Why Bio Major/Minor?


    The Biology major/minor provides Duke students with a great background in the biological sciences. The major has more required courses than the minor and requires students not only to take rigorous biology courses, but requires them to take math and chemistry as well (and physics for a BS instead of a BA in Biology). However, the biology major/minor is not for everyone. There are several great and interesting courses in the Biology department that do not have pre-requisites and offer students a taste of biology. We have found that students who become Biology majors because they think it will look good for medical school or because they were persuaded into doing so, did not get the most out of their major experience. Students who were genuinely interested in biological sciences were more motivated and successful because they saw biology courses as a basis for understanding the world around them. It is widely known that science majors have a lot of work. Attending and preparing for lectures, labs, and discussion sections requires a lot of time in and out of the classroom.

     The Biology major is useful and interesting for those who intend to pursue graduate school in biology and professional schools such as medical, veterinary, dental, and nursing. With the biology major, a solid foundation of chemistry, basic biology, genetics and molecular biology, ecology and evolution, and structure and function can be built upon and further explored in more advanced courses.

The Biology Major

The Biology Major is composed of two required courses (Bio 116 and 118), one structure and function course, 5 elective courses, at least two lab courses 100-level or above, and a capstone course. It is possible to obtain a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology. Bachelor of Science requires Organic Chemistry (Chem 151L) and Physics.

For more information: http://www.biology.duke.edu/undergrad/requirements/major.html

The Biology Minor

    The Biology Minor requires that students take 5 Biology courses. These courses vary for those who have AP credit and do not have AP credit.

For more information: http://www.biology.duke.edu/undergrad/requirements/minor.html


    In addition to majoring and minoring in Biology, students can also have an area of concentration in Biology. The areas of concentration include: Animal Behavior, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Evolutionary Biology, Genetic, Marine Biology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology, and Plant Systematics.

For more information: http://www.biology.duke.edu/undergrad/requirements/concentrations/index.html


Why Should I be a Biology Major (or Minor)?: Information on the Major and Minor

DUS of Biology,

Dr. Ron Grunwald speaks about the Biology major at