Biological Sciences

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Experimental Learning

Biology is the study of life
Biology is the study of life

Coursework in biology need not be your only academic interest while at URI. Many opportunities for hands on learning are available, including research in professors’ labs at URI, internships, National Student Exchange, and Study Abroad programs.

You can learn about internships from the Office of Internships and Experiential Education. Biology students have gained experience through a wide variety of hands-on, semester long internships. The Mystic Marinelife Aquarium and the New England Aquarium and the Roger Williams Park Zoo have welcomed many URI interns. Students have also gained valuable work experience at federal and state agencies such as the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Research experience, and academic credit, can be arranged with any of the faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences. Students who have done this in the past have worked on a wide range of topics, including the molecular development of sea squirts, the functional morphology of shark feeding, and predator-prey interactions and the role of herbivory in algal communities. See the Faculty/Research link for a list of all the biology department faculty research interests.

Study Abroad Programs

Field study is an important part of a URI education.
Field study is an important part of a URI education.

Many students choose to spend a semester studying abroad. Many opportunities for study abroad can be found at the Office of International Education. The Biology program particularly encourages students to consider spending the fall semester of their junior or senior year at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, which provides both coursework and research experience in the setting of an active tropical oceanographic research laboratory.


Part-time employment during the academic year and in the summer may be available on the Kingston campus, in the Department of Biological Sciences or in other departments, or at the Narragansett Bay Campus. Students are also employed at the nearby Environmental Protection Agency or National Marine Fisheries Service laboratories. The Coastal Fellows Program provides many paid opportunities for students to carry out research in the summer in labs on campus and at local agencies, and present their research at a public forum at the end of the fall semester. As always, these jobs are competitive.

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