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Biology Concentration - Requirements

A grade of C- or better must be earned and revealed on your transcript for any course -- including the first semester -- to be counted towards the major or concentration requirements. The grade of P is not acceptable, but a course that was taken P/D/F may be counted if and only if the P is uncovered by the Registrar's deadline.

Any exceptions must be approved in advance by an Advisor and you must receive an email notification of that approval.

Students may substitute Barnard College courses only with prior permission from an Advisor.

I. Required Biology Courses

  1. Two introductory biology courses:

    • C2005 - Introductory Biology I: Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology or ENVB 2001 - Environmental & Evolutionary Biology, AND
    • C2006 - Introductory Biology II: Cell Biology, Development & Physiology

  2. One lecture course from this list of core courses:

    • C3032 or W3031- Genetics
    • W3022 - Developmental biology
    • W3041 - Cell biology
    • C3501 - Biochemistry (Bioc W3300 does not fulfill this requirement)
    • C3512 - Molecular biology

  3. One of these two options to fulfill the lab requirement:

    • W2501 - Contemporary biology lab (formerly W1501) and one of the following

      W3040- Lab in Molecular Biology
      A 3 pt. Barnard lab course.

    • A five-point lab. Current offerings include:
      C3052 - Project laboratory in molecular genetics
      W3050 - Project laboratory in protein biochemistry
      W3058 - Project laboratory in microbiology

    Note: W3500 (Independent research) may not be used to fulfill the laboratory requirement for the concentration.

  4. One or two additional biology or biochemistry lecture courses, level 3000 or above, to reach the total Biology credits of 22 points required for the concentration. Either W2501 or a five-point lab course, but not both, may count towards the 22 point total. Current offerings include the core courses listed above and the following. Prior approval is required for any course not on this list.

    • C3512 - Molecular biology
    • C3799 - Readings-Molecular Biology of Cancer
    • W3004 - Neurobiology I: Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology
    • W3005 - Neurobiology II: Development & Systems
    • W3006 - Physiology
    • W3022 - Developmental Biology
    • W3034 - Biotechnology
    • W3041 - Cell Biology
    • W3073 - Cellular and Molecular Immunology
    • W3193 - Stem Cell Biol & Applications
    • W3208 - Introduction to Evolutionary biology
    • W3310 - Virology
    • W3560 - Evolutionary Biology in the Genomic Era
    • W3990 - Readings in Cell Biology
    • W3995 - Topics in Biology (topic varies)- Only 1 topics course may be counted towards the concentration
    • W4008 - The Cellular Physiology of disease
    • W4011 - Neural Syst: Circuits in the Brain
    • W4077 - Survey in Molecular and Cellular Biology
    • W4082 - Theoretical Foundations and Applications of Biophysical Methods
    • W4300 - Drugs and Disease
    • W4400 - Biological Networks
    • W4510(CHBC) - Genomics of Gene Regulation
    • W4560 - Evolutionary Biology in the Genomic Era
    • G4008 - Advanced seminar in neurobiology
    • G4035 - Seminar in Epigenetics
    • G4044 - Advanced Topics is Cell Biology
    • G4075 - Biology at Physical Extremes
    • G4095 - Chemical Genomics
    • G4305 - Seminar in Biotechnology
    • G4600 - Signal transduction

      Every effort is made to keep this list up to date. However, last min. changes do occur. See recent changes for new course updates.

      Note: SCNC & HPSC courses do not count towards the Major even if listed under Biology courses on Bio web site.
      BIOT courses will not be counted towards the Major.

II. Required Science and Math Courses

  1. One of the following three groups of Chemistry courses:

    • Option 1: General chemistry-C1403-C1404 or W1403- W1404 and lab W1500
      Organic chemistry- C3443-C3444 or W3443-W3444 and lab W3543 
    • Option2: For students who qualify for intensive chemistry
      Second Semester General Chemistry (Intensive) C1604 and Intensive lab-W2507
      Organic Chemistry and lab C3443-C3444 or W3443-W3444 and W3543
    • Option 3: For students who qualify for 1st year organic chemistry
      Intensive general chemistry Lab - W2507
      Organic chemistry for first years C3045-C3046 and Orgo lab C3543, W3543, C3545, W3545

  2. Two semesters of physics are required, including the accompanying labs. The usual choices are General physics (V1201-V1202) and labs (V1291-V1292). The 1400 sequence is recommended if you plan to take 3 terms of physics. Higher level of physics sequence are acceptable too.
  3. The math requirement can be fulfilled by taking any of these:
    • Two semesters of calculus
    • One semester of calculus plus one semester of statistics (W1111 or W1211)
    • For students with AP credit, completion of Calculus II (V1102), Calculus III (V1201) or Honors mathematics III (V1207) is sufficient; however, students with AP credit are encouraged to take additional courses in math or statistics at Columbia.

For transfer students, at least 4 biology or biochemistry courses and at least 18 credits of the total (biology, biochemistry, math, physics and chemistry) must be taken at Columbia. Barnard courses may not be substituted for the required Columbia courses without advance permission from the advisor.