As a biology major, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking needed for a successful career in modern biology and related fields.

What courses will you take?

Student in lab coat attends to lizard in a tank

The B.S. in Biological Sciences offers four degree options, which lead to a wide range of career opportunities.

  • General Biology Option — Gain a broad foundation in the biological sciences, and customize your curriculum by selecting advanced course electives that match your interests and career goals. This option provides all the requirements for students pursuing health professions.
  • Bioinformatics Option — Take basic biology and computer science courses, along with advanced courses in bioinformatics and biology electives. You will graduate prepared for professional or academic careers in bioinformatics, comparative genomics, proteomics, molecular modeling, and biological database analysis and management.
  • Biotechnology Option — Take a set of advanced courses designed to provide the conceptual background and practical training needed for a career in biotechnology, genetic engineering, bioinformatics, industrial microbiology, cell culture technology, and the manufacture and purification of diagnostics and other biologically relevant materials.
  • Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Option — Gain a strong foundation in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry and physics, as well as advanced courses in ecology, evolutionary biology and environmental biology, functional comparative biology and biomechanics. You will be ready to launch a career or graduate study in such fields as ecology and evolution, environmental biotechnology, conservation biology, public health, toxicology, bioremediation and biological assessment of environmental quality.

In the senior year, you can choose to conduct a research capstone project. Many research projects lead to student-authored publications in professional journals and presentations at scientific meetings.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the Biology minor.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathways are:

    Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • A graduate in Biological Sciences will be able to:

    1. Apply knowledge of biological molecule chemistry to function at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels.
    2. Identify basic intracellular functions and predict intracellular responses to extracellular and environmental cues.
    3. Describe how regulation of genome expression dictates molecular and cellular structure and function.
    4. Apply knowledge of the nature of mutations and the laws governing their inheritance to explain how they affect phenotypes.
    5. Explain how mutations and environment interact in a population to affect the gene pool, and resultant effects on a population.
    6. Apply knowledge of metabolic pathway regulation and the energy requirements of a cell, to predict the activity and end product of metabolic pathways.
    7. Recognize the organismal diversity of life on Earth and explain the processes that have given rise to this diversity over time.
    8. Apply knowledge of ecological, environmental and evolutionary processes to understand conservation needs of species, communities and ecosystems.
    9. Understand how biological processes are inextricably intertwined with geophysical processes, and appreciate that human activities are both dominant drivers of global climate and environmental change and are impacted by that change.
    10. Design an experiment and analyze experimental data.

Why study biology at UMass Lowell?

Biology student writes a formula on a whiteboard

Fun Outside the Classroom

Put your learning into practice. Check out some of the fun ways UML students come together.

Two students wearing lab coats and goggles work with lab equipment

Technical Training

Gain hands-on technical training with specialized techniques, including: 

  • Electron microscopy
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Cell culture
  • Computer applications
  • Tools widely used in biochemistry

Research Opportunities

Participate in our faculty’s cutting-edge research, including such areas as:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cancer biology
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Virology
  • Climate change biology
  • Biology education
Two male biology students in a UMass Lowell lab, experimenting on a red substance.

Pre-Med/Pre-Health Professional Training

Our programs satisfy entrance requirements for schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatry, and chiropractic. Learn more about our Pre-Health Professionals Advising.

What can you do with a degree in biology?

Graduates of UMass Lowell's Biology program are equipped to launch careers in biotechnology, medicine, ecology and other life science fields. Our students are also prepared for admission to professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy.

Biology research female putting liquid in test tube

Alumni of our program have worked at:

  • Pfizer
  • Millipore
  • Broad Institute
  • UMass Medical
  • Novartis
  • Mass Eye & Ear
  • MIT
  • Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries

Meet Our Faculty & Students

Mateo Rull in lab with an axolotl
Mateo Rull Garza '22
Biology

Mateo Rull Garza immersed himself in research – and published in a leading scientific journal.

I fell in love with the axolotls, and that’s what drew me into the research.
Read More About Mateo Rull Garza 
Shuttle driver Nicholas Benjamin in front of his shuttle
Nicholas Benjamin '22
Biology

Biology major Nicholas Benjamin has a penchant for keeping things healthy and safe — whether it’s people or animals.

One of the things that drew me to UML is that it’s constantly growing, both in size and in reputation, and I love being a part of that.
Read More About Nicholas Benjamin 
Alex Eden teaches biology to a group of students in his classroom at Greater Lowell Technical High School
Alexander Eden '18, '21
Biology

UTeach graduate Alexander Eden won the Exemplary New Teacher Award for science education in his first year of teaching.

I want to teach high school students, because I think I can help them and serve as a role model.
Read More About Alexander Eden 
Ralph St. Louis in front of his classroom
Ralph Saint-Louis ’18, ’20
Biology and UTeach

Ralph Saint-Louis ’18, ’20 was recognized by Time Magazine as one of its 2022 Innovative Teachers.

I always knew that I wanted to teach.
Read More About Ralph Saint-Louis 
Aaron Stella
Michael Doane '19
Chemical Engineering, Biology

Honors student Michael Doane has won several prestigious fellowships and scholarships for his cancer-related and biofuel research. He says UMass Lowell does a great job of structuring both classes and learning experiences that build on one another.

There are so many different programs and entities that all build on each other and combine to give you anything you’re willing to get out of your undergraduate experience.
Read More About Michael Doane