In the belief that a firm grasp of the scientific method is of utmost importance to all liberal arts students, our basic biology courses expose students to the fundamental questions and concerns of the field and provide training in logical, analytical thinking.
Upper-division courses offer advanced study and rigorous training in the various fields of biology. All courses are taught in a highly personalized environment of encouragement, support, and guidance, and students have opportunities to work directly with professors in the laboratory and field. Students also have the opportunity to participate in faculty-directed research on campus. The Chevron research laboratory is available for undergraduate research and the William Joseph McInnes Memorial Botanic Garden is available for research and independent study. In addition, the resources of the Bay Area are utilized for field trips. Through the Mills internship program, majors have opportunities to expand their research experiences by working in various industrial firms and laboratories in the region.
The Biology Department’s classrooms and offices are located in the Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences Building. The teaching and research laboratories are equipped with up-to-date instrumentation for the teaching of current biological techniques. Notable facilities in the Moore Natural Sciences Building include a transilluminating fluorescence microscope with digital camera and imaging software, and a laboratory for undergraduate research, equipped with centrifuges, several PCR machines and spectrophotometers, a spectrofluorophotometer, and walk-in warm and cold rooms.
The Barrett Research Program provides an invaluable opportunity for advanced students to carry out sophisticated research projects. Students may apply for a Barrett Award for 10 weeks of summer work; awardees should complete one credit of directed research during the preceding school year.
Students who major in biology select one of three tracks, which include the same set of core courses and differ only in the specified upper-division elective courses. The general biology track does not specify the elective courses, while the ecological theory and practice track and the cell and molecular biology track each require electives concentrated in the appropriate subdisciplines of biology. The two specialized tracks are slightly more hierarchical than the general biology track, so some students, such as transfer students, may find the specialized tracks difficult to complete in the available time, and may prefer to elect the general biology track.
Students who major in biology at Mills pursue many different careers after graduating. Many enter professional schools in medical or health fields. Others enter graduate school in a wide variety of biological or biomedical sciences. Mills graduates also pursue careers in environmental consulting, science journalism, scientific illustration, science teaching, and biotechnological and industrial research.
Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
Faculty and Staff
Biology Course List
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Transfer Guidelines for Science Majors
Junior Transfer Students(pdf, 17.5k)