Apr 18, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Biology, B.A. Major in

Students should apply to the department as soon as possible after making the decision to major in biology. Applications are available in the biology office. Advisers are assigned when the student applies for acceptance as a major. The department encourages interested students to speak with a biology adviser about this major before declaring a major. Grades in biology lower than a C- do not count toward the total number of semester hours required for the biology major.

Students may, but are not required to, organize their biology courses around one of the study tracks below.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 36

Students must plan their schedules in consultation with their biology adviser. All majors are required to take a comprehensive examination administered by the department in the senior year.

Additional Biology Courses

At least 20 additional semester hours in biology. Two of the additional courses must include laboratories (lecture/laboratory courses or laboratory-only courses). Any biology course for which the prerequisites have been met may be chosen to complete the 36 semester hours required for the B.A. major in biology with the exception of BIO 3, 4, 25, 50, 103, 105, 106, 123, 125, 140 and 162.

Departmental Honors

To qualify for Departmental Honors, students must complete:

Also Required: Mathematics

Two semesters of mathematics

with one course chosen from:

Other mathematics course

Any other MATH course chosen under advisement with the exception of MATH 4A, 4B, 30A, 40, 61 and 61A .

BIO 100 may be used to satisfy a MATH elective or a BIO elective, but not both.

Students planning to pursue advanced degrees in life and health sciences are urged to take MATH 71.

Animal Dissection Policy

Practical experience with structure and function in animals is an essential component of a biology education. This experience may include the use of living or preserved animals in some laboratory exercises and may require animal dissection. Majors in biology who object to these practices based on ethical, moral, or religious grounds need to discuss their objections with the department chairperson. A student with proper advisement from their biology adviser can select a rigorous and rewarding set of biology courses that are consistent with the student’s moral, ethical, or religious beliefs. Only two required courses in the major sacrifice animals or perform animal dissection (BIO 11  and 12 ).  For these specific courses, accommodations will be made for students whose beliefs prevent them from directly participating in animal euthanasia and dissection.  Students must inform the course instructor within the first week of class of their concerns/objections and submit to the chairperson of the Biology Department  written documentation that substantiates their objections.

Study Tracks within the B.A. and B.S. Majors in Biology

The biology department offers the following five specialized study tracks for students who have predetermined specific study and career goals: Cell and Molecular Biology; Ecology and Evolution; Marine Biology;  Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Veterinary Studies; and Secndary Education. Required courses and other suggested courses for each track are given below. Students must plan their specific schedules in consultation with their biology adviser. Please note that these study tracks do not constitute separate degrees; they are courses of study within the B.A. and B.S. majors in biology.

Study Track in Cell and Molecular Biology - Semester Hours: 20

Students Choosing This Track Must Take

And at Least 6 Additional Semester Hours from the Following List of Courses

Study Track in Ecology and Evolution - Semester Hours: 20

Students Choosing This Track Must Take

And at Least 6 Semester Hours from the Following List of Courses:

(At least one of the courses taken must include a laboratory.)

Study Track in Marine Biology (20 s.h.)

Students Choosing This Track Must Take

And at Least 6 Additional Semester Hours from the Following List of Courses:

  • BIO 205
    (See footnote **)
  • BIO 207A
    (See footnote **)
  • BIO 208
    (See footnote **)
  • BIO 270
    (See footnote **)


* See University Degree Requirements.

** See Graduate Courses Taken by Undergraduates.

Study Track in Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Veterinary Studies - Semester Hours: 20

MATH 71  and BIO 100  are strongly recommended for fulfillment of the Mathematics requirement in this study track. Students interested in veterinary medicine should be aware that MATH 71  and 72 , BIO 143  and one semester of biochemistry are prerequisites for most veterinary schools (students should determine the prerequisites of the schools to which they intend to apply). Students should note that additional prerequisites apply for some post-baccalaureate programs in allied medical professions (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant - see below). Nonmajors interested in medical careers should see the requirements below. Students should take advantage of the advisement offered by the Biology Department and Premedical/Prehealth Professional Studies Office in the University Advisement Office to make sure that the courses selected to complete degree requirements are appropriate for the post-bachelor program of studies they wish to pursue.

Students Choosing This Track Must Take

And at Least 6 Additional Semester Hours from the Following List of Courses:

Pre-Allied Medical Professions

Biology majors who are planning to enter certification or basic master’s programs in physical or occupational therapy or similar programs after graduating from Hofstra need to be aware that most of these programs have prerequisites in addition to those required for a bachelor’s degree in biology. The following courses are recommended to enable completion of the requirements for a B.A. in biology  as well as the additional prerequisites for entry into these programs. Students must plan their schedules in consultation with their biology adviser.

Students Interested in These Programs

should follow the requirements for the B.A. major in biology  and the recommendations for the study track in pre-medical professions listed above.

The Following are also Typically Required:

(do not count toward the biology major);

The Following Are Recommended

9 semester hours in psychology chosen from:

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Prerequisites

The following courses are required as prerequisites for physical therapy and occupational therapy programs by some schools (students should determine the prerequisites of the schools to which they intend to apply):

  • MSPE 220


Please note that the above recommendations would result in the completion of 45 semester hours of biology (if BIO 100  is taken) without the inclusion of BIO 50  or 106 . If any number of semester hours above 45 in biology are completed, a comparable number of extra total semester hours (greater than the 124 required for graduation) must be completed.

Study Track in Secondary Education (20 s.h.)

Biology majors who are planning careers as 7-12 science/biology teachers should choose this study track.

Students Choosing This Track Must Take:

Other Recommended Courses Include:

Strongly Recommended:

  • two semesters of geology
  • one additional chemistry course

See Also:

Students should see the requirements for B.A. in Science Education in the School of Education and Allied Human Services section of this Bulletin.

See Also: Complete B.A. Requirements

B.A. Requirements  in HCLAS.