Why Elms for your Biology degree?

  • Conduct original research and present your work at STEM conferences.
  • Gain hands-on experience through local and international fieldwork opportunities.
  • Hone your skills in the Lyons Center, a $12 million facility for natural and health sciences.

Explore the Foundations of the Natural World

The biology major at Elms College gives you a broad background in scientific theory and research. In our program you’ll have the freedom to conduct experiments on topics that interest you, ranging from the microscopic (genes, molecules, and cells) to the macroscopic (ecosystems, organisms, populations).

Our hands-on classes help you master the scientific method, learn new lab techniques, and apply your knowledge in ways that make a difference. Your work isn’t limited to the classroom, either. Bio majors at Elms complete internships, present original research at conferences, and even co-author articles with faculty.

Push the Limits of Scientific Discovery

Studying biology at Elms is only the starting point of your journey as an inquisitive thinker. You can launch your love of science into many fulfilling careers:

  • Become a research scientist. Gain ample experience running experiments here. Then, confidently apply to Ph.D. and master’s programs. Our biomedical sciences program is the perfect stepping stone if you want to do research that changes the future.
  • Become a medical expert. The healthcare field constantly needs doctors, physician assistants (PAs), and other specialists. In our program you can customize your studies to prepare for these career paths. If you already know that you want to practice medicine, check out our pre-health, pre-med track.
  • Become a science teacher. Double major in biology and education so you can inspire students to investigate the mysteries of the universe.

Our students go on to accomplish extraordinary things. Recent alumni can be found in pathology laboratories, research labs, colleges and universities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, government agencies, and classrooms.

Connect Biology with Ethics

How will your research impact the world? Our bioethics and medical humanities minor challenges you to think about the ethical aspects of scientific research and its applications. Classes on forensic science and environmental biology ask you to reflect on the intersections of science, criminal justice, public policy, industrialization, and more.

Quick Info

Required Credits


Degree Option

Bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree in biology; minor in biology

  • Conduct original research in the Lyons Center, a 22,000 sq. ft. research facility with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Gain hands-on experience in the life sciences, both in the classroom and in the field.
  • Benefit from personalized instruction and small class sizes.
  • Work with faculty to create a career development plan.
  • Explore extracurricular opportunities in Western Massachusetts.

Alexandra Norton ’20

Alexandra Norton, an ElmSTEM scholar

“I like being challenged. When I was researching colleges, I looked with the intent of going somewhere that would help me get to veterinary school.”

Junior biology major Alexandra Norton ’20 chose Elms for its research opportunities. The Bolton, CT, native, who started community college when she was only 13, says that gaining this experience will help set her apart when she applies to veterinary school. Read Alexandra’s story.


Click to view course requirements for the Biology (B.S.).

Minimum at Elms College: 18 credits/Minimum GPA: 2.5

Major Requirements (66 credits)

Course #Course Name# of Credit Hours
Biology Courses (36 credits)
BIO 3101Ecology3
BIO 3101LEcology Lab1
BIO 1203General Biology I3
BIO 1203LGeneral Biology I Lab1
BIO 1204General Biology II3
BIO 1204LGeneral Biology II Lab1
BIO 3001Developmental Biology3
BIO 3001LDevelopmental Biology Lab1
BIO 3201Genetics3
BIO 3201LGenetics Lab1
BIO 4004Biology Seminar3
Biology electives (13 credits)

Other Science Or Math Courses (30 credits)

Course #Course Name# of Credit Hours
CHE 1201General Chemistry I3
CHE 1201LGeneral Chemistry I Lab1
CHE 1202General Chem II3
CHE 1202LGeneral Chem II Lab1
CHE 2101Organic Chemistry I3
CHE 2101LOrganic Chemistry I Lab1
CHE 2102Organic Chemistry II3
CHE 2102LOrganic Chemistry II Lab1
PHY 1005General Physics I3
PHY 1005LGeneral Physics I Lab1
PHY 1006General Physics II3
PHY 1006LGeneral Physics II Lab1

Click to view course requirements for the Biology minor.

Minor Requirements (24 credits)

Students electing biology as a minor field of concentration must take 24 semester hours chosen from the department course offerings in consultation with a faculty member from the department. The choice of courses will be related to the student’s major and subsequent career goal.

Course offerings are updated on a rolling basis and can be discussed with your faculty advisor.