School of Humanities and Sciences

Department of Biology

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

Andrew Smith, Associate Professor and Chair

The biology department offers a liberal arts education with a major in biology, giving a strong foundation for continued study at the graduate level. This curriculum also provides preparation for entering the health professions (dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine) and paramedical fields. Other career opportunities exist in laboratories, pharmaceutical and chemical companies, governmental and environmental agencies, and other organizations that require personnel with a biology background.

The curriculum also allows for preparation and certification in secondary teaching in biology with either a major or a minor in biology.

Biology, B.A.
Biology, B.A. with Teaching Option
Biology, B.S.
Minor in Biology

Biology-Optometry 3-1 Program

This joint program with an optometry college is available to biology majors and enables students to enter optometry college after three years of undergraduate study. Ithaca College requirements for graduation, as well as most of the biology requirements, must be fulfilled during the first 90 credits of this program. After acceptance by the optometry college, and on successful completion of the first year of optometry college, the bachelor's degree in biology is awarded by Ithaca College. This program must be carefully planned with the student's adviser.

Requirements for Honors in Biology

Students with a minimum GPA in biology courses of 3.50 and an overall GPA of 3.30 may apply for honors after they have completed (or are currently enrolled in) BIOL 30200 Research in Biology but no later than the end of the junior year. Application must be made to the Biology Curriculum Committee for admission to honors. The application must include current GPAs (in biology and overall) and a one-page summary of the proposed research project. The curriculum committee reviews the qualifications of the applicants, certifies that faculty sponsorship has been obtained, and then makes its recommendations to the department. The faculty of the biology department votes on acceptance or rejection of the curriculum committee's recommendation.

When a student is accepted for honors, an honors committee is formed, consisting of the faculty sponsor (project director) and two other faculty members, one of whom must be from the biology department. The student designs the yearlong honors project in consultation with the faculty sponsor and must write up a proposal describing this project, which is then submitted to the honors committee. The honors committee monitors the progress of the project and the academic performance of the student.

The student must write a paper summarizing his or her research and give an oral presentation to the department at the end of the second semester of the project. The honors committee will make the determination whether or not to grant honors in biology.

A detailed description of the honors requirements and deadlines is available from the faculty adviser.

Courses for Nonmajors

The biology department offers several courses of interest to the nonmajor. These courses have numbers between BIOL 10000 and BIOL 12000.

Advanced Placement

Students who receive a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology exam will receive 3 credits for BIOL 11500 Essentials of Biology and 3 credits for BIOL 18888, a general, non-specific biology elective.

Requirements for the Major in Biology -- B.A.

Biology

BIOL 12100 Principles of Biology 4
BIOL 12200  Principles of Biology 4
BIOL 22700  Genetics 4
BIOL 27100  General Ecology 4
BIOL 30100 Literature in Biology 2
BIOL 30200 Research in Biology
BIOL 35400 Cell Biology
BIOL 41100 Biology Seminar  0.5
BIOL 41200 Biology Seminar  0.5
BIOL electives Three elective courses in biology (one must be at level 3 or level 4)* 10-12
  Total, requirements in the biology department 36-38

*Courses that do not count as biology electives include any courses listed as required; any level-1 courses; BIOL 20000; BIOL 20500; BIOL 21000; BIOL 30000; BIOL 40000; BIOL 40100; and BIOL 40200. Biochemistry I and II (BIOC 35300 and BIOC 35400) and BIOC 48100 Current Topics in Biochemistry may count as biology electives.

Chemistry

CHEM 12100 Principles of Chemistry or  
CHEM 12300 Principles of Chemistry - Enriched 4
CHEM 12400 Experimental Chemistry I 2
CHEM 22100 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 22200 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 22500 Experimental Chemistry II 2
CHEM 23200 Quantitative Chemistry 3

Mathematics

Select one of the following:

MATH 10800 Calculus for Decision Making or  
MATH 11100 Calculus I or  
MATH 14500 Statistics for Health, Life, Social Sciences 4
  Total, requirements in other departments 21

Summary

Total, courses required for the major 57-59
Electives 61-63
Total, B.A. in biology 120

Requirements for the Major in Biology -- B.A. with Teaching Option

Biology

BIOL 12100 Principles of Biology 4
BIOL 12200  Principles of Biology 4
BIOL 22700 Genetics 4
BIOL 27100 General Ecology 4
BIOL 30100 Literature in Biology 2
BIOL 30200 Research in Biology
BIOL 32400 Wonderful Life: Genes, Evolution, and Biodiversity or  
BIOL 47800 Evolution 3
BIOL 35400 Cell Biology
BIOL 41100 Biology Seminar  0.5
BIOL 41200 Biology Seminar  0.5
BIOL xxxx One elective course in biology* 3-4
  Total, requirements in the biology department 32-33

*Courses that do not count as biology electives include any courses listed as required; any level-1 courses; BIOL 20000; BIOL 20500; BIOL 21000; BIOL 30000; BIOL 40000; BIOL 40100; and BIOL 40200. Biochemistry I and II (BIOC 35300 and BIOC 35400) may be used as biology electives, but no other courses in biochemistry may count.

Chemistry

CHEM 12100 Principles of Chemistry or  
CHEM 12300 Principles of Chemistry - Enriched 4
CHEM 12400 Experimental Chemistry I 2
CHEM 22100 Organic Chemistry I 3
  Total, chemistry 9

Additional science laboratory sequence in physics or chemistry

Select one sequence from the following:

PHYS 10100 Introduction to Physics I 4
PHYS 10200 Introduction to Physics II 4
  or  
PHYS 11700 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics 4
PHYS 11800 Principles of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
  or  
CHEM 22200 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 22500 Experimental Chemistry II 2
CHEM 23200 Quantitative Chemistry 3
  Total, additional science laboratory sequence 8-9

Mathematics

Select one of the following:

MATH 10800 Calculus for Decision-Making or  
MATH 11100 Calculus I or  
MATH 11200 Calculus II or  
MATH 14500 Statistics for Health, Life, Social Sciences 4

Core education requirements

COMP 20100

Technology for the Middle/Secondary School Teacher 2

EDUC 22900

Second-Language Acquisition: Its Nature and Meaning for Educators 2

EDUC 23900

Educating Children with Special Needs 2

PSYC 21010

Educational Psychology 3
EDUC 10100 Literacy Education for the Middle/Secondary School Teacher 2
EDUC 21910 Early Field Experience: Theory and Practice 3

EDUC 34000

Social and Cultural Foundations of Education 3

EDUC 40810

Pedagogy and Practice across the Disciplines 3

EDUC 41010

Pedagogy and Practice for the Science Teacher 3

EDUC 41210

Seminar in Reflective Practice 3

EDUC 49810

Professional Semester in Education 12

EDUC 11000

Child Abuse Identification and Prevention 0

EDUC 11100

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Identification and Prevention 0
  Total, core education requirements 38

Additional requirements

  • All teaching-option students must successfully complete a year of college-level study in a language other than English. Students may test out of this requirement by taking the language placement test and placing at level 2.

  • All teaching-option students must successfully complete a writing course numbered WRTG 10600 or above.

  • All teaching-option students must successfully complete the second-year review and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their subject. If a student receives an unsuccessful review or a review with stipulations, the student must participate in and successfully pass a second review the following year. Unsuccessful reviews and reviews with stipulations will be accompanied by a written statement outlining what must be done before the second review is completed.

  • Students must earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 40810 and EDUC 41010 to qualify for student teaching. A grade of B- does not qualify.

  • EDUC 49810 Professional Semester in Education and EDUC 41210 Seminar in Reflective Practice constitute a full course load during the student-teaching semester. No additional courses may be taken.

  • All candidates for initial certification must successfully complete all three sections of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations: the liberal arts and sciences test, the assessment of teaching skills (written), and the content area exam.

  • The student's department chair and the coordinator of teacher education must approve any exceptions to the above requirements. 

Summary

Total, biology courses 32-33
Total, science and mathematics courses outside the biology department 21-22
Total, core education courses 38
Electives 27-29
Total, B.A. in biology with teaching option 120

Requirements for the Major in Biology -- B.S.

Required courses within the department

BIOL 12100

Principles of Biology

4

BIOL 12200

Principles of Biology

4

BIOL 22700

Genetics

4

BIOL 27100

General Ecology

4

BIOL 30100

Literature in Biology

2

BIOL 30200

Research in Biology

3

BIOL 35400

Cell Biology

4

BIOL 41100

Biology Seminar

0.5

BIOL 41200

Biology Seminar

0.5

BIOL electives

Three elective courses in biology*

11-12

 

Total, requirements in the department

37-38

*Courses that do not count as biology electives include any courses listed as required; any level-1 course; BIOL 20000; BIOL 20500; BIOL 21000, BIOL 30000; BIOL 40000; BIOL 40100; BIOL 40200. Biochemistry I and II (BIOC 35300 and BIOC 35400) and Current Topics in Biochemistry (BIOC 48100) may count as biology electives.

Two of the three biology electives must have a lab or discussion component (a fourth hour).

One of the three biology electives must be at level 3 or above.

Required courses outside the department

Chemistry

CHEM 12100

Principles of Chemistry

4

CHEM 12400

Experimental Chemistry I

2

CHEM 22100

Organic Chemistry I

3

CHEM 22200

Organic Chemistry II

3

CHEM 22500

Experimental Chemistry II

2

CHEM 23200

Quantitative Chemistry

3

 

Total, chemistry

17

Physics

PHYS 10100

Introduction to Physics I


4

PHYS 10200 Introduction to Physics II 4
  or  
PHYS 11700 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics 4
PHYS 11800 Principles of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
  Total, physics 8

Mathematics

MATH 10800

Calculus for Decision Making or

 

MATH 11100 Calculus I
MATH 11200 Calculus II or  
MATH 14500 Statistics for Health, Life, Social Sciences 4
  Total, mathematics 8
 

Total, requirements offered from other departments

33-34

Summary

Total, biology courses

37-38

Total, required courses outside the department

33-34

Electives

48-50

Total, B.S. in biology

120

Minor in Biology

The biology minor program provides an option for nonmajors who wish to take a substantial number of biology courses and receive recognition for their studies.

Requirements for the minor

Introductory biology sequence

BIOL 11900

Fundamentals of Biology

4

BIOL 12000

Fundamentals of Biology

4

  or  
BIOL 12100 Principles of Biology 4
BIOL 12200 Principles of Biology 4

Biology electives

Level-2 or higher courses in biology (excluding BIOL 20000, BIOL 20500, BIOL 21000, BIOL 30000, BIOL 40000, BIOL 40100, and BIOL 40200). Biochemistry I and II (BIOC 35300 and BIOC 35400) may count. 15-16

Chemistry

CHEM 12100  Principles of Chemistry 4
CHEM 11200 Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry or  
CHEM 22100 Organic Chemistry I 3

 

Total, minor in biology 30-31

Off-Campus Study in Marine Biology

Students can participate in our cooperative programs with the Duke University Marine Lab (North Carolina and Bermuda) or the Sea Education Association of Wood's Hole (with a variety of cruise tracks). For more information on these programs, see "National Affiliated Programs in Marine Biology" in the "International Programs" section.
National Affiliated Programs in Marine Biology