Zoology Major (B.S.)


The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Zoology builds from the common background of the biology core curriculum to provide ample time for third- and fourth-year students to concentrate in specialized disciplines such as marine and freshwater biology, behavior, cell and developmental biology, ecology, evolution, fisheries, physiology, and neurobiology while giving students the foundation from which they can specialize in the area of zoology. Undergraduate students are encouraged to conduct field or lab-based research which helps determine advanced education disciplines for graduate studies.  Many students ultimately work in the government, environmental agencies, education as well as agricultural, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, where they conduct advanced research and/or teaching.  Zoology majors had the second highest income and lowest unemployment rate according to data from the 2016  U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

New England Regional Student Program

The bachelor's degree in zoology is one of the specialized curricula recognized by the New England Board of Higher Education and participates in the New England Regional Student Program. Under this program, students from any of the New England states pay the UNH in-state tuition rate plus 75 percent.

Requirements for the Major: Minimum grade of D‐ or better is required in CHEM 411, PHYS 401, and MATH 424B (if taken); minimum grade of C‐ or better is required in all other courses. ZOOL 600, BIOL 695, ZOOL 795, or ZOOL 799 may substitute for one elective with academic advisor approval, but only if taken for at least four credits. These four credits may be spread over multiple semesters if they are consecutive and with the same faculty mentor.

Major Requirements

Core Curriculum Courses
BIOL 411Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular4
BIOL 412Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology4
BIOL 528Applied Biostatistics I4
BIOL 541Ecology4
BMCB 658
BMCB 659
General Biochemistry
and General Biochemistry Lab
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
CHEM 404General Chemistry II4
CHEM 545
CHEM 546
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
GEN 604Principles of Genetics4
or ANSC 612 Genetics of Animals
MATH 424BCalculus for Life Sciences4
or BIOL #633 Data Analysis for Life Science
or BIOL 711 Experimental Design & Analysis
PHYS 401Introduction to Physics I4
PHYS 402Introduction to Physics II4
ZOOL 400Professional Perspectives in Zoology1
ZOOL 518Comparative Morphology and Biology of Vertebrates4
ZOOL 625
ZOOL 626
Principles of Animal Physiology
and Animal Physiology Laboratory
BIOL 780Capstone Companion Course1
Zoology Electives
Zoology Elective Courses (Choose 2)8-9
Developmental Biology
Animal Behavior
Animal Survey Courses (Choose 1)4-5
Introduction to Entomology
Marine Invertebrate Evolution and Ecology
Sharks and Bony Fishes
Biological Science Electives 1
Select two courses 1
BIOL 720Plant-Animal Interactions (C)4
BMS 718Mammalian Physiology4
MEFB 503Introduction to Marine Biology0 or 4
MEFB 504Field Wildlife Forensics2
MEFB 628Marine Invertebrate Evolution and Ecology5
MEFB 717Lake Ecology4
MEFB 719Field Studies in Lake Ecology4
MEFB 755Biological Oceanography3
MEFB 772Fisheries Biology: Conservation and Management4
MEFB 773Physiology of Fishes4
NR 615Wildlife Habitats4
NR 640Wildlife Population Ecology4
NR 642Introduction to Biogeography4
NR 650Principles of Conservation Biology4
NR 712Mammalogy4
NSB 705Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (C)4
NSB 727Animal Communication (C)4
NSB #728Research Methods in Animal Behavior4
TECH 797Undergraduate Ocean Research Project 22
ZOOL 529Developmental Biology0 or 4
ZOOL 542Ornithology0 or 4
ZOOL 555Introduction to Entomology4
ZOOL 613Animal Behavior5
ZOOL 566Herpetology4
ZOOL 600Field Experience 31-4
ZOOL 690Evolution4
ZOOL 708Stream Ecology4
ZOOL 710Sharks and Bony Fishes0 or 4
ZOOL 726Conservation Behavior4
ZOOL 733Behavioral Ecology (C)0 or 4
ZOOL 736Genes and Behavior (C)4
ZOOL 770Senior Seminar in Zoology2
ZOOL 777Neuroethology (C)4
ZOOL 795Independent Investigations in Zoology 31-4
ZOOL 799Honors Senior Thesis 31-4
Shoals Courses:
MEFB 500Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods4
MEFB #505Introduction to Applied Science Communication4
MEFB 506Marine Parasitology and Disease4
MEFB 510Field Ornithology4
MEFB 530Evolution and Marine Diversity4
MEFB 535Marine Mammal Biology4
MEFB #630Biodiversity and Biology of Marine Invertebrates4
MEFB 674Ecology and Marine Environment4
MEFB 702Sustainable Marine Fisheries4
MEFB 714Field Animal Behavior4
MEFB 730Underwater Research4
MEFB 741Sharks: Biology and Conservation4
MEFB 751Research in Marine Biology4
MEFB 754Anatomy and Function of Marine Vertebrates4
Study Abroad Courses:
NR 660Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand5
NR 661Restoration Ecology and Ecosystem Management in New Zealand4
NR 662Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand3
NR 663Applied Directed Research in New Zealand4

A single course cannot be used for both a core requirement and an elective (e.g., ZOOL 542 cannot be used to fulfill the animal survey requirement and as an elective).


This class requires enrollment in both fall and spring sections, 2 credits/semester for a total of 4 credits.


A 600, 695, 795, or 799 experience may substitute for one elective with academic advisor approval, but only if taken for at least four credits. These four credits may be spread over multiple semesters if they are consecutive and with the same faculty mentor.

Capstone Experience

As part of the University of New Hampshire’s Discovery Program requirements, all students must complete a capstone experience during their senior year (after earning at least 90 credits). The capstone experience for students majoring in ZOOLOGY BS consists of BOTH (1) an approved individual experience AND (2) the successful completion of the BIOL 780 Capstone Companion Course. Students will not be approved for graduation until capstone certification has been granted.

1) The individual experience

The individual experience may be satisfied through various forms of experiential learning (e.g., Honors thesis, mentored research project, internship) or a course denoted with a “(C)” in the courses listed above. The individual experience must fulfill at least one of the University’s capstone criteria:

  • synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills
  • fosters reflection on undergraduate learning and experience
  • demonstrates emerging professional competencies
  • applies, analyzes, and/or interprets research, data, or artistic expression
  • explores areas of interest based on the integration of the prior learning

Before beginning any capstone individual experience, students MUST SUBMIT A COMPLETED CAPSTONE APPROVAL FORM to their Program Coordinator.

Students can obtain this form on the Department's Capstone page or from their Program Coordinator. Here they will describe their proposed individual experience and how it fulfills at least one of the University’s capstone criteria listed above. If the student is selecting a “C” course for their individual experience, they should obtain the course syllabus from the instructor for information about the course’s content and learning objectives.

2) Enrollment in BIOL 780 Capstone Companion Course

Students will also be required to enroll in BIOL 780 Capstone Companion Course (1 cr.) during the semester of their individual experience. BIOL 780 is offered every Fall and Spring semester.

  • If the individual experience is a two-semester thesis, BIOL 780 should be taken during the second semester.
  • If the individual experience occurs during the summer (e.g., internship), BIOL 780 should be taken during the Fall semester that immediately follows.
  • Note: Because BIOL 780 is not offered during the summer, students cannot complete their individual experience during the summer and graduate during that same August. Summer experiences could only be used as individual capstone experiences if completed the summer before the student’s senior year.

Students demonstrate that they understand basic principles of Zoology.

  • Understand the biodiversity and ecological roles of selected animal taxa.
  • Demonstrate understanding of animal physiology and structure at the cellular and organismal levels.
  • Describe and apply key principles and mechanisms of evolution and genetics.
  • Comprehend the relationship between organisms and their environments.

Students demonstrate that they can undertake scientifically valid methods of inquiry.

  • Demonstrate proficiency in searching, reading, and understanding scientific literature.

Students demonstrate that they can think critically and analytically.

  • Analyze and present data using appropriate quantitative and graphical tools.

Students demonstrate that they can communicate effectively.

  • Develop effective written and oral communication skills for conveying scientific information effectively to a wide audience.

Students practice science responsibly and ethically, and acknowledge the influence of cultural and historical biases in the sciences.