BioTracks

Tracks in the Biology Major Biology students have the option of pursuing a specific “Track” within the Biology major. In some cases, these Tracks recommend a set of non-Biology courses that provide breadth and depth in the indicated topic. In other cases, the Tracks provide guidance in how to focus on a specific sub-discipline of Biology. A student can switch between Tracks, or devise his/her own degree program. In addition to recommended Depth/Breadth courses, each Track requires all courses necessary to fulfill the Biology major requirements (7/7A). Some recommended courses (Biology Restricted Electives, Thermodynamics, Project Lab) also fulfill Biology degree requirements. Students will work with their advisor to determine their Tracks and submit this information to the Education Office by the end of the term in which they graduate. The Biology Department provides official acknowledgement that a student has completed a specific Track. 


Information and guidelines on the BioTracks are available (pdf). Specific courses for each track are recommended and are generally additional to the major curriculum. Should you wish to substitute another course, your faculty advisor can approve a substitution. If you are in doubt as to the acceptability of a course, please contact biotracks [at] mit.edu.

This program is completely optional and is not required. Once you have completed a specific track, please return the BioTracks completion form to the Education Office by the end of term in which you plan to graduate. The Biology Department will provide an official letter of acknowledgement that a track has been completed.

General Biology

This includes choice of courses at student’s discretion. All students are encouraged to take courses in Statistics (18.05, 6.041 or 9.07) and Programming (1.00 or 6.00).

Biochemistry

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Laboratory Chemistry (5.310)
• Organic Chemistry II (5.13)
• Advanced Organic Chemistry (5.43)
• Statistics (one of 18.05, 6.041 or 9.07)
Biology Restricted Electives
• 7.08J, 7.28, 7.35

 

Computational Biology

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Programming (1.00 or 6.00)
• Additional Math. (18.03 and 18.06)
• Statistics (one of 18.05, 6.041 or 9.07)
Biology Restricted Electives
• Three Bio REs to include 7.36 and/or 7.33J

Bioengineering*

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Differential Equations (18.03)
• Engineering Core (2.003J, 3.022 or other)
• BME Elective (20.110J) (fulfills Thermo. requirement)
• Programming (1.00 or 6.00)
Biology Restricted Electives
• 7.36, 7.37J, plus one additional Bio RE *Fulfills
requirement for BME minor.

 

Human Biology

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Statistics (one of 18.05, 6.041 or 9.07)
• Society and Health (21A.300)
• Bioethics (21A.302J or STS.006J)
Biology Restricted Electives
• Three of 7.20J, 7.22, 7.23, 7.27, 7.31

Biophysics

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Differential Equations (18.03)
• Physics III (8.03) • Quantum Physics I (8.04)
• Statistical Physics I (8.044) (fulfills Thermo. requirement)
Biology Restricted Electives
• Three additional Bio REs

 Microbiology

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Laboratory Chemistry (5.310)
• Systems Microbiology (1.084J)
• Environmental Microbiology (1.89)
• Statistics (one of 18.05, 6.041 or 9.07)
Biology Restricted Electives
• Three of 7.08J, 7.21, 7.25, 7.30J

Cell, Developmental, and Molecular Biology

Depth/Breadth Courses
• Statistics (one of 18.05, 6.041 or 9.07)
• Programming (1.00 or 6.00)
Biology Restricted Electives
• Three of 7.22, 7.23, 7.28, 7.31

Neurobiology

Depth/Breadth Courses
Neuroscience (9.01 or 9.18J) 
• Statistics (9.07, 18.05 or 6.041) 
• Experimental Neurobiology (9.12)
Biology Restricted Electives
7.29, plus two additional Bio REs