By majoring in biology, students develop a basic understanding of the organization and the processes of life, from molecules and cells through organs and organ systems to populations, species, ecosystems, and evolution. The major offers the mathematical, chemical, and physical background necessary for understanding biology and the practical scientific skills associated with each of these areas. It allows students to begin to specialize in a subdiscipline of biology such as animal physiology, cell biology, ecology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, plant biology, zoology, and so forth. Numerous opportunities for relevant positions are available through Northeastern’s program of cooperative education.
There are several interdisciplinary opportunities involving biology: BS in biochemistry; BS in behavioral neuroscience; BS in computer science and biology; BS in biology and geology; BS in biology and environmental geology; BS in biology/MS in biotechnology; and BS in biochemistry/MS in biotechnology. A marine biology concentration, designed to provide biology majors with a strong foundation in marine biology and related disciplines, is offered through the Northeastern University Marine Science Center in Nahant.
The undergraduate biology major prepares students for careers in the life sciences, including medical, dental, and other health-related fields. Students may find employment in federal, state, industrial, hospital, or university laboratories or in industries involved in the manufacture and distribution of pharmaceuticals, biological products, food, or scientific equipment. Biologists also work in fisheries, forestry services, county and state agencies, museums, aquariums, research vessels, and marine stations. Graduate study culminating in a master’s or doctoral degree can lead to careers in upper-level teaching or research in any of the life sciences.
Premedical, predental, and other preprofessional students are urged to consult with the preprofessional advisory committee early in their careers at Northeastern.
The Biology Department strongly encourages undergraduate research by providing opportunities and support through a number of departmental programs, including research co-ops and internships, course credit for research in faculty labs, honors theses and work-study research positions. Undergraduates are encouraged to present their findings at Northeastern’s annual Scholarship and Technology Expo, as well as at external research conferences and in scholarly journals.
To graduate with a major in biology, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.000 for all science and mathematics courses required for the major. No double majors are offered in biology and biochemistry or in biology and behavioral neuroscience due to similarity in course curricula. Visit the University Registrar for course descriptions.