Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Mar 09, 2021  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policies and Procedures

In Biological Sciences .

Advanced Placement

Advanced placement biology credits are not accepted for substitution or placement out of any requirement for the biological sciences major for students matriculating fall 2010 and afterward. For information on credit for advanced placement in biological sciences, see


Students are encouraged to consult their faculty advisors or see an academic advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB), 216 Stimson Hall,  The OUB houses 4 professional academic advisors, as well as several upperclass Student Advisors and serves as an excellent resource for course and career planning, pre-medical and pre-graduate advising, and finding research opportunities.

Students interested in marine biology should visit the Shoals Marine Laboratory website and contact the SML Cornell Academic Coordinator listed on the staff page. Students interested in other biology related majors should visit the appropriate advising office.

Curriculum Committee

Many decisions pertaining to the curriculum are made by the Biology Curriculum Committee. The committee consists of faculty members and welcomes advice and suggestions from all interested parties. The committee can be reached through the Office of Undergraduate Biology, 216 Stimson Hall.

Forbidden Overlaps

Because the department offers many courses with overlapping content, students must choose their courses carefully to ensure that they will receive credit for each course they take. Listed below are courses that have similar content or forbidden overlap. Students will receive credit for only one of the courses (or course sequences) in each group:

Group A

BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  

BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction  

Group B

BIOMG 3300 - Principles of Biochemistry, Individualized Instruction  

BIOMG 3310 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism  and

BIOMG 3320 - Principles of Biochemistry: Molecular Biology  

BIOMG 3330 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  

BIOMG 3350 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  

NS 3200 - Introduction to Human Biochemistry  

Group C

BIONB 2220 - Neurobiology and Behavior II: Introduction to Neuroscience  

COGST 2230 - Introduction to Biopsychology  

PSYCH 2230 - Introduction to Biopsychology  

Group D

BIOEE 1540 - Introductory Oceanography  

BIOEE 1560 - Introductory Oceanography with Laboratory  


Many different departments across several undergraduate colleges at Cornell participate in the biological sciences major.

Student services are provided by the Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB), Located in Stimson Hall, the professional and student advisors provide academic and career advising, as well as help undergraduates find research opportunities on campus. Advisors in the OUB also follow the progress of biology majors and work closely with faculty advisors. Additional services and resources of the OUB include tutoring and extensive information on summer research opportunities. The center has comfortable areas for studying and relaxing.

The Shoals Marine Laboratory, a cooperative venture with the University of New Hampshire, is located on Appledore Island in the Gulf of Maine. SML provides academic advising for students interested in the marine sciences and in SML programs: both short-term courses and semester plans.

Please visit the Shoals Marine Laboratory website ( and contact the SML Cornell Academic Coordinator listed on the staff page.

Pre-medical/Veterinary Students Not Majoring in Biological Sciences

  • Pre-medical and Pre-veterinary students should refer to the following link for a list of courses required for admission to medical and veterinary school
  • Advanced placement biology credits may still be used toward fulfilling pre-medical/pre-veterinary prerequisite courses, but students should check Cornell Career Services, 103 Barnes Hall, for the listing of medical schools that recognize AP credit.
  • Non–biological sciences majors should consult with their major advisor for course selection advice regarding introductory-level biology courses that may be required of their particular major.

Transferring Credit

Biology majors are required to complete all core courses (introductory cluster courses, biochemistry, evolution, genetics, and concentration courses) at Cornell.

External transfer students are limited to applying one core biology course and one advanced course of up to 3 credits toward their concentration. See the Office of Undergraduate Biology for approval procedures.

Study Abroad students may transfer concentration courses at the discretion of their advisor. Study Abroad students must obtain approval from the Office of Undergraduate Biology, Director of Advising, to transfer biology core courses.

Use of Animals in the Biological Sciences Curriculum

Students wishing to enroll in biology (“BIO”) courses should know and understand the following criteria relative to the use of animals in the teaching program, as passed by the faculty of the Division of Biological Sciences in 1988 and reaffirmed in 1997:

  1. “Live animals will be used for teaching in certain courses in the biological sciences. Some animals will require humane euthanasia after they have been used for teaching.
  2. Courses bearing the “BIO” description conform to the rules for the care of such animals as outlined in Guiding Principles in the Care and Use of Animals (as approved by the Council of the American Physiological Society), the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Academies Press, revised 2011), the Animal Welfare Act, and the New York State Public Health Law. Within these regulations, and in keeping with the principle of Academic Freedom of the Faculty, the use of animals to aid in teaching any biological sciences discipline is at the discretion of the professor in charge.
  3. Each course, as well as research projects, in which animals are used receives a formal review annually by the Cornell University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  4. Any concerns regarding the use of live animals in teaching should be addressed first to the faculty member responsible for that course. He or she is required to be in compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines. Alternatively, students may choose to address their concerns to the director of the Cornell Center for Research Animal Resources at (607) 253–4378. The director may initiate discussion with the faculty member responsible for a particular course without involving the student if he or she would prefer to remain anonymous.

Enrollees in those courses in the biological sciences in which animal use is a component may, at the professor’s discretion, be asked to sign copies of this statement (USE OF ANIMALS …) at the first meeting of the course.”