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Undergraduate Program

Degree Requirements: Biology

Undergraduate Concentration Requirements for Biology Majors

Starting for students matriculating in the fall of 2016 AP Biology scores of 5 will no longer count towards the biology major (i.e. will not count as an equivalent of either bio 13 or 14). However, an AP score of 4 or 5 will count as one of the two courses required for the natural science distribution requirement.

The biology major presently consists of ten courses, including two in chemistry or physics (see below for which of these related field courses count towards the biology major) plus eight biology courses. The eight biology courses must normally include Bio 13, 14, and 41 (core courses), at least one course in each of Groups A, B, and C, plus two electives. No biology course you take can satisfy more than one group (i.e. A, B, C, or Q) requirement.

One of the eight courses must count as an advanced laboratory course (i.e. a lab course numbered higher than Bio 14 with the exceptions of Bio 93, 94 and 187). Advanced laboratory courses (i.e. any lab course other than Bio 13 or 14) can count as electives as long as the advanced laboratory course was not also used to satisfy a group A, B, C, or Q requirement.

Starting with the graduating class of 2020, students majoring in biology need to take eleven courses which include the ten courses stated above plus an additional course in quantitative biology (Group Q). This makes the total number of required biology courses 9 instead of 8. 5 out of the 9 courses must be taken at Tufts and 7 out of 9 courses must be of a C- or higher.

Specific courses, which satisfy the biology major requirements, are as follows:

Core Courses  
Bio 13 w/lab Cells and Organisms
Bio 14 w/lab Organisms and Population
Bio 41 General Genetics

And at least one course from each of the following Lecture and/or Seminar Groups: A, B, and C

Group A Lectures: Biology of Cells Group A Seminars: Biology of Cells
Bio 46 Cell Biology Bio 178 Seminar in Immunology
Bio 61 Biology of Aging Bio 182 Seminar in Cell Signalling
Bio 62 Molecular Biotechnology Bio 188 Seminar in Molecular Biology & Genetics
Bio 102 Human Genetics Bio 190 Seminar in DNA: Structure to Function
Bio 103 Developmental Biology Bio 243 Seminar in Molecular/Cellular Biology
Bio 104 Immunology    
Bio 105 Molecular Biology    
Bio 106 Microbiology    
Bio 143 Evolutionary Biology    
Bio 152 Biochemistry & Cellular Metabolism    
Bio 162 Introduction to Biotechnology    
Bio 171 Biochemistry I    
Bio 172 Biochemistry II    
Group B Lectures: Biology of Organisms Group B Seminars: Biology of Organisms
Bio 75 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology Bio 186 Topics in Developmental Biology
Bio 108 Plant Development    
Bio 110 Endocrinology    
Bio 115 General Physiology I    
Bio 116 General Physiology II    
Bio 117 Physiology of Movement    
Bio 118 Plant Physiology    
Bio 134 Neurobiology    
Group C Lectures: Biology of Populations Group C Seminars: Biology of Populations
Bio 044 Primate Social Behavior Bio 179 Seminar in Marine Biology
Bio 106 Microbiology Bio 180 Seminar in Conservation Biology
Bio 130 Animal Behavior Bio 181 Tropical Ecology & Conservation
Bio 133 Ecological Statistics and Data w/Lab Bio 183 Seminar in Darwinian Medicine
Bio 135 Ecology of Animal Movement Bio 185 Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability
Bio 142 Population & Community Ecology Bio 244 Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology
Bio 143 Evolutionary Biology    
Bio 144 Principles of Conservation Biology    
Bio 164 Marine Biology    
Group Q Lectures: Quantitative Biology    
Bio 40 / Comp 7 Bioinformatics    
Bio 117 Physiology of Movement    
Bio 119 Biophysics    
Bio 132 Biostatistics    
Bio 133 Ecological Statistics and Data w/Lab    
Bio 135 Ecology of Animal Movement    
Bio 143 Evolutionary Biology    
Math 150 Mathematical Neuroscience    
CEE 54 Fundamentals of Epidemiology    
CEE 154 Principles of Epidemiology    
CEE 164 Epidemiological Methods    
CEE 194 Special Topics: Remote Sensing    
GIS 101 Intro to GIS    
GIS 102 Advanced GIS    
No Group Designation    
Bio 131 Principles of Medical Imaging    
Bio 174 Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering    
Bio 195* Selected Topics    
or 196*      
Labs** No group designations – with the exceptions of Bio 44, 106, 133, 143, and 181 Seminars:  (No group designation)
Bio 40 / Comp 7 Bioinformatics Bio 260 Teaching Biology: Pedagogy and Practice
Bio 44 Primate Social Behavior Bio 262 Science Communication
Bio 49 Experiments in Physiology    
Bio 50 Experiments in Molecular Biology    
Bio 51 Experiments in Ecology    
Bio 52 Experiments in Cell Biology    
Bio 54 Molecular Genetics Projects Lab    
Bio 106 Microbiology w/lab    
Bio 133 Ecological Statistics and Data    
Bio 143 Evolutionary Biology    
Bio 163 Recombinant DNA Techniques    
Bio 168 Biotechnology Projects Laboratory    
Bio 181 Tropical Ecology and Conservation    
Bio 193/194 Independent Research    
VIII. Plus two biology electives. Advanced laboratory courses can count as electives as long as the advanced laboratory course(s) was (were) not also used to satisfy a group A, B, C, or Q requirement.
IX. And either two courses in Chemistry (chosen from Chem 1, 2, 11, 12, 51, 52) or two courses in Physics (chosen from Physics 1, 2, 11, 12).


  • Six courses in Biology must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
  • At least four of the eight biology courses must be taken at Tufts.
  • At least two biology courses MUST include laboratory studies, one of which must be numbered higher than Bio 14.
  • Bio 49, Bio 50, Bio 51, Bio 52, Bio 97, Bio 193, or Bio 194 normally may be counted as a course towards the Bio major BUT CANNOT be counted as meeting Group A, B, C, or Q requirements.
  • Bio 193 or Bio 194 may normally be used as only one of the eight biology courses for completion of the concentration requirements. In no case may more than one of these courses be used to fulfill the lab requirement.

* Not all selected topics courses can contribute to major requirements and/or distribution requirements.

** Students are urged to complete laboratory requirements by the end of their junior year. In fulfilling this lab requirement, students may choose from among those biology courses for which lab is specified in the course description, with the following exceptions: Bio 93, Bio 94 and Bio 187.

For further information about majoring in Biology, please visit the Tufts Bulletin.