Majors in Biology and Related Sciences

Biology Majors & Courses

Biology and environmental science are majors in Natural Sciences focused on the study of living things and their interactions with the world.

About the Different Majors

Students interested in many aspects of life science and sustainability choose to major in biology or environmental science. They learn a broad range of subjects, from molecular evolution to ecosystem organization, and practice fieldwork, laboratory experimentation, mathematical modeling and more. State-of-the-art research facilities and dedicated biological field stations support students at The University of Texas at  Austin as they learn and make discoveries through original research.

Biology and Specialized Options

Students majoring in biology can select among a number of options. Here are a few supported involving faculty from Integrative Biology and the Biology Instructional Office.

  • Computational Biology prepares students interested in bioinformatics and the use of computational approaches to solving biological problems, for example, related to experimental evolution, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, systems biology, ecological, evolutionary and functional genomics and neurogenomics. This is Biology, Option 10.

  • Ecology, Evolution and Behavior focuses on ecological studies and biodiversity with courses that emphasize field experiences. This is Biology, Option 1.

  • Human Biology focuses on human evolution, genetics and genomics, as well as the environment and health. This is Biology, Option 2.

  • Plant Biology focuses on all aspects of plant biology including evolution, physiology, ecology, molecular biology, genomics and development. This is Biology, Option 7.

Students may also opt for biology honors (option 9), to specialize in teaching (8), or for a B.S.A. degree. For more options, please see All Undergraduate Programs and Undergraduate Bioscience Majors and Courses.

Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science is designed for students interested in an interdisciplinary scientific perspective on environmental and sustainability issues, analysis and management. The major provides the broad foundation necessary to pursue a career and/or graduate study in environmental science and related fields such as climate change, ecology or conservation. Students successfully completing the program will be able to critically assess environmental issues from multiple perspectives, perform analysis and conduct original research. Students may also opt to pursue this degree with honors. This program is interdisciplinary with the College of Liberal Arts and Jackson School of Geosciences. More information can be found at the EVS major page of UT's Environmental Science Institute.

Learn more about the EVS major

Courses Majors in these Sciences Take

Get a sense for some of the courses that many of our majors take below. A more complete list for each catalog may be found when you search for your degree option by the year of entry or catalog.

Biology Major Coursework

Entry-Level Requirements

Natural Sciences students declare a degree and a major after receiving passing grades in key courses. For biology, these are typically:

  • Math: Differential and Integral Calculus (M 408C) 
  • Chemistry: Principles of Chemistry I (CH 301)/ Principles of Chemistry II (CH 302) 
  • Biology: Introductory Biology I (BIO 311C)/Introductory Biology II (BIO 311D); Genetics (BIO 325)
Examples of Courses

Students take additional courses in science and other disciplines in this major, such as:

  • Evolution
  • Genetics, Genomics and Computational Biology
  • Cellular Development and Molecular Biology
  • Elements of Statistics 
  • General Physics

Environmental Science Major Coursework

Entry-Level Requirements

Natural Sciences students declare a degree and a major after receiving good grades in key courses and, in the case of environmental science, applying to and being accepted for the program. Key entry-level courses are typically:

  • Math: Differential and Integral Calculus (M 408C)
  • Chemistry: Principles of Chemistry I (CH 301)
  • Biology: Introductory Biology I (BIO 311C)
  • Geosciences: Geology (GEO 401)
Examples of Courses

Students take additional courses in science and other disciplines in this major, and they have dedicated research experience courses. Examples include:

  • Ecology Laboratory
  • Economic Botany
  • Field Seminar in Sustainability
  • Geography
  • General Physics