Undergraduate Bulletin

Fall 2022

The Undergraduate Biology Program

Biology is the study of organisms, including the molecular and cellular basis of life, development of the individual and its genetic basis, maintenance of the individual, and interaction of organisms with their biotic and physical environment.

Undergraduate Biology offers both Bachelor of Sciences (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programs in Biology. Both degree programs build on a strong foundation in chemistry, mathematics and physics that provides the concepts and methodologies needed to understand biological complexity at multiple levels. Students explore the Fundamentals of Biology through three foundational courses that provide a thorough introduction to organisms, ecosystems, cellular and molecular biology, and physiology. These courses are complemented by an innovative two-semester, inquiry-based biology laboratory curriculum designed to develop skills in the collection and analysis of data from biological experiments, including explorations into the primary scientific literature and capstone student-designed experiments on human physiology. For the BS degree this core foundation is followed by advanced course and laboratory work that includes an in depth program of study in an area of Specialization along with complementary studies that ensure breadth of exposure to other areas of biology. These Specializations include Developmental Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, Environmental Biology, Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics, and Bioengineering. The BIO BA program involves fewer advanced courses in biology but instead requires completion of a non-overlapping minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. The BA provides an option for students interested in careers that build on foundational knowledge in the biosciences who also have strong interests in areas such as the fine arts, humanities or social sciences. The BS program is most appropriate for students interested in graduate studies in the biological sciences or technical positions in industry, including biotechnology, government agencies, and research institutes. Both programs provide excellent preparation for professional careers in the health sciences.

Students in the Biology BA or BS programs may not declare a double major among Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Marine Sciences and Marine Vertebrate Biology.  A double major in Biology and Human Evolutionary Biology requires a certain course combination in the Human Evolutionary Biology electives as specified in the requirements for the EBH major. 

Information related to the BIO major and minor is available from the Undergrad­uate Biology Office and website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/biology. The office processes completed forms and petitions concerning the Biology major and minor and all requests for evaluations of transferred biology courses. The Undergraduate Biology office also coordinates advising, BIO course administration and registration and processes graduation clearances for BIO major and minor requirements.

Most students majoring in biology prepare for professional study in the biological or health sciences. Some prepare for secondary school teaching, and others for technical positions in industry, including biotechnology, government agencies, and research institutes.