- How to declare a major or minor in biology
- Requesting an exception to major or minor requirements
- The difference between BIO 110 and BIO 112
- Dual major and dual degree restrictions
- How AP and transfer credits are incorporated
- How to get involved in research
- How to become a teaching assistant
- How to get credit for teaching
- Preparing for medicine/health professions
If you are looking for freshman advising please see: Freshman Course Planning: First Two Years.
Biology Major, Minor, and Certificate Advisors
BA in Biology
Danielle Presgraves, PhD
BA in Biology
Daniel McNabney, PhD
Biochemistry Major Track
Cell and Developmental Biology Major Track
David Lambert, PhD
Computational Biology Major Track
Amanda Larracuente, PhD
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Major Track
Dr. James Fry, PhD
Microbiology Major Track
Molecular Genetics Major Track
Dr. Elaine Sia, PhD
In addition to their advisor, students also have access to the following resources:
How to Declare Your Major/Minor in Biology
Students intending to declare a major or minor in any biology program other than neuroscience should:
- Meet with the UPBM administrator to make a schedule for completing major or minor requirements and receive advisor assignment
- Visit the UPBM Booking Site to select a time that meets your needs
- Bring any transfer credit information on courses that may be applicable to the major/minor, if needed
- Meet with the appropriate advisor to review schedule for approval
- To set up an appointment, send an email to your advisor with a few dates/times of availability
- Submit signed paperwork to the UPBM administrator
- Submit the online major declaration form
After officially declaring your major, we recommend that you periodically visit with your advisor. This is particularly important if there are any changes from the curriculum proposed on the concentration form. Formal submission of another form is NOT required, but the changes should be made in writing and made part of your record in the track office.
Request an Exception to Major or Minor Requirements
The Difference Between BIO 110 and BIO 112
- Both courses are designed for majors and minors in biology as well as all premedical tracks.
- Both courses employ problem-based, peer-led small group workshops.
- Both courses will emphasize “experimental” approaches and the quantitative skills needed to understand biological research.
- BIO 112: Perspectives in Biology I is designed for freshmen.
Dual Major and Dual Degree Restrictions
Dual Degrees (Both a BA and BS)
Students seeking approval to earn dual degrees will need to petition the Administrative Committee of the College before the double degree program can be implemented. No student may declare a BA in biology and a BS in biological sciences in any track. See the sophomore page for more information.
Dual Majors (Two BA or Two BS Degrees)
Dual majors involving one UPBM track major and a major in an area outside UPBM are allowed as long as there is no more than a two-course overlap (allied fields do not apply.) No student may declare two BS degrees within the UPBM tracks. See the sophomore page for more information.
How AP and Transfer Credits are Incorporated
AP Biology Credit Policy: Students who scored a 4 or 5 on Advanced Placement biology exams receive four general college credits; however, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the requirements for the biology major or minor.
IB Biology Credit Policy: Students who scored a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate exam receive four general college credits; however, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the requirements for the biology major or minor.
AP and IB Students Eligible to Take Concentrated Introductory Course Series: Students who received credit for AP or IB biology scores are eligible to take BIO 112/113: Perspectives in Biology I and II.
Note: The biology department does not approve AP or IB biology credit for use toward major requirements.
Transfer Credit Restrictions
Students wishing to apply coursework completed at institutions outside of the University of Rochester* toward their biology degree must provide evidence of the following:
- Courses were not “pre-professional” in nature (i.e., nutrition, nursing, or technical training, such as EMT training)
- Courses were offered in the biology department or equivalent
- Courses counted toward a biology degree at the institution that offered them
- Courses overlapped in content with biology courses offered at the University of Rochester
Before undertaking coursework elsewhere, students should fill out the “Course Approval Form” to ensure that the course can count toward their undergraduate degree. See the advisor handbook for more information.
*With the exception of the courses specified in the master list of transferable courses at MCC.
How to Get Involved in Research
Our department has many great ways to get involved in research including:
- Independent research: Students work with a faculty research mentor during the semester for credit.
- The de Kiewiet Research Fellowship: Students work with a faculty research mentor over the summer.
- Honors research: Students develop a novel body of work that includes publication-quality data, and create and defend a senior thesis.
The Office of Undergraduate Research is another useful resource for getting research funding, learning about undergraduate research conferences, and more.
How to Become a Teaching Assistant
The department recruits undergraduates to lead workshops, recitations, or laboratory sections associated with many of the courses offered. See the teaching assistant page for list of current opportunities and how to apply.
How to Get Credit for Teaching
Students must first apply and be accepted into a teaching assistant position and then sign up for BIO 390. For more information see the supervised teaching page.
Preparing for Medicine/Health Professions
Graduate and medical degree programs in the health professions frequently have admissions requirements that include two semesters in general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, and calculus. Some programs may have additional requirements such as biochemistry and/or microbiology.
For detailed information on premed course requirements, academic planning, and the MCAT, visit the Health Professions Advising website.