Biology (B.A.)

Biology (B.A.)
PSU students seaside conducting research

Explore the science of life

Our biological sciences programs offer opportunities for research and study using the latest technology and equipment, in the lab or in the field. In far-away tropical rain forests and deserts, New Hampshire’s own lakes, forests, and seacoast, and in our state-of-the-art laboratories, PSU students work hands-on with faculty members to answer some of life’s toughest and most interesting questions.




The B.A. in Biology program is designed for students with an interest in biology and another companion field of study. It has fewer science credits and fewer required credits overall making it a great choice for students who would like an interdisciplinary experience such as a double major or major and two minors.

Plymouth State University also offers B.S. in Biology, B.S. in Environmental Biology, and the Biology Honors programs. Click the links in the degree names to find out more.

Other opportunities to study biology include minors in Biology, Neuroscience, Sustainability, and a variety of related areas.


Most often, students with the B.A. in Biology will pursue a career requiring a general background in biology or the sciences or transition into a science adjacent field. Examples include science writing (B.A. in Biology combined with an English degree), bioinformatics (B.A. in Biology combined with a computer science degree), public health/epidemiology (B.A. in Biology combined with a Health or Global Health minor), or a similar interdisciplinary endeavor.

Please scroll down to see more about the curriculum, requirements, program details, and career paths.

The BA program in Biology is a broad overview of the principles of biology and the functions of biological systems with supportive courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. It can be used to fulfill the goals of students primarily interested in biology or those who plan to go on to professional programs or graduate degrees in the biological sciences. For the latter case, it should be noted that some professional/graduate schools require a full year each of organic chemistry, physics, and calculus; this program is less restrictive. Thus, students should work closely with their academic advisor to plan their coursework.


Academic Operations Manager
Phone: (603) 535-2325
Office: Exploration & Discovery, Boyd Science Center Rm 122, MSC 48, Plymouth, NH 03264

Program Coordinator of Biology (BA, BS, & MS), Cell & Molecular Biology, & Environmental Biology
Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 535-3181
Office: Exploration & Discovery, Boyd Science Center Rm 108, MSC 48, Plymouth, NH 03264

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Curriculum & Requirements

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
BI 1110Biological Science I (TECO)4
BI 1120Biological Science II4
BI 2270Integrative Biology (WECO)4
BI 3060Genetics4
BI 3130Evolution4
BI 3240Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO) (Remove INCO,INCP)3
BI 4980Biology Seminar2
Complete 16 credits of Biology from the following (at least 8 of which must be at the 3000/4000 level): 116
2000 level Biology electives (not BIDI)
3000/4000 level Biology electives (not BIDI)
Writing in the Discipline Connection (WRCO)4
3000/4000 level Biology elective (not BIDI)
CH 1050Laboratory Safety1
CH 2335General Chemistry I (QRCO)4
CH 2340General Chemistry II4
Physical Science Group
Complete one course from the following:4
CH 3370
Organic Chemistry I
PH 2110
College Physics I
PH 2510
University Physics I
Mathematics Foundations
MA 1800College Algebra 23
MA 2130Precalculus (QRCO)4
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 34-8
Foreign Language 46-8
Total Credits120

Excluding required 3000/4000-level Biology courses


Or equivalent Math Placement Score


Directions should total 16 credits because SIDI is waived for BA Biology


The foreign language requirement for all BA degrees calls for 0-8 credits: one year of one language (6-8 credits); or one 3000/4000 level world language course (3 credits); or being a native speaker of a language other than English (zero credits). American Sign Language I and II fulfill this requirement. However, American Sign Language does not satisfy the Global Awareness Connection.

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives).

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
BI 1110 Biological Science I (TECO) 4
BI 1120 Biological Science II 4
CH 1050 Laboratory Safety 1
EN 1400 Composition 4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
Mathematics Foundations Course:
MA 1800 College Algebra (or Math placement score) 0-3
MA 2130
or MA 2550
Precalculus (QRCO)
or Calculus I (QRCO)
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 4-8 1 4
GACOForeign Language 6-8 3-4
Year Two
BI 2270 Integrative Biology (WECO) 4
CH 2335 General Chemistry I (QRCO) 4
CH 2340 General Chemistry II 4
BI2000/3000/4000 level Biology elective (not BIDI) 3 4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 1 4-8
GACOForeign Language 2 3-4
Elective 0-8
Year Three
BI 3060 Genetics 4
BI 3240 Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO) 3
BI2000/3000/4000 level Biology elective (not BIDI) 3 4
BI3000/4000 level Biology elective (not BIDI) 3 4
Complete one Physical Science Group Course from the following: 4
CH 3370
Organic Chemistry I
PH 2110
College Physics I
PH 2510
University Physics I
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 1 4-8
Electives 0-9
Year Four
BI 3130 Evolution 4
BI 4980 Biology Seminar 2
BI3000/4000 level Biology electives (not BIDI) 3 4
BI3000/4000 level Biology WRCO 4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI,SSDI) 1 0-4
Electives 12-16
 Total Credits120

Required to take one each of CTDI, SSDI, and PPDI and then fulfill 16-17 credits total of Directions courses.  SIDI courses are waived and do not count toward Directions course total for Biology majors.


Fluency in a foreign language can substitute.  See Foreign Language page for details.


Excluding Integrative Biology, Genetics, Conservation, Evolution, and Biology Seminar which are required courses.

Our BS programs require more background in chemistry and physics in support of this outcome, while our BA program allows for greater breadth.
  • An understanding of the scientific method as the means to increase understanding of the natural world through hypothesis-testing.
  • An aptitude for critically reading scientific literature, including primary research journals.
  • Proficiency in writing, especially in scientific format.
  • An ability to present scientific information orally with emphasis on clear interpretation of scientific data.
  • Proficiency in techniques specific to a subdiscipline of biology, including but not limited to laboratory, field, and statistical techniques.
  • An understanding of the critical issues facing the environment at local, regional, national, and global scales.
  • Biological literacy allowing for the evaluation of new information and emerging issues.
  • Readiness for post-graduate experiences in graduate school, professional school, or biology employment

Biologists study living organisms and their relationships to the environment from molecules, to cells, to ecosystems. Most specialize in a particular discipline within biology, sometimes by pursuing a specialized degree like Environmental Biology or Cell and Molecular Biology. Some go on to attain further education in graduate school or a health professional school for medicine, public health, or pharmacy. There are as many job opportunities as areas of study.
For more information, visit Career Services in the Global Education Office.
Sample Job Titles include: Biochemist, Botanist, Ecologist, Fishery Biologist, High School Science Teacher, Marine Biologist, Microbiologist, Zoologist, Veterinarian, Medical doctor, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Research Scientist, Wildlife Biologist, Pharmacist, Dentist, Medical scientist, Virologist
See the U.S. Department of Labor Outlook for a complete list.
Useful Skills for Jobs in the Biology Fields
  • Research skills such as data collection, laboratory techniques, and working in teams
  • Ability to problem-solve and think critically
  • Written and verbal communication skills to convey technical and scientific data to both scientific and non-scientific communities

Explore Program Details

Biology Majors can take up to 1-2 Minors, including those below.
While a biology major is based in the interdisciplinary studies of biology, chemistry, physics, and math there are also opportunities to extend your interest to some of the other 40+ minors that are offered at Plymouth State, including those below. It’s a great time to be a biology major at PSU!

Boyd Science Center

Boyd Science Center

The heart of scientific research and study at PSU is the Boyd Science Center. The University’s proximity to the lakes, rivers and mountains of New Hampshire gives students access to a unique natural laboratory. Resources at Boyd provide students with a place to explore nature’s questions, generated in the great outdoors or under the microscope.

Resources at Boyd

  • Climate-controlled chambers for whole organism research
  • Dedicated spaces for student research
  • PCR, Rt-PCR, Western blotting, Immunohistochemistry
  • Animal behavior lab with advanced video tracking
  • BSL-2 Microbiology lab
  • Six 300-liter marine aquariums
  • Human physiology lab
  • Collection of bird specimens
  • Dedicated tissue culture facility
  • Rooftop greenhouse with computerized temperature controls and separate areas for preparation and growing
  • PSH, an herbarium of 20K preserved and mounted specimens
As a biology major you will experience:
  • Hands-on experience from molecules and cells to ecosystems
  • Degree programs in Biology (B.A. and B.S.), Cell and Molecular Biology, and Environmental Biology
  • State-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities, including a 1,400-liter marine aquarium, fully equipped human physiology lab, BSL-2 microbiology and cell biology labs, herbarium and specimen room, and a rooftop greenhouse
  • Opportunities for local, national, and international field studies
  • Partnerships with New Hampshire Fish and Game, Hubbard Brook Research Forest, NH-INBRE grant to further studies of human health in New Hampshire, and others
  • One-on-one advising sessions with a biology faculty member at least once every semester
  • A talented and dedicated faculty
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