Skip to Main Content

Biological Sciences Major


Students majoring in Biology prepare for a variety of careers which contribute to our understanding of basic life processes and the solution of problems related to health and the environment. Many students graduating with Bachelors degrees are employed by institutions involved in bio-medical research or environmental field studies, while others become science educators. Degree recipients often choose to continue their education in professional (medical, veterinary, dental) schools or by matriculating into masters and doctoral programs. Since their training in science is integrated with an education in humanities and social sciences, graduates are not only prepared to excel in expanding the base of knowledge in their field of expertise, but are able to understand and respond to social and ethical issues arising from these advances.

The undergraduate program ensures a strong foundation in supporting science and mathematics and provides the essential background needed for a career in modern biology. Several of upper-level electives are available, and the curriculum is sufficiently flexible so that students may tailor it to meet their specific career goals and entrance requirements of professional schools and postgraduate programs. Although it is not required, students are encouraged to conduct original research as a capstone to their undergraduate experience. Students are able to obtain credit toward graduation for research, but more importantly, many research projects lead to student-authored publications in professional journals and presentations at scientific meetings.

The Bachelor of Science in Biology offers four options:

Pre-Medical and other Pre-Professional Programs

The curriculum in the Department of Biological Sciences prepares many of our students for entry to prominent schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatry, and chiropractic. Students interested in health-related professional careers should meet at their earliest convenience with the University Pre-Health Professions Advisor, who along with a university wide committee, will assist them with course selection and guide them through the application process for admission to the professional school of their choice. For more information regarding the UMass Lowell Pre-Health Professions program visit the Pre-Health Professionals Advising website.


An accelerated five-year course of study leading to the BS and MS degrees in Biological Sciences is available to full-time students who have a grade-point average of 3.0 or above at the end of their junior year. Interested students, after evaluation and acceptance by the Department’s graduate selection committee, meet with the graduate coordinator to design a plan for completion of requirements for both degrees within a five-year time frame. Up to 6 credits of graduate courses (500 level or higher) may be used by a student in the BS/MS program for both graduate and undergraduate degrees. Graduate Record Exam scores are not required.

The objective of our graduate programs is to foster critical thinking and to develop skills needed for independent laboratory study. This is accomplished, in part, by offering advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses. While it is possible to complete MS requirements without independent research (thesis or project option) student research is what most distinguishes graduate from undergraduate study. All full-time M.S. degree students are, therefore, strongly urged to elect thesis or project options. The Department of Biological Sciences also collaborates with the Department of Chemistry in offering the Ph.D. Option in Biochemistry. Laboratory thesis research is a required component of this program. For more information, see graduate catalog.

For additional information about programs contact the Department of Biological Sciences.