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A Flexible Curriculum Allows Students to Focus on Their Interests 

Students are encouraged to use their biology electives to develop a concentration in one area, such as health science, molecular biology, or environmental biology. The curriculum is designed to be flexible and to allow students to tailor their courses to their specific needs.

The faculty in biology, along with cooperative programs, summer courses, clinical experiences, and participation in various research programs, provide biology majors with an undergraduate education that will allow them to pursue a variety of career or graduate study opportunities.

Biology majors are able to minor in several areas such as psychology, business, environmental science and policy, and environmental and occupational health.

You can also find out more about a minor in biology.

Curriculum requirements

The majors' biology curriculum requirements are listed below, with a sample schedule for a general program of study.

Core Biology Courses (17-19 credits)
(These courses are required for all biology majors):  

Course # Course Name Credit Value
 BY140  Biology I: Inheritance, Evolution and Diversity 3
 BY142  Biology I: Laboratory 2
 BY160  Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology


 BY162  Laboratory 2
 BY214  Genetics  3
 BY401 Professional Assessments  0
Two of the Following Lecture/Lab Sequences:  
Course # Course Name Credit Value
 BY222  Ecology & BY224 Ecology Laboratory  5
 BY320  Microbiology & BY322 Microbiology Laboratory  5
 BY350  Comparative Anatomy & BY352 Comparative Anatomy Laboratory 5
 BY360  Human Physiology & BY362 Human Physiology Laboratory  5
Biology Electives (15 credits minimum required):  
Course #                Course Name Credit Value
BY/EV 313 Biogeochemical  Earth Systems Science 3
BY300 Advances in Biological Research                        1
BY302 Introductory Botany/Lab 4
BY310 Developmental Biology 3
BY312 Advanced Cell Biology 3
BY314 Bioinformatics/Lab 4
BY328 Conservation Biology 3
BY340 Behavioral Ecology / Sociobiology 3
BY358 Animal Learning & Cognition 3
BY412 Molecular Biology Laboratory 4
BY416 Principles of Toxicology and Epidemiology 3
BY418 Human Anatomy 4
BY420 Evolution 3
BY425 Biological Systems and Environmental Change                                        3
BY431 Limnology 4
BY440 Introduction to Biomedical & Rehabilitation Engineering 3
BY444 Introduction to Biomedical 3
BY450 Biochemistry I 3
BY451 Biochemistry II 3
BY454 Physiological Psychology 3
BY455 Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer 3
BY458 Cognitive Neuroscience 3
BY460 Neurobiology 3
BY470 Biochemistry and Biotechnology Laboratory 3
BY476 Current Topics in Biology and Medicine 3
Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Core Requirements (36 credits):

Course #

Course Name Credit Value
CM103 Structure and Bonding 3
CM105 Chemistry Laboratory I 2
CM104 Equilibrium and Dynamics 3
CM106 Chemistry Laboratory II 2
CM241 Organic Chemistry I 3
CM242 Organic Chemistry II 3
CM244 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 3
PH131 Physics I (or PH141 Physics for Life Sciences) 4
PH132 Physics II (or PH142 Physics for Life Sciences II) 4
MA131 Calculus I (or MA180 Introduction to College Math) 3
MA132 Calculus II (or MA181 Basic Calculus) 3
MA282 General Statistics (or MA383 Applied Statistics) 3
Clarkson Common Experience Requirements (28 Credits):
Course # Course Name Credit Value
FY100 First Year Seminar 1
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar 3
Knowledge Area (Must take 5 courses covering at least 4 knowledge areas) 15
Technology Course (Must take one) 3
Professional Experience in Biology 1
Free Electives (Up to 24 credits):
7-8 Elective Courses


Sample Four Year Curriculum



"The flexibility of the Clarkson Biology program allowed me to take classes in physics and math in addition to my biology requirements. This has enabled me to pursue Biophysics in graduate school."

— Jessica Snyder '05 is a Ph.D. student in Biophysics at the University of Rochester.




Sample Four Year Curriculum