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Biological Sciences


Requirements for the Major

Introductory Biology: Students must complete both semesters of the 1500-level introductory sequence, including the lecture and laboratory components ( BIOL BC 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503).

Genetics: Students must complete BIOL BC2100 Molecular and Mendelian Genetics. It is recommended, but not required, that this be completed immediately following the completion of the Spring semester Introductory courses (BIOL BC1502 and 1503).

Five Upper Level Lecture Courses: Students must complete at least five additional lecture courses at the 2000 and 3000 levels. One of the five lecture courses must be selected from each of the following two groups:

1. Physiological Level of Organization

  • BIOL BC 3360 Animal Physiology OR
  • BIOL BC 3340 Plant Physiology OR
  • BIOL BC 3320 Microbiology

2. Ecological and Evolutionary Level of Organization

  • BIOL BC 2278 Evolution OR
  • BIOL BC 2272 Ecology OR
  • BIOL BC 3280 Applied Ecology and Evolution OR
  • BIOL BC 2240 Plant Evolution and Diversity OR
  • BIOL BC 3388 Tropical Ecology

Three additional lecture courses may be selected from any Barnard Biology offering (including all of the courses listed above) or, with the department's chair's permission, from offerings in the Columbia Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.

Three Upper Level Laboratory Courses: Students must complete at least three Biology laboratories beyond the 1500 level. Laboratories may require a lecture course as co-requisite or prerequisite; such requirements are specified in the Barnard catalogue.

Research Option: A student may count two consecutive semesters of Guided Research and Seminar (BIOL BC3591x followed by BIOL BC3592y) as a laboratory course for the major. Biology laboratories at Barnard require a lab fee.  Appropriate Biology courses at Columbia University may be used to satisfy the lab requirement, as may those at other institutions, with permission of the department chair.

Senior Seminar or Individual Research: Students must enroll in one section of the Senior Seminar (BC 3590) or complete two semesters of Senior Thesis Research (BIOL BC3593x followed by BIOL BC3594y). A student cannot take both Senior Thesis Research and Guided Research and Seminar at the same time.

Chemistry Requirement: One year of Chemistry with laboratory, including one term of Organic Chemistry, is required.

Requirement for the Minor

A minor in biology must include one year of introductory biology (BIOL BC1500, BC1501, BC1502, BC1503), three additional lecture courses at the 2100 level or higher, and two additional laboratory courses. One of the lab courses may be replaced by two semesters of Guided Research and Seminar (BIOL BC3591x followed by BIOL BC3592y).

Biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, physics, and psychology majors need to take only one advanced laboratory instead of two, but the lab may not be a guided research course.