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The Biology Academic Program

swat bio students in the bay

The requirements for Biology Course and Honors majors or minors can be found in the College Catalog.

Students are introduced to the study of biology at Swarthmore by taking Biology 001, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biology 002, Organismal and Population Biology. A diversity of advanced courses affords the student the opportunity of building a broad biological background while concentrating, if he or she chooses, in some specialized areas such as cellular and developmental biology, animal or plant physiology, microbiology, neurobiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, or ethology.

Special majors in biochemistry, and neuroscience are offered in cooperation with the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Psychology, respectively. In addition, a student may take Biology courses as part of the interdisciplinary minor in Environmental Studies.

Nearly all courses offered by the department include a laboratory or field-based component wherein students design and perform their own experiments.  Our advanced seminars are centered on current research in eleven different fields that span the biological disciplines. 

In each seminar, students present and analyze current research papers. There are multiple opportunities for students to work with faculty members on substantial research projects of their own design during both the academic year and the summer.  Students regularly present the results of their research to the campus community and at regional and national meetings.