The CCS Biology Major provides intensive study for students preparing for a career in research in the life sciences and associated fields.

From the first year, students may pursue independent research under the guidance of an individual faculty advisor in areas such as marine biology, ecology, molecular biology biopsychology, paleontology, biological anthropology and microbiology. By doing research as an integral part of their college education, the faculty consider CCS Biology students as junior colleagues. By uniting the flexibility of the CCS Biology Major with the resources of a research-intensive university, students have the opportunity to develop as Biologists.

Some students receive funding from CCS to support their research or creative activities through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and/or the Traveling Undergraduate Research Fund.


CCS biology classes are typically small seminar-style classes that are largely discussion based. Although each student's curriculum is flexible, CCS biology students normally take many of the same courses as biology majors in the College of Letters and Science (L&S). The distinction is that they take more upper division science courses, and take them earlier in their career, than majors in Letters and Science Biology. Students work with their faculty advisor to craft an individualized curriculum consisting of classes from various L&S departments that align with each student’s area of emphasis.

For a full list of requirements, please download the major sheet on the right of the page.