Jan 31, 2023
This major provides a research-and-field-oriented background for students interested in research careers in either physiology or ecology/evolution and their allied fields. For further information, consult with the organismal biology/ecology faculty, Professors Budischak, E. Ferree, Finseth, Gilman, McFarlane, Preest, or Thomson.
Requirements for the Major
A major in Organismal Biology requires a minimum of 15 courses plus senior thesis.
, or BIOL042L KS Integrated Biology and Chemistry
and BIOL044L KS Introductory Biology
Note: CHEM029L KS Accelerated General Chemistry with Lab will count for both requirements.
- Seven upper-division biology courses, including three with lab
- At least six courses must be from the four groups listed below, with at least one course from each group AND
at least three from Group 1 or Group 3. No more than one course from Group 4 may be counted. Other
biology courses may also be appropriate to fulfill the group requirements, if approved in advance by the
- One upper division Environmental Analysis course offered by Keck Science may count as a non-lab elective,
but will not count towards any of the Group requirements.
Note: Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an in-depth research experience through either a study abroad program with a field biology component or an on- or off- campus summer research project. With prior departmental approval students may count off-campus courses towards electives and/or research experiences towards thesis.
One- or two-semester thesis: BIOL191 KS ; or BIOL188L KS and BIOL190L KS , or BIOL189L KS and BIOL190L KS .
Honors Requirements (All Tracks)
To be considered for departmental honors in one of the science majors, a student must:
- Achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.67 in courses in the major.
- Achieve a minimum grade of A- on the thesis.
- Complete a one- or two-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research and by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department.
- Present an oral progress report at the end of the first semester of a two-semester thesis and a poster at the conclusion of either a one- or two-semester thesis in which the student clearly explains the rationale for the project and the conclusions drawn, engages the listener, and knowledgeably answers questions.
- Attend at least six scientific seminars during the semester (each semester for a two-semester thesis) and submit a brief and clear summary of each.