Biological Sciences


Bachelor of Science with a major in Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)


Dr. Stine Brown
Dr. Jeri Fox


Biology is an exploration of the living world that underscores and explains the unity and diversity of life. But it is also a truly human endeavor in that it affects us all. Because we live at this time in human history – at the beginning of what many believe to be a biological age – students must be able to apply biological concepts to the wide array of problems and choices they inevitably face.

Students who major in biology programs become familiar with all levels of biological organization from molecules to ecosystems, and gain practical experience in both laboratory and field studies. Small classes enable the faculty to adopt an approach to learning that stresses how different subjects are related to each other, facilitates critical thinking, and encourages a collaborative approach to learning between students and faculty. Professors want students to experience the excitement and to see the applications of biology as well as appreciate science as a way of knowing about the world around them. In addition, the biology program stresses the importance of field opportunities, research experience and experiential learning. The department also offers a graduate degree in Biological Sciences (master level) which is detailed in the graduate portion of this catalog. Visit our graduate programs page for details.

Major Description

Biological Sciences major provides a broad background for students interested in biology. The program is flexible, thereby permitting the student latitude in the area of emphasis. A goal of the major is to provide students with the necessary background for entry-level career positions and graduate study. The major is particularly suited to students interested in the overall field of biology but not wishing to specialize in one of the other majors. It prepares students for advanced study in a variety of graduate programs.

The department offers Biological Sciences majors the opportunity to select all of the EDU secondary education certification courses (listed below) as their electives in order to become middle or high school teachers (grades 7 - 12) in the area of life science.

Curricular Requirements


CAS Core Requirements

Biology Core Program Required Courses 24-29
BIO 105 - Biology I: Ecology/Evolution (included in core requirements) 4
BIO 106 - Biology II: Cellular/Molecular 4
BIO 200 - Human Genetics or BIO 207 Organismal Genetics 4-5
BIO 400 or higher level elective (not satisfied by Internship/Research) 3-4
Topic Areas- (to be selected in consultation with advisor) See below.  
Physiology topic area 3-4
Ecology topic area 3-4
Organismal topic area 3-4
Biology Program Required Science and Mathematics Courses 32-33
CHE 110 - General Chemistry I 4
CHE 111 - General Chemistry II 4
CHE 210 - Organic Chemistry I 5
CHE 211 - Organic Chemistry II or 5
CHE 310 - Fundamentals of Biochemistry 4
MAT 150-Statistics for Life Sciences 3
MAT 190 - Calculus I 4
PHY 110 - Physics I and 4
PHY 111 - Physics II 4
PHY 210 - University Physics I and 4
PHY 211 - University Physics II 4
Open Elective Courses  (as needed to reach 120 credits) 17 - 26
Minimum Required Total Credits  120
Curricular Area Requirements Credits
Ecology Area  
BIO 333 - Evolution 3
BIO 350 - Ecology 4
Organismal Biology Area  
BIO 204 - Parasitology 4
BIO 208/209 - Introductory Anatomy and Physiology 4
BIO 223 - Health, Nutrition and Feeding Cultured Organisms 4
BIO 232 - Microbiology or BIO 234 Environmental Microbiology 4
BIO 245 - BIO 345 - Human Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology 4-5
MAR 252 - Natural History of Marine Mammals 3
MAR 310 - Phycology 4
BIO 319 - Ornithology 4
MAR 320 - Invertebrate Zoology 4
BIO 323 - Principles of Aquarium Operations and Science 4
BIO 330 - Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
MAR 331 - Biology of Fishes 4
MAR 355 - Biology of Marine Mammals 4
MAR 375 - Biology of Sharks, Skates and Rays 4
Physiology (Cellular Biology) Area  
BIO 203 - Histology 4
BIO 208 - BIO 209 - Introductory Anatomy and Physiology 4
BIO 245 - BIO 345 - Human Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology 4-5
BIO 322 - Comparative Animal Physiology 3
BIO 365 - Immunology 3
BIO 370 - Cell/Molecular Biology 3
BIO 404 - Neuroscience 4

Additional Guidelines

No BIO 100 level courses or Human Genetics (BIO 200) fulfills any of the Biology Area requirement courses.

BIO 230, BIO 290, BIO 415 or BIO 450/451, may fulfill Biology Area requirements depending on subject matter and advisor permission.

Secondary Education Certification

The department offers Biological Sciences majors the opportunity to select all of the EDU secondary education certification courses (listed below) as their electives in order to become middle or high school teachers (grades 7 - 12) in the area of life science. While providing a solid foundation in the biological sciences, this program includes extensive coursework in education, which, when combined with the secondary teaching internship, will meet standards for State of Maine teacher certification upon completion of the degree program. This program is approved by the State of Maine Board of Education.

Education Courses  
EDU 105 - Exploring Teaching 3
EDU 110- 21st Century Learning Through Technology 3
EDU 202 - Curriculum & Assessment 3
EDU 220 - Exceptionality in the Classroom 3
EDU 385- Diversity and Social Justice 3
EDU 382- Literacy Research-Based Instructional Methods 3
EDU 437 - Methods of Teaching Secondary Science 3
EDU 488 - Secondary Education Practicum 3
EDU 498 - Secondary Internship 12
EDU 405- Inclusive Methods and Data Based Decision Making 1
Education Minimum Required Total Credits  39

See Education Department for more details.

The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee

The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee (PHPAC) consists of staff and faculty members of the College of Arts and Sciences. The major function of this committee is to draft letters of evaluation for students applying to health professions programs such as Medical, Dental and Veterinary schools. Interested students should view our web page for information regarding the protocol for obtaining a PHPAC letter of evaluation.

Graduation Requirements

A minimum grade of C- must be achieved in all science and mathematics courses used toward graduation in any of the programs in the Department of Biology. A 2.00 cumulative average in sciences is a requirement for graduation in any of the programs in the Department of Biology.

Learning Outcomes

The expected learning outcomes for students graduating with a bachelor of science degree from the Department of Biology include:

A.  Knowledge of fundamental principles in biology, relevant concepts in mathematics and the physical sciences, and the ability to apply this knowledge to the critical analysis of new biological information, in the following areas:

  • Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life - including cell structure, metabolism, heredity, and reproduction.
  • Organismal Diversity - including organismal structure and function, hierarchy of organization, and the evolution of life.
  • Interrelations of Organisms and their Environment - including abiotic and biotic interactions, biogeochemical cycles; ecosystems and their dynamics, and human actions and interventions.

B.  Understanding of the process of science, as well as demonstrated competency in biological research, with a particular emphasis on:

  • The scientific method, including observational, comparative and experimental approaches and the tools utilized.
  • A critical reading of the primary scientific literature.
  • Data analysis, interpretation and the communication of scientific results (including oral presentations and scientific report writing).

C.  Appreciation for the relevance of the biological sciences to real-world issues, including:

  • Familiarity with avenues and applications of current and future research as well as the careers that use them.
  • Bioethical issues and their biological and social basis.
  • Recognition of the civic responsibility to share knowledge and to apply expertise to the improvement of human and environmental health.


A biology minor requires 6 biology courses, including the Introductory Biology series.  In particular, Department of Biology majors who wish to take a biology minor must select 4 additional courses beyond those required for their major. No biology courses can satisfy both the major and minor requirements except for the introductory 100-level courses.

Minor Required Courses
BIO 105 - Biology I: Ecology/Evolution and
BIO 106 - Biology II: Cellular/Molecular
BIO 104 - General Biology and one of:

(BIO 105 - Biology I: Ecology/Evolution
BIO 106 - Biology II: Cellular/Molecular
BIO 150 - Intro to Oceanography)
One Organismal Biology Area course
One Ecology Area course
One Physiology (Cellular Biology) Area course
One additional Biology course

Honors Program

We offer qualified students the option of participating in our Honors Program and graduating with Honors. This includes significant research, scholarship or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member.

Transfer Credit

Courses previously completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program. Transferred biology courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the biology courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they will transfer as general electives. All Science/Math courses previously completed must be no older than five years. Other options and restrictions apply. See Undergraduate Admissions also.

Financial Information

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2015-2016 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 30, 2015.  *Addendum published January 29, 2016.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.