Department of Biology

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

Andrew Smith, Associate Professor and Chair

The biology department offers a liberal arts education with a major in biology, giving a strong foundation for continued study at the graduate level. This curriculum also provides preparation for entering the health professions (dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine) and paramedical fields. Other career opportunities exist in laboratories, pharmaceutical and chemical companies, governmental and environmental agencies, and other organizations that require personnel with a biology background.

The curriculum also allows for preparation and certification in secondary teaching in biology with either a major or a minor in biology.

Biology-Optometry 3-1 Program

This joint program with an optometry college is available to biology majors and enables students to enter optometry college after three years of undergraduate study. Ithaca College requirements for graduation, as well as most of the biology requirements, must be fulfilled during the first 90 credits of this program. After acceptance by the optometry college, and on successful completion of the first year of optometry college, the bachelor’s degree in biology is awarded by Ithaca College. This program must be carefully planned with the student’s adviser.

Requirements for Honors in Biology

Students with a minimum GPA in biology courses of 3.50 and an overall GPA of 3.30 may apply for honors after they have completed (or are currently enrolled in) BIOL 30200 Research in Biology but no later than the end of the junior year. Application must be made to the Biology Curriculum Committee for admission to honors. The application must include current GPAs (in biology and overall) and a one-page summary of the proposed research project. The curriculum committee reviews the qualifications of the applicants, certifies that faculty sponsorship has been obtained, and then makes its recommendations to the department. The faculty of the biology department votes on acceptance or rejection of the curriculum committee’s recommendation.

When a student is accepted for honors, an honors committee is formed, consisting of the faculty sponsor (project director) and two other faculty members, one of whom must be from the biology department. The student designs the yearlong honors project in consultation with the faculty sponsor and must write up a proposal describing this project, which is then submitted to the honors committee. The honors committee monitors the progress of the project and the academic performance of the student.

The student must write a paper summarizing his or her research and give an oral presentation to the department at the end of the second semester of the project. The honors committee will make the determination whether or not to grant honors in biology.

A detailed description of the honors requirements and deadlines is available from the faculty adviser.

Courses for Nonmajors

The biology department offers several courses of interest to the nonmajor. These courses have numbers between BIOL 10000 and BIOL 12000, and also include BIOL 20500.

Advanced Placement

Students who receive a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology exam will receive 3 credits for BIOL 11500 Essentials of Biology and 3 credits for BIOL 18888, a general, non-specific biology elective.

Off-Campus Study in Marine Biology

Students can participate in our cooperative programs with the Duke University Marine Lab (North Carolina and Bermuda) or the Sea Education Association of Wood's Hole (with a variety of cruise tracks). For more information on these programs, see "National Affiliated Programs in Marine Biology" in the International Programs section.

See BIOL courses

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