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For Students

Biology is one of the most popular majors on campus.

Courses emphasize hands-on learning, current experimental research and student-driven inquiry

Requirements of the Biology major

Beginning Fall 2019, the Biology department will switch to our new major requirements:

Biology 107

Biology 108, with accompanying lab

Chemistry 125

(3) 200 level courses from the two content areas:

Content Area 1 Content Area 2
Biol 202: Plant Physiology and Development Biol 218: Cellular Structure and Function
Biol 228: Animal Physiology* Biol 232: Developmental Biology
Biol 217: Human Physiology* Biol 238: Molecular Genetics**
Biol 205: Microbiology Biol 244: Genetics and Genomics**
Biol 208: Plant Diversity and Evolution Biol 248: Evolutionary Genetics**
Biol 226: Animal Structure and Diversity Biol 272: Biochemistry
Biol 241: Ecology Biol 288: Epidemiology

*May take only one of these courses

**May take only one of these courses

(2) 300 level courses

(1) Unit of Intensive

(2) Additional courses in consultation with your adviser

The Biology major requirements include two additional courses. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to either explore more deeply within the major, or to augment their study within the natural sciences, or to explore connections between biology and other disciplines. It is the expectation that these courses will be discussed with the major adviser in order that they are thought-out and intentional in their choosing.

The following is the list of approved, additional courses:

  • Another 200 or 300 level course in Biology
  • A course from the natural sciences division that is not in Biology
  • Other course approved by the adviser

The following table explains how students will move to the new major requirements:

Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 will switch to the new curriculum with the exception that a student could choose to take a third 300 level course or 1 unit of intensive for the “Intensive” requirement.

Class of 2021 (current sophomores; declaration year is this year)

Will adopt the new curriculum as written, except allowing 105/106 to count as 107/108/lab.

Class of 2022 (current first years, declaration year is next year)

Will adopt the new curriculum as written, except allowing 105/106 to count as 107/108/lab.

Class of 2023

New curriculum


Academic requirements and courses are available in the Vassar College Catalogue.

Correlate Sequence

The Biology department also offers a correlate sequence