Changes in Major Requirements & New Courses for Fall 2008
Last update 08/22/2008. For more info on individual courses, go to the bio dept. listing of courses, and click on the appropriate course.
Course Information (See below for changes in major requirements)
1. Changes in Undergrad Offerings for Fall 2008
New Course: 3990
Change in pts: It will be possible to take Topics in Biology: Introduction to Clinical Research and Emergency Medicine for either 1 pt or 2 pts, depending on whether you work in the emergency department (2 pts) or not (1 pt).
2. New Fall Grad Courses Suitable for Advanced Undergrads -- the approval of the instructor is required in advance
G4008 Advanced Seminar in Neurobiology (Yang)
W4011 Computational Neuroscience, Circuits in the Brain (Yuste)
G4095 Chemical Genomics (Stockwell) -- this is a 1/2 course (can be combined with the following)
G6002-section 2 Protein Thermodynamics (Hunt) -- this is a 1/2 course (can be combined with the previous). 6000 level courses are usually only for graduate students, but very well prepared undergrads may take this course.
The second 1/2 course may be rescheduled so it will be offered at the same as the first. This would make it easier for undergrads to fit both courses in, but it may not be possible. Students may take one or both of these 1/2 courses. Each of these courses counts as half an elective toward the bio related majors. Extremely well prepared biochemistry majors may take the combination in lieu of Biochem 3501.
3. New Courses for Spring 2009
3600 (Research Skills) will be taught in the spring instead of the fall, with a new instructor.
4400 Biological Networks -- replaces Systems Biology II.
4. Relatively New Courses -- these were new last Spring & will be offered again in Spring '09
(1). For non majors seeking to fulfill the science requirement -- a new course: W1130, Genes & Development. Just the ticket if you had some bio in high school and want to learn more, but don’t want to compete with premeds! For more info, go to
go to Courseworks, log in, and enter ‘Hazelrigg’ or ‘Genes & development’ in the ‘search courses’ box. Note that we now have 2 terms of biology for nonscientists if you wish to fulfill your entire science requirement by taking biology. The other course is C1015x. For details go to
(2). For students interested in how Molecular Biology Developed -- A new Topics (1 pt) Course: W3995y(2) - Topics in Biology: Foundations of Molecular Biology. For more info, go to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/crs-data/W3995yHertzberg/term/spg08/term.html
or go to Courseworks, log in, and enter ‘foundations’ or ‘Hertzberg’ in the ‘search courses’ box.
Biology of Cancer, W3799/W4799.
For more information go to Courseworks, log in, and enter ‘cancer’ or ‘Prives’ in the ‘search courses’ box. A description of the course from previous years is at
For the complete list of course offerings for Fall 2008, see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/pages/crs/main/all/fall.html
For the tentative list of course offerings for Spring 2009, see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/pages/crs/main/all/spg.html
Recent Changes in Major/Concentration Requirements for Biology, Biochemistry, & Biophysics.
(1). Math Sequence: Numbers & sequences of calculus courses have changed. Requirements have been updated to fit. The only significant difference is in the biophysics major. Since the "S" (condensed) sequence was abolished, students must take the equivalent of 4 terms of calculus. (Math through V1202 -- Calculus IV, or V1208 -- Honors Math IV.)
(2). Introductory Sequence: The biochemistry & biophysics majors require the C2005-C2006 introductory sequence. In the past, biochemistry & biophysics majors could take certain 3000 level courses instead of C2006. This requirement has been changed, and now all bio related majors require the same 1 year introductory sequence. This was done so that all students in the upper level courses will have the same, necessary, background.
(3). Core Courses: Development is now included in the list of core courses to chose from, and physiology is omitted. (Both are still offered as electives.)
Which major requirements apply to you? The requirements for the major depend on when you entered CU. The rules in effect in the bulletin at that time (which should be the same as what was on the web) are the basic requirements that apply. However, if the rules were changed after you entered, you may fulfill either the older or the current set of requirements. We strongly encourage you to fulfill the requirements in effect at the time you declare your major.