Integrative Biology

Brief Description of Concentration

integrative biologyEvolution is the strand that ties together all of biology: from the adaptive specifics of a membrane pore to grand events in the history of life, such as the Cambrian Explosion, when, 540 million years ago, life went in a single bound from simple to complex. Adaptive evolution is a response to the demands of the environment, whether this is the environment within a cell or an ecological community of interacting organisms. Integrative Biology (IB) therefore is inherently inter-disciplinary, encompassing mathematical and computational biology, functional and genetic approaches to morphology and development, as well as genetics, evolution, and ecology.

Learning Objectives

 Courses emphasize student learning, critical thinking, and may include participation in research and field experiences, with the goal of fostering a foundation of knowledge and appetite for life-long learning, as students prepare for careers in the life sciences and related fields and professions.

Gateway Courses

  • Life Sciences 1a or Life and Physical Sciences A or Life Sciences 50a (Fall)
  • Life Sciences 1b or Life Sciences 50b (Spring)
  • OEB 10 (Fall, typically sophomore year)


IB alumni pursue a wide range of career paths.  Many go on to grad school (whether professional — typically Medical School, but also Law School — or academic — PhD or Masters programs) and many go straight into the workplace: environmental work, the law, teaching, public health, biotech, computing, consulting, etc, etc.