Biological Sciences Major (B.A.)

Biological Sciences Major (B.A.)
biological sciences

Explore the living world through hands-on experience in the lab and in the field

Discover the inner workings of living organisms from molecules to ecosystems in our biological sciences program. As our largest and most popular major, the biological sciences program is designed to give you the degree you want — through self-designed concentrations, independent study, research projects, internships, job shadows and more. You can also tailor your biological sciences degree toward pre-health and pre-med to help you meet requirements for medical school or graduate programs.

What is biological sciences?

Biology is the study of life, exploring how living organisms from microbes to animals to ecosystems interact with one another and the environment. The biological sciences program builds a foundation in topics like evolution, microbiology, molecular and cellular biology, biodiversity and more. Through diverse areas of study and hands-on experience, biological sciences students will be prepared for careers in industries from healthcare to agriculture to education, or for further education in graduate, medical or veterinary school.

Why study biological sciences at UNH Manchester?

UNH Manchester’s largest and most popular major, the biological sciences program is designed to give students the skills and hands-on experience for careers or further education in a range of competitive fields. Experiential learning is central to this program—students work side-by-side with faculty on research projects in our state-of-the-art labs and get real-world experience through internships and job shadows. With student-designed concentrations spanning areas such as biology teaching, genomics, ecology, microbiology, pre-professional health and more, biological sciences majors can customize their degrees for the future they want.

Potential careers

  • Dentist
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Occupational or Physical Therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician Assistant or Pathologists’ Assistant
  • Professor
  • Research Technician
  • Science Teacher
  • Veterinarian

Affiliate Faculty Member, Hubbard Center for Genome Studies
Program Coordinator, UNH Manchester Biosciences
Phone: (603) 641-4129
Office: Life Sciences, 88 Commercial Street, RM 559, Manchester, NH 03101

Request Information

Become a Millyard Scholar

The Millyard Scholars Program provides scholarships, research opportunities and distinctive academic programming to exceptional incoming biological sciences students. Learn more and apply

Accelerated Master's in Biotechnology

The industry-focused M.S. in Biotechnology: Industrial and Biomedical Sciences combines skill-based training in our state-of-the-art labs and innovative experiential learning opportunities with local companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology fields. Qualified students can earn a B.S. and M.S. in just five years by taking graduate-level courses during senior year. Learn more

Curriculum & Requirements

Biology is the study of living organisms in both laboratory and field conditions. It concerns itself with questions of understanding the living world, its complex interrelationships, and the role of human beings within it.

The B.A. in biological sciences at UNH Manchester is designed to:

  • allow students to earn a baccalaureate degree in biology at UNH Manchester;
  • allow students to combine study in biology with other programs and disciplines by completing a second major, a minor, or a self-designed set of elective courses along with their biology degree;
  • provide an opportunity for students to complete a baccalaureate degree in biology while preparing to pursue a Master's degree in biology, biotechnology, or other fields. These degree programs could be undertaken after completion of the B.A. Alternatively, UNH offers several accelerated Master's programs where excellent senior students in the Biological Sciences major can complete coursework towards their undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same time;
  • allow students to complete a major in biology while taking required courses in education in preparation for the five-year M.A.T. or M.Ed. programs and state certification in secondary science education; or alternative state certification pathway;
  • provide an opportunity for students to complete a baccalaureate degree in biology while completing the required courses for admission to medical, dental, veterinary, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy, optometry, and other professional or graduate programs.

Employment opportunities in the public and private sectors include education; industrial, clinical, and research laboratories; biotechnology; and environmental field research.

For more information, contact Kyle MacLea, Program Coordinator, or contact the Office of Admissions, (603) 641-4150.

Sample Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
BIOL 413 Principles of Biology I 4
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
MATH 418 Analysis and Applications of Functions 4
UMST 401 First Year Seminar 2
BIOL 414 Principles of Biology II 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology 4
Discovery Course 4
Second Year
BIOL 541W Ecology 4
Foreign Language I 4
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
BMS 503
BMS 504
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
GEN 604 Principles of Genetics 4
Foreign Language II 4
Discovery Course 4
Third Year
600/700 Biological Concentration 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
600/700 Biological Concentration 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
Fourth Year
600/700 Biological Concentration 4
Capstone 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
600/700 Biological Concentration 4
BSCI 701 Senior Seminar I 1
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 1
 Total Credits129

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Each course required in the major must be completed with a minimum grade of C-. Students must attain a minimum GPA in the major of 2.0. Transfer students must complete at least 24 credits in the major at UNH. BIOL 413 Principles of Biology I, BIOL 414 Principles of Biology II may be used to satisfy the biological sciences Discovery requirement and CHEM 403 General Chemistry I, CHEM 404 General Chemistry II may be used to satisfy the Physical Sciences Discovery requirement. PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology may be used to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Discovery requirement; however, students interested in graduate or professional programs are encouraged to take MATH 425 Calculus I, or MATH 424B Calculus for Life Sciences, to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

The UNH Manchester B.A. in biological sciences program is structured with three levels of coursework.

Biology Courses
BIOL 411Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular4
or BIOL 413 Principles of Biology I
BIOL 412Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology4
or BIOL 414 Principles of Biology II
BMS 503
BMS 504
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
BIOL 541WEcology4
GEN 604Principles of Genetics4
Chemistry Courses
CHEM 403
CHEM 404
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Mathematics Courses
Select one of the following:4
MATH 418
Analysis and Applications of Functions
MATH 425
Calculus I
Calculus for Life Sciences
Statistics Course
PSYC 402Statistics in Psychology4
or BIOL 528 Applied Biostatistics I
or BUS 430 Introduction to Business Statistics
Total Credits37

Self-Designed Concentration in Biology

Students will select, in consultation with their advisor, four biology courses at the 600-700 level to be taken at UNH Manchester or UNH Durham.

Capstone Experience

BSCI 701Senior Seminar I (during either semester of senior year) 11
In consultation with your academic advisor, select a capstone experience:4
BSCI 792
BSCI 793
BSCI #794
Clinical Microbiology Internship
BSCI 795
Independent Study
Total Credits5

BSCI 701 will meet weekly during either semester of the senior year in a seminar format. Students will share information about capstone experiences, listen to presentations on timely issues in biology, develop career preparation skills, and receive training in poster production. Other methods of oral presentation and scientific writing are explored as students prepare to present the results of their capstone activities at the Undergraduate Research Conference or other venues.

In addition, all students will take elective courses to fulfill the 128-credit requirement for a B.A. degree. These elective courses could fulfill the requirements for a major or minor in another program or they could fulfill a self-designed interdisciplinary concentration. Where appropriate, a student could include some of the biology-related supporting science courses listed above. These courses would be selected in consultation with the advisor and the appropriate faculty advisor in another program.

Depending on specific academic and career goals, in particular, students preparing for professional or graduate programs, may, in consultation with their advisor, elect to take additional supporting science courses such as:

CHEM 545
CHEM 546
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory (one semester)
CHEM 651
CHEM 653
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory (two semesters)
CHEM 652
CHEM 654
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory (two semesters)
BMCB 658
BMCB 659
General Biochemistry
and General Biochemistry Lab
MATH 426Calculus II4
PHYS 401Introduction to Physics I4
PHYS 402Introduction to Physics II4

These courses are often required for admission to medical, professional, and other graduate programs. Medical and dental graduate schools also require PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology and SOC 400 Introductory Sociology.

A student successfully completing the Biological Sciences program will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of basic biological principles, concepts, and theories.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, apply, and synthesize biological information and ideas.
  • Be competent in basic biology and chemistry laboratory skills and with the use of common laboratory equipment and instrumentation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate technical information related to biological sciences related topics in scientific writing and oral presentations.
  • Understand, analyze, and evaluate primary research literature involving biological sciences related topics.
  • Understand and apply the process of the scientific method, including being able to formulate hypotheses, design and conduct experiments with adequate controls to test hypotheses, interpret and evaluate data, and draw conclusions.
  • Gather, analyze, organize, evaluate, and present scientific data, including the use of technology to solve problems and communicate information.
  • Demonstrate the ability to function as a member of a team.
  • Compete effectively for entry-level employment and for admission to graduate or professional schools in their chosen area and be successful in these endeavors.

Explore Program Details

Because of the popularity and size of our biological sciences program, we’ve more than doubled our laboratory space. You’ll get hands-on experience in our seven state-of-the-art laboratories: general biology, advanced biology, microbiology, general chemistry and organic chemistry, as well as the cell culture research lab and microbiology research lab.

Labs are stocked with the latest, cutting-edge equipment and are taught by residential faculty or experienced instructors, all of whom specialize in their discipline.

Our biological sciences program prepares you for graduate or professional studies, or for a career in the laboratory, conference room, lecture hall, surgical suite or more – the choice is yours. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive growth in biological sciences professions between 2012 and 2024, translating to vast possibilities for your future.

Job Title
Job Growth
Average Salary
Agricultural and Food Scientist 5% $62,470
Biochemist 8% $82,150
Biological Science Teacher, Postsecondary 13% $72,470
Biological Technician 5% $41,650
Dentist 18% $158,310
Environmental Scientist 11% $67,460
Forensic Science Technician 27% $56,320
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist 16% $50,550
Medical Scientist 8% $82,240
Microbiologist 4% $67,550
Natural Sciences Manager 3% $120,160
Occupational Therapist 27% $80,150
Optometrist 27% $103,900
Pharmacist 3% $121,500
Physician or Surgeon 14% $187,200
Physician Assistant 30% $98,180
Veterinarian 9% $88,490

Learn more about career planning

The industry-focused M.S. in Biotechnology: Industrial and Biomedical Sciences combines skill-based training in our state-of-the-art labs and innovative experiential learning opportunities with local companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology fields. Qualified students can earn a B.S. and M.S. in just five years by taking graduate-level courses during senior year. Learn more


Our campus is in the heart of the region’s cultural, economic, entertainment and government activity — putting unlimited internship opportunities at your doorstep. We’ve partnered with local businesses to give you the real-world experience that sets you apart. Biological sciences majors have interned at many high-profile organizations in the area, including:

  • Concord Hospital
  • Manchester Water Works
  • New Hampshire Audubon Society
  • Normandeau Associates

Learn more about internships

robust job shadow at elliot hospital laboratory

We've partnered with Elliot Hospital to offer a robust job shadow at the Elliot Laboratory. Faculty members will select two students each spring and fall semester to participate in the shadow, which gives students hands-on experience in each section of the medical lab.

Shoals Marine Laboratory

UNH has partnered with the Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) to offer summer undergraduate courses and research internships at the SML field station in Kittery, Maine. With courses like marine mammal biology, wildlife forensics and underwater research, students get land- and boat-based experience in the field. SML credits can be applied toward your biological sciences major requirements.

Learn more about shoals marine lab

Advising is available for UNH students, alumni, and post baccalaureates pursuing health professional careers. The Pre-Health Advising Office provides support throughout the process of preparing for health professions school from advising on the courses they should take to helping navigate through the complex steps of the application process.

UNH Manchester has a unique articulation agreement with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University that allows you to earn your B.A. in biological sciences from UNH Manchester plus a Master of Physician Assistant Studies or Doctor of Pharmacy degree from MCPHS’s Manchester campus.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.)

While pursuing your bachelor’s at UNH Manchester, you’ll work closely with your advisor to make sure you complete prerequisites for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at MCPHS University. Each academic year, the most competitive students (top six) are given preferential consideration for admission to the M.P.A.S. program. Upon completing your UNH degree requirements, you’ll transfer to MCPHS’s Manchester campus to complete the 24-month M.P.A.S. degree.

Already earned a bachelor’s degree at UNH or another college? You can still complete MCPHS’s M.P.A.S. program prerequisites at UNH Manchester. Transfer students are not eligible for the collaborative program but may apply through MCPHS’s regular admission process.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)

To get your Doctor of Pharmacy degree, you’ll complete three years of study in UNH Manchester’s pre-pharmacy track then transfer to MCPHS’s Manchester campus to fulfill your remaining bachelor’s requirements and complete the accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Each academic year, the most competitive (top six) biological sciences students are given preferential consideration for admission to the accelerated professional phase of MCPHS’s Pharm.D. program. As part of this articulation agreement, all prerequisite courses must be taken at UNH’s campuses in either Manchester or Durham.

In partnership with the New Hampshire community colleges below, we've developed curriculum guides to show you which courses at your community college will transfer into UNH Manchester's biological sciences program. 

Click on a community college below to see transferable biological sciences requirements.

Questions? Contact an admission counselor for help.

See the complete list of Pathways

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