Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Feb 03, 2023  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [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 a professional advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB), 216 Stimson Hall,  The OUB houses four professional academic advisors, as well as upperclass student advisors and serves as an excellent resource for course and career planning, pre-health and pre-graduate school 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. Biology & Society, HBHS, BEE, BME, ESS, Animal Science, Nurtitional Sciences , Global & Public Health, Human Development.

Curriculum Committee

Many decisions pertaining to the curriculum are made by the Biology Curriculum Committee. The committee meets monthly, 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 - Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience  

PSYCH 2230 - Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience  

Group D

BIOEE 1540 - Introductory Oceanography  

BIOEE 1560 - Introductory Oceanography with Laboratory  

Group E

BIOMG 2800 - Lectures in Genetics and Genomics  

NTRES 2830 - DNA, Genes and Genetic Diversity  


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

The office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB) is located in 216 Stimson Hall, The OUB provides comprehensive, academic, career, and research advising to current and prospective biological sciences majors and minors, as well as alumni and faculty. Our primary mission is to serve the diverse needs of our majors while ensuring that they successfully navigate the curriculum and achieve their academic and career aspirations.

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 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-Health Students Not Majoring in Biological Sciences

  • Pre-health students should refer to the following link for a list of courses required for admission to medical/veterinary/dental school:
  • Advanced placement biology credits may be used to fulfill pre-medical/pre-veterinary prerequisite courses, but students should check Cornell Career Services, 103 Barnes Hall, or check directly with medical school of interest.
  • Non–biological sciences majors should consult with their major advisor for course selection advice regarding introductory-level biology courses that may be required for their major.

Transferring Credit

Biological science majors are required to complete all core courses (introductory cluster courses, biochemistry, evolution, genetics, and concentration courses) at Cornell or during an approved Study Abroad semester.

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

Students must obtain approval from the Office of Undergraduate Biology to receive credit for biology courses taken during an approved Study Abroad semester. Students can count up to two study abroad courses toward major requirements.

Use of Animals in the Biological Sciences Curriculum

Live animals may be used for teaching in certain courses in the biological sciences. Some animals will require humane euthanasia after they have been used for teaching. From the Cornell Center for Animal Resources and Education (CARE), “Cornell University regards the study of animals in teaching and research as essential to continued progress in science, medicine, agriculture, and education. When animal use is necessary, we maintain the highest ethical standards for their use and care.” All Cornell faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, and research personnel involved in the care and use of animals in teaching and research are required to familiarize themselves with and to follow Cornell Policy 1.4 Care and Use of Live Vertebrate Animals in Research and Teaching. Any student concerns regarding the use of animals in teaching should first be addressed with the faculty member responsible for the course.