This page is intended for new first year and transfer students.

CU Boulder is fairly unique in that we have 3 different biology majors instead of just one!  The biology advising team is here to help guide you in your choice of biology major.

What are the 3 Biology Majors?

While ecology and evolution are main courses in their curriculum and themes that run throughout the major, this major is the closest we have to a general biology major on campus.  Students are able to count select courses from the other biology majors as well as other departments (Ex:  Geology, Chemistry, Geography, Psychology, Anthroplogy, etc.) to the major allow a large degree of customization.  Students attracted to this major may be interested in ecology, environmental issues, health-related professions, plants, animals, etc. This major ancillary requirement allows students to explore a broad range of other disciplines including Math, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Computer Science, etc..  Explore the major further here!

(Pronounced I-Fi) This major focuses on the human body and includes key classes such as anatomy and physiology. During their junior/senior years IPHY majors take capstone courses that focus on different areas of physiology such as neurophysiology, endocrinology, exercise physiology and many more. Students attracted to this major are very interested in the human body. While a large number of our current IPHY majors are interested in a health-related career, we have had many graduates pursue other career paths as well.  Explore the major further here! 

Living organisms have a lot in common at the cellular and molecular levels.  Students who chose this major strive to understand biology from the ground up by gaining an in-depth knowledge into how living cells function and communicate. This major includes key classes such as genetics, molecular and cellular biology. As juniors/seniors, MCDB students apply the knowledge they have learned in the first 2 years of the major to specialized topics in courses such as:  Cellular basis of disease, molecular neurobiology, experimental embryology, biology of the stem cell, etc. The MCDB major attracts students interested in careers in biotechnology, scientific research, health-related professions as well as many other fields. Explore the major further here! 

Exploring Other Majors

CU Boulder also offers majors in Neuroscience (this major is similar to MCDB, but specializes in neuro) and Biochemistry (this major has some overlap with other biology majors, but dives deeper into chemistry requiring more math in the process).

For a full list of all majors/minors/certificates available to CU-Boulder students in the college of Arts and Sciences, click here

What is the Best Major for Me?

This is a very personal question that you will explore when you speak with an academic advisor this summer.  One of the best ways to explore this question is to look at the course descriptions for the upper division courses.  The right major for you is the major that you will enjoy! 

Do not worry about making the wrong choice, it is easy to move between the biology majors as you learn more about the biology and your personal interests.