In the College of Human Ecology .
The Biology and Society (B&S) major combines the study of biology with study of the social and behavioral sciences. Students take a strong set of courses in the biological sciences while they acquire a solid foundation in the social, economic, legal, ethical, and political dimensions of society.
The College of Human Ecology program enables students to learn about the human person from many perspectives, including the science of the human body as well as their thoughts and behaviors. Students use their multi-disciplinary backgrounds to examine some of the most complex issues of our time— environmental psychology, sustainable design, human performance and health, biopsychology, medical care delivery, and the interaction of science, ethics, and public policy. They have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members in research or field study.
In planning their courses, Biology and Society majors in Human Ecology select course from concentrations in Behavior, Biology, and Society; Biology and Health Policy; and Health and Human Performance. They work with faculty advisors in selecting courses to meet college graduation requirements while pursuing their individual goals and interests.
For further information on the major, including courses of related interest, specific course requirements, and application procedures, see Kay Obendorf, director of undergraduate studies, in 182 MVR, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
R. Prentice, director of undergraduate studies, College of Arts and Sciences; S. K. Obendorf, advising coordinator, College of Human Ecology; B. Chabot, advising coordinator, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; E. Adkins-Regan, B. Bedford, W. Bemis, K. Berggren, R. Boyd, D. Brown, R. Canfield, S. Ceci, B. Chabot, C. C. Chu, W. Crepet, J. Davis, P. Dear, R. Depue, D. Feathers, G. W. Feigenson, J. Fortune, W. Ghiorse, C. Goodale, C. Greene, D. Gurak, A. Hajek, L. Harrington, R. Harris-Warrick, A. Hedge, S. Hilgartner, J. Hinestroza, T. J. Hinrichs, B. Johnson, B. Knuth, S. Langwick, A. Lemley, C. Leuenberger, D. Levitsky, B. Lewenstein, J. Losey, B. Lust, M. Lynch, K. McComas, S. McCouch, A. Netravali, S. Nicholson, J. Niederdeppe, S. K. Obendorf, P. Parra, A. Parrot, D. Pelletier, M. Pfeffer, T. Pinch, A. G. Power, R. Prentice, S. Pritchard, V. Reyna, M. Rossiter, A. Sachs, S. Seth, J. Sipple, R. Stedman, R. Stoltzfus, J. Tantillo, J. Thies, K. Vogel, R. Wayne, E. Wethington, T. Whitlow, S. Wolf.
Biology & Society Major:
Admission to the Major:
Because of the interdisciplinary nature and flexibility of the Biology & Society major, we do not allow students to triple major. All students should have completed a year of college-level biology or two entry-level biology courses before submitting an application during their sophomore year. An application deadline is in effect each semester for CALS and HE students; please check with the department for deadline dates. A&S students are encouraged to apply during that time, but applications will be accepted after the deadline of their sophomore year. Applying during this period will ensure an optimal advising experience prior to pre-enrollment. Juniors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Upper-division applicants should realize the difficulties of completing the major requirements in fewer than two years. Freshmen admitted to the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology as Biology & Society majors are considered to have been admitted to the major on a provisional basis, contingent on successful completion of the course requirement in introductory biology and submission of the application to the university major. The application includes (1) a one-page statement explaining the student’s intellectual interests in the Biology & Society major and why the major is consistent with the student’s academic goals and interests; (2) the theme the student wishes to pursue in the major; (3) a tentative plan of courses fulfilling Biology & Society requirements, including courses already taken and those the student plans to take; and (4) a transcript of work completed at Cornell University (and elsewhere, if applicable), current as of the date of application.
Acceptance into the major requires completion of the course sequence in introductory biology. Sophomores in the process of completing this prerequisite may be admitted to the major on a provisional basis. It is the student’s responsibility to assure that final acceptance is granted upon satisfactory completion of the introductory biology requirement. Although only introductory biological science is a prerequisite for acceptance, students find it useful to have completed some of the other requirements (listed below) by the end of their sophomore year, preferably by the end of the first semester. Students who are considering the major may also find it beneficial to take STS 2011 - What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology , in their freshman or sophomore year. Human Ecology students should also consult the current Human Ecology guide and meet with the college advising coordinator, S. Kay Obendorf, email@example.com.
No single course may satisfy more than one major requirement. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
I. Prerequisite and Basic Courses:
a. Introductory Biology:
Starting with the Class of 2014, AP credit will no longer be accepted by the Biology & Society major to fulfill the Intro Bio requirement. See the DUS or Advising Staff in 306 Rockefeller Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) for other options.
b. College calculus (one course:)
c. Recommended but not required:
General chemistry (one-year sequence) (prerequisite to biochemistry and other chemistry courses):
II. Foundation Courses:
(Should be completed by end of junior year.) Foundation courses are intended to provide a broad introduction to methodology and theory in their area.
All courses must be above the 1000-level, at least 3 credit hours, and taken for a letter grade.
b. Social sciences/humanities foundation:
Two courses; one from any two of the following subject areas:
- History of science
- Philosophy of science
- Sociology of science
- Politics of science
- Science communication
c. Biology foundation (breadth requirement):
Three courses; one each from three of the following subject areas:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Animal behavior
- Biochemistry, molecular and cell biology
- Biological diversity
- Genetics and development
- Nutrition (Human Ecology students matriculating in Fall 2010, may not use NS 1150 or NS 1220 for the major.)
d. Biology foundation (Depth requirement):
One biology course for which one of the above (2c) is a prerequisite. (Contact dept for list of approved nutrition depth courses.)
III. Core Course:
One course. Should be completed by end of junior year.
(Five courses that correspond to the theme selected by the student). These courses must be above the 1000-level, at least 3 credit hours, and taken for a letter grade. Choose these courses as follows:
- Natural science issues/biology elective (two courses). Select from the list of BSOC approved natural science issues courses or choose course(s) with introductory biology as a prerequisite.
- Humanities/social sciences electives (two courses). Courses from the list of senior seminars may be used as theme electives if not used to meet another requirement, or select humanities or social sciences courses in consultation with the faculty advisor.
- Senior seminar (one course taken junior or senior year). Courses change yearly.
Students may petition to take a second statistics course (an advanced course, in sequence with the statistics course taken in the foundation) in place of the calculus requirement.
A list of approved depth courses using NS 1150 and NS 1220 as a prerequisite is available in 306 Rockefeller Hall. (Courses are subject to change.)
First-year writing seminars and introductory courses may not be used to fulfill major requirements.
Projects under the direction of a Biology & Society faculty member are encouraged as part of the program of study in the student’s theme area. Applications for research projects are accepted by individual faculty members. Students may enroll for 1–4 credits in BSOC 3751 - Independent Study with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S–U option. Applications and information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Biology & Society office.
The Honors Program:
The honors program is designed to provide independent research opportunities for academically talented undergraduate students whose major is Biology & Society (BSOC). Students who enroll in the honors program are expected, with faculty guidance, to do independent study and research dealing with issues in Biology & Society. Students participating in the program should find the experience intellectually stimulating and rewarding whether or not they intend to pursue a research career.
Biology & Society majors are considered for entry into the honors program at the end of the second semester of the junior year. Application forms for the honors program are available in the Biology & Society office. The honors program is available to Biology & Society majors from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences. Biology & Society majors in the College of Human Ecology must be selected by an honors committee within their college. To qualify for the Biology & Society honors program, students must have an overall Cornell cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.3, have formulated a research topic, and have found a project supervisor (with an academic appointment at Cornell) and another faculty member willing to serve as their advisor. At least one of these must be a member of the Biology & Society major. Applications will be reviewed by a committee headed by the director of undergraduate studies, who will notify students directly of the outcome. Students will be permitted to register for the honors program only by permission of the department. Students must enroll for both the fall and spring semesters. BSOC 4991 -BSOC 4992 is cross-listed with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as ALS 4991 -ALS 4992 and the College of Human Ecology as HE 4991 -HE 4992 . Those wishing to receive Human Ecology credit must sign up for HE 4991 -HE 4992 . They must attend the honors seminar during the fall semester. More information on the honors program is available in the Biology & Society Office, 306 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255-6047.
For additional information about the Biology & Society Major and Honors Program:
In Arts and Sciences: Rachel Prentice, director of undergraduate studies, email@example.com.
In Agriculture and Life Sciences: Brian Chabot, advising coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Human Ecology: S. Kay Obendorf, advising coordinator, email@example.com.
General Information: Susan Sullivan, Biology & Society Advising Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.