Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Biology for First-Years

First-year and sophomore students interested in the Biological Sciences can get to know our program a number of ways.

First-Year and Sophomore Students

Visit the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education

The BUE Office is a great starting point for students interested in learning more about the many concentrations and co-curricular happenings in the Biological Sciences. Our Academic Advisors have student hours weekly. First year and sophomore students are welcome to make appointments through the advising calendar. The BUE Office is located on the first floor of Arnold Lab (Arnold Lab 124) at 91 Waterman St.

Fall 2024 Biology Advising Open Hours

The BUE Office is offering advising open hours on the following days and time:

  • Thursday, August 22, 10am-4pm
  • Thursday, August 29, 10am-4pm
  • Tuesday, September 3, 1-5pm
  • Thursday, September 5, 10am-3pm

Open hours will be held in person only at Arnold Lab 124. No appointments needed! 

Connecting with Brown’s Biology Community 

Connect with Biology Undergraduate Education at Brown on Facebook. This is one place we announce news, events, and opportunities.

Join one of our Departmental Undergraduate Groups (DUGs). You can find our current DUG leaders on the BUE People page. DUGs host events throughout the academic year. These are typically posted on our Facebook page and announced via email and Today@Brown. You can join on our email list or email the DUG leaders directly.

Reach out to a Peer Advisor. We have an active peer advising program with seniors from many of our concentrations. Reach out to a peer advisor directly at any time. 

We hold a joint Sophomore Declaration Day and Senior Research and Capstone Event together every spring. This is Biology’s largest undergraduate event and is a great way for students in every class to spend time with one another and the faculty.

First Year & Sophomore Seminar Courses

First year and sophomore seminars are a great way to engage with Biology faculty and peers in small course settings. Our first year and sophomore seminar courses are noted as FYS and SOPH on the Biology Course page.

Course Offerings

From Anatomy to Zoology, a comprehensive look at all the course offerings in the biology program.

Gateway Courses into the Biological Sciences

The Program in Biology has two gateway courses that many students take in the first two years.

BIOL 0200 Foundations of Living Systems is offered in spring and serves a prerequisite for many additional courses in Biology. BIOL 0200 offers a broad overview of biological systems, emphasizing patterns and processes that form the basis of life. The course explores essentials of biochemistry, molecular, and cellular biology and their relationship to the larger issues of ecology, evolution, and development. BIOL 0200 examines current research trends in biology and their influence on culture. 

BIOL 0210 Diversity of Life is offered in fall and is open to all students. This course explores biological diversity from the perspectives of ecology and evolutionary biology. It draws on examples and case studies from the geological record, functional morphology, the evolution of organ systems in vertebrates, genomics, behavior and sexual selection in birds and invertebrates. Overarching themes will emphasize that taxonomic diversity is an emergent property of complex life on Earth, and the importance of diversity of biological functions and processes in generating and maintaining taxonomic diversity.

Undergraduate Research in Biology

We have lots of information about undergraduate research in Biology on our Research page - including specific tips for pre-declared students. 

In fall semesters the BUE and PLME Offices team up to offer the evening workshop How to Find, Secure, and Succeed at Research. This is always well attended by first year and sophomore students. Be on the lookout for the announcement in Today@Brown, on our Facebook page, and via email from BUE. 

STEM Course Exam Planner

Every semester the HHMI Gateway STEM Course Initiative gathers exam times for large-enrollment STEM courses that are typically taken simultaneously by many of our entry-level science students. The goal is to provide instructors, students, and advisors with this information so they can be aware of exam time conflicts and plan accordingly. Access the STEM Course Planner online.

Pre-Health Career Students

Many students interested in pursuing a health career choose to study in one of the Biological Sciences concentrations. If you are interested in a health career after Brown check out the Office of Health Careers Advising page for First Year & Sophomore Students

Read Making the Most of College by Richard Light

Students in BIOL 0100 Living Biology at Brown and Beyond are required to read, discuss, and write about Richard Light’s book Making the Most of College. We recommend you read this too! BIOL 0100 students appreciate the tips in this book and many say they wished they had read it the summer before arriving to campus. One tip Light offers is to get to know one new Professor every semester. The BUE Office has copies you can borrow so stop by and check one out.