Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degree Plan

  • Undergraduate courses support interests in molecular biology, organismal biology and environmental sciences. Undergraduate students who major in Biological Sciences earn either a B.A. or B. S in Biology, or a B.S. in biochemistry offered through a cooperative interdisciplinary program between the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry. The Departmental Distinction Program requires undergraduate research in addition to the course requirements. Students are encouraged to participate in research. A variety of research opportunities are available.
  • Faculty Projects: The faculty in the Department of biological sciences have rigorous and well funded research programs. Students can take part in ongoing projects and work in laboratories with post doctoral fellows and graduate students. The research can be applied towards the departmental Distinction Program, and can count as credit towards the Biology degree.
  • BRITE Scholars Program: Students can enroll in the Biomedical Researchers In Training Experience. the program is intended for students who plan to obtain a Ph.D. degree. Research projects and seminars are conducted in conjunction with UT Southwestern Medical School , Dallas, TX.
  • SMU-in-Taos: Summer field experience is environmental science and botany is available at SMU-in-Taos, New Mexico.

Combined 5-year B.S. - M.S. Degree Program

The primary goal of the Combined BS-MS degree is to encourage and better prepare undergraduates for careers in biological research. The degree plan is rigorous since students will have a 5-year period to complete the requirements for the BS degree in Biological Sciences and the requirements for the MS degree in Molecular and Cell Biology.

Career Paths in Biology

Academic Programs

Students within the Department receive an excellent foundation for careers in medicine, allied health, biotechnology, laboratory research, environmental sciences, and education, to name a few. Students experiences include seminars, lectures, laboratories, study abroad programs and abundant research opportunities. In addition to research equipment available in the laboratories of individual faculty members, the Department has several specialized facilities with equipment used in molecular biology studies and instruments for gene transfection, PCR amplification, ultracentrifugation and scintillation counting. The confocal microscope laboratory is an important facility for examining distributions of proteins within cells and tissues.

Study Abroad
Two SMU study abroad programs are especially relevant to Biology majors. The SMU-in-London at London College offers a wide range of courses in biochemistry, evolution, and acid biology. The SMU-in-Copenhagen program includes pre-med oriented courses including experiences in patient care.
Sample Careers

A bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences opens doors to a wide variety of careers. Recent SMU biology graduates:

  • work towards the Ph.D. degree in Microbiology at Stanford and Yale.
  • complete the residency at Duke University, after completing the M.D. at Johns Hopkins.
  • enroll in the joint M.D./Ph.D. programs at UT Southwestern Medical School and Yale.
  • work as a cancer genetic counselor at UT Southwestern Medical School, after completing the Master's degree in Genetic Counseling at Sarah Lawrence College.
  • teach 8th grade science.
  • work on the M.S. degree in Environmental Management at Duke.
  • study at Baylor University of Dentistry.