Upper-Level Electives

As explained in the CAS Bulletin Program of Study for Biology majors, there are two tracks Biology majors may follow, the standard Biology track and the Ecology track. Each track requires that students complete five upper-level Biology electives. In consultation with their adviser or with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students select at least one course from each of the following four skill categories, plus a fifth elective from any one of the categories: Lab Skill Courses, Quantitative Skill Courses, Reasoning Skill Courses and Foundational Courses.

This page lists the courses that satisfy each category for the standard track and the Ecology track, and the semester in which they are usually offered. It also lists courses that serve as electives for the Global Public Health/Science major with concentration in Biology. Courses that will be offered in Fall 2013 are in bold. Graduate (BIOL-GA) courses may be taken with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Links to recommended four-year course plans are also provided.

Occasionally a new course will be offered as Special Topics in Biology (BIOL-UA 910, 912, 914, 920, 922, 924, 930, 932, 934, 940, 942, or 944). The course numbers signify the semester offered (Fall = 910, 912, 914, 930, 932, 934; Spring = 920, 922, 924, 940, 942, 944) and the category the course satisfies for the standard track (Foundational = 910, 920; Reasoning = 912, 922; Quantitative = 914, 924) or the Ecology track (Foundational = 930, 940; Reasoning = 932, 942; Quantitative = 934, 944).

Please use the information on this page and the [link to Fall-Spring Course Offerings] to assist you in planning a TENTATIVE course schedule. Because course offerings are subject to change, you might need to revise your course planning accordingly.


Standard Biology Track

Elective courses are listed below by category. Click here [link to four-year course plan] for a recommended four-year course plan for the standard Biology track. Please note that the semesters in which courses are offered are subject to change. Those courses typically offered in the Fall are in bold. For a list of current courses that are expected to be offered in the current academic year, please see [link to Fall-Spring Course Offerings].

I.  Lab Skill Courses

(BIOL-UA 27, BIOL-UA 31, BIOL-UA 36, BIOL-UA 37, BIOL-UA 49, BIOL-UA 70, BIOL-UA 130, BIOL-UA 980 or 981, or BIOL-UA 997 or 998)

At the Bench: Experimental Physiology BIOL-UA 27 Spring
At the Bench: Laboratory in Genetics BIOL-UA 31 Fall
At the Bench: Applied Molecular Biology BIOL-UA 36 Fall
At the Bench: Applied Cell Biology BIOL-UA 37 Spring
At the Bench: Epidemiology BIOL-UA 49 Spring
At the Bench: Microbiology BIOL-UA 70 Fall
At the Bench: Biological Chemistry—Genomes to Molecular Machines BIOL-UA 130 Spring
Internship (4 points) BIOL-UA 980, 981 Fall, Spring
Independent Study (4 points) BIOL-UA 997, 998 Fall, Spring


A maximum of 4 points in either Independent Study (BIOL-UA 997, 998) or Internship in Biology (BIOL-UA 980, 981) may be counted toward fulfilling the major requirements.

II.  Quantitative Skill Courses

(BIOL-UA 42, BIOL-UA 45, BIOL-UA 103, BIOL-UA 120, BIOL-UA 914, BIOL-UA 924, BIOL-GA 1007, BIOL-GA 1009, BIOL-GA 1127, BIOL-GA 1130, BIOL-GA 1131, BIOL-GA 1501, or BIOL-GA 1502)

Biostatistics BIOL-UA 42 Fall, Spring
Quantitative Methods in Human Genetics BIOL-UA 45 Spring
Bioinformatics in Medicine and Biology BIOL-UA 103 Fall
Special Topics: Computing with Large Data Sets BIOL-UA 120 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Quantitative) BIOL-GA 914 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Quantitative) BIOL-GA 924 Spring
Bioinformatics for Biologists BIOL-GA 1007 Fall
Biological Databases and Data Mining BIOL-GA 1009 Spring
Bioinformatics and Genomes BIOL-GA 1127 Spring
Applied Genomics: Intro to Bioinformatics and Network Modeling BIOL-GA 1130 Fall
Biophysical Modeling of Cells and Populations BIOL-GA 1131 Spring
Mathematics in Medicine and Biology BIOL-GA 1501 Fall
Computers in Medicine and Biology BIOL-UA 256 Spring


III.  Reasoning Skill Courses

(BIOL-UA 26, BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 38, BIOL-UA 44, BIOL-UA 58, BIOL-UA 500, BIOL-UA 912, BIOL-UA 922, BIOL-UA 970, BIOL-GA 1011, BIOL-GA 1022, BIOL-GA 1023, BIOL-GA 1031, BIOL-GA 1051, BIOL-GA 1069, BIOL-GA 1072, BIOL-GA 1080, BIOL-GA 1082, BIOL-GA 1128, or BIOL-GA 1129)

Developmental Biology BIOL-UA 26 Fall
Genetics BIOL-UA 30 Fall
Genome Biology BIOL-UA 38 Spring
Microbiology and Microbial Genomics BIOL-UA 44 Fall
Evolution BIOL-UA 58 Spring
Environmental and Molecular Analysis of a Disease BIOL-UA 500 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Reasoning) BIOL-UA 912 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Reasoning) BIOL-UA 922 Spring
Signaling in Biological Systems BIOL-UA 970 Spring
Advanced Immunology BIOL-GA 1011 Spring
Cornerstones of the Central Dogma BIOL-GA 1022 Spring
Hot Topics in Infectious Diseases BIOL-GA 1023 Spring
Special Topics in Physiology BIOL-GA 1031 Fall
Advanced Cell Biology: The Nucleus BIOL-GA 1051 Spring
Principles of Evolution BIOL-GA 1069 Spring
Molecular Controls of Organismal Form and Function BIOL-GA 1072 TBA
Animal Virology BIOL-GA 1080 Fall
Genes and Animal Behavior BIOL-GA 1082 Fall
Systems Biology BIOL-GA 1128 Fall
Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics BIOL-GA 1129 Spring


IV.  Advanced Upper-Electives Courses

(BIOL-UA 23, BIOL-UA 25, BIOL-UA 32, BIOL-UA 50, BIOL-UA 63, BIOL-UA 100, BIOL-UA 124, BIOL-UA 201, BIOL-UA 202, BIOL-UA 700, BIOL-UA 910, BIOL-UA 920, BIOL-GA 1004, BIOL-GA 1006, BIOL-GA 1027, BIOL-GA 1045, or BIOL-GA 1101)

Vertebrate Anatomy BIOL-UA 23 Spring
Principles of Animal Physiology BIOL-UA 25 Fall
Gene Structure and Expression BIOL-UA 32 Spring
Immunology BIOL-UA 50 Fall
Fundamentals of Ecology BIOL-UA 63 Fall
Introduction to Neural Science BIOL-UA 100 Fall
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics BIOL-UA 124 Spring
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology BIOL-UA 201 Fall
Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience BIOL-UA 202 Spring
Evolutionary Zoology BIOL-UA 700 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Foundational) BIOL-UA 910 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Foundational) BIOL-UA 920 Spring
Environmental Health BIOL-GA 1004 Spring
Toxicology BIOL-GA 1006 Fall
Advanced Topics in Cellular and Molecular Immunology BIOL-GA 1027 Spring
Neuronal Plasticity BIOL-GA 1101 Spring
Protein Biochemistry BIOL-GA 1045 Fall


V.  Fifth Upper-Level Biology Courses

(*BIOL-UA 16, *BIOL-UA 18, BIOL-UA 23, BIOL-UA 25, BIOL-UA 26, BIOL-UA 27, BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 31, BIOL-UA 32, BIOL-UA 36, BIOL-UA 37, BIOL-UA 38, BIOL-UA 42, BIOL-UA 44, BIOL-UA 45, BIOL-UA 49, BIOL-UA 50, BIOL-UA 58, BIOL-UA 63, *BIOL-UA 64, *BIOL-UA 66, BIOL-UA 70, *BIOL-UA 71, *BIOL-UA 72, *BIOL-UA 74, *BIOL-UA 76, *BIOL-UA 78, BIOL-UA 100, BIOL-UA 103, BIOL-UA 120, BIOL-UA 124, BIOL-UA 130, BIOL-UA 201, BIOL-UA 202, *BIOL-UA 332, BIOL-UA 500, BIOL-UA 700, BIOL-UA 910, BIOL-UA 912, BIOL-UA 914, BIOL-UA 920, BIOL-UA 922, BIOL-UA 924, *BIOL-UA 930, *BIOL-UA 932, *BIOL-UA 944, *BIOL-UA 940, *BIOL-UA 942, *BIOL-UA 944, BIOL-UA 970, BIOL-UA 980 or 981, BIOL-UA 997 or 998, BIOL-GA 1004, BIOL-GA 1006, BIOL-GA 1007, BIOL-GA 1009, BIOL-GA 1011, BIOL-GA 1022, BIOL-GA 1023, BIOL-GA 1027, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1129, BIOL-GA 1031, BIOL-GA 1045, BIOL-GA 1051, BIOL-GA 1069, BIOL-GA 1072, BIOL-GA 1080, BIOL-GA 1082, BIOL-GA 1101, BIOL-GA 1127, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1130, BIOL-GA 1131, BIOL-GA 1501, or BIOL-GA 1502)

The fifth upper-level elective may be chosen from any of the above categories or from several courses that fulfill category requirements for the Ecology track. Courses indicated with an asterisk (*) in the list above satisfy category requirements for the Ecology track (see course names and semesters offered below), but may only be used as a fifth elective for the standard track.


Biology Ecology Track

Elective courses are listed below by category. Click here [link to four-year course plan] for a recommended four-year course plan for the Biology Ecology track. Please note that the semesters in which courses are offered are subject to change. Those courses typically offered in the Fall are in bold. For a list of current courses that are expected to be offered in the current academic year, please see [link to Fall-Spring Course Offerings].

I.  Lab Skill Courses

(*BIOL-UA 16, *BIOL-UA 18, *BIOL-UA 64, BIOL-UA 980 or 981, or BIOL-UA 997 or 998)

*Ecological Field Methods BIOL-UA 16 Fall
*At the Bench: Urban Ecology BIOL-UA 18  
*Ecological Analysis with Geographic Information Systems BIOL-UA 64 Spring
Internship (4 points) BIOL-UA 980, 981 Fall, Spring
Independent Study (4 points) BIOL-UA 997, 998 Fall, Spring


A maximum of 4 points in either Independent Study (BIOL-UA 997, 998) or Internship in Biology (BIOL-UA 980, 981) may be counted toward fulfilling the major requirements.

II.  Quantitative Skill Courses

(BIOL-UA 42, BIOL-UA 934, BIOL-UA 944, BIOL-GA 1009, or BIOL-GA 1131)

Biostatistics BIOL-UA 42 Fall, Spring
Special Topics in Biology (Quantitative) BIOL-UA 934 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Quantitative) BIOL-UA 944 Spring
Biological Databases and Datamining BIOL-GA 1009 Spring
Biophysical Modeling of Cells and Populations BIOL-GA 1131 Spring


III.  Reasoning Skill Courses

(BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 58, *BIOL-UA 66, *BIOL-UA 332, BIOL-UA 500, BIOL-UA 932, BIOL-UA 942, or BIOL-GA 1069)

Genetics BIOL-UA 30 Fall
Evolution BIOL-UA 58 Spring
*Biogeochemistry of Global Change BIOL-UA 66  
*Current Topics in Earth System Science BIOL-UA 332  
Environmental and Molecular Analysis of Disease BIOL-UA 500  
Special Topics in Biology (Reasoning) BIOL-UA 932 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Reasoning) BIOL-UA 942 Spring
Principles of Evolution BIOL-GA 1069  


IV.  Advanced Upper-Elective Courses

(BIOL-UA 22, BIOL-UA 23, BIOL-UA 25, BIOL-UA 26, *BIOL-UA 71, *BIOL-UA 72, *BIOL-UA 74, *BIOL-UA 76, *BIOL-UA 78, BIOL-UA 700, BIOL-UA 930, BIOL-UA 940, BIOL-GA 1004, BIOL-GA 1005, or BIOL-GA 1006)

Molecular and Cell Biology II BIOL-UA 22 Spring
Vertebrate Anatomy BIOL-UA 23 Spring
Principles of Animal Physiology BIOL-UA 25 Fall
Developmental Biology BIOL-UA 26 Fall
*Primate Behavior and Ecology ANTH-UA 54/BIOL-UA 71  
*Health and Disease in Human Evolution ANTH-UA 55/BIOL-UA 72  
*Comparative Biology of the Living Primates ANTH-UA 56/BIOL-UA 74  
*Emerging Diseases ANTH-UA 80/BIOL-UA 76  
*Human Ecology ANTH-UA 90/BIOL-UA 78  
Evolutionary Zoology BIOL-UA 700 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Foundational) BIOL-UA 930 Fall
Special Topics in Biology (Foundational) BIOL-GA 940 Spring
Environmental Health BIOL-GA 1004 Spring
Ecotoxicology BIOL-GA 1005 Fall
Toxicology BIOL-GA 1006 Fall


V.  Fifth Upper-Level Biology Courses for Ecology Track

(*BIOL-UA 16, *BIOL-UA 18, BIOL-UA 22, BIOL-UA 23, BIOL-UA 25, BIOL-UA 26, BIOL-UA 27, BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 31, BIOL-UA 32, BIOL-UA 36, BIOL-UA 37, BIOL-UA 38, BIOL-UA 42, BIOL-UA 44, BIOL-UA 45, BIOL-UA 49, BIOL-UA 50, BIOL-UA 58, *BIOL-UA 64, *BIOL-UA 66, BIOL-UA 70, *BIOL-UA 71, *BIOL-UA 72, *BIOL-UA 74, *BIOL-UA 76, *BIOL-UA 78, BIOL-UA 100, BIOL-UA 103, BIOL-UA 120, BIOL-UA 124, BIOL-UA 130, BIOL-UA 201, BIOL-UA 202, *BIOL-UA 332, BIOL-UA 500, BIOL-UA 700, BIOL-UA 910, BIOL-UA 912, BIOL-UA 914, BIOL-UA 920, BIOL-UA 922, BIOL-UA 924, *BIOL-UA 930, *BIOL-UA 932, *BIOL-UA 944, *BIOL-UA 940, *BIOL-UA 942, *BIOL-UA 944, BIOL-UA 970, BIOL-UA 980 or 981, BIOL-UA 997 or 998, BIOL-GA 1004, BIOL-GA 1005, BIOL-GA 1006, BIOL-GA 1007, BIOL-UA 1009, BIOL-GA 1011, BIOL-GA 1022, BIOL-GA 1023, BIOL-GA 1027, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1129, BIOL-GA 1031, BIOL-GA 1045, BIOL-GA 1051, BIOL-GA 1069, BIOL-GA 1072, BIOL-GA 1080, BIOL-GA 1082, BIOL-GA 1101, BIOL-GA 1127, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1130, BIOL-GA 1131, BIOL-GA 1501, or BIOL-GA 1502)


Global Public Health/Science Major

The Global Public Health/Science major with concentration in Biology requires two upper-level electives in a single Biology emphasis area. Biology courses that satisfy this requirement are listed below by emphasis area. Click here [link to four-year course plan] for a recommended four-year course plan for the Global Public Health/Science major with concentration in Biology. Please note that the semesters in which courses are offered are subject to change. Those courses typically offered in the Fall are in bold. For a list of current courses that are expected to be offered in the current academic year, please see [link to Fall-Spring Course Offerings].

I.  Genetics and Genomics

(BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 31, BIOL-UA 38, or BIOL-UA 45)

Genetics BIOL-UA 30 Fall
At the Bench: Laboratory in Genetics BIOL-UA 31 Spring
Genome Biology BIOL-UA 38 Spring
Quantitative Methods in Human Genetics BIOL-UA 45 Spring


II.  Infectious Diseases

(BIOL-UA 44, BIOL-UA 50, BIOL-UA 70, BIOL-GA 1023, or BIOL-GA 1080)

Microbiology and Microbial Genomics BIOL-UA 44 Fall
Immunology BIOL-UA 50 Fall
At the Bench: Microbiology BIOL-UA 70 Fall
Hot Topics in Infectious Diseases BIOL-GA 1023 Spring
Animal Virology BIOL-GA 1080 Fall


III.  Environmental Health

(BIOL-UA 64 or BIOL-GA 500, BIOL-GA 1006)

Ecological Analysis with Geographic Information Systems BIOL-UA 64 Spring
Environmental and Molecular Analysis of Disease BIOL-GA 500 Fall
Toxicology BIOL-GA 1006 Fall


The Global Public Health/Science major with concentration in Biology also requires two additional electives in either the GPH program or in Biology. Any Biology elective that counts toward the Biology major (either the standard track or the Ecology track), and that has not already been used toward the major, can be used to satisfy this requirement, as listed below.

(BIOL-UA 16, BIOL-UA 18, BIOL-UA 23, BIOL-UA 25, BIOL-UA 26, BIOL-UA 27, BIOL-UA 30, BIOL-UA 31, BIOL-UA 32, BIOL-UA 36, BIOL-UA 37, BIOL-UA 38, BIOL-UA 42, BIOL-UA 44, BIOL-UA 45, BIOL-UA 49, BIOL-UA 50, BIOL-UA 58, BIOL-UA 63, BIOL-UA 64, BIOL-UA 66, BIOL-UA 70, BIOL-UA 71, BIOL-UA 72, BIOL-UA 74, BIOL-UA 76, BIOL-UA 78, BIOL-UA 100, BIOL-UA 103, BIOL-UA 120, BIOL-UA 124, BIOL-UA 130, BIOL-UA 201, BIOL-UA 202, BIOL-UA 332, BIOL-UA 500, BIOL-UA 700, BIOL-UA 910, BIOL-UA 912, BIOL-UA 914, BIOL-UA 920, BIOL-UA 922, BIOL-UA 924, *BIOL-UA 930, *BIOL-UA 932, *BIOL-UA 944, *BIOL-UA 940, *BIOL-UA 942, *BIOL-UA 944, BIOL-UA 970, BIOL-UA 980 or 981, BIOL-UA 997 or 998, BIOL-GA 1004, BIOL-GA 1006, BIOL-GA 1007, BIOL-GA 1009, BIOL-GA 1011, BIOL-GA 1022, BIOL-GA 1023, BIOL-GA 1027, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1129, BIOL-GA 1031, BIOL-GA 1045, BIOL-GA 1051, BIOL-GA 1069, BIOL-GA 1072, BIOL-GA 1080, BIOL-GA 1082, BIOL-GA 1101, BIOL-GA 1127, BIOL-GA 1128, BIOL-GA 1130, BIOL-GA 1131, BIOL-GA 1501 or BIOL-GA 1502)