Bachelor’s Degree (BS) in Biology

The Biology Program is located in the Division of Sciences and Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Program offers two academic degrees: Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Control.  These degrees are designed to enhance scientific knowledge and create competitive advantage for individuals preparing to become biologists, biomedical/cancer researchers or health care professionals. The Biology Program is one of a few institutions in the United States that offers a Master of Science Degree in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Control. The Biology Program places a special emphasis on inquiry-based learning, giving students the opportunity to engage in grant-funded research as well as educational experiences in the metropolitan D.C. area. These real-world experiences—including opportunities to attend seminars and conferences, serve as science fair advisors, visit with the leading health care professionals and researchers in the field, and conduct research in a laboratory setting—complement intensive classroom learning.  Biology students at the University of the District of Columbia are fully engaged in the research life of the university. Through the STEM Center for Research and Development and other research initiatives offered by UDC and the Biology Program, students can gain research experience as an undergraduate, putting their classroom knowledge to work and providing unique preparation for graduate study or employment in the field. The program has the philosophy of providing undergraduate research experiences to all biology majors, enabling them to enroll in competitive advance degree programs and/or pursue specialized career pathways. Additionally, the Biology Program provides opportunities for non-biology majors to take courses in the biological sciences providing them with a broad undergraduate experience. Graduate students also have the unique opportunity to work in partnership with expert faculty researchers at the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center to better understand this debilitating disease.


Student Last Name Advisor Bldg 44/Rm Email Phone
A, Q,I,G,N Dr. Rosie Sneed B01-13 274.6022
Dr. Brandy Huderson B01-06 274.5889
O,E,D,V,F Seniors Dr. Freddie Dixon B01-15 274.6474
Z, T Y,R, Seniors & Pre-Med Dr. Carolyn Cousin B01-14 274.5874
J,H,P,L, K, M Dr. Mathilde Knight B01-12 274.5887
C,X,U,S,W Dr. Samuel Waters B01-11 274.5937


Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Biology Program

The biology program at UDC offers a bachelor of science degree that requires a minimum of 120 credits to graduate. The program is organized around specific knowledge competencies of biology phenomena; tangible skills in research and technology; operation of state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation; ability to collect, analyze, and present scientific information effectively; and ability to apply this information to solving real-world problems.

Students are also exposed to a variety of different facets of biology, including:

  • Microbiology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Cancer Biology

Program of Study

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Biology Program

The biology program at UDC is one of the most active and engaged on campus. Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities, including:

  • The NSF/HBCU-UP and the UDC Title III funded STEM Center for Research and Development is a valuable resource for biology students and other students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The center offers courses, research experiences, and enrichment activities designed to strengthen students’ academic skills and engagement and to increase graduation rates.
  • The UDC-CPDR Undergraduate Research Program is funded by the Department of Defense (DOD). This collaborative program between UDC and the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences provides summer research opportunities in prostate cancer research and year-long mentoring for UDC students. Additionally, the program includes didactic training and exposes students to cutting-edge prostate cancer research at the basic and translational levels, thereby preparing students to pursue biomedical careers.
  • Student Organizations:
    • Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society
    • Biology Club
    • National Institute of Science

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Biology Program

Carolyn Cousin, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator for the Masters Degree in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Control, is an experienced cell biologist and parasitologist with a longstanding research interest in the area of schistosomiasis. She has received more than $5 million in grants from the NIH and the Agency for International Development to fund this research. Dr. Cousin has served as the principal investigator of a USDA-funded grant to examine the current perception of African-Americans on cancer in the District of Columbia. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her teaching and research, both from within the university and from organizations such as the National Institute of Science, the Washington Post, the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Dr. Rosie A Sneed, D.V.M., Ph.D. holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology (toxicology focus) from Michigan State University.  One of her research interests centers around the effects of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists on the regenerative abilities of the planarian Girardia dorotocephela. Her other research interests involve the basic regenerative and reproductive biology of the black planarian Phagocata gracilis.

Dr. Brandy Huderson holds a PhD in Animal Sciences, with a concentration in Lactation Physiology (Dairy Science) and Molecular Biology from Virginia Tech. Prior to earning her PhD, Dr. Huderson earned a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of New Orleans and earned Bachelor of Science from Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Huderson’s primary research focus is endocrine regulation of mammary gland development with specific emphasis on the role of hormones and their cognate receptors in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. Specifically, she is interested in deciphering the role of androgen signaling in the onset and progression of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), ligand-independent activation of both estrogen and androgen receptors, and the effects hormone replacement on reproductive systems.

Dr. Freddie Dixon holds a Ph.D. and M.S in Zoology from Howard University and a B.A. in pre-medicine from Florida A&M. University.  Her contributions to the learning experiences of faculty and students includes not only teaching and mentoring but also creating numerous research and funding opportunities. Her research interests include increasing student participation and opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and providing STEM faculty with activities that will expand their teaching and research skills.

Dr. Samuel T. Waters, Ph.D. holds a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the University of Virginia and the B.S. degree in Environmental Health from San Diego State University. His research is focused on the assembly of neural circuits that regulate motor behavior in vertebrates. In particular he is interested in understanding how the Gbx transcription factors, Gbx1 and Gbx2, regulate formation of sensory-motor circuits underlying walking and suckling. He provides instruction in developmental biology, genetics, and molecular biology.

Bachelor of Science degree in Biology

Click here to download recommended course outline.

The requirement is the completion of 121 credit hours.

Year 1 Semester 1
Course Number Course Name
IGED 110 Foundation Writing I 3
MATH 113 Pre Calculus with Trigonometry I 3
CHEM 111 Chemistry I Lecture 3
CHEM 113 Chemistry I Lab 1
BIOL 101 Biological Science I Lecture 3
BIOL 103 Biological Science I Lab 1
Total  14
Year 1 Semester 2
IGED 111 Foundations Writing II 3
MATH 114 Pre Calculus with Trigonometry II 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry II Lecture 3
CHEM 114 General Chemistry II Lab 1
BIOL 102 Biological Science II Lecture 3
BIOL 104 Biological Science II Lab 1
IGED 140 Foundation in Ethics & Values 3
Total  17
Year 2 – Semester 3
IGED 210 Discovery Expository Writing in the Arts & Sciences 3
MATH 215 Calculus for Business, Social and Life Sciences 4
BIOL 225 Invertebrate Zoology Lecture 3
BIOL 224 Invertebrate Zoology Lab 1
CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I Lecture 3
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I Lab 2
Total  16
Year 2 – Semester 4
IGED 250 Discovery of Effective Use of Technology 3
IBED 130 Foundations in Oral Communications 3
CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry II Lecture 3
CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry II Lab 2
BIOL 235 Botany Lecture 3
BIOL 234 Botany Lab 1
Total  15
Year 3 – Semester 5
IGED 270 Discovery Diversity 3
PHYS 101 Introduction to College Physics I Lecture 3
PHYS 103 Introduction to College Physics I Lab 1
BIOL 241 General Microbiology I Lecture 3
BIOL 240 General Microbiology I Lab 1
University Elective 3
Total  14
Year 3 – Semester 6
IGED 280 Discovery Civics 3
PHYS 102 Introduction to College Physics II Lecture 3
PHYS 104 Introduction to College Physics II Lab 1
BIOL 361 General Genetics Lecture 3
BIOL 360 General Genetics Lab 1
BIOL 3## *Biology Elective #1 (300 Level or above) 4
Total  15
Year 4 – Semester 7
IGED 391 Frontier Exploration and Inquiry Capstone I 1.5
University Elective 3
BIOL 3## *Biology Elective #2 (300 Level or above) 4
BIOL 3## *Biology Elective #3 (300 Level or above) 4
Total 12.5
Year 4 – Semester 8
IGED 392 Frontier Exploration and Inquiry Capstone II 1.5
University Elective 3
BIOL 493 or 494 Senior Seminar or Journal Club (satisfies req. for “writing course in major”) 2
BIOL 3## *Biology Elective #4 (300 Level or above) 4
University Elective 3
Total  13.5


At least 121 college-level credit hours must be obtained to receive a B.S. in Biology.
* Each student must take 4 biology electives1 (4 credits, 300 level and above). Cancer Causes and Prevention, Physiology or Ecology (200 level courses) may be used as Biology electives.
University electives are courses of choice along with proper prerequisites, taken in any department.

Career Pathways and Prospects

With a biology degree from UDC, students are prepared to pursue an employment or advanced graduate study in a wide array of rapidly expanding, high-demand fields:

  • Medicine
  • Academics
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary sciences
  • Biomedical researcher
  • Cancer biologist
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Microbiology
  • Health policy
  • Health care administration
  • Teaching
  • Laboratory research

Students may also consider the Master’s Program in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Control, offered in partnership with Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Contact info:

Rosie Sneed, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator

E: | T: 202.274.6022 | F: 202.274.5776