2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, BA


Billie Trapani, Academic Support Coordinator
114 Life Sciences Complex
batrapan@syr.edu, 315-443-9139


Yasir Ahmed-Braimah, David M. Althoff, Katie M. Becklin, Melanie J. Blanden, Carlos A. Castañeda, Heather D. Coleman, Jen Cook, Steve Dorus, Scott E. Erdman, Christopher W. Fernandez, Thomas P. Fondy, Douglas A. Frank, Austin M. Garner, Paul Gold, Sarah E. Hall, Heidi Hehnly, James A. Hewett, Sandra J. Hewett, Robin Jones, Donna L. Korol, L. Jamie Lamit, Katharine Lewis, Jessica MacDonald, Eleanor Maine, Vera McIlvain, Angela Oliverio, Susan E. Parks, Melissa E. Pepling, Ruth Phillips, Scott Pitnick, Ramesh Raina, Surabhi Raina, Mark E. Ritchie, Kari A. Segraves, Robert B. Silver, Roy D. Welch, Michele G. Wheatly, and Jason R. Wiles

Students majoring in biology establish a general background in the discipline through a series of first-year/sophomore-level core courses that preview the major sub-disciplines of biology. This introductory program is followed by courses that allow the student to focus on more advanced material.

The major in biology leads to either the B.A. or the B.S. degree. The B.S. degree is intended for students interested in graduate study in biological science or the health professions (medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine). In addition to biology requirements, students pursuing a B.S. degree take general chemistry, organic chemistry, and calculus. Students are also encouraged to gain practical experience and academic credit through the University Honors Program, the Community Internship Program, or departmental research. Students may also receive a B.S. degree with emphasis on environmental sciences.

The B.A. degree is intended for students who wish to pursue technical or science-related careers that do not require a graduate or professional degree, or careers outside of biology in which a background in science may be useful, such as science writing, business, or law. Although the first-year/sophomore-level core biology course requirements for the B.A. and the B.S. degrees are similar, there are key differences. The B.A. degree requires fewer courses in chemistry and mathematics.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Be able to recognize and distinguish theories, concepts and principles from the major sub-fields of biology

2. Be able to distinguish more specific and advanced concepts in selected areas of biology

3. Apply skills in the nature and practice of science

4. Utilize written communication skills relevant to biological sciences

5. Apply quantitative methods to solve problems in the biological sciences

Major Requirements

B.A. Degree Requirements (41-43 credits)

To Declare the B.A. Major in Biology

A student may declare the B.A. major in Biology during the admission process or anytime thereafter by contacting the Academic Coordinator of the Biology Department.

Students cannot double major in biotechnology, biochemistry or biology. They cannot complete a minor in biology in conjunction with one of those three programs.

Core Courses (18 credits)

All core courses need to be completed by the end of a student’s junior year, preferably by the Fall of that year.

Upper-Division Courses (12 credits)

Students in the B.A. program complete an additional 12 credits of upper-division coursework in Biology with a minimum of 3 of the 12 credits being laboratory credits. BIO 460 Research in Biology cannot be applied as a laboratory course, only as an upper-division elective.

Math and Chemistry Requirements (11-13 credits)

CHE 106 /CHE 107  - General Chemistry I with lab, 4 credits

CHE 116 /CHE 117  - General Chemistry II with lab, 4 credits


Students with 8 credits of Advanced Placement

Students with 8 credits of Advanced Placement may omit the introductory Biology courses BIO 121  AND BIO 123 /BIO 124 . BIO 224 cannot be omitted nor substituted.