Biology in the last two decades has been transformed by the emergence of genomics and its focus on comprehensive and data-intensive approaches to the study of living organisms. Formally, genomics is the scientific study of a genome, the complete DNA sequence of an individual, a population or a species. More generally, the name is also used to refer to a series of related “-omics” that reflect the comprehensive study of the full complement of, for example, proteins (hence, proteomics), transcripts (transcriptomics) or metabolites (metabolomics). The essential feature of the “-omes” is that they concentrate on the complete collection of genes, proteins, transcripts or metabolites, not just on the study of individual entities. It is this focus on comprehensive and high-throughput approaches to questions in biology that distinguishes this area of concentration.

The Genomics Concentration involves faculty in Biology, as well as others in departments in Arts & Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering, who are committed to welcoming undergraduate Biology majors into their research programs. The Genomics Concentration encourages students to take basic and advanced level courses covering the experimental and computational approaches that define this field and emphasizes applying this knowledge to ongoing research projects in biology through Independent Study.

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Area of Concentration in Genomics will receive a note on their official transcript certifying successful completion of the Area of Concentration.

Area advisor

Area Advisors Area Faculty

Dr. Greg Wray, Professor, Department of Biology, and Director, Center for Genomic & Computational Biology
Phone: 684-6696, e-mail:

Baugh, Benfey, Buchler, Haase, Magwene, Mitchell-Olds, Noor, Schmid, Willis, Wray
Crawford, Dietrich, Gersbach, Reddy, Royal, Wernegreen and others by arrangement




For B.S. Degree For B.A. Degree
  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry OR
  • CHEM 110DL Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in context OR
  • CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit
  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry OR
  • CHEM 110DL Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in context OR
  • CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit
  • CHEM201DL Organic Chemistry

NOTE: CHEM 210DL and CHEM 202L are recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.


For B.S. Degree For B.A. Degree
  • MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 121 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 21 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • BOTH MATH 105L/106L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and II
  • STA 102 Introductory Biostatistics  OR
  • BIOLOGY 304 (204) Biological Data Analysis (cannot be double counted as an elective) OR
  • STA 101 or above Data Analysis/Statistical Inference
  • MATH 112L Laboratory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 122 Introductory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 22 Introductory Calculus II OR
  • STA 102 Biostatistics OR STA 101 or above OR
  • BIOLOGY 304 Biological Data Analysis (cannot also count as an elective)



For B.S. Degree For B.A. Degree
  • PHYSICS 141L General Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 151L Introductory Mechanics OR
  • PHYSICS 161D Fundamentals of Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 25 (AP credit)
  • No Physics required

NOTE: PHYSICS 142L is recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.

Biology Major Requirements (minimum 10 courses)

The following courses are required for students pursuing both the B.S. and B.A. biology credentials.

Gateway Courses (2 or 1 courses)

The gateways are not sequenced and can be taken in either order.

  • BIOLOGY 201L Molecular Biology (prerequisite: Chem 101D or equivalent)
  • BIOLOGY 202L Genetics & Evolution


  • BIOLOGY 203L Molecular Biology, Genetics & Evolution (prerequisite: Biology AP 5 and Chem 101D or equivalent)

Biology Area Requirements (3 courses)

Select 1 course from EACH of the following three areas. Courses listed in more than one area may only be used to meet one area requirement.

Genomics Concentration Area Electives (5 or 6 courses)

A maximum of 2 independent studies or tutorials may count toward the major.

  • BIOLOGY 293 Research Independent Study or equivalent (ex. MGM 293/593, etc.) with a concentration area faculty member or approval of the area advisor.
  • 3 courses from the following list (at least one of the 3 must be listed in Biology):
    • BIOLOGY 261D Race, Genomics, and Society
    • BIOLOGY 310/EVANTH 310 Primate Evolutionary Genetics
    • BIOLOGY/EVANTH 318 Human Evolutionary Genetics
    • BIOLOGY 320 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
    • BIOLOGY 325 Genome Technologies
    • BIOLOGY 326S Evolutionary Genomics
    • BIOLOGY 417S Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
    • BIOLOGY 450S Genomics of Adaptatation
    • BIOLOGY 452S Genes and Development
    • BIOLOGY 490S Methods in Computational Biology and Genomics (Fall 2017)
    • BIOLOGY 490S The Great Human Diaspora (Spring 2018)
    • BIOLOGY 493 or equivalent 2nd term Research Independent Study (continuation of Ind Study from above)
    • BME/CBB 561L Genome Science and Technology Lab (approved alternate elective)
    • CBB 520 Genome Tools and Technologies (approved alternate elective)
    • COMPSCI 260 Introduction to Computational Genomics (approved alternate elective)
    • CBB/Compsci 561 Computational Sequence Biology (approved alternate elective)
    • GENOME 222FS(122FS) Genetics & Epigenetics (approved alternate elective)
    • PHARM 370 Pharmacogenomics (approved alternate elective)
    • GENOME 256 Genome Sciences and Society (if taken prior to Fall 2020)
  • 1 course listed or cross-listed in Biology at the 200-level or above or approved alternate elective course if using BIO 201L/202L (can use approved alternate elective only if the max of 2 hasn't been reached with the courses above) OR 2 courses listed or cross-listed in Biology at the 200-level or above or approved alternate elective course if using Bio 203L.
    NOTE: A maximum of 2 or 3 approved alternate electives in the biological sciences may be counted toward the major (depending on Gateway sequence).

Not currently offered:
BIOLOGY 251L Molecular Evolution
BIOLOGY 311 Systems Biology: An Introduction for the Quantitative Sciences
BIOLOGY 350 Complex Traits and Evolutionary Genetics
BIOLOGY 554 Genomic Perspectives on Human Evolution

Lab Experience Requirement

Through your electives, you must take at least 2 full lab courses in addition to the gateway courses. For the genomics concentration, this requirement is fulfilled by taking BIOLOGY 293 Research Independent Study, and 1 additional lab course elective at the 200 level or above.

Capstone Course Requirement

You must take at least 1 full 400-level or higher biology 'Capstone' course or other approved capstone course. Independent study can count towards this requirement if it is a second semester continuation.