Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Which Degree Is Right For Me?

Office of Biology Undergraduate Education are available to advise and assist students in all of the Biology concentrations.

For Biology ScB and AB, and Health & Human Biology AB, concentration advisors are assigned by Dean Toni-Marie Achilli after the pre-planning meeting takes place between the prospective concentrator and an Academic Advisor.  See the calendar of available hours page for more information on scheduling an appointment. 

For students interested in Applied Math-Biology ScB, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ScB, Biophysics ScB, Computational Biology ScB & AB, Biomedical Engineering ScB, and Neuroscience ScB should contact the advisor(s) listed at the Concentrations pages.

Which is right for me, the AB or ScB degree?

STEM students often ponder this question as they move toward declaring a concentration. Check out the Brown Daily Herald article AB and ScB degrees split STEM concentrators over breadth versus depth to learn more. A quote from the article reads, "Across a variety of departments, students and professors repeatedly voiced the idea that the name of the degree itself matters far less than the work students pursue as undergraduates." We echo this in Biology. We advise our students to consider their full range of academic interests, extracurricular passions, and career goals when selecting a concentration.

AB Programs in Biology

The AB programs in Biology offer students the most flexibility in and out of the concentration. Students aiming to pursue a second concentration, to study abroad, or those who want to delve deeply into a specific sub-discipline of Biology may benefit from the AB. While research is not required, students pursuing the AB in Biology or Health & Human Biology can, and do, develop independent research projects with campus and hospital-based faculty mentors. Many of these students go on to complete senior honors theses.

ScB Programs in Biology

Our ScB programs offer students more depth of study in the physical sciences and the core sub-disciplines of Biology. Students pursuing the ScB in one of the several Biology concentrations develop analytical competencies and inquiry-based skills through required lab coursework and independent research. Many ScB students develop senior honors theses with guidance from campus and hospital-based faculty mentors.

Career Advising

Biology students in A.B. and Sc.B. programs pursue a diversity of professional paths, including careers in medicine, life science research, business, education, and law. Academic advisors in the BUE Office are available to help students determine which concentration is the best fit. Students can also seek advice from peers in the various Biology Departmental Undergraduate Groups as well as alumni who can be located through BrownConnect