The biology courses most commonly required for a bachelor's degree in biology or as pre-requisites for medical school or graduate studies in biology are a year of general biology with lab, genetics and cell biology. Others include microbiology, physiology and biochemistry.
Required biology courses often cover concepts used in several disciplines and specialties. The year of general biology presents an introduction to these concepts within a framework that compares and contrasts the various types of animal and plant life.
Genetics deals not only with genetic inheritance, but also with molecular evolution, regulation of cell processes and development. Genetics has a role in understanding disease and in developing new foods and medicines.
Cell biology, physiology and biochemistry, along with molecular biology, are concerned with processes that occur in all living organisms. Topics include regulation of the body, the differences between normal cells and cancer cells, cell-cell interaction and how cells handle substances from proteins to toxins.
Microbiology covers the world of microorganisms. Their simpler systems often provide easier ways to study biological processes. Another area of study is their effect on human health and on other forms of life.
Other biology courses required in some programs include neurobiology, developmental biology, animal behavior, marine biology and botany.