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The biology major is designed for students with an interest in aspects of the live sciences, to provide excellent preparation for postgraduate education and careers in biomedicine, health and secondary education, as well as other fields that require an understanding and practice of scientific reasoning and methods.

Students build a scientific foundation for understanding how biological systems function through courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years. In the junior and senior years, students may concentrate in areas such as: pre-health professional, biotechnology, secondary education, or an individualized program. Research opportunities with departmental faculty as well as internships and cooperative programs with public and private organizations afford students the opportunity to apply their skills outside the classroom. Due to the complex biological issues that face modern society, the department also encourages non-majors to take selected courses in the biological sciences.

What can I do with a biology major?

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare the biology major.

Program Requirements

Students in the Biology major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.

A minimum grade of "C" in BIO 201 and BIO 202 is required before students are allowed to take further biology courses in the major.

Biology Requirements (37 credits)

  • BIO201 Biology I
  • BIO202 Biology II
  • BIO301 Cell Biology
  • BIO302 Genetics
  • BIO498 Seminar

Elective courses are selected through advisement.

At most, two electives (8 credits) may be taken at the 300-level and counted toward the major. They may be chosen from these courses:

  • BIO 303
  • BIO 321
  • BIO 322
  • BIO 333

At minimum, two 400-level laboratory courses (6-8 credits) must be taken. The following list reflects course offerings at the date of publication. Other courses may satisfy this requirement by advisement.

  • BIO 404
  • BIO 413
  • BIO 417
  • BIO 423
  • BIO 424
  • BIO 456
  • BIO 480

Students may choose to take all of their biology electives at the 400-level.

Chemistry Requirements (16 credits)

  • CHM 205
  • CHM 206
  • CHM 305

Math Requirement (3-4 credits)

One of the following courses:

  • MTH 201
  • MTH 243
  • ENV 437

Physics Requirements (8 credits)

One of the following two-course sequences is required:

  • Option 1
    • PHS 205
    • PHS 210
  • Option 2
    • PHS 235
    • PHS 240

Biology Concentration Areas

These concentrations are just meant to be guidelines for students in choosing their electives. The degree requirements for each concentration are identical. The course work within different concentrations is overlapping and is not mutually exclusive, and students may decide to pick courses from various concentrations.

Biotechnology/Molecular and Cellular Biology

The strength of Brockport's Biology Department lies in these areas. The department is well-equipped to provide skills needed to pursue a career in biotechnology/molecular and cellular biology. Students have the opportunity to gain a firm knowledge base as well as a variety of laboratory skills in the areas of molecular biology, tissue culture, microbiology, microscopy, cell and developmental biology, physiology, and genetics. A substantial percentage of graduates who have obtained these skills have successfully entered Master's and PhD programs or found jobs in academic, government or industrial laboratories. Students choosing this concentration are advised to select all of their upper-division electives from the following group of courses.

  • BIO401 Advanced Cell Biology Laboratory
  • BIO404 Developmental Biology
  • BIO414 Introduction to Immunology
  • BIO415 Molecular Biology
  • BIO417 Recombinant DNA Laboratory
  • BIO420 Mechanisms of Aging
  • BIO423 General Microbiology
  • BIO426 Recombinant DNA
  • BIO429 Cellular Imaging
  • BIO467 Biochemistry I
  • BIO468 Biochemistry II
  • BIO470 Biochemistry Lab
  • BIO475 Cancer Biology
  • BIO480 Genomes and Proteomes in Biomedicine

Physiology and Development

Some students may be more interested in how the body develops and how the body functions in response to internal and external changes. These interests are encompassed in the areas of physiology and development. Students interested in these areas might select their upper-division electives from the following group of courses.

  • BIO 321
  • BIO 322
  • BIO 404
  • BIO 414
  • BIO 420
  • BIO 429
  • BIO 455
  • BIO 466
  • BIO 475
  • BIO 489

Certification in Adolescent Education (7-12)

Students who intend to become secondary school biology teachers qualify for New York State Provisional Certification by completing the requirement of Bachelor of Science and the requisite courses toward certification in secondary education as arranged with the Department of Education and Human Development. These certification requirements are extensive and changeable. Therefore, the student should meet with an advisor in both the Department of Biology and in the Department of Education and Human Development. Students in this program need to obtain a broad education in biology in order to satisfy the New York State Living Environment Curriculum. To do this, students should take the following courses among their upper-division biology electives.

  • BIO 303
  • BIO 322
  • BIO 411
  • BIO 423

Pre-medicine, Pre-dentistry, Pre-veterinary, Heatlh Careers

Each year, students from Brockport apply for admission to professional study in medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, veterinary, optometry, podiatry, and physicians assistant programs. Although at Brockport most pre-professional students have majored in the Biology, there is no special major for pre-professional health care, and the requirements for admission can be met through a variety of majors available at the College. The program in Biology is well established and our graduates successfully compete for positions in health professional programs. Upon arrival at Brockport, students should contact the department for further information on these programs.

A Pre-professional Advisory Committee assists students interested in entering medically related professions through formal meetings, counseling and a library of materials; provides application materials for the MCAT, DAT and OAT exams (the admissions tests for medical, dental and optometry schools); and prepares a committee evaluation prior to application based on a formal interview with the applicant as well as test scores and GPA. This committee consists of faculty members from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Contact the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall, for the current contact information of this committee.

Students interested in pursing health-related professions are advised to take the following courses among their upper-division electives.

  • BIO 321
  • BIO 322
  • BIO 414
  • BIO 422
  • BIO 423
  • BIO 466
  • BIO 475