At the forefront of biological research for more than a century, UChicago scientists have furthered efforts to diagnose and treat cancer, discovered a way to preserve blood, and laid the mathematical foundations for the theory of genetic evolution. Today, faculty and students investigate topics ranging from the genetic defects responsible for diabetes to the biomechanics and ecology of marine invertebrates. The department and its substantial resources are housed in the Biological Sciences Learning Center, among the nation’s most up-to-date facilities of its kind.
The faculty of the College believes that a sound knowledge of biology is essential for understanding many of the most pressing problems of modern life and for intelligent involvement in their eventual solution. The Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, therefore, provides a variety of general education courses for all UChicago students—prospective biologists and non-biologists alike. Although most of the course offerings beyond the introductory year are designed to serve the needs of students majoring in Biological Sciences, many of these courses are well suited to students in other areas who wish to study some aspect of modern biology in greater detail. Courses on the ethical and societal implications of the biological sciences, for example, are of interest to many non-majors.
The goals of the Biological Sciences program are to give students (1) an understanding of currently accepted concepts in biology and the experimental support for these concepts and (2) an appreciation of the gaps in our current understanding and the opportunities for new research in this field. Emphasis is placed on introducing students to the diversity of subject matter and methods of investigation in the biological sciences. The program prepares students for graduate or professional study in the biological sciences and for careers in the biological sciences.
After acquiring a broad base in all levels of biological organization, students tailor programs to meet their interests and goals. Among the options for specialization: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Endocrinology, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, and Neuroscience. The program encourages individual guided research through course credit and summer funding.
Minors are available in Biological Sciences and Computational Neuroscience.