The Undergraduate Major

Profs. Marta Wells & Richard Prum with members of the Class of 2023

Students majoring in E&EB may receive either a B.A. or a B.S. degree. The B.A. program is intended for students who are interested in ecology, evolution and organism diversity as a part of a liberal education but do not intend to pursue graduate work in the discipline. The B.S. program is designed for students headed for medical or veterinary school or for graduate study in ecology and evolutionary biology, other biological disciplines, or the environmental sciences. The two degree programs share prerequisite and core requirements but differ in elective and senior requirements.

The prerequisites for the E&EB major provide core scientific literacy. Beyond the prerequisites, the E&EB major may be satisfied by pursuing either of two tracks.  The Biodiversity and the Environment Track emphasizes courses appropriate for careers in  ecology, evolutionary biology, and environmental science . The Organismal Biology Track is appropriate for premedical and preveterinary students who can use courses required by medical schools, but not required by the major, as electives.
The department also offers courses suitable for non-majors that do not require pre-requisites. These include all 100-level offerings, and the 200-level courses that deal with particular organism groups (e.g., fish, mammals, birds, arthropods, invertebrates). See the complete listing of course offerings.

Structure of the Undergraduate Major

The programs in the major are designed both to enhance a liberal education and to provide excellent preparation for professional and graduate study, both in the biological or environmental sciences, and in medicine and other health-related fields.  After a shared set of prerequisites, the major is organized as two tracks that differ in their core requirements. 

A visual “roadmap” of the major can be viewed here.

Prerequisites for the Major

Effective Academic Year 2023-24

BIOL 101  Introduction to Biochemistry
BIOL 102  Principles of Cell Biology & Membrane Physiology
BIOL 103  Basic Genetics & Developmental Biology
BIOL 104  Principles of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
2 terms of General Chemistry (CHEM 161, 165 or CHEM 163, 167)
2 terms of General Chemistry Lab (CHEM 134L and 136L)
1 term of Mathematics (MATH 115, 116, or 120)  or Statistics & Data Science (S&DS 100 or 230)
Students should take four additional courses, for a total of four credits, from among the following options: MATH 115 or 116, 118 or 120, 222 or 225, 230 or 231, 235, 241, 242, 244, 246, 247, 250, 255; S&DS 100-106, 220, 230, 238, 240; CPSC 100, 112, 123, 201; CHEM 174 or 220, 175 or 221, 222L, 223L, PHYS 170 or 180, 171 or 181, EPS 110, 212, 220, 222, 232, 240, 255. No more than two of these four additional courses may originate in the same department. 

Core Courses for the Major

Biodiversity and the environment Track Organismal Biology Track
E&EB 220 General Ecology

MCDB 300 Biochemistry or

MB&B 300 Principles of Biochemistry 1

E&EB 225 Evolutionary Biology

E&EB 295 Comparative Physiology or

BENG 350 Physiological Systems

E&EB 2xx or 3xx Organismal Diversity Course E&EB 290 Comparative Anatomy
E&EB 2xxL or 3xxL Organismal Diversity Lab E&EB 291L Comparative Anatomy Lab

For the B.A. degree only (one credit required, one of the following must be taken in senior year):

E&EB 470 (Tutorial)

Senior Essay (no credit)

For the B.S. degree only (four credits required; 2 semesters of senior research must be taken in senior year for a letter grade):

E&EB 475 and 476 (Research)

E&EB 495 and 496 (Intensive Senior Research)

Elective lectures, labs and/or research (2 credits)

For a complete listing of E&EB offerings click here or visit OCI.

For additional details on the major please contact the current E&EB DUS and consult the Undergraduate Handbook linked at the top of the page.