Build a Great Life with the Science of Life

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    Fall 2018 inductees to the FSU Chapter of Tri-Beta, Biological Honor Society

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    Ecology students collecting data out in Baiting Brook

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    Vascular Plant Taxonomy foggy and misty canoe trip on the Ashland Reservoir

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    2018 Biology graduating class


Framingham State’s BS degree in Biology provides excellent preparation for a wide variety of career paths in the health professions, biotechnology, wildlife conservation, industry, research, and education. Our diverse curriculum includes courses in organismal biology, human and animal physiology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, ecology, wildlife biology, botany, and marine biology.

Every Biology major selects a concentration according to their interests and career goals. The five concentrations offered are General Biology (UBIG), Wildlife and Environmental Biology (UBIW), Biotechnology (UBIO), Biology Secondary Education (UBIT), and Pre-Health Biology (UBIP). See the Program links at the bottom of this page for specific Biology core and concentration requirements.

In addition to regular course work, every Biology major participates in an intensive capstone research program. Through first-hand experience students come to understand the scientific process and appreciate the complexity and diversity of biological systems. The program also gives the students invaluable training in scientific writing, data analysis, and oral presentation skills.

Program Learning Objectives

1. Describe principles of biology
2. Solve problems using laboratory and/or field techniques
3. Analyze data objectively
4. Evaluate scientific literature
5. Communicate in written and oral form
6. Relate biological knowledge to ethical/social issues


The Pre-Health Studies Program, jointly run by the Biology Department and the Chemistry & Food Science Department, provides career-specific course guidance to students in any major who are interested in pursuing a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or other health-related career. Students in the Program also have the opportunity to apply to the Health Professions Advisory Committee for a composite letter of recommendation. Please visit the Pre-Health Studies Program page for more information.


Biology majors planning a career in biotechnology or the biopharmaceutical industry may elect to combine their BS in Biology with the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree in Biotechnology - Quality Assurance. This 4+1 program prepares graduates to enter the job market with both scientific expertise and management skills for long-term career growth and success. Interested students should apply in the fall of their junior year. Please visit the BS/PSM 4+1 Program page for more information.


The Biology Department participates in two interdisciplinary programs offered by the University: the Environmental Science and Policy major co-sponsored by the Biology and Geography Departments, and a Neuroscience minor sponsored in conjunction with the Department of Psychology and Philosophy. For more information see Program links below.


Biology majors who are considering a career in a science writing, editing, or publishing may elect to declare a Science Communication minor, an interdisciplinary minor offered by the English Department. The minor consists of five courses, one of which is a 160-hour supervised practical experience in an approved professional setting. To declare a Science Communication minor, students must complete the appropriate form and obtain the signature of one of the following department chairs: Communication Arts, English, or Physics and Earth Sciences. Students should meet with an advisor in the minor to design a course plan. See Program link below for details.


The Biology minor may be elected by non-Biology majors when biology course work would complement the major program. See Program link below.

For non-science majors the Department offers several general education courses on a variety of topics including human biology, marine organisms, plants, and the environment.

Spotlight on Biology

Student Spotlight
Gabrielle Cochrane
Gabrielle Cochrane '20


"Over the summer I had the opportunity to intern at Southwick's Zoo's Bird Husbandry and Enrichment Department. I learned about parrot behavior, anatomy, health, husbandry, enrichment, and training. During my time here I was able to pick a bird to have a training project with. This bird was Jolly the military macaw. My projects this summer were to train him to walk to either side of a table and recycle a bottle, voluntary stethoscope behavior, and to work on a redirection of aggressive behavior that had been heavily reinforced before Jolly joined the zoo."

Alumni Spotlight
Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann
Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann '18


Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann recently started at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center’s Bird Banding Laboratory in August 2018. She earned an associates of science degree from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2008. Before her time at BBL, Chelsea was a broadcast journalist and public affairs specialist in Okinawa, Japan for the United States Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012. In 2018, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in communication from Framingham State University in Massachusetts. While at FSU, Chelsea studied ornithology, and found her passion for birds and field work.

Faculty Spotlight
Professors Bryan Connolly and Rick Beckwitt travelling in the Galapagos
Rick Beckwitt and Bryan Connolly

Biology Faculty

Doctors Beckwitt and Connolly spent winter break traveling to the Galapagos Islands to study plant and marine life. Afterward, they traveled to Loja, a city in the southern part of mainland Ecuador. There they met with colleagues at UTPL Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja to discuss how the two universities can collaborate.