Requirements for the Biology Major

The biology majors program of study consists of the following:

At least six elective biology courses at the 200 and 300 levels including:

  • one mid-level cell/molecular course

         (either MB&B208BIOL210BIOL212, or BIOL218) AND

  • one mid-level organismic/population course

         (either NS&B//BIOL213BIOL214BIOL215 or BIOL216).

Note: No more than three of these mid-level courses (listed above) may be counted towards the six advanced elective requirement.

Important Information for double majors: At least two electives (200-level and above) that are counted toward the Biology major cannot be simutaneously used to fulfill any other major.

In addition, double Bio/NS&B majors cannot count NS&B 213 toward the 6 electives but may count it to fulfill the Column 2 breadth requirement.

Courses outside the Biology Dept

 Two semesters of general chemistry (CHEM141-CHEM142 or CHEM143-CHEM144)

Any three additional semesters of related courses from at least two different       departments:

Biology majors are allowed to apply at most one elective course or one cognate course taken
credit/unsatisfactory toward fulfilling the major requirements; however, this is discouraged
because good performance in major courses is an important aspect of a student’s transcript.


Two Statistics courses, even from different Departments cannot both be counted as cognates

Students cannot use E&ES280 if they use QAC231

Please note: Students planning to go on to medical, dental, or other health professions graduate school should note that a year each of introductory biology, physics, and math (such as calculus or statistics) and two years of chemistry (general and organic) are required for admission, including any laboratory components.

  • See Wesmaps for most current offerings. [Note: the courses are grouped thematically for your convenience only.]



BIOL 210 Genetics and Genomics
BIOL/COMP 265 Bioinformatics Programming
BIOL 310 Genomic Analysis
BIOL 327/527 Evolutionary & Ecological Bioinformatics
BIOL320/520 Quantitative Methods
BIOL 350/550 Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics 

MB&B 208 Molecular Biology
MB&B 231 Microbiology
MB&B 306 Epigenetics
MB&B 394 Lab in Molecular Biology & Genetics

BIOL254 Comparative Animal Behavior

BIOL/NS&B 213 Behavioral Neurobiology+
BIOL 224 Hormones, Brain and Behavio
BIOL 239 Brain Anatomy
BIOL 245 Cellular Neurophysiology
BIOL 247 Lab in Neurophysiology
BIOL/NS&B 249 Neuroethology
BIOL/NS&B 250 Lab in Cell/Mol Neurobiology
BIOL/NS&B 299 Waves, Brains and Music
BIOL/NS&B 351 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

NS&B/BIOL 243 Neurohistology
NS&B/BIOL 252 Cell Biology of the Neuron
NS&B/BIOL 328 Chemical Senses
NS&B/BIOL 347 Mammalian Cortical Circuits
NS&B/BIOL 353 Neurobiology of Neurological Disorders
NS&B356 Neurodevelopmental Disorders



BIOL 212 Prin & Mech of Cell Biology
BIOL 218 Developmental Biology
BIOL 334 Morphogenesis
BIOL 340/540 Issues in Development & Evolution
BIOL 343/543 Muscle and Nerve Development

BIOL/NS&B 325 Stem Cells: Basic Biology to Clinical Applications
BIOL/NS&B 345/545 Developmental Neurobiology


MB&B 232 Immunology
MBB/BIOL 237 Signal Transduction
MB&B 375/575 Cell Division Cycle

BIOL 214 Evolution
BIOL 215 Evolution in Human Altered Environments
BIOL 216 Ecology
BIOL 220 Conservation Biology
BIOL226 Invasive Species:Biology, Policy & Mgmt
BIOL235 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIOL 290 Plant Form and Diversity
BIOL 310 Genomic Analysis
BIOL 312 Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems
BIOL 316/516 Plant-Animal Interactions
BIOL 318/518 Nature and Nurture
BIOL 337/537 Origins of Bacterial Diversity
BIOL 346 The Forest Ecosystem

E&ES336 Landscape Ecology

ENVS353 Agricultural Food Webs
ENVS369 Ecological Resilience: The Good, the Bad and the Mindful


ANTH 202 Paleoanthropology: The Study of Human Evolution
ANTH 349 The Human Skeleton
E&ES 234 Geobiology
MB&B 228 Introductory Medical Biochemistry*
CHEM323 Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Disorders
CHEM383 Biochemistry
CHEM342 Molecules to Medicine

*MB&B 228 Intro Medical Biochem may be counted as long as neither MB&B 208 nor MB&B 383 is counted toward the major.

Additional information:

  • 400 level courses (research tutorials) are not creditable toward the major, but do receive university credit. 
  • With prior permission of the departmental undergraduate liaison (2019-2020 Prof Fred Cohan), up to two life science courses from outside the department or from another institution may be counted toward the major.  See courses listed above.

  • Research done with non-Wesleyan faculty at other institutions does not receive Wesleyan credit.

  • Bio majors are allowed to apply at most one elective course taken CR/U toward fulfilling the major requirements; however, this is discouraged because good performance in major courses is an important aspect of a student's transcript.

See Wesmaps for more information regarding the courses .