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Department Head: Alan Grossman
Associate Heads: Michael LaubJacqueline Lees, and Peter Reddien



The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Biology (Course VII) is designed to prepare students for a professional career in the area of the biological sciences. The quantitative aspects of biology, including molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology, represent the core of the program. Students in the department are encouraged to acquire a solid background in the physical sciences, not only to master the applications of mathematics, physics, and chemistry to biology, but also to develop an integrated scientific perspective. The program emphasizes practical experimentation and combines a minimum of formal laboratory exercises with ample opportunities for research work both in project-oriented laboratory subjects and in the department's research laboratories. Students are encouraged to acquire familiarity with advanced research techniques and to participate in seminar activities.

Graduates of this program are well prepared for positions in industrial or research institutes. However, experience has shown that many graduates choose to continue their education at a graduate school in order to obtain a PhD in an area such as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, biophysics, cell biology, or physiology, followed by research or teaching in one of those areas. The undergraduate curriculum is also excellent preparation for students who wish to continue their education toward and MD, particularly if their career plans include laboratory investigations bearing on human disease.

Department of Biology: Undergraduate Program

MIT Course Bulletin: Biology Undergraduate  Program