Are you contemplating a career in biological or biomedical sciences? Do you want to develop the critical thinking skills and hands-on experiences that will make you more competitive in tomorrow's economy?

The bachelor of science in biology is the degree recommended for students contemplating a career in biological, biomedical or veterinary sciences. The program offers a combination of core and elective classes that permit students to concentrate in sub-disciplines in the biological sciences. Areas of concentration in the biology major include ecology/evolution and molecular/cell biology.

The Department of Biology offers instruction in the fields of anatomy, physiology, ecology, animal behavior, biochemistry, plant biology, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, and fisheries and marine biology. Many of our majors are involved in research projects in their areas of interest. Independent research projects with biology or medical school faculty provide students with valuable hands on experiences in the laboratory, or in the field. A large percentage of our students present their research at regional and/or national meetings.

The department also offers wonderful opportunities for students who want to study abroad during the summer months with a terrestrial, tropical course in Panama and biotechnology program in China. Internships in industry are available as well.

ECU Advantage

We believe that what makes our department special is our students and our faculty. Our faculty have been widely recognized by ECU and the UNC system with numerous awards, nationally with competitive grants, and internationally through publications in prestigious journals and awards from professional societies. We are united by an enthusiasm for research, a commitment to serving our community and region and a passion for communicating our knowledge and skills to students.

Students graduating with a degree in biology from ECU gain admission to the most competitive graduate and professional programs.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Jean-Luc Scemama (105-N Howell Science Complex; 252-328-6313; scemamaj@ecu.edu)

The core curriculum in biology is intended to give majors a background in biodiversity, cell biology, evolution, ecology, genetics, molecular biology, and physiology. BIOL 1100, BIOL 1101, BIOL 1200, BIOL 1201, and BIOL 2300 constitute the core curriculum. Lecture courses having laboratory components that carry independent credit may or may not be required as corequisites (see appropriate catalog descriptions). Laboratory components carrying no credit are corequisites. All students must take a departmentally administered assessment examination before graduation. Scores from this examination will not be used in the calculation of GPA or for academic standing.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra or
  • MATH 2121 - Calculus for the Life Sciences I or
  • MATH 2171 - Calculus I
2. Core - 11 s.h.
  • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I
  • BIOL 1200 - Principles of Biology II
  • BIOL 1201 - Principles of Biology Laboratory II
  • BIOL 2300 - Principles of Genetics
3. Concentrations

(Choose one.)

    Biology (30 s.h.)
      Required lecture courses (12 s.h.)
      • BIOL 2250 - Ecology
      • BIOL 3030 - Principles of Physiology
      • BIOL 3260 - Cell and Developmental Biology
      • BIOL 3620 - Biological Evolution
      Electives (18 s.h.)
      Ecology/evolution (31 s.h.)
        Required lecture courses (10 s.h.)
        • BIOL 2250 - Ecology
        • BIOL 2251 - Ecology Laboratory
        • space
        • BIOL 3030 - Principles of Physiology or
        • BIOL 3260 - Cell and Developmental Biology
        • space
        • BIOL 3620 - Biological Evolution
        Electives (21 s.h.)
        Molecular/cell biology (30 s.h.)
          Required lecture courses (9 s.h.)
          • BIOL 2250 - Ecology or
          • BIOL 3620 - Biological Evolution
          • space
          • BIOL 3030 - Principles of Physiology
          • BIOL 3260 - Cell and Developmental Biology
          Electives (21 s.h.)
        4. Concentration specific electives
            a. Organismal diversity

            BIOL 3070, BIOL 3071; BIOL 3150; BIOL 3230, BIOL 3231; BIOL 3240, BIOL 3241; BIOL 4400, BIOL 4500; BIOL 4600, BIOL 4601; BIOL 4770, BIOL 4771; BIOL 5150, BIOL 5151; BIOL 5220, BIOL 5221; BIOL 5230, BIOL 5231; BIOL 5550, BIOL 5551; BIOL 5640, BIOL 5641; BIOL 5950, BIOL 5951 

              b. Ecological/evolutionary process

              BIOL 3660, BIOL 3661; BIOL 3740, BIOL 3741; BIOL 4130; BIOL 4200, BIOL 4201; BIOL 4205; BIOL 4240, BIOL 4250; BIOL 4300, BIOL 4301; BIOL 4320; BIOL 4440, BIOL 4441; BIOL 4740, BIOL 4741; BIOL 5260, BIOL 5261; BIOL 5270, BIOL 5600, BIOL 5601, BIOL 5680; GEOL 5300 

              Molecular/cell biology

              BIOL 2100, BIOL 2101; BIOL 3220, BIOL 3221; BIOL 3310, BIOL 3311; BIOL 3320, BIOL 3321; BIOL 4030, BIOL 4040; BIOL 4050, BIOL 4051; BIOL 4060, BIOL 4061; BIOL 4130; BIOL 4170; BIOL 4205; BIOL 4220; BIOL 4230; BIOL 4260, BIOL 4270, BIOL 4650; BIOL 4800; BIOL 4880; BIOL 4890, BIOL 4891; BIOL 5260, BIOL 5261; BIOL 5870; BIOL 5890; CHEM 2770  

              5. Cognates - 26 s.h.
              • CHEM 1160 - General Chemistry II
              • CHEM 1161 - General Chemistry Laboratory II
              • CHEM 2750 - Organic Chemistry I
              • CHEM 2753 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
              • CHEM 2760 - Organic Chemistry II
              • CHEM 2763 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
              • MATH 2121 - Calculus for the Life Sciences I
              • MATH 2122 - Calculus for the Life Sciences II
              • PHYS 1250 - General Physics I
              • PHYS 1260 - General Physics II
              • PHYS 1251 - General Physics Laboratory I
              • PHYS 1261 - General Physics Laboratory II
              6. Research skills - 6 s.h.
              • BIOS 1500 - Introduction to Biostatistics or
              • MATH 2228 - Elementary Statistical Methods I or
              • MATH 2283 - Statistics for Business
              • space
              • ENGL 3820 - Scientific Writing
              7. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.
                For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

                Careers With This Degree

                Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

                • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
                • Biological Scientists
                • Life Scientists
                • Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
                • Scientific and Technical Services
                • Education and Training
                • Biology/Biological Sciences, General

                Career Opportunities

                ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

                NC Tower

                This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

                • Self-employed;
                • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
                • Work outside of North Carolina.

                US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

                This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

                Degree-specific internships

                For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.