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Biological Sciences

Career and Academic Paths | Academic Advising | Major Programs | Minor Program | Honors Program | M.S. in Applied Molecular Biology | Part-Time Option | Special Opportunities | Biological Sciences Tutorial Center | Student Organizations |


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Lasse Lindahl


Charles J. Bieberich
Thomas Cronin
Phillip J. Farabaugh
Suzanne O. Rosenberg
Phillip S. Sokolove
Richard E. Wolf, Jr.

Associate Professors

Daphne Blumberg
Rachel Brewster
Nessly C. Craig
David M. Eisenmann
Jeffery W. Leips
Patricia McGraw
Stephen M. Miller
Michael C. O'Neill
Kevin Omland

Assistant Professors

Ivan Erill
Thomas Gluick
Maricel Kahn
Weinhong Lin
Bernard Lohr
Hua Lu
Tamra Mendelson
Michelle Starz-Gaiano

Senior Research Scientist

Janice Zengel

Senior Lecturers

Steven Caruso
Esther Fleischmann
Bryan MacKay
James W. Sandoz
Julia B. Wolf


Steven Caruso
Lark Claassen
Reagan Lake
Cynthia Wagner

Professor Emeritus

Michael Bradley
Robert Burchard
Frank Hanson
Paul Lovett
Thomas F. Roth

Associate Professor Emeritus

Richard Gethmann
John Kloetzel
Austin Platt

Courses in this program are listed under BIOL.

NOTE: Beginning with the Fall 2010 semester, the Department plans to make substantial changes in all of its undergraduate majors, and some of its courses subject to approval of the UMBC Undergraduate Committee, Faculty Senate, and the UMBC Administration. So, it will be important to consult the Department’s Web site or other Departmental publications for the latest information. Upon approval, the online UMBC Catalog section for the Department of Biological Sciences will be modified to describe these curricular changes. Students beginning Higher Education after date of the official final approval will be subject to the new requirements; current students will have the option of changing to the new requirements or completing the current existing majors.

The department's undergraduate curriculum provides a comprehensive and current overview of biology. The required core of courses is complemented by a series of laboratories and supplemented with a variety of electives in areas representing the scholarly interests of a diverse faculty. Students also have the opportunity to engage in independent research in the lab, the field, the library or off-campus, working one-on-one with a faculty mentor.

Two degrees are offered. The current B.S. is most appropriate for students planning to pursue graduate study in the life sciences or in health fields and for those planning to work in a technical or laboratory research setting. The B.S. curriculum consists of 69-71 credits in the modern biological and related sciences (chemistry, physics and mathematics).

The current B.A. is designed for students seeking to combine another area of study such as education or scientific writing with a solid background in biology. The B.A. curriculum requires fewer credits at the upper level and in the related sciences (54-55 credits in total). These core courses in the sciences must be complemented, for those students desiring the B.A., by sufficient course work in an area outside the sciences to qualify for a minor in that field. The B.A., thus, offers students flexibility in designing a program of courses to supplement their specific interests in biology.

For students seeking a specialized grouping of biological sciences courses with others that do not qualify as a minor, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program offers an alternative route.

In addition to these undergraduate major programs, the biological sciences curriculum offers courses of cultural value as part of a liberal education, some intended specifically for non-science majors.

Finally, several courses are designed for students pursuing the pre-allied health fields (such as nursing or physical therapy).

Career and Academic Paths

An undergraduate degree in biological sciences from UMBC provides students with an excellent background for employment in industry or government; for a career in secondary education; for graduate studies in the areas of biology, biochemistry or molecular biology and for professional schools in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine. Most graduate and professional schools require a minimum of two years of chemistry. Therefore, students choosing the B.A. option may need to supplement their undergraduate training with the second semester of organic chemistry (both lecture and lab). For specific requirements, students should consult either the graduate catalog of the institution they are interested in attending or the appropriate preprofessional studies section of the undergraduate catalog. UMBC biology graduates have been employed by such industrial companies as American Cyanamid, Fischer Scientific, Merck, Martek and BD Biosciences, and by various government agencies such as NIH, NCI, EPA, USDA, FDA and the National Aquarium. Biological sciences graduates have been accepted by graduate programs in such schools as the University of Pennsylvania; The Johns Hopkins University; University of California, San Diego; Case Western Reserve; Rochester; Stanford, University of Virginia; Duke; University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park. Graduates also have been accepted by more than 60 professional schools, including University of Maryland, Baltimore; The Johns Hopkins University; University of Virginia; Harvard; Duke; Columbia; University of Pennsylvania; Penn State, Pittsburgh; University of California, San Francisco; Howard; Uniformed Services; George Washington; Georgetown; Jefferson; Medical College of Pennsylvania; Medical College of Virginia; Stanford, SUNY; and Meharry.