This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.


Rima Franklin, Ph.D.
Professor and chair

Fernando Tenjo, Ph.D. 
Associate professor and associate chair

Maria Rivera, Ph.D.
Associate professor and director of graduate studies

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.

In addition to the courses offered by the Department of Biology, graduate students may enroll in graduate courses offered through VCU Life Sciences and these departments in the VCU School of Medicine: Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biostatistics, Human and Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Physiology and Biophysics. Visit the Department of Biology’s website for additional information.