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School of Health Sciences

Biology Major


Biology Major

The B.S. in Biology major degree program provides students with a firm foundation for a career in the biological sciences.

The Biology major is centered on biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. In addition, students are presented with meaningful educational experiences based on the knowledge perspectives of the Lasell University core curriculum: creativity and aesthetics, scientific inquiry and problem solving, individuals and society, and global and historical perspectives.

Program Features

The program features many extracurricular opportunities to give students leadership/team experience and portfolio material. 

  • Students take part in a semester off-campus field experience that provides professional interaction and training in a student's chosen area of career focus within the biological sciences.

  • Lasell has partnered with St. George’s University in Grenada (SGU) to offer undergraduate students a direct pathway into medical school. Undergraduate students can apply to SGU’s pathway at any point during their undergraduate career.

What You'll Learn

From your first day, you’ll take courses in your major and advance towards graduation with a yearly plan. Not sure what classes to take? We’ll help you create the perfect plan. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain and apply the evidence that supports evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between structure and function at all levels of life.
  • Apply the principles governing storage, synthesis, and manipulation of genetic information.
  • Show an understanding of how the laws of thermodynamics and chemical pathways impact the growth and development of organisms.
  • Demonstrate proficient performance, comprehension and application of laboratory techniques including but not limited to cell and microorganism culture, micropipetting, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and DNA analysis.

For a complete list of courses and learning outcomes, view the Academic Catalog >>

Accelerated Master's Program

Save time and money — earn your graduate degree in just 1 year with the Accelerated Master's program. Learn more and how to apply >>

Undergraduate alumni return to Lasell for second (or third!) degrees 
Read their stories >>

Career Success with Biology Degree

Biology majors learn a broad range of transferable skills and gain strong competence in critical thinking and hands-on experience. There is a wide variety of Connected Learning opportunities for Biology students.

Our students have interned with:

  • Blueprint Medicines
  • Batavia Biosciences
  • Alpha Analytics
  • The Water's Edge Farm
  • Newton-Wellesley Hospital
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Mt. Auburn Hospital

Our alumni work as:

  • Toxicology Lab Technician
  • Genetics Lab Technician
  • Histology Lab Technician
  • Cytology Lab Technician
  • Pathology Lab Technician
  • Organ Operations Technician
  • Quality Control Technician



Request more information about the Biology Degree:


BIO101 - Principles of Biology I (KP)

This is an introductory lecture and laboratory course in biology to develop an appreciation for the patterns and functions that characterize living organisms. Emphasis is placed on cellular biology. Topics include: the chemistry of life, cell structure, and cell metabolism (respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis.) Co-requisites: BIO101L.

BIO102 - Principles of Biology II (KP)

This lecture and laboratory course is the second semester of a year-long introductory biology sequence which explores the scientific study of life. Topics include introductions to Darwinian evolution, principles of inheritance, evolution & immunity, and a survey of human body systems & homeostatic mechanisms. The laboratory provides an environment for active learning to support understanding of concepts presented in the course. Prerequisite: BIO101 with a C or better. Corequisite: BIO102L.

BIO207 - Environmental Science (KP)

In this course, students will study the basic functions of the environment and the impact humans have on biodiversity, including the effects of pollution, climate change, and resource demands. Students will evaluate their own energy consumption and the demands of everyday appliances and electronics. Sustainability, environmental activism, and the impact the environment has on human health will also be examined.

BIO209 - Molecular Biology

This lecture and laboratory will present the basic principles of molecular biology. Topics include nucleic acid-protein interactions, the Central Dogma, gene regulation, and genetic evolution. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce the methodology and research used in molecular biology, including nucleic acid extraction, PCR, Western Blot, and gel electrophoresis. Prerequisite: BIO101 Corequisite: BIO209L

BIO211 - Microbiology

This lecture and laboratory introduces the microbial world and the laboratory techniques required for its study. Topics include the basic characteristics of fungi, algae, bacteria, and viruses. Topics and applications that relate to humans are emphasized. Prerequisite: BIO101. Corequisite: BIO211L

BIO216 - Zoology

This course provides an introduction to the classification, relationships, structure, and function of major animal phyla. Emphasis is on levels of organization, reproduction and development, comparative systems, and a survey of selected phyla.

BIO303 - Plant Biology

This course presents a comprehensive introduction to plant biology including an overview of major groups of plants, plant cells and cell types, plant anatomy & physiology, and ecology. Prerequisite: BIO101 with C or better

BIO310 - Genetics

This lecture and laboratory will focus on principles related to the inheritance of traits regulated by genes. The chemical and physical nature of chromosomes and genes and gene expression and regulation will be covered. Systems in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms exemplifying Mendelian and modern molecular genetic principles will be discussed. Prerequisite: BIO101. Corequisite: BIO310L

BIO340 - Research Methods

This course covers research concepts in the healthcare and fitness industry including the logic of experimental and correlational designs, issues of control, sampling, measurement of variables, ethical issues in research, use of online professional search procedures, and writing in APA style. Students engage in various aspects of the research process culminating in a research paper on a discipline specific topic. Prerequisite: MATH 208

BIO406 - Evolutionary Biology

Evolution is the unifying theory of biology, applicable to all biological organisms including humans. Understanding evolutionary biology is critical for biologists and anyone who seeks an understanding of the natural world. This class employs an analytical approach to explore the pattern and process of evolution in all life forms, from viruses to single celled organisms to plants to Homo sapiens. Evolutionary genetics will be considered as the foundation underlying all aspects of evolutionary biology, and concepts in speciation, adaptation, classification, population genetics, and macroevolution will be covered in depth. The importance of evolutionary concepts to all facets of biology will be emphasized, particularly the interplay between evolution and ecology, genetics, development, and medicine. Prerequisite: BIO310 with a C or better.

BIO420 - Field Experience in Health Science

This is an off-campus experience in a hospital, clinic, corporate, university or commercial setting, as appropriate. Concepts, theories, and practices learned in the classroom are applied in a supervised setting. Students must successfully complete at least 200 hours of field experience in addition to written assignments. Prerequisites: BIO 211, BIO 340 and Permission of Program Chair.

BIO430 - Health Science Capstone

The capstone course prepares students to engage in research at the graduate level and to create an opportunity for students to apply various concepts and theories attained throughout the curriculum. The content of this course focuses on opportunities for undergraduate research. Students will develop an original research question, with focus on methodology, data collection and statistical analysis. Prerequisite: BIO 340 with a C or better.

CHEM203 - General Chemistry I (KP)

The course begins with a study of measurement and matter. An introduction to atomic theory follows. Mass relationships in chemical reactions are introduced, followed by the study of chemical reactions in aqueous solutions. The gas laws are then covered, followed by an introduction to thermodynamics. Concepts of chemical bonding are studied along with periodic relationships among the elements. Quantum theory is used to explain the electronic structure of atoms. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: MATH203 or higher. Corequisite: CHEM203L and CHEM203R.

CHEM204 - General Chemistry II

This second half of this two-semester sequence explores areas of solution chemistry, acid/base chemistry, chemical kinetics and physical chemistry, nuclear, and organic chemistry. Physical properties of solutions are explained including vapor pressure lowering, boiling point elevation, freezing point depression and osmotic pressure. The effects of chemical kinetics on reactions are covered. Chemical equilibrium, acid and base equilibrium, and solubility equilibrium are introduced. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: MATH106 with a grade of C or better & CHEM203. Corequisite: CHEM204L and CHEM204R.

CHEM303 - Organic Chemistry

This course is focused on the structure and chemistry of organic compounds. Topics include thermodynamics, resonance, reaction mechanisms of organic functional groups and stereochemistry. The course meets for three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHEM204. Corequisite CHEM303L

CHEM304 - Organic Chemistry II

The second half of a two-semester sequence. Topics include synthetic applications of organic reactions, delocalization and aromaticity. Principles and application of instrumental methods for organic structure determination will be studied in the laboratory. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHEM303. Corequisite CHEM304L

MATH203 - Precalculus

This course prepares students for the study of calculus, physics and other courses requiring precalculus skills. Included is solving systems of equations, the analysis and graphing of linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational functions, the unit circle, and triangle (right and non-right) trigonometry. Prerequisite: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing. Restrictions: not open to students who have completed 205, 206, or any 300 level mathematics course successfully.

MATH205 - Calculus I

This course is an introduction to limits, continuity, and methods of differentiation. Application to problems in business management and physical science is emphasized. Prerequisite: MATH 203 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing. Restrictions: not open to students who have completed MATH 206, or any 300 level mathematics courses.

MATH208 - Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102.

PHYS111 - General Physics I (KP)

This is the first semester of a one-year course that surveys the field of physics at a non-calcu­lus level. Topics include motion in one and two dimensions, force, uniform circular motion, work and energy, and statics of rigid bodies. The laws of thermodynamics are introduced. Laboratory experiments are conducted to complement the material covered in lecture. Prerequisite: MATH 203 or equivalent with a grade of C or better. Corequisite: PHYS111L, PHYS111R.

PHYS112 - General Physics II (KP)

This is a continuation of PHYS111. Topics include waves motion, electric potential, electric current, resistance, capacitance, and magnetism. Geometrical and wave optics are introduced. Atomic and quantum theory are also included. Laboratory experiments are conducted to com­plement the material covered in lecture. Prerequisite: PHYS 111 with a C or better. Corequisite: PHYS112L, PHYS112R.

PSYC101 - Psychological Perspectives (KP)

In this course, students learn to think like psychologists as they study classic and contemporary topics in human behavior, feeling, and thought. Students learn to apply psychological perspectives of thought, including biological, cognitive, sociocultural, humanistic, psychodynamic, and behaviorist, to better understand the human experience. Students will learn to use these perspectives to explore how individual behavior is influenced by and influences one’s biology, family, community and society. Topics may include human development, personality, psychopathology, human relationships, language, memory, perceptual processes, and intelligence, among others.