Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Biosciences and a major concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of core concepts in biology.
  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to access scientific literature in the biological sciences and to use critical thinking skills to evaluate primary and secondary sources of biological research.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply the process of science, including designing experiments and/or building mathematical models, and collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
  5. Demonstrate effective oral, written, and visual communication skills, including communicating science to diverse audiences.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Biosciences and a major concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology must complete: 

  • A minimum of 60 credit hours to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 37 credit hours taken at the 300-level or above.
  • Core courses common to all major concentrations.
  • The requirements for the major concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. When students declare the major in Biosciences, students must additionally identify and declare one of the four major concentrations, either in:

Because of the common core requirements, it is possible for students to change their major concentration at any time, even after initially declaring the major. To do so, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

The BA degree emphasizes broad foundational knowledge of biology with in depth exposure to the subfield of ecology and evolutionary biology. Biosciences majors are strongly encouraged to pursue their research interests through independent research experiences. The BA degree program offers greater flexibility than the BS due to fewer required independent research courses as detailed below.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMinimum of 60
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Non-Biology Courses
CHEM 121GENERAL CHEMISTRY I 13
or CHEM 111 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
CHEM 123GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I 11
or CHEM 113 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS II
PHYS 125GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB) 24
STAT 305INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR BIOSCIENCES 34
Core Lecture Courses
BIOS 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY I3
BIOS 202INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY II3
Elective Lecture Course
Select 1 elective course from lecture courses offered by the Wiess School of Natural Sciences or the George R. Brown School of Engineering at the 200-level or above 43
Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Core Requirements
Lecture Courses
BIOS 312ADVANCED COMMUNICATION IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES2
BIOS 332ECOLOGY3
BIOS 334EVOLUTION3
BIOS 338ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION OF BIOLOGICAL DATA3
Elective Lecture Courses in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Select 3 courses from the following:9
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
INSECT BIOLOGY
ANIMAL DIVERSITY
PLANT DIVERSITY
CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS
TRANSFER CREDIT IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Elective Lecture Courses in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Select 2 courses from the following (or select 2 additional courses (6 credit hours) from the Elective Lecture Courses in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, see course list above)6
EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX
PARADIGMS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
BIOCHEMISTRY I
BIOCHEMISTRY II
INTEGRATIVE ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOSCIENCES
CONCEIVING AND MISCONCEIVING THE MONSTROUS IN FICTION AND IN ART, IN MEDICINE AND IN BIOSCIENCE
IMMUNOLOGY
FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
TRANSFER CREDIT IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
STEM CELL BIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
PLANT MOLECULAR GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT
MOLECULES, MEMORY AND MODEL ANIMALS: METHODS IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE
DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
ADVANCED CELL AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
CANCER BIOLOGY
COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA
MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS I
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS
Core Laboratory Course
BIOS 213INTRODUCTORY LAB IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION2
Elective Laboratory Courses in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Select 2 courses from the following:2-4
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH FOR BIOSCIENCES UNDERGRADUATES 5
LAB MODULE IN ECOLOGY
LAB MODULE IN BEHAVIOR
TROPICAL FIELD BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF BRAZILIAN WETLANDS LABORATORY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
INSECT BIOLOGY LAB
FIELD BIRD BIOLOGY LAB
PLANT DIVERSITY LAB
LABORATORY TRANSFER CREDIT IN BIOSCIENCES
Elective Laboratory Course in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Select 1 course from the following:1-2
INTERMEDIATE EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES
1 additional course (1-2 credit hours) from the Elective Laboratory Courses in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (see course list above)
Capstone Requirement 6
Select 1 course from the following:3
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biosciences and Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMinimum of 60
Additional Credit Hours to Complete Degree Requirements *29
University Graduation Requirements *31
Total Credit Hours120

 Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Advising 

Rice University policies are governed primarily by the General Announcements; students are encouraged to look there first for academic policies. Advising information specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website by clicking on the tab for Undergraduate Studies: https://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology should be aware of the following program restrictions:

  • Students pursuing the major in Biosciences may pursue only one major concentration within the major.
  • Students pursuing the major in Biosciences and a major concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology may not additionally declare the minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: https://biosciences.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Biosciences and a Major Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honors

Instructions on applying for the Distinction in Research and Creative Work award from the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: https://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Research in the BioSciences

Research is highly encouraged for all biosciences majors, and there are many opportunities for independent research at Rice. Information about research for credit and research internships specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: https://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: https://biosciences.rice.edu/