Jun 14, 2024  
2018-19 College of Liberal Arts 
2018-19 College of Liberal Arts [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major

Meet the Faculty

The biology major exposes students to a wide variety of field, laboratory, and classroom experiences fundamental to the life sciences. Through selected electives, students may concentrate on specific areas of interest such as marine biology, ecology, microbiology, botany, zoology, or molecular biology. The major also offers the flexibility for students to minor in another area or to fulfill requirements for secondary teaching certification. Students have excellent opportunities to engage in independent research projects. Graduates are prepared to pursue employment in biological laboratories, and for further study in the health professions or graduate research institutions. Students may not simultaneously major or minor in biology and marine biology, or biochemistry/molecular biology.

Students with AP Biology scores of 5, or IB scores of 5, 6, or 7 (on the higher level IB exam), can be given the option of exemption from either BIO 120    or BIO 121    upon department chair approval. 

Major Requirements

Eleven (11) courses and an additional 10 semester hours of BIO prefix elective course credit are required: seven (7) core biology courses, four (4) core physical science courses, 10 semester hours of elective courses, and satisfactory performance on a comprehensive standardized examination. At least seven (7) of the eleven (11) courses required for the biology major must be taken at Rollins College or as part of a Rollins-sanctioned program (e.g., Duke Marine Laboratory, University of London). Of these seven (7), at least five (5) must be BIO courses beyond BIO 120 /BIO 121 . To declare this major, a student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA in at least two (2) of the courses listed on the major map.

Biology Electives

Ten (10) semester hours.

  • Any biology course from BIO 210  and above; courses from the core groupings, other than those used to satisfy the core, may be used as electives.
  • Plants play a central role in our biosphere. However, our modern society often fails to recognize the significance of plants in biological systems, the scientific contributions of plant-based research, and the importance of plants in human affairs. Therefore, the department recommends that at least one (1) of the courses taken to fulfill the requirements for a major in biology be a plant-oriented biology course.

Additional Required Elective

Six (6) semester hours

  • One course of at least six (6) semester hours selected from the following: PHY 120  or above, CHM 301  or above, PSY 250  or above, MAT 111  or above.


Students preparing for graduate programs in biology or professional schools, in health-related areas such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy need a thorough introduction to chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Therefore, they are advised to take CHM 221/221L  and PHY 120  and PHY 121  or PHY 130  and PHY 131 , (a) calculus course(s), and a statistics course. In addition, some professional schools now require biochemistry. Students should be aware that requirements of different programs can vary and that they should seek guidance from advisors and program directors.

Off-Campus Experiences

Rollins College, has an agreement with Marine Biological Laboratories at Duke University enabling students to spend a semester there. Courses taken at the Duke lab can be used to fulfill two courses in the biology major (any combination of core and electives). Students need to petition and receive approval from the Department of Biology for this and any other off-campus program.

Education - Secondary Education Minor

Education - Secondary Education Minor