Biology (BA)

Arts and Sciences
HEGIS Number: 0401

The Online Bulletin is for information purposes only. Current students must complete the requirements as outlined in the York Bulletin as applicable.
Course Descriptions
Course descriptions can be found in the online PDF version of the Bulletin

The Biology Program is designed to provide academic experiences in the life sciences for students with varied career plans and special interests. The courses offered cover a broad range of subjects from General Biology, Biostatistics, and Genetics, which all majors must take, to Whole Organismic Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Environmental Biology.

The Independent Research Program, which is strongly emphasized, allows students to obtain a degree with honors. Biology majors can obtain positions as Laboratory Technicians in Research labs, as well as other positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The program also provides non-science majors with an understanding of biological concepts and transmits some conception of the importance of biological discoveries to the solution of social and environmental problems.


Biology BA


Major Discipline Requirements


I. Required Foundation Courses

BIO201Biological Principles I* 
BIO202Biological Principles II* 
BIO301Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 
BIO486-489Special Topics in Biology**+ 
CHEM108Principles of Chemistry I* 3.5 
CHEM109Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory* 1.5 
CHEM111Principles of Chemistry II 3.5 
CHEM112Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory 1.5 
CHEM230Essentials of Organic Chemistry^ 
CHEM235Laboratory in Organic Chemistry 
MATH121Analytic Geometry Calculus I*@ 
PHYS113Physics Laboratory I 
PHYS115College Physics I*** 

II. Organismic & Environmental Biology

Choose 7.5 - 9 credits from the following: 
BIO331Plant Biology 4.5 
BIO308Invertebrate Biology 4.5 
BIO309Biology of Chordates 4.5 
BIO325Histology 4.5 
BIO334Comparative Physiology# 4.5 
BIO403Ecology 4.5 
BIO411Laboratory in Neurobiology 1.5 

III. Cell and Molecular Biology

Choose 7.5 - 10 credits from the following: 
BIO320Cell Biology 4.5 
BIO415Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
BIO444Genetics 4.5 
BIO452Developmental Biology 4.5 
BIO465Microbiology 4.5 
BIO466Immunology 4.5 
BIO480Theory & Experimentation in Biotechnology 
Credit Totals 
Total credits required for the Biology major57-61 
Total Core Curriculum credits25-42 
Total free elective credits17-38 
Total credits for the BA in Biology120 

*These courses can also be taken to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements.

**BIO 486-489 are the upper division WI courses for Biology major.

***PHYS 117 may be substituted for PHYS 115

+BTEC 489 may substitute for BIO 489.

^CHEM 231 and 232 may be substituted for CHEM 230 and 235

#BIO 234 and 235 may be substituted for BIO 334. One additional course in Group II will be required to satisfy this core area.

@Students that do not place directly into MATH 121 may need to take up to 8 credits of MATH prerequisites, MATH 120 (4 credits) and/or (MATH 102 (1 credit) or MATH 104 (3 credits) or MATH 115 (4 credits). Those courses subtract from the free-electives total.

NOTE: This major is not for students intending to apply to medical school or pursue post-graduate studies in Biology.

B.A. with Honors in Biology

Eligibility. Biology 202 and one 300 level Biology course; a 3.0 average in all Biology courses. Approval by the Honors Committee of the Biology Discipline.

Requirements for Graduation with Honors:

  1. Successful completion of the Biology Major Discipline Requirements with a 3.0 average in all Biology courses.
  2. Successful completion of 6 credits of Biology 490-493, which will include independent research under the guidance of faculty members and the presentation and approval of a thesis by the Honors Committee of the Biology Discipline.
  3. Certification by the Honors Committee of the Biology Discipline.

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