About the Program

Of all of the scientific disciplines, Biology is unparalleled in how fast it changes and how powerful it has become in expanding knowledge and improving human health. Recent advances in Biology run the gamut from the development of entirely new subfields such as bioinformatics, systems neurobiology and functional genomics, to the ability to precisely manipulate virtually any gene at the molecular level.

Students majoring in Biological Sciences at Northwestern University are immersed in this environment of innovation and discovery. Through the interdisciplinary Program in Biological Sciences, renowned faculty in the Molecular Biosciences and Neurobiology departments collaborate to provide a state-of-the-art curriculum in Biology and related fields. In addition to taking a comprehensive introductory set of courses, our undergraduates are able to focus on one of five areas of concentration which reflect particularly exciting and popular areas of Biology. These include Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Genomics, Neurobiology, Cell Biology & Physiology, and Plant Biology. Students have the opportunity to learn in a variety of environments, from classrooms and laboratories to on-site classes at the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Students in the Program in Biological Sciences are valued for their knowledge and creativity and are encouraged to become full-fledged members of faculty laboratories. Thus, many Biological Sciences majors participate in our for-credit research program, which offers in-depth, long-term, one-on-one mentoring resulting in the development of their own independent research projects. To maximize these opportunities, students are provided with summer research grant sources and the ability to select research advisors from any of the Biology-related departments belonging to or affiliated with Northwestern University. These include Molecular Biosciences, Neurobiology and other laboratories on the Evanston Campus, laboratories at the Feinberg School of Medicine on the Chicago Campus, research groups at the Field Museum, and Plant Biology laboratories at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The research experiences that result are richly rewarding for students and faculty alike and significantly enhance post-graduate opportunities for our students.