Biology Major Requirements
For a complete, official description of the biology major requirements, consult the college catalog.
The biology major requirements were revised in 2008. For students enrolled prior to fall 2008, a description of the older requirements are at the bottom of this page.
2008 and after
Biology Requirements for the major:
As an introduction to the field of Biology, entering majors must successfully complete foundation courses in 101 Biology in Practice, and 202 &203 Concepts in Biology. These three courses are prerequisites for all core courses in the biology curriculum (202&203 may be replaced by a Biology Advanced Placement test score of 4 or 5, together with a grade of A in Biol 101). The upper-level core courses are split into three areas: Cell and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology, and Ecology and Evolution. Biology majors must take the following:
Two courses (7 credits) from each area OR 3 courses (10 credits min.) from one area, 2 courses (7 credits) from a second area, and one course (4 credits) from the third area.
At least one course from each subject area must be a lab course.
At least one course of the six must have a significant plant component (P) .
At least one course of the six must have a significant Biological Diversity component (D).
Courses in the three areas are as follows:
Cell and Molecular Biology:
300 Animal Development (D)
301 Plant Development (P) (D)
306 Microbiology (D)
312 Molecular Biology of the Cell
313 Genetic Analysis
321 Electron Microscopy
420 Developmental Genetics
405 Biochemistry + Lab (Chem)
405 & 406 Biochemistry (lectures only) (Chem)
206 & 207 Human Anatomy and Physiology
302 Plant Physiology (P)
304 Medical Physiology
307 Vertebrate Zoology (D)
309 Medicinal Plants (P)
311 Invertebrate Zoology (D)
317 Exercise Physiology
428 Comparative Physiology
Ecology and Evolution:
305 Plant Biology (P)
308 Aquatic Ecology
318 Evolution (D)
403 Biodiversity and Conservation(D)
415 Microbial Ecology
435 Behavioral Ecology
Senior Research Project
The Biology Research Project begins in the Fall Term of the Junior year when students take the Research Methods in Biology course (2 credits), at which time they will develop a research project proposal. They will then conduct the research during the following Fall and Spring Terms (4 credits: may be taken as 2 credits fall, 2 credits spring). The research must be completed by the end of Spring Term, written up in scientific journal format, and presented at the annual Biology Symposium.
Internships and Off-Campus Experiences
Biology majors are encouraged to do internships or other significant educational programs off campus. Most internships are graded and one internship may count toward the GPA in the major, but internships can not be used to substitute for a core course.
107 & 108 Chemistry or 109 Chemistry (Chem)
201 Organic Chemistry (Chem)
140 & 141 Physics or 201 & 202 Physics (Phys)
108 Statistics or 121 Single Variable Calculus (Math)
Senior Comprehensive Examination
Grades for all courses taken in biology plus courses required for the major from other departments are used to calculate the average in the major for Departmental Distinction.
Three-Year Degree Option:
For students majoring in biology, Hartwick’s Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program is a unique opportunity to earn a degree in three years. For more information visit the Program Web site at www.hartwick.edu/threeyeardegree.
As an introduction to the field of biology, entering majors must successfully complete foundation courses in Principles of Biology I and II (BIOL 104 & 105) These introductory courses are prerequisites for all core courses in the biology curriculum. Genetics (BIOL 200) is also required and is a prerequisite for many core courses. The remaining biology courses are selected from the three core areas: Molecular Biology and Developmental Genetics Organismal Anatomy and Physiology Ecological and Evolutionary Biodiversity. Students must take two courses (7 credits minimum) from each of these Core Areas (six total) in any sequence that best suits their interests and goals, to include at least one in plant sciences (P) and one in animal sciences (A). The courses that they may select from the three core areas include:
Molecular Biology and Developmental Genetics:
BIOL 201 Molecular Biology of the Cell
BIOL 215 Microbiology
BIOL 300 Animal Development (A)
BIOL 301 Plant Development (P)
BIOL 321 Electron Microscopy
BIOL 420 Developmental Genetics
BIOL 425 Immunology
CHEM 405 & 406 Biochemistry
Organismal Anatomy and Physiology:
BIOL 205 Invertebrate Zoology (A)
BIOL 221 Vertebrate Zoology (A)
BIOL 302 Plant Physiology (P)
BIOL 304 Animal Physiology (A)
BIOL 310 Neurobiology (A)
BIOL 428 Comparative Physiology (A)
BIOL 430 Vertebrate Physiology (A)
Ecological and Evolutionary Biodiversity:
BIOL 225 Aquatic Ecology
BIOL 303 Ecology
BIOL 305 Plant Biology (P)
BIOL 315 Microbial Ecology
BIOL 325 Forest Ecology (P)
BIOL 435 Behavioral Ecology (A)
BIOL 436 Evolution
Additional special-topics courses (BIOL 250, 350, or 450) on a variety of subjects are periodically offered that also fulfill core requirements.
Biology Senior Research Project: The Biology Research Project begins in the Junior year when students take the Junior Research Methods course (2 credits), at which time they will develop a research project proposal. They will then conduct the research during the following year (total of 4 credits). The research must be completed by the end of Spring Term, written up as a thesis, and presented at the annual Biology Symposium.
Chemistry 107 & 108 (or CHEM 109)
Statistics ( MATH 108) or Calculus (MATH 121)
Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 201)
Physics 140 & 141 (or PHYS 201 & 202)
Senior Comprehensive Examination: All biology majors are also required to take the Senior Comprehensive Examination. It is strongly recommended that the biology GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is also taken.
Internships and Off-Campus Experiences:
Biology majors are encouraged to do internships on or off campus. Most internships are graded and one internship counts toward the GPA in the biology major; but, internships cannot be substituted for core courses.