Related Majors, Minors, and Complementary Disciplines
Biology is an integral part of various interdisciplinary majors and minors available to undergraduate students. The biomath initiative supports research and courses in computational modeling of biological phenomena, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. The marine science minor includes courses taught by the faculty at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) and provides interested students with an interdisciplinary background in marine science. The biochemistry minor provides a bridge between biology and chemistry and entry into a major field of interdisciplinary science. The environmental science major combines elements of biology, chemistry, geology, and policy to address how humans use, affect, and manage our environment. The neuroscience major bridges the fields of biology and psychology (plus some math and biophysics) and makes an excellent choice for those interested in the functions and mechanisms of behavior and physiological control. Students interested in public health and medicine may choose the public health minor.
Some important categories of law include biology, and a few Biology majors head off to law school each year. Biology can be excellent background for particular areas of law, including patent law, biomedical law, and policy. Because not many students have the aptitude for both science and law, a B.S. in Biology combined with a degree in law can be an excellent path towards an interesting career.
We hope that many of our students will consider teaching as a profession. This can include college-level teaching (which requires at least a master’s degree and usually a Ph.D.) or grades 6-12 teaching (a teaching certification is recommended). The Biology Department has an active partnership with the W&M School of Education to train new G6-12 teachers certified in science. This includes summer stipends, project support, and scholarship funds up to $10,000 per year in the junior and senior years for students willing to commit to teaching. There is also $10,000 per year support for a master's in education for those graduating with a biology or another science who just needs the specialized training to become a teacher. For more information, consult the general information at the School of Education web page and the specific information at the Noyce Scholars and Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow web pages.