Dec 03, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences

  Return to: Biological Sciences-BA  

The major in Biological Sciences has the following Concentrations:

  • Basic (shown below)

    Three other concentrations that are slightly more rigorous than the basic major. Interested students should speak with a biology adviser as soon as possible to plan their courses accordingly.
  • Behavioral Neurobiology  
  • Bioinformatics  
  • Biophysics  

Foundational Courses

Foundational Courses for the Biology Major (all concentrations) must be completed before embarking upon the major. Students with appropriate background may be exempted from some or all Foundational Courses. See department for proper placement.

Hunter Core Requirement

Courses leading to (foundational) or within this major may fulfill parts of the Hunter Core Requirement (CUNY Common Core [CCC], Hunter Focus, Concurrent Requirements). When selecting courses, it may be to a student’s advantage to choose courses that count toward the Hunter Core Requirement and also advance the student on the path to the major. Details on the Hunter Core Requirement can be found here: Appendix I: Hunter Core Requirement .


The basic major is for students who intend to prepare for graduate study, medicine, dentistry, secondary school teaching, biotechnology and industry. Students planning to pursue the biology major are strongly encouraged to declare their major as soon as possible after completing one semester of Principles of Biology. Declared majors are assigned a permanent faculty advisor who will assist in individual curriculum planning. Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once each semester throughout their undergraduate career to discuss their program and progress.

B. 200-level and higher Concentration in Biology (24.5 cr.)

2. Electives (11 credits)

Students select the remainder of their credits toward the Biology Major from advanced courses in the biological sciences so as to create a core area of study. Eleven credits are required to complete the major. A minimum of two elective lecture courses must be taken, with at least one course at the 30000 level or higher, in addition to BIOL 30000  and BIOL 30300 , for a minimum of six credits. For the remaining elective credits, at least one special-topics course must be taken (BIOL 47000  or BIOL 47100  or BIOL 79000; various topics offered each semester) in addition to other lecture or research courses. There are some BIOL courses that do not count as electives towards the Biology Major (e.g. BIOL 12000 BIOL 12200  and BIOL 23000 ). Please read the course descriptions carefully to identify those courses. If you have any questions about which courses can be used as major electives, please speak to your Biology department advisor. Students with strong interdisciplinary interests may select advanced course offerings in other departments after approval by their adviser. Four credits of laboratory research are recommended and can count towards the total elective credits either from a laboratory elective course or from research within an approved research laboratory. Laboratory research credits are taken as a BIOL 48000  research course for a maximum of two credits per semester and require a written report or presentation of work required for completion of course. Laboratory research credits can also be obtained from BIOL 61000.


Together, introductory biology and the concentration (33.5 cr.) satisfy the major requirement for certification as a teacher of biology in grades 7-12.

Additional science and math requirements for the major:

Curriculum Guide for Biology Major


*We recommend that math, physics and chemistry courses be completed as early as the student’s schedule allows. Note that  CHEM 22200  and CHEM 22300  must be taken prior to BIOL 30000 ; otherwise, instructor permission is required. Students who are behind in the chemistry sequence are urged to take advantage of the summer session, during which these chemistry courses are usually offered.