The Biology Department at Saint Louis University is responding to the rapid growth of Biology and its increasing importance in societal issues. In addition to offering traditional BA and BS degrees in Biological Science, the Biology Department now offers specialized BA and BS degree programs “tracks” that will allow Biology majors to focus their degree programs on specific areas of Biology. Below, you will find additional information on the BA and BS degree programs offered within Biology.
If you are interested in pursuing a BA in Biology, you can choose from one of three tracks: Biological Science, Plant Science, or Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology. The requirements for each of the three tracks are listed below.
If you are interested in pursuing a BS in Biology, you can choose from one of five tracks: Biological Science, Plant Science, Ecology, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Molecular Biology.
The requirements for each of the five BS degree tracks are listed below.
What are the unique features of each BS track?
Biological Sciences Track
The General Biology track provides students with a strong foundation in biology. This degree track allows maximum flexibility in selecting upper division courses and will prepare students for entry level employment in the life sciences, health professions, K-12 education and post-graduate advanced study (e.g., medical school, graduate school).
Molecular Biology Track
The Molecular Biology Track focuses on the latest advances in biochemistry, molecular & cell biology. The track emphasizes learning through experimentation and acquisition of laboratory skills, culminating in an internship experience with a local biotech company or research institute. Students will develop their techniques in the analysis and manipulation of proteins and nucleic acids, as well as fundamental bioinformatic approaches. The track is designed for students who are interested in careers involving biomedical research or biotechnology.
Cell Biology & Physiology Track
The Cell Biology and Physiology Track provides students with a strong foundation in the structure and function of organ systems and tissues that comprise them. The track requires laboratory courses at the cellular and organ system/organismal level, and includes a broad diversity of upper division elective classes. This track is a good choice for students planning careers in medicine, pharmacology, or healthcare as well as those who wish to conduct post-graduate studies in clinical and biomedical fields.
The Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology degree track is designed for students interested in various aspects of organismal biology. This track will provide students with a strong foundation in ecology and evolution. This degree track is a good choice for students preparing for graduate study in organismal biology or planning careers as a research biologist, wildlife specialist or technician with local, state and federal governmental agencies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as environmental consultant, environmental analyst, and K-12 teacher.
Plant Sciences Track
This degree track is designed for students interested in various aspects of plant biology. The Plant Sciences track will provide students with a strong foundation in biology with additional specialization in plant organismal biology, plant ecology, plant physiology, and plant molecular biology. This degree track will prepare students for careers in agricultural industries, agricultural research organizations, botanical research institutes (e.g., botanical gardens, museums), biotechnology companies, or for advanced training in graduate degree programs such as plant biology, plant conservation, plant ecology, and plant evolutionary biology, among others.
How do the new BA/BS degree track programs differ from the previous BA/BS degree programs?
In addition to differentiating discipline-specific tracks within the BA degree program in Biology, the main differences between the previous BA degree program and the new BA Biology track programs are: 1) calculus (MATH 142) is now required for the BA degree program, and 2) Principles of Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 342/344) and Principles of Organic Chemistry II (343/345) are now recommended (but not required) BA-related courses.
In addition to differentiating discipline-specific tracks within the BS degree program in Biology, the main difference between the previous BS degree program and the new BS Biology track programs is that students are offered more options in required, related courses. Specifically, in the new BS Biology degree tracks, students are required to take four of the following six courses: Principles of Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 342/344), Principles of Organic Chemistry II (343/345), Physics I (PHYS 131/133), Physics II (PHYS132/134), Earth Systems I – The Solid Earth (101/102), Earth Systems II – Earth’s Dynamic Environment (103/104).
What if I have already started the original BA or BS degree program in Biology?
Students who began their Biology degree programs prior to the introduction of track programs (students who entered SLU prior to the 2010-2011 academic year) have the option to complete their Biology degree following either the original BA or BS degree program or the one of the new track programs. The requirements for the previous Biology degree programs are listed below (these are available only to students who entered SLU Biology prior to the 2010-2011 academic year). Students who entered the program prior to the 2010-2011 academic year and have not yet declared their major should indicate which program they wish to follow on their declaration forms. Changing degree programs is permitted with the permission of your mentor.