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Major Requirements

The Biology Curriculum

Merrimack offers a bachelor of science degree in biology. The biology curriculum has a strong science foundation, with depth in life science, and multidisciplinary support in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

The curriculum is diversified and interconnects with course offerings in related majors, and is composed of an integrated sequence of core courses and elective major courses in three areas: molecular and cellular biology and biotechnology; integrative biology (includes pre-med, pre-dent, pre-vet); and ecology and behavioral biology. Students also have the option to create their own customized concentration.

Biology students are also encouraged to explore other opportunities including internships, directed study and research with a faculty member and/or study abroad. Each student is individually advised and counseled according to her/his aptitude and career interests and courses are recommended to assist students in reaching their full potential.

Core Courses

BIO1027   Principles of Biology I: Molecules, Cells and Organisms
BIO1028   Principles of Biology II: Organisms, Adaptation and Evolution
BIO2010   Ecology
BIO2018   Genetics

Optional Areas of Concentration

Upon successful completion of the core requirements, students may choose from one of three concentrations for completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology or they can create their own customized concentration.

Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 

    BIO3037   Cellular Biochemistry
    BIO3038   Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
    BIO3040   Cell Biology

    Minimum of 2 BIO Electives

Concentration in Integrative Biology (includes Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Dental) 

    BIO3037   Cellular Biochemistry
    BIO3050   Comparative Anatomy and Physiology 
    BIO3040   Cell Biology 

    Minimum of 2 BIO Electives

Concentration in Ecology and Behavioral Biology

    BIO3063   Animal Behavior 
    BIO3072   Evolution
    BIO3071   Conservation and Restoration Biology OR
    BIO3075   Aquatic and Coastal Ecology

    Minimum of 2 BIO Electives

Customized Concentration and Focus

Students have the option of crafting together a minimum of five upper-level courses into a unique concentration. Please work with your adviser to help you choose the most appropriate suite of courses for your career path.

Elective Courses

All biology majors choose at least two additional biology electives from the following courses, or can create a customized concentration by choosing at least five courses based on student interests:

  • BIO3012   Immunology
  • BIO3031   Embryonic Development 
  • BIO3037   Cellular Biochemistry
  • BIO3038   Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • BIO3040   Cell Biology
  • BIO3050   Comparative Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO3051   Comparative Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO3063   Animal Behavior
  • BIO3064   Marine Biology
  • BIO3071   Conservation and Restoration Biology
  • BIO3072   Evolution
  • BIO3075   Aquatic and Coastal Zone Ecology
  • BIO3303   Clinical Microbiology
  • BIO4081   Special Topics Seminar in Biology
  • BIO3060   Biology of Fishes (through Marine Consortium)
  • BIO3001   Marine Mammals (through Marine Consortium)

Students may also take one of the three following courses as one of the five upper-level courses for the biology major:

For those students who are required to take two semesters of human anatomy and physiology through the health sciences department (HSC 1122 and HSC 1123) as part of their course preparation for professional schools, completing both semesters will satisfy one of the five upper elective courses for the biology major.

Additional Biology Major Requirements

  • General Chemistry I and II   CHM1110 and CHM1120
  • Organic Chemistry I and II   CHM2210 and CHM2220
  • Physics I and II   PHY2101 and 2102; or PHY2211 and PHY2212;
  • MTH 1217 Calculus I and 1 other math course
  • MTH1016 Pre-Calculus, MTH1218 Calculus II or MTH1111 Statistics