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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-professional health, 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 Cellular Biochemistry
  • 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 Ecology
  • BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 323 Microbiology

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 Developmental Biology
  • BIO 413 How Plants Work
  • BIO 417 Recombinant DNA Lab
  • BIO 422 Animal Physiology and Histology
  • BIO 423 General Microbiology
  • BIO 424 Experimental Research
  • BIO 456 Systems Physiology
  • BIO 480 Genomes and Proteomes in Biomedicine

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

Chemistry Requirements (16 credits)

  • CHM 205 College Chemistry I
  • CHM 206 College Chemistry II
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I

Math Requirement (3-4 credits)

One of the following courses:

  • MTH 201 Calculus I
  • MTH 243 Elementary Statistics
  • ENV 437 Biostatistics

Physics Requirements (8 credits)

One of the following two-course sequences is required:

  • Option 1
    • PHS 205 Introduction to Physics I (with lab)
    • PHS 210 Introduction to Physics II
  • Option 2
    • PHS 235 Physics I
    • PHS 240 Physics II

Biology Career Areas

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

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 career area are advised to select all of their upper-division electives from the following group of courses.

  • BIO 401 Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIO404 Developmental Biology
  • BIO414 Immunology
  • BIO415 Molecular Biology
  • BIO417 Recombinant DNA Lab
  • BIO420 Mechanisms of Aging
  • BIO423 General Microbiology
  • BIO426 Recombinant DNA
  • 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 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 404 Developmental Biology
  • BIO 414 Immunology
  • BIO 420 Mechanisms of Aging
  • BIO 422 Animal Physiology and Histology
  • BIO 455 Neurophysiology
  • BIO 466 General Endocrinology
  • BIO 475 Cancer Biology
  • BIO 489 Neurobiology: Memory, Self and the Brain

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 Ecology
  • BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 411 Evolution

Pre-medicine, Pre-dentistry, Pre-veterinary, Health 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. For more information contact:

Students interested in pursuing health-related professions are advised select their upper-division elective courses from:

  • BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 414 Immunology
  • BIO 422 Animal Physiology and Histology
  • BIO 423 General Microbiology
  • BIO 466 General Endocrinology
  • BIO 475 Cancer Biology
  • BIO 467 Biochemistry I
  • BIO 468 Biochemistry II
  • BIO 470 Biochemistry Laboratory