The discipline of Biology is vast and includes everything from animal and plant physiology to developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, ecology and biotechnology.

Student looking through a microscope

Biology is the study of life

Our faculty are accomplished research scientists who share your curiosity about the natural world. You'll work with them to master the fundamentals and put that knowledge into practice through hands-on learning in our well-equipped labs.

Our students go on to prestigious graduate programs in biology, allied health, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and genetic engineering, and to successful careers in government, university, hospital, and commercial laboratories.

Students planning a program in biology satisfy the core requirements by taking the following courses:

Year 1

  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • BIOL 218 Principles of Zoology

Year 2

  • BIOL 222 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 225 Cell Biology

Year 3

  • BIOL 336 Genetics

To complete the minimum requirements, students must take three additional courses in biology, at least two of which must be numbered 300 or higher. In the senior year, students must satisfy their independent study requirement by taking two semesters of BIOL 350, BIOL 355 or BIOL 370.


Students are required to take CHEM 111 or 113, 114, and 225 as well as MATH 120 or MATH 118 (or MATH 227 or MATH 229). Students interested in medical or dental school or in pursuing graduate study in certain areas of biology should plan to include additional courses in CHEM 226, MATH 121, and a year of physics. 

Students interested in careers in dentistry, medicine, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, and the allied health professions should consult the health professions advisor, Professor Bruce Gray, Department of Biology.

A minor in biology requires BIOL 113 General Biology and four additional courses in biology, all of which must be designated BIOL and numbered 200 or above. Students should contact the department chairperson to discuss course selection. 

No more than two courses can be counted from transfer credits; this must be approved by the department chairperson.

You'll work with a faculty advisor to tailor your program to your interests and career goals. The Department of Biology offers many closely-related programs — such as Biochemistry, Exercise Science, Neuroscience and Behavior, Public Health and Environmental Science — and Simmons students have many opportunities to further customize with dual majors and complementary minors.

Certification for teaching biology at the middle school and secondary school levels is possible by enrollment in the Department of Education. An accelerated five-year BS Biology or Exercise Science/MS Nutrition program is jointly offered by the biology department and the nutrition department in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Our students put theory into practice through on-site research, off-site research, and internships.

On-site research: Faculty members mentor students in our own laboratories. You'll work with faculty members whose research piques your interest.

Off-site research: Students also explore clinical, applied, or basic research at one of the many laboratories and institutions available in the Simmons neighborhood.

Internships: Supervised learning experiences provide opportunities for career exploration within a context of critical thinking.

In all paths, students work closely with a faculty member who supervises the independent learning requirement and the final paper.

Simmons' Independent Learning Requirement forms the basis for the Biology senior project, the capstone experience where majors explore a topic of interest in their field of study. In addition to writing a final paper, all students formally present their work at the Eastern New England Biological Conference and/or at the Simmons Biology Symposium.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Offered As
  • Major
  • Minor
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Our Faculty

Randi Lite photo

Randi Lite

  • Professor of Practice, Biology, and Dir. of Exercise Science
Jane Lopilato photo

Jane Lopilato

  • Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Biology