Major Requirements


Introductory Biology:

Students must complete the 1500-level introductory sequence, which consists of

BIOL BC1500x Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
BIOL BC1501x Introductory Lab in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
BIOL BC1502y  Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL BC1503y  Introductory Lab in Cell and Molecular Biology


Students must complete BIOL BC2100 Molecular and Mendelian Genetics.  It is recommended, but not required, that this course be taken immediately after completing the 1500-level introductory sequence

Five Additional Lecture Courses:

One course must be at the physiological level of organization

BIOL BC3360 Animal Physiology OR
BIOL BC3340 Plant Physiology OR
BIOL BC3320 Microbiology

A second course must be at the ecological or evolutionary level of organization

BIOL BC2278 Evolution OR
BIOL BC2272 Ecology OR
BIOL BC3280 Applied Ecology and Evolution OR
BIOL BC2240 Plant Evolution and Diversity OR
BIOL BC3388 Tropical Ecology

Three additional lecture courses (beyond the 2100 level) may be selected from the menu of Barnard Biology courses.  Another option is to take courses offered by the Department of Biological Sciences or Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia.  Speak with your Biology advisor for details about which Columbia courses are suitable. 

For a list of courses offered at Columbia click here

Three Upper-Level Laboratory Courses:

These upper-level laboratory courses will each have an associated lecture course as a co- or pre-requisite (see Barnard catalog for details).  You may also use laboratory courses at Columbia (or other institutions) to satisfy the lab requirement, with permission from the department chair.

Research Option:

A student may do research in lieu of one upper-level laboratory course.  To this end, a student would need to take two consecutive semesters of Guided Research and Seminar (BIOL BC3591x and BIOL BC3592y). 

Senior Seminar or Individual Research:

Students must complete a Senior Seminar (BC 3590) or two semesters of Senior Thesis Research (BIOL BC3593x + 3594y).  A student cannot take (a) Senior Thesis Research and (b) Guided Research and Seminar at the same time.

Chemistry Requirement:

One semester of Inorganic Chemistry (with laboratory) and one semester of Organic Chemistry (with laboratory) are required.