Bachelor of Arts (BA) | Bachelor of Science (BS)

  BA Academic Requirements

There are two categories of requirements for all biology majors: biology courses and basic science support courses. General Biology I and II, Cell Biology, and the five upper-level electives in the “biology courses” category must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Students must attain at least a 2.0 (C) GPA in courses used to satisfy the requirements for the major, including the “biology courses” category (excluding the senior project) and the “basic science support courses” category. Students majoring in biology may choose a concentration, but one is not required.

In addition to meeting general degree requirements, all BA majors in biology must complete the following courses:

  Biology Courses

  1. BIO 1550/General Biology I
  2. BIO 1551/General Biology I Lab
  3. BIO 1560/General Biology II
  4. BIO 1561/General Biology II Lab
  5. BIO 1880/Biology Freshman Seminar
  6. BIO 2890/Biology Program Seminar
  7. BIO 3530/Cell Biology (successful completion of BIO 3530 is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology electives, except BIO 3850)
  8. Five upper-level biology electives, as follows; these must include at least one at the 4000 level and at least four lab studies, taken either in conjunction with lecture courses or as separately registered lab courses:
    1. One of the following courses in biological mechanisms:
      BIO 3160/Genetics
      BIO 3170/Developmental Biology
      BIO 3250/Animal Physiology
      BIO 4620/Molecular Biology
    2. One of the following courses in biodiversity and ecology:
      BIO 3360/Microbiology
      BIO 3430/Vertebrate Zoology
      ENV 3120/General Ecology
      ENV 3220/Restoration Ecology
      ENV 3250 and 3251/Ecology of Urban Environments and Lab
      ENV 3805/Conservation Biology
    3. Three additional upper-level biology electives
  9. BIO 3890/Biology Junior Seminar
  10. SPJ 4990/Senior Project I
  11. SPJ 4991/Senior Project II
    If a student elects to conduct a senior project in an area other than the life sciences, two additional biology courses are required.

  Basic Science Support Courses

  1. CHE 1550 and 1551/General Chemistry I and Lab
  2. CHE 1560 and 1561/General Chemistry II and Lab
  3. Organic chemistry options (choose option a or b):
    1. The following four courses:
      CHE 3310 and 3311/Organic Chemistry I and Lab
      CHE 3320 and 3321/Organic Chemistry II and Lab
    2. The following three courses:
      CHE 3015/Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
      CHE 3311/Organic Chemistry I Lab
      CHE 4610/Biochemistry
      Note: Some (but not all) medical and other professional schools may require option a.
  4. One of the following courses:
    ENV 3025/Biostatistics or
          MAT 1600/Introductory Statistics or
          PSY 2320/Behavioral Statistics or
          PSY 3635/Honors Seminar in Statistics and Research Design
    MAT 1500/Calculus I
    MAT 1510/Calculus II
    MAT 1520/Computer Science I
    MAT 3680/Informatics in Biology and Medicine

  Additional notes for biology majors:

  1. Many students will want to study additional mathematics. Graduate schools generally require Calculus I; professional schools may require either Calculus I or Statistics.
  2. A year of physics is highly recommended (PHY 1510–1511/Introductory Physics I with lab and PHY 1520–1521/Introductory Physics II with lab). Professional and graduate schools generally require physics.
  3. Some professional and graduate schools may not accept high school AP courses as substitutes for college introductory science courses (e.g., General Biology, General Chemistry, Introductory Physics).

Updates to the 2016–18 Purchase College Catalog:

Effective Fall 2017:

  • Under the basic sciences support courses category, PSY 2320 is reinstated as one of the statistics course options.

Effective Spring 2017:

  • Under the basic sciences support courses category:
    • Expanded options added for the organic chemistry requirements.
    • MAT 1510 added as one of the mathematics course options.
    • PSY 3635 replaces PSY 2320 as one of the statistics course options.

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  BS Academic Requirements

There are two categories of requirements for all biology majors: biology courses and basic science support courses. General Biology I and II, Cell Biology, and the seven upper-level electives in the “biology courses” category must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Students must attain at least a 2.0 (C) GPA in courses used to satisfy the requirements for the major, including the “biology courses” category (excluding the senior project) and the “basic science support courses” category. Students majoring in biology may choose a concentration, but one is not required.

In addition to meeting general degree requirements, all BS majors in biology must complete the following courses:

  Biology Courses:

  1. BIO 1550/General Biology I
  2. BIO 1551/General Biology I Lab
  3. BIO 1560/General Biology II
  4. BIO 1561/General Biology II Lab
  5. BIO 1880/Biology Freshman Seminar
  6. BIO 2890/Biology Program Seminar
  7. BIO 3530/Cell Biology (successful completion of BIO 3530 is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology electives, except BIO 3850)
  8. Seven upper-level biology electives, as follows; these must include at least two at the 4000 level and at least four lab courses, taken either in conjunction with lecture courses or as separately registered lab courses:
    1. BIO 4620/Molecular Biology or
      CHE 4610/Biochemistry
    2. One of the following courses in biological mechanisms:
      BIO 3160/Genetics
      BIO 3170/Developmental Biology
      BIO 3250/Animal Physiology
      BIO 4620/Molecular Biology
    3. One of the following courses in biodiversity and ecology:
      BIO 3360/Microbiology
      BIO 3430/Vertebrate Zoology
      ENV 3120/General Ecology
      ENV 3220/Restoration Ecology
      ENV 3250 and 3251/Ecology of Urban Environments and Lab
      ENV 3805/Conservation Biology
    4. Four additional upper-level biology electives
  9. BIO 3890/Biology Junior Seminar
  10. SPJ 4990/Senior Project I*
  11. SPJ 4991/Senior Project II*
    *The senior project must be an original research project.

  Basic Science Support Courses

  1. CHE 1550 and 1551/General Chemistry I and Lab
  2. CHE 1560 and 1561/General Chemistry II and Lab
  3. Organic chemistry options (choose option a or b):
    1. The following four courses:
      CHE 3310 and 3311/Organic Chemistry I and Lab
      CHE 3320 and 3321/Organic Chemistry II and Lab
    2. The following three courses:
      CHE 3015/Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
      CHE 3311/Organic Chemistry I Lab
      CHE 4610/Biochemistry
      Note: Some (but not all) medical and other professional schools may require option a.
  4. Two of the following courses:
    ENV 3025/Biostatistics or
          MAT 1600/Introductory Statistics or
          PSY 2320/Behavioral Statistics or
          PSY 3635/Honors Seminar in Statistics and Research Design
    MAT 1500/Calculus I
    MAT 1510/Calculus II
    MAT 1520/Computer Science I
    MAT 3680/Informatics in Biology and Medicine

Additional notes for biology majors:

  1. Many students will want to study additional mathematics. Graduate schools generally require Calculus I; professional schools may require either Calculus I or Statistics.
  2. A year of physics is highly recommended (PHY 1510–1511/Introductory Physics I with lab and PHY 1520–1521/Introductory Physics II with lab). Professional and graduate schools generally require physics.
  3. Some professional and graduate schools may not accept high school AP courses as substitutes for college introductory science courses (e.g., General Biology, General Chemistry, Introductory Physics).

Updates to the 2016–18 Purchase College Catalog:

Effective Fall 2017:

  • Under the basic sciences support courses category, PSY 2320 is reinstated as one of the statistics course options.

Effective Spring 2017: 

  • Under the basic sciences support courses category:
    • Expanded options added for the organic chemistry requirements.
    • PSY 3635 replaces PSY 2320 as one of the statistics course options.

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