Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Biology ScB

Biology ScB (20 Courses)

The ScB in Biology includes 20 courses. Prerequisites in math, chemistry and physics support a core of biological sciences courses, with some options for related sciences. In addition, students choose a focal track of three courses in one of the available sub-disciplines, which include Cellular & Molecular Biology, Immunopathology, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Physiology/BioTech, Neurobiology, Biomedical Informatics, or Physical Sciences. Within the core, there are course distribution requirements to provide foundational knowledge in different areas of biology as well as requirements for lab and advanced coursework. Research is a required part of the core ScB Program and should reflect the theme of the track selected. 

Biomedical Informatics Track

Bioinformatics Track


This video offers an introduction to undergraduate study in biomedical informatics at Brown.

Concentration Requirements



MATH 0090

  • AP/IB may substitute
  • MATH 0050/0060 may substitute

MATH 0100 or 0170

  •  AP/IB may substitute 
  • Statistics course may substitute

CHEM 0330

  • IB may substitute

CHEM 0350              


CHEM 0360 or BIOL 0280


PHYS 0030

  • AP/IB may substitute
  • PHYS 0050 or ENGN 0030 may substitute

PHYS 0040

  • PHYS 0060 or ENGN 0040 may substitute



BIOL 0200

  • AP/IB may substitute
  • BIOL 0200 carries lab credit; equivalent placement does not

Lab Courses


  • Core must include a minimum of 3 lab courses from BIOL or NEUR; these courses can also count towards upper-level and/or area requirements
  • Each semester of research (BIOL 1950/60 or other departmental independent study equivalent) can be counted as either ONE lab or ONE 1000+ course towards core
  • ½ credit lab courses may be used for lab requirement
  • See Courses page for information about acceptable lab courses

Upper-Level Courses


  • Core must include a minimum of 2 BIOL or NEUR courses numbered at 1000/2000 level
  • Related science courses above 1000 level may NOT substitute
  • Each semester of research (BIOL 1950/60 or other departmental independent study equivalent) can be counted as either ONE lab or ONE 1000+ course towards core

Area Requirement



The two semester research requirement may be satisfied by any two of the opportunities listed below. Students may find the following resources useful in planning for research: the annual BUE-PLME Finding, Securing and Succeeding in Research workshop, the BUE Research webpage, and the Sheridan Center’s Undergraduate Research & Experiential Opportunities webpage. Following conversation and agreement with the advisor, students articulate the research plan in the ASK declaration (in the designated text box) which is submitted for review and approval by the advisor.

Choose two:

  •  BIOL 1950 independent study course (fall course)
  •  BIOL 1960 independent study course (spring course)
  •  NEUR 1970 independent study course
  • Independent study course in a related discipline (i.e. STEM disciplines, ENVS, PHP, etc.) if the project is relevant to the student’s learning goals and interests in the concentration. 
  •  The following COEX courses: BIOL 0285, 0440, 0600, 0940G, 1515, 1555; NEUR 1630, CLPS 1195. New COEX courses will be considered as they are developed and offered at Brown, and as relevant to the concentration. 
  • A summer research experience equivalent in scope and scale to work the student would pursue in a Biology independent study course. Examples include UTRAs, LINK awards, approved research programs at other institutions, etc. These experiences do not count as a course in the 10 course core requirement, but they can be used to satisfy the one semester of the research requirement. Students will submit the following Summer Research Proposal form, which will be reviewed by the BUE Office and the communicated to the student’s concentration advisor.

  • Other equivalent opportunities not listed - with approval from the concentration advisor and Dean Achilli.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue research related to their track.


  • One or more electives from BIOL, NEUR or approved related sciences to have a minimum of 10 courses in Core

Additional Stipulations:

  • Biology courses below BIOL 0100 do NOT carry concentration credit
  • Core may include up to two related science courses from the approved list (see list below)
  • BIOL 0920s and BIOL 1920s can be used ONLY as related science
  • Only one FYS and one Sophomore Seminar may be used towards core


  • Three cohesive track courses (minimum of 2 at 1000+ level)
  • Eight tracks offered (see sheet below for details)

* The Biology ScB Concentration Worksheet may be a useful tool for course planning.

Download Planning Worksheet

Related Files and Resources