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School of Humanities and Sciences

Biology will provide you with a broad-based biology curriculum.

What You'll Study

The general biology major is designed for students who would like a broad-based biology curriculum. The major starts with an introductory course in biology (60-level BIO courses), taken during freshman year. As sophomores and juniors, students will take 5 of 6 Bio Foundations courses (80-level BIO courses). Additional foundational courses include two lab courses (BIO 45 and either BIO 46 or 47), chemistry, physics, math, and statistics. As juniors and seniors, students will take 23 units of upper-division electives from Biology (BIO), Hopkins Marine Station (BIOHOPK), and from the approved out-of-department elective list for the major.

Students have the option to add honors. In order to do honors within Biology, students must apply for and complete the requirements for the departmental honors program, which include 10 units of BIO 199 or 199X, an independent honors thesis, a poster or oral presentation at the conclusion of senior year, and a GPA of at least 3.0 within the major. Students must apply for honors at least two quarters prior to graduating. For most students with a graduation quarter of Spring, this means that they should apply for honors no later than Autumn quarter of their senior year. For more information, please visit our Honors website.

Degrees Offered

  • BS
  • Minor
  • Honors
  • Coterm

More Information

Learn more about Biology in the Stanford Bulletin

Exploratory Courses

BIO 105A

Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (EARTHSYS 105A)

BIO 105B

Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (EARTHSYS 105B)


Sensory Ecology of Marine Animals


Catching up with Traditional Ecological Knowledge


Views of a Changing Sea: Literature & Science


Ocean Conservation: Pathways to Solutions


Conservation Photography


Human Origins

Related Links

Major Requirements

Honors Information

Minor Requirements

Co-Term Information

Hopkins Marine Station