCI 245 Sensory and Motor Neuroscience
  • NSCI 251: Neurobiology of Sleep
  • BIOL 210: Molecular Cell Biology
  • BIOL 217L: Principles of Human Anatomy (BIOL 217P lab required/Should not take BIOL 217 if BIO 258 was taken)
  • BIOL 228A&B: iGEM I&II International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Course Series
  • BIOL 255: Behavioral Endocrinology (check availability)
  • BIOL 261W: Genetic Research A
  • BIOL 268: Lab in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Bio
  • BIOL 278: Biochemical Mechanisms of Cellular Processes
  • BCH 308: Biochemical and Molecular Biology Techniques
  • BCH 412: Advanced Topics in Biological Macromolecules
  • BME 258: Human Anatomy (should not take BME 258 if BIOL 217L was taken)
  • BME 468: Introduction to Structure and Analysis of Biomolecules
  • EESC 201: Evolution of the Earth
  • EESC 207: Principles of Paleontology
  • EESC 220: Geobiology
  • IND 447: Signal Transduction
  • MBI 404: Intro to Emerging Pathogens
  • MBI 421: Microbial Physiology and Genetics
  • MBI 456: General Virology
  • NSCI 203: Lab in Neurobiology
  • NSCI 244: Neuroethology
  • NSCI 246: Biology of Mental Disorders
  • NSCI 249: Developmental Neurobiology
  • NSCI 250: Acquired Brain Disorders
  • NSCI 252: Functional Neuroanatomy
  • NSCI 415: Neuroscience of Neuroprosthetics