CU-Boulder offers three undergraduate majors in the biological sciences: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO); Integrative Physiology (IPHY); and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB). All three majors lead to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Highly motivated students may also apply for a combined B.A./M.A. program in EBIO that typically takes five years to complete.

The EBIO major offers both breadth and depth: initially it provides a broad, comprehensive foundation in biology. As you progress in your studies you are encouraged to delve into a biological area of interest in more depth.

As an EBIO major, you begin by taking a year of introductory biology, including lectures and labs. Following the introductory courses you take ecology, statistics, genetics, and evolutionary biology. You will also take courses in the ancillary sciences of chemistry, physics, and math.

You may pursue diverse areas of interest while completing your major, such as conservation biology, ecology, evolution, biodiversity, and health science/medicine. If you are interested in the fields of botany, zoology, or the evolutionary and ecological aspects of microbiology, this major is right for you.

Students who understand how organisms interact with their environment and are constrained by their evolutionary histories, are well prepared for anticipated careers in many applied fields of health and law, as well as conservation and natural resource management. Ecological and evolutionary principles underlie most current issues in human ecology, local and global environmental change, dietary health, and epidemiology. When combined with elective courses in related departments, the EBIO major is an ideal preparation for post-graduate studies in medicine, public health, environmental law, and environmental policy.

Opportunities open to those with the B.A. degree include industrial and research laboratory work; research and manufacturing positions in biotechnology industries; health care organizations; technical editing and publishing; scientific illustration; wildlife conservation projects; employment with gas and oil companies; or firms that produce agricultural chemicals, pest controls, dietary supplements, foods, and beverages; positions in county, state, and federal agencies; entry-level jobs with zoos, arboreta, and museums; positions as sales and service representatives in business and industry, including pharmaceuticals and medical products; and a variety of management training programs. If you earn Colorado teacher licensure you will be qualified to apply for high school teaching positions.

Many graduates enter professional or graduate school, undertaking advanced study in basic biological research, as well as various fields related to the health sciences.  Let our professional academic advisors and faculty work with you to plan the right program to meet your needs.  You will also find on-line information about career opportunities in EBIO fields.

Career Services ( helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work.

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

Located in the Ramaley Biology building, the EBIO department supports teaching and research facilities in such diverse areas as ecology, population genetics and evolution, plant ecophysiology, bioenergetics, aquatic biology, animal behavior, tropical biology, microbiology, conservation biology, biogeography, and morphology.

Nearby field study areas include grassland, semideserts, coniferous forests, tundra, lakes, streams, and reservoirs at a range of elevations from 5,000 to 14,000 feet. Special courses and research facilities are available at the university’s Mountain Research Station, which is one of the best known sites for alpine research in the world.

CU-Boulder’s EBIO department is internationally recognized in several areas of re-search, including ecology of microbes in extreme environments, biogeochemistry, plant ecophysiology, conservation and disturbance ecology, animal behavior, the geography of evolution, plant-animal interactions, evolutionary developmental biology of plants and animals, and biological informatics. EBIO students have many opportunities to work on research projects with faculty, either in independent study, or through BURST or UROP. These two programs offer students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data and present the results. For more information, call BURST at 303-492-8230, or UROP at 303-492-2596, (

You may also seek honors in EBIO, which results in the designation of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude at graduation. Honors work usually involves special coursework and an honors research project. Look into this program early because it involves securing a faculty sponsor and developing an individual project.

The experience of studying abroad can prove invaluable for you as an EBIO major. Your first-hand experience abroad can expose you to the world’s biological diversity and different approaches to the study of biology. The university offers more than 100 programs throughout the world - for academic credit. You may spend a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program you select. 

Some programs require prior language study or other prerequisites, so early planning for study abroad is essential. Further information about study abroad is available from the Office of International Education which is located in the Center for Community, 303-492-7741, (

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per year.

NOTE: Scroll to the bottom of the 4-year plan to see important information (Ancillary course options, EBIO Upper Division courses, etc.)

First Year – Fall Semester
EBIO 1210 and 1230
(4): General Biology 1
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year – Spring Semester
EBIO 1220 and 1240
(4): General Biology 2
EBIO 1010 (or another statistics course) (3): Intro. to Quantitative Thinking of Biologists *
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
Elective/MAPS (3)

* A Statistics course is required.  See degree audit for list of options.  Note: MATH 2510 is the only stats course that will also meet the QRMS (Quantitative Reasoning and Math Skills) Core requirement.  Talk to an advisor about how to best satisfy your stats and QRMS requirements.

Second Year – Fall Semester
EBIO 2040
(4): Principles of Ecology
EBIO Ancillary (5) **
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example:United States Context)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
EBIO Ancillary
(5) **
EBIO Upper Division (3-4) ***
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Societies)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Third Year – Fall Semester
EBIO 2070
(4): Genetics: Molecules to Populations
EBIO Upper Division (3-4) ***
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example:  Lower Division Literature and the Arts)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3):  Upper-Division

Third Year – Spring Semester
EBIO 3080
(4): Evolutionary Biology
EBIO Ancillary (5) **
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper Division Written Communication)
Elective (3): Upper-Division

Fourth Year – Fall Semester
EBIO Upper Division
(4) ***
EBIO Upper Division (3-4) ***
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper Division Literature and the Arts)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
EBIO Upper Division
(3-4) ***
EBIO Upper Division (3-4) ***
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideals and Values)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division

** Preparatory Courses for Ancillary Reqs. may be needed and should be planned for with an academic advisor. Prep courses would count toward elective hours needed to graduate.
Ancillary Courses (choose any 3 of the 6 - see degree audit for options for each course)

  1. Chemistry 1
  2. Chemistry 2
  3. Physics 1
  4. Physics 2
  5. Calculus 1
  6. Calculus 2

*** EBIO Upper Division Courses: These courses must include 6 hours of 4000 level EBIO and a lab course. See degree audit for more information and choices of lab courses.
NS Core requirement waived for EBIO major.