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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Biology

College of Humanities and Sciences

 
Program description
The Department of Biology offers programs leading to baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees; the doctoral degree is offered through the Ph.D. in Integrative Life Sciences program. Students may specialize within many areas, such as molecular and cellular biology, genetics, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, systematics, physiology, neurobiology, and developmental biology. Students also may develop an interdisciplinary focus to their degree program, for example within areas such as bioinformatics, cancer biology, forensic science and environmental science.
Career opportunities
The four-year curriculum in biology prepares students for employment in laboratory or field programs in private industry or government agencies and for teaching in secondary schools. This curriculum also prepares students graduate study in biology and for admission into schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, and into allied health programs.   
Change of major requirements

Submit a change of major form to declare. Schedule an advising appointment with an academic advisor in biology by emailing bioadvising@vcu.edu prior to major approval.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Biological Technician
  • Clinical Research Coordinators
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Fish and Game Wardens
  • Food Science Technician
  • Health Educator
  • Museum Technician and Conservator
  • Park Naturalist
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products 
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Medical Doctor
  • Researcher
  • Scientific Publication Journalist or Editor
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 200
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Department of Biology
Building/room location:
Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Sciences, 1000 W. Cary Street, Room 126, Richmond, VA 23284
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1562
Email:
bioadvising@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss options for fulfilling your capstone like research, internship, service-learning, or study abroad and begin to plan accordingly.
  • Work with a professor as a preceptor or through a directed/independent study.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • With careful planning, a study abroad semester works well during junior or senior year.   
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Develop tangible skills in internships that you can demonstrate to employers.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take biology courses that will help you build your skill set and resume including internship, directed and/or independent study, labs, preceptorship and service-learning. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Attend career fairs, employer events, and workshops to interact with employers.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Join the American Institute of Biological Sciences or the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Meet with a career advisor to finalize a resume to start searching for job opportunities after graduation.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Biology

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss options for fulfilling your capstone like research, internship, service-learning, or study abroad and begin to plan accordingly.
  • Work with a professor as a preceptor or through a directed/independent study.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • With careful planning, a study abroad semester works well during junior or senior year.   
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Develop tangible skills in internships that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take biology courses that will help you build your skill set and resume including internship, directed and/or independent study, labs, preceptorship and service-learning. 
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Attend career fairs, employer events, and workshops to interact with employers.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Join the American Institute of Biological Sciences or the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Meet with a career advisor to finalize a resume to start searching for job opportunities after graduation.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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