Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences embraces all areas of biology in its diverse teaching and research programs. Majors target the areas of Biology (BIOL), Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater Biology (MEFB), Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB), and Zoology (ZOOL). All of these offer a Bachelor of Science degree, with Zoology also offering a Bachelor of Arts. Minors provide a focus on special areas of the biological sciences for students within and outside the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. Minors are: Animal Behavior, Biology, Marine Biology, Plant Biology, and Zoology. Our course offerings provide a wide selection of both field and lab-based courses, that provide opportunities and experiences appropriate for the diverse array of positions that are available in the broad area of Biology. There is a common set of core or foundation courses for the majors that allow a simple transfer between them up to the end of the second year, and each major has a set of topical categories with options that lead to a more focused exposure to the breadth of biology, while allowing for personal interests to be developed in the major. 

Our focus is on organismal biology in the basic and applied sciences, encompassing physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Faculty in our department study a wide range of organisms from freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Our location near the Atlantic coastline and the White Mountains provides numerous opportunities for field-based research. The Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, located nearby on Great Bay, and Shoals Marine Laboratory, located on the Isles of Shoals, are valuable resources for students in the Marine and Freshwater Biology program. Collaboration with Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station allows for terrestrial ecological research within farm and forest systems.

Students in the DBS majors find it easy to integrate the biology core courses with those recommended for establishment of the background appropriate for application to the professional biomedical and health-care programs, as well as to schools with graduate programs.