The twenty-first century will see unparalleled advances in the biological sciences. Disciplines such as biology and biomedical engineering are burgeoning and will greatly impact the way we live in the future. The areas of functional genomics and proteomics will drive discoveries in molecular medicine, gene therapy and tissue engineering. Drug discovery will be facilitated by the elucidation of new target molecules and many pharmaceutical compounds will be produced using biological processes. Environmental management, remediation and restoration will also benefit from advances in biology. Biologists will be at the forefront of these advances and will drive the medical, agricultural, environmental and industrial applications of biological sciences.

The biology program will produce biologists with the chemistry, mathematics, and physics background needed to solve biotechnological problems in the coming decades. Those students wishing to strengthen their engineering skills can earn the area minor in biomedical engineering. Other students may choose to pursue a second major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The program will prepare graduates for professional careers in government and industrial research laboratories, and in the biotechnology and health-related industries.

Those wishing to continue their studies in graduate or health professions programs will be exceptionally well qualified to do so.


Freshman Year  
Fall Term   Credit
BIO 110 Cell Structure and Function 4
CHEM 111 General Chemistry 4
MA 111 Calculus I 5
CLSK 100 College & Life Skills 1
  Total 14
Winter Term   Credit
BIO 120 Comparative Anatomy & 
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 4
MA 112 Calculus II 5
BE 100 Problem Solving in the 
Biological Sciences and 
  Total 17
Spring Term   Credit
BIO 130 Evolution and Diversity 4
CHEM 115 General Chemistry III 4
MA 113 Calculus III 5
RH 131 Rhetoric & Composition 4
  Total 17
Sophomore Year  
Fall Term   Credit
BIO 210 Mendelian & 
Molecular Genetics
CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 251L Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 1
PH 111 Physics I 4
MA 212 Matrix Algebra and Systems of 
Differential Equations
  Total 16
Winter Term   Credit
BIO 220 Prokaryotic Cell & 
Molecular Biology
CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 252L Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
PH 112 Physics II 4
RH 330 Technical and 
Professional Communication
  Total 16
Spring Term   Credit
BIO 230 Eukaryotic Cell & 
Molecular Biology
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry III 3
CHEM 253L Organic Chemistry III Lab 1
PH 113 Physics III 4
MA 223 Engineering Statistics 4
  Total 16
Junior Year  
Fall Term   Credit
BIO 320 Ecology 4
CHEM 330 Biochemisty 4
HSS Elective 4
BIO 399 Practice of Science 4
  Total 16
Winter Term   Credit
BIO 330 Evolutionary Biology 4
BIO 496 Senior Thesis Research I 2
BIO Elective 4
HSS Elective 4
  Total 14
Spring Term   Credit
BIO 310 Plant Structure & 
BIO 497 Senior Thesis Research II 4
SV 304 Bioethics 4
HSS Elective 4
  Total 16
Senior Year  
Fall Term   Credit
BIO 498 Senior Thesis Research III 4
  Science/Technical Elective 4
HSS Elective 4
  Free Elective 4
  Total 16
Winter Term   Credit
BIO 499 Senior Thesis Research IV 2
  Science/Technical Elective 4
BIO Elective 4
HSS Elective 4
  Total 14
Spring Term   Credit
BIO Elective 4
  Science/Technical Elective 4
HSS Elective 4
  Free Elective 4
  Total 16
  Total credits required: 188

A BIO science/technical elective is any Rose-Hulman course that has a prefix of BIO, BE, CHEM, CHE, CE, CSSE, ECE, GEOL, MA, ME, PH, OE, EP, ES, EM or any EMGT course that is not cross-listed with an RH, GS, IA or SV course. Courses that do not count as science or technical electives are those courses with AS, MS, RH, GS, IA, SV, GE, JP, SP, FL, GRAD and CLSK prefixes.


Required BIO courses   52 credits
BIO electives   12 credits
Free electives   8 credits
HSS electives   24 credits
Required HSS   12 credits
Required MA, CHEM, PH   63 credits
Required CLSK   1 credit
Sci/Tech electives   12 credits
Required BE course   4 credits
Total   188 credits

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Second Major Only)

The biochemistry & molecular biology program exists to give students an opportunity to augment their education in this technologically-important field. To support this effort, Rose-Hulman provides students with access to a modern and well-equipped biochemistry lab, along with an excellent biological sciences facility. Two faculty are directly involved with this program: Dr. Mark Brandt, assistant professor of chemistry, is the program coordinator and is a biochemist, and Dr. Richard Anthony, associate professor of biology, is a molecular biologist. Many other faculty in both the chemistry and biology departments assist with this curriculum.

Biochemistry & molecular biology is available to Rose-Hulman students as a second major. This means that the student will receive a first degree in some other discipline and then can augment their education with this program. Students whose first degree programs are in chemistry or chemical engineering will find the program easiest since there is considerable overlap between those programs and the biochemistry & molecular biology requirements. Students from other disciplines are also encouraged to participate, but will have to take more courses. All students are encouraged to take individual courses in the program, regardless of whether or not they wish to fulfill the second major requirements, or to participate in related research projects under faculty supervision.

Two degree or double major programs in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biochemistry are not allowed.

Required Courses

Course Description Hours
CHEM 111, 113, 115 General Chemistry 12
CHEM 251, 252, 253 Organic Chemistry 9
CHEM 251L, 252L, 253L Organic Chemistry Lab 3
CHEM 330, 430, 433 Biochemistry 9
CHEM 361, 362
CHEM 360
CHE 303, 304 Physical Chemistry 8
BIO 110, 120, 130 Biology 12
BIO 210 Genetics 4
BIO 220, 230 Molecular Biology 8
BIO 411 Genetic Engineering 4
Total   69

Elective Courses

Choose 12 credits* from the following courses:

Course Description
BIO 330 Evolitionary Biology
BIO 421 Microbiology
BIO 431 Genomics and Proteomics
BIO 441 Virology
BIO 451 Cancer Biology
BIO 492 Directed Study in Biology
CHEM 225 Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 291 Introduction to Research
CHEM 331 Biochemistry II
CHEM 431 Biochemical Instrumentation
CHEM 451 Organic Structure Determination
CHEM 290 
CHEM 490 Chemical Research
PH 302 Biophysics

Total Credits for Second Major 81

*Students with a major in chemistry need to take 8 credits of electives, with 4 credits from the BIO electives listed, and 4 credits chosen from any BIO or BE course.

STUDENTS WITH A MAJOR IN BIOLOGY must take 12 credits of electives, with 8 credits from the elective courses listed above with a CHEM prefix, and 4 credits from any 300 level or above BIO course (total: 29 hours required beyond Biology major).

 Biology Area Minor

The Area Minor in Biology is designed to allow students to enrich studies in their major area. Students wishing to apply another science, mathematics, or engineering discipline to investigate or solve problems in biological systems are encouraged to pursue the Area Minor in Biology. With proper course selection, the Area Minor will provide another marketable dimension to any Bachelor of Science degree granted by the Institute.

The Area Minor in Biology has the following requirements.

  1. All students must complete BIO110 (Cell Structure and Function) or BIO130 (Evolution and Diversity) and at least four more courses in biology (BIO) or allied areas, above those courses already specifically required to fulfill the student's major. 
    a. At least three of the four electives must be BIO courses. 
    b. At least three of the electives must be 200-level or above. 
    Additional courses not listed in the approved allied areas can be considered on a case-by-case basis. See BBE Department Head.
  2. Students electing to pursue the Area Minor in Biology must follow a plan of study that is approved by the Area Minor Advisor. Current advisor information and a form for the planning and approval of an area minor can be obtained from the BBE Department secretary.
  3. Allied area courses could include: 
    BE 310 Analysis of Physiological Systems I 
    BE 320 Analysis of Physiological Systems II 
    BE/MA 482 Bioengineering Statistics 
    BE 570 Introduction to Tissue Engineering 
    CE 460 Introduction to Environmental Engineering 
    CHE 545 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering 
    CHEM 264 Environmental Chemistry 
    CHEM 330 Survey of Biochemistry 
    CHEM 430 Advanced Biochemistry 
    PH 302 Biophysics 
    SL 386 Human Evolution 
    VA 373 Gender Issues

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Area Minor

Completion of BIO110, CHEM111, CHEM113 and CHEM115. In addition, the student must complete five courses from the following list that are not already named required courses by the student's major or minor programs:

Course   Description
BIO 210   Mendelian and Molecular Genetics
BIO 220 
  Prokaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology
BIO 230   Eukaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology
BIO 411 
  Genetic Engineering
BIO 431   Genomics and Proteomics
CHEM 230 
  Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 251 
  Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 252   Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 330   Biochemistry
CHEM 430 
  Advanced Biochemistry
CHEM 433   Biochemistry Laboratory