By the time you enter your second year you are ready to take our advanced core courses and are starting to customize just a little bit  too based on the concentration that you think you’re going to pursue.

Biology major concentrations that you might consider for some of the common career paths are listed below and generally supply a lot of the courses that these career paths tend to require. Realize that this is just a general guideline – students go on into many career paths with many different kinds of degrees…. as long as they still get their prerequisites in. Talk with your advisor more for additional guidance for the particular field you’re interested in.

Biology major concentration examples of career paths that the concentration play well to (but that does not mean you’re limited to them)
BS Biology: Foundations of Medical Sciences, Medical and Vet (FMS-MV) medical school, veterinarian, dental, optometry, pharmacology, graduate school for Masters or Doctorate
BS Biology: Foundations of Medical Sciences, Allied Health (FMS-AH) physician’s assistant, physical therapy, nursing, public health, graduate school for Masters or Doctorate
BS Biology: Biotechnology/Molecular Biology (BMB) biotechnology researcher, graduate school for Masters or Doctorate
BS Biology: Integrative Biology (Int) graduate school for Masters or Doctorate, field research, forestry
BA Biology broader biology degree, allows more flexibility with range of Biology courses applying
BA Biology w Teacher Licensure great option for students looking to teach biology


Second year courses to have on your radar for your major. Ideally these are completed by the end of your 2nd year if possible, but if you’re a little off that schedule it’s fine, just connect with your advisor for planning. 

  • Bio2212 Genetics (Fall or Spring)
  • Bio2512 Population Biology (Fall or Spring)
  • Bio2970 Sophomore Seminar (try to take in same semester you take Bio2512)
  • additional courses for different concentrations in our BS Biology degrees
    • FMS-HMV – Chem 2110 Orgo I in Fall, Chem 2120 Orgo II in Spring
    • FMS-AH – try to fit in at least one other science each semester depending on what fits your career path needs
    • FMS-BMB – Chem 2110 Orgo I in Fall, Chem 2120 Orgo II in Spring
    • FMS-INT – try to fit in at least one other science each semester depending on what fits your career path needs

Other things to have on your radar

  • all Biology majors need an experiential learning (ELR) component. The ELRs you do for your Biology major will apply towards the ELR requirement that the University has, but not vice versa. If you think you might be interested in student research, it’s a good time to talk to other students and professors about how that works here. Students who don’t do research most commonly do internships that give them insights into the field they think they want to go into. Talk to your advisor about what that entails, and be sure to check out the Internship Poster Session we have each semester (mid-Oct and late Mar) to see what your peers have done for this.
  • it’s a good idea to have a detailed four year plan mapped out. Upper level electives that you may want/need are potentially offered more sporadically than our core courses are. Visit and bookmark the expected Biology elective course rotation plan that is constantly updated by the department and use that to map out your plan along with your advisor. In addition to the limitations with certain elective courses, realize that the required Bio4970 Senior Seminar and our Biology Exit Exams are only offered in the Fall.
  • see if you qualify to apply for membership to our Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society. It looks good and it also gives you many service and leadership opportunities.
  • consider taking an active role in the Biology Club
  • considering study abroad? There are many winter term and full semester opportunities. Talk to your advisor early about options you’d like to consider. We have some initial guidance on good options for Bio majors you can look over.
    • Winter term study abroads are easy for Biology majors to fit in and our majors do a wide range of them.
    • Full semester study abroads can certainly be worked in as well. We recommend that Biology majors considering this option sit down with their advisor to carefully map out their four year plan to make sure there aren’t any graduation requirements that slip through the cracks. Note that certain study abroad programs are especially useful for Biology majors as they have courses you can take there that can apply to your major as upper level electives.

Ready to look ahead? Go to our “General advising for rising 3rd and 4th year Biology majors” page

need to review? Go to our “General advising for 1st year Biology majors” page