Skip to main content

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

One of the following:

  • BIO 111L: Principles of Biology II with Lab
  • BIO 113L: Perspectives in Biology with Lab 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 
  • BIO 198/198P: Principles of Genetics 

Advanced Courses (7-8 Courses)

BIO 214/218P: Biostatistics with lab. *Effective class of 2021 students who have taken STT 212 or 213 must also take STT216 and BIO 218P to satisfy the BCB statstics requirement (STT212+STT216+BIO218P=BIO214/218P).  STT 212 or 213 without STT216 will no longer be accepted as a substitute for BIO 214/218P.  

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

Plus one of the following:

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


  • 257L: Applied Genomics with Lab

Plus one of the following biology electives:

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

Plus one of the following computational electives:

  • CSC 172: Science of Data Structures
  • CSC 240: Introduction to Data Mining
  • BIO 219L: Genomics of Quantitative Traits with Lab
  • BIO 259L: Applied Population Biology
  • DSC 201: Tools for Data Science (only open to non-DSC 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:

  • 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


MTH 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 (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.