Our major provides many ways of looking at living things. Core courses introduce complementary perspectives on life. Advanced courses bring students to the edge of what we know, and provide a foundation for original work. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College’s Learning Goals and the Biological Sciences Department's Learning Goals

Research interests of the faculty include animal behavior, anatomy, biomechanics, cell biology, development, ecology, evolution, gene regulation, history of biology, human physiology, invasion biology, invertebrates, microbiology, molecular ecology, neurobiology, plant diversity, plant genetics, and symbiosis. 

The department’s facilities include transmission electron, scanning electron, and fluorescence microscopes, image capture and processing equipment, a tissue culture room, a greenhouse, controlled environment chambers, molecular biology equipment, and several computer-equipped teaching. Detailed information on required credits and courses for the major and the minor can be found in the Biological Sciences chapter of the catalog

Courses and Requirements

See the Biological Sciences chapter of the course catalog > 

See the Neuroscience and Behavior chapter of the course catalog > 

Five College Biomathematical Sciences Certificate

The Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences is currently available to students enrolled at Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.

A minimum of six courses are required:

  • One gateway course: Frontiers in Biomathematics (IDP 170)
  • 4 courses in the life sciences (Biology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry) or 4 courses in the quantitative sciences (Math, Statistics, Computer Science)
  • A capstone course in biomathematical or biostatistical methods or an honors thesis in a biomathematical sciences topic
  • A research experience of one summer (or equivalent) with a team of life and mathematical science mentors.

The four courses are expected to complement the student's major. For example, life sciences majors would take four courses on the Math/Stats/Computer science side and alternatively, quantitative science majors would take four courses on the life sciences side. At least two of the complementary courses should be upper level courses. Hybrid courses, e.g., computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, would count toward either life sciences or quantitative sciences. Frontiers in Biomathematics (offered Spring only) is the only course that is exclusive to the certificate.