Undergraduate Program


Department advisors can help students with a variety of tasks and questions including:

If you are looking for freshman advising please see: Freshman Course Planning: First Two Years.

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Biology Major, Minor, and Certificate Advisors

BA in Biology
Minor in Biological Sciences

Danielle Presgraves, PhD
Hutchison Hall 478
(585) 275-0925

BA in Biology
Minor in Biological Sciences

Daniel McNabney, PhD
Hutchison Hall 477
(585) 275-8973

Biochemistry Major Track

Elizabeth Grayhack, PhD
Medical Center 3-7415 (directions)
(585) 275-2765

Cell and Developmental Biology Major Track

David Lambert, PhD
Hutchison Hall 344
(585) 273-2482

Computational Biology Major Track
Minor in Computational Biology

Amanda Larracuente, PhD
Hutchison Hall 343
(585) 273-1693

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Major Track

Dr. James Fry, PhD
Hutchison Hall 318
(585) 275-7835

Microbiology Major Track
Biotechnology Certificate

Dr. Jacques Robert, PhD
MRBX 2-11124 (directions)
(585) 275-1722

Molecular Genetics Major Track

Dr. Elaine Sia, PhD
Hutchison Hall 332
(585) 275-9275

In addition to their advisor, students also have access to the following resources:

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How to Declare Your Major/Minor in Biology

Students intending to declare a major or minor in any biology program other than neuroscience should:

  1. Meet with the UPBM administrator to make a schedule for completing major or minor requirements and receive advisor assignment
  1. Visit the UPBM Booking Site to select a time that meets your needs
  2. Bring any transfer credit information on courses that may be applicable to the major/minor, if needed
  3. Meet with the appropriate advisor to review schedule for approval
    1. To set up an appointment, send an email to your advisor with a few dates/times of availability
    2. Submit signed paperwork to the UPBM administrator
    3. 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.

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Request an Exception to Major or Minor Requirements

To get an exception, students must consult with their advisor and submit a petition to the UPBM Committee of Track Coordinators.

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The Difference Between BIO 110 and BIO 112



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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.

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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:

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.

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How to Get Involved in Research

Our department has many great ways to get involved in research including:

The Office of Undergraduate Research is another useful resource for getting research funding, learning about undergraduate research conferences, and more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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