Biological Sciences

Ecology Option

The Ecology option offers students a strong foundation in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as advanced courses in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Biology. Principles of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Climate Change: Science, Communication and Solutions are added to the core requirements in Biological Sciences. Students may choose from advanced courses in biology, including Botany, Invertebrate Zoology, Biology of Global Change, Wetlands Ecology, Limnology, and Genomics.

Electives are also available in several interdisciplinary fields, including Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Economics, Environmental Law, Geographic Information Systems, Hydrogeology, and Environmental Geochemistry. 

This option provides students with the theoretical background and hands-on training needed for careers or graduate study in diverse fields such as environmental biotechnology, conservation biology, public health, toxicology, bioremediation, and biological assessment of environmental quality.

Option Requirements (in addition to the core requirements)

Required Courses - 11 credits

81.315 Principles of Ecology 3 cr
81.317 Principles of Ecology Lab 1 cr
81.416 Climate Change, Sci. Comm. 4 cr
81.426 Evolutionary Biology 3 cr

Designated Ecology electives – 14 to 15 credits

Four (4) courses, at least one (1) with the corresponding lab selected from the following list. No more than 9 credits outside of the Department of Biological Sciences.

14.562 Physical & Chemical Hydrology Geology 3 cr
14.576 GIS Applications in Civil & Environmental Engineering 3 cr
14.568 Environmental Fate & Transport 3 cr
14.572 Marine Coastal Processes* 3 cr
18.501 Wetlands Ecology* 3 cr
18.502 Limnology* 3 cr
18.581 Understanding the MA Contingency Plan* 3 cr
41.367 Environmental Law 3 cr
81.301 Microbiology 3 cr
81.303 Microbiology Laboratory 2 cr
81.306 Invertebrate Zoology 3 cr
81.308 Invertebrate Zoology Lab 1 cr
81.320 Botany 3 cr
81.322 Botany Lab 1 cr
81.404 Environmental Microbiology 3 cr
81.409 Photobiology 3 cr
81.413 Invertebrate Zoology II 3 cr
81.415 Invertebrate Zoology II Lab 1 cr
81.423 Biology of Global Change 3 cr
81.432 Genomics 3 cr
81.434 Genomics Laboratory 1 cr
81.437 Biology and Evolution of Arthropoda 3 cr
81.439 Biology and Evolution of Arthropoda Lab 1 cr
81.457 Advanced Invertebrate Zoology 3 cr
81.459 Advanced Invertebrate Zoology Lab 1 cr
81.467 Molecular Biology 3 cr
81.469 Molecular Biology Lab 4 cr
84.313 Analytical Chemistry I 3 cr
84.314 Analytical Chemistry II 3 cr
84.315 Analytical Chemistry I Lab 1 cr
84.316 Analytical Chemistry II Lab 1 cr
84.653 Chemical Oceanography 3 cr
87.504 Geographic Info Systems 3 cr
89.314 Hydrogeology 3 cr
89.315 Environmental Geochemistry 3 cr
89.524 Regional Hydrogeology 3 cr

*Offered through Continuing Education.

Recommended General Education Elective

49.315 Intro to Environmental Economics (SSE)* 3 cr

*49.315 fulfills 1 Gen. Ed. Social Sciences as well as the Ethics requirement

Although Calculus for Life Sciences II (92.139) is not required, students pursing post-graduate studies are strongly encouraged to take this course as a free elective. Consult with your advisor.

View the complete Ecology Option Curriculum Checksheet (pdf).