Requirements for the Biology Major-- for GS Students
Last update: August 2001

I. Required Biology & Biochemistry Courses

    1. Introductory Biology. Two introductory biology courses (one year total):

For a description of the differences between F2401/2 and C2005/6 see FAQ for GS Students, Q5.

    2. Genetics  -- W3031 or C3032  

    3. Biochemistry --  Biochem G4021 or Biol-Chem C3501  

4. Laboratory Requirement: One of the following choices:

C3600 - Biological Research Skills (1 pt)  is recommended as a co-requisite when taking F3403. Summer lab work under other auspices may not be substituted for SURF.  Paid laboratory work may not be substituted for SURF or F3403. 

    5. Electives: Two additional 3000- or 4000- level courses. Current offerings include the following:

W3002 - Introduction to animal structure & function
- Cellular neurobiology
- Systems neurobiology
W3006  (or W3033) -  Physiology
W3020 - Molecular evolution
- Developmental biology
- Biotechnology
W3041 - Cell Biology

W3073 - Immunology
W3150 - The Cell as a Machine
W3208 - Introduction to evolutionary biology
- Readings in the molecular biology of cancer
- Advanced seminar in neurobiology (topic varies)
- Neural systems: circuits in the brain
- Genetic approaches in cell and developmental biology
- Molecular biology of disease
W4205 - Origins of life
G4600 - Signal transduction
- Mammalian cell genetics
Biochem G4026 or Bio-Chem 3512 - Molecular Biology

II. Other Required Courses

  1. Chemistry:  Chemistry through organic, and accompanying laboratories, are required:

    One Year  of General Chemistry (F1403 - F1404)
    One Semester of general chemistry laboratory (F1500
    One Year of Organic Chemistry: (F3443 - F3444) 
    One Semester of organic chemistry laboratory (F3543

    The Columbia College equivalents may be taken instead, with the permission of the chemistry dept.

  2. Physics: Two semesters of physics are required, including the accompanying labs.  The usual choices are General physics (W1201-W1202) and labs (V1291-V1292) or Honors general physics (V1301-V1302) and labs (V1391-V1392). Higher level physics sequences are ok too. 
  3. Math:  The math requirement can be fulfilled by taking either of these:

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. 

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Dr. Deborah Mowshowitz,
Director of Undergraduate Programs
Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University