See also the molecular biology/biochemistry and environmental and marine science majors. Teacher certification is available in life sciences for grades 5-12.

Major in biology

42-46 credit hours

  • Biol 115, Ecology and Evolution 4
  • Biol 120, Cell Biology and Genetics 4
  • Biol 130, Organismal Biology 4
  • Biol 331, Junior Research Seminar 2
  • Biol 409, Internship (or alternate) 0-3
  • Biol 410, Biology Senior Seminar 1
  • Elective laboratory course4
    • Biol 203, Human Anatomy & Physiology
    • Biol 300, Microbial Biology
    • Biol 302, Developmental Biology
    • Biol 303, Vertebrate Physiology
    • Biol 311, Advanced Molecular Genetics
    • Biol 341, Advanced Cell Biology
  • Elective field biology course4
    • Biol 200, General Zoology
    • Biol 201, Botany
    • Biol 304, Marine Biology
    • Biol 308, General Entomology
    • Biol 324, Restoration Ecology
    • Biol 345, Forest Resources
    • Biol 350, Ornithology
  • Additional biology elective course from lists above4
  • Chem 111-112, General Chemistry 8
  • Chem 303, Intro to Organic Chemistry 4
  • Quantitative course (one of the following)3-4
    • Math 360, Biomathematics (3)
    • Psyc 380, Statistics in Research (3)

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in biology will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of core biological principles spanning all levels of hierarchy (cells to ecosystems).
  2. Provide examples of the fundamental role that evolutionary principles have in structuring biological systems from the cell to ecosystems.
  3. Design and implement experiments through developing research questions, designing research methods, and interpreting and analyzing data using statistical techniques.
  4. Use strong oral and writing skills to communicate scientific concepts.
  5. Articulate how faith and/or worldview informs personal bioethical attitudes and behaviors.
  6. Reflect on the systems-level connections between core biological principles.
  7. Demonstrate safety and competence in implementing basic biology laboratory and field skills: taxonomic identification, quantitative measurement, sterile technique, microscopy and slide use, and good experimental design.

Planning and advising notes

Students expecting to major in biology may take General Chemistry, Chem 111-112, in the second year, but students majoring in molecular biology/biochemistry must take it in the first year. A double major in biology, environmental science, or molecular biology/biochemistry is not allowed. 

Teacher education in life sciences is available for grades 5-12. Courses needed within or in addition to biology major requirements are: Biol 201, Biol 207, Biol 208, Biol 300, Biol 303, Biol 311, and Phys 201. Also 36 credits of education courses, including a semester of student teaching. The first education class, Educ 201, should be taken in May term of the first year, if possible.

Planning guide

First year Goshen Core
Ecology & Evolution (fall)
Cell Biology & Genetics (spring)
Organismal Biology (spring)
Second year Goshen Core
General Chemistry
Quantitative course
Biology electives
SST (spring or summer)
Third year Goshen Core
Intro to Organic Chemistry
Biology electives
Junior Research Seminar
SST (if not in second year)
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Balance of major
Biology Senior Seminar