BioSciences O-Week 2020

Learn more about Rice's Department of Biosciences from faculty member Dereth Phillips.

The Biosciences undergraduate curricula provide undergraduate students with numerous rigorous, balanced, yet flexible paths towards either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in a wide range of focal areas within the life sciences. The major in Biosciences is divided into four distinct major concentrations: Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Genetics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Integrative Biology. Students declaring a major in Biosciences must select one of these four major concentrations.

All major concentrations share the same basic structure: core requirements include introductory coursework in the natural sciences and engineering, including biology, chemistry, physics, math and statistics; a combination of required and elective lecture and laboratory courses in biology, with a focus on coursework with the area of the major concentration; and a capstone biology course within the major concentration area.

All major concentrations offer a BA and a BS option. The BA degrees offer a rigorous biological curriculum suitable for many career paths while allowing the flexibility for extended academic exploration in other areas. The BS degrees include similar academic rigor with the addition of experience conducting original research. While undergraduate research is required for the BS degrees, all students regardless of their major are welcome and encouraged to participate in undergraduate research, availing themselves of the numerous research opportunities at Rice and in the Houston community.

Both the BA and BS degrees with the major in Biosciences and all major concentrations will provide students with significant biological content knowledge and the skills to evaluate the scientific literature, design experiments, and collect, analyze and communicate data. These degrees will prepare students for graduate, medical or other professional schools and a wide range of careers in the life sciences and beyond. Qualified students, interested in graduate school, have the option to apply to a specialized BA-MS-PhD program track at the end of their sophomore year.

In addition, a minor in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology are offered for students interested in these fields but who may be majoring in other areas. The minor in Biochemistry and Cell Biology includes many of the life sciences core courses required for the health professions.

Degrees Offered

Biosciences BS, BA
Biochemistry and Cell Biology minor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology minor

Biosciences undergraduate research
Biosciences advising booklet