Biology is the study of life. As broad as that sounds, it’s a science that can lead to just as wide a range of careers: Knowledge of biology is a gateway to curing disease, and understanding illness, and learning more about the millions of species we share the planet with. At its core, biology involves the study of cells, the basic building blocks of life; genes, which govern heredity; and evolution, which examines how species change, and new species are created. As a biology student at Manhattanville, you’ll engage with each of these topics in-depth. You’ll also gain real-world experience by working on projects in research labs on campus, completing a senior research project, and, in many cases, pursuing off-campus internships – all of which are invaluable preparation for grad school or careers in the field. In the past, Manhattanville students have completed medical school, dental school, and other advanced programs, and found jobs in research labs, aquariums, and museums.
As a biology student at Manhattanville, you’ll build a foundation in the discipline by studying core topics such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular and evolutionary biology. You’ll also have the opportunity to take more specialized courses, such as:
Molecular Cell Biology
Nutrition in Health and Disease
You can major in biology, biochemistry, or environmental studies. Minors are available in biology or environmental studies. If you’re interested in medical, dental, or veterinary school, you can also follow the pre-health concentration within the major, or minor in pre-health or health sciences.
You’ll work closely with your faculty advisor – and, later, a research mentor - to help develop your skills and laboratory experiences. In addition to department faculty, you will develop close ties to your fellow biology classmates that will stay with you long after graduation.
The Biology Department has a strict Honor Code for students, which covers academic and personal conduct in classes, labs, and departmental activities.
Biology Major Requirements
Entry-level requirements and co-requisites:
Principles of Biology I
Principles of Biology II
Principles of Chemistry I
Principles of Chemistry Lab I
Principles of Chemistry II
Principles of Chemistry Lab II
Calculus I completed with a minimum grade of C-
BIO 1001, BIO 1002: are prerequisites for all biology courses above the 2000 level. NOTE: If a C - or below is received in either of these foundational classes, it must be retaken and passed with a minimum grade of C before students can progress to 3000-level electives.
CHM 1001, CHM 1003, CHM 1002, CHM 1004: completed with a minimum grade of C-. Note: these classes are prerequisites for some biology courses above the 2000 level.
Prospective majors and students interested in enrolling in Principles of Biology I or II need to complete the Biology Placement Exam, which is an online exam located on Blackboard.
Students registering for BIO 1001 must take the Biology Placement test to determine placement in BIO 1001 or BIO 1000. Students registering for BIO 1002 who have not taken BIO 1001 or BIO 1000 must also take a placement test before they are allowed to register.
It is strongly recommended that students take Principles of Biology and Principles of Chemistry in the freshman year. Students who begin the program as General Biology majors and plan to pursue graduate study or a career in the health professions must complete the appropriate corequisites before applying (see pre-health and graduate school preparation (p. 107)). Sample schedules for advising are available in the biology department.
Upper-Level Biology Requirements:
Seven elective courses above the 1000 level. Four of these must be laboratory courses (4 credits), and one 3 credit elective may be an independent study or internship.
For the General Biology Program, no more than two of the major courses may be at the 2000 level. Students preparing for the health professions or graduate school (see below) should not take more than one 2000 course as part of their seven-course electives. Biology majors should seek an advisor from the Biology department at the beginning of their sophomore year to guide their choice of program and electives.
Senior Research sequence:
Note: All upper-level major courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C-.
Biology Senior Research Program
Every undergraduate major must complete a research project that begins in the fall semester of their 3rd year.
Each senior works closely with a mentor in the biology department to develop an independent and original research topic that culminates in a senior paper and presentation at the end of the senior year.
In addition to the entry-level requirements and corequisites, and the seven electives, as outlined above, biology majors must complete the following three-course research sequence (see course descriptions below for further details):
All of the biology faculty members have on-going and short-term research projects, and this required research sequence allows for scholarship development for both faculty and students. Students often have the opportunity to present their undergraduate research project at local, regional and national conferences, and some projects are ultimately published in peer-reviewed journals.
All students in research seminar and senior research are required to attend the senior presentations, and all majors are encouraged to attend.
Manhattanville offers many routes for students seeking to enter health professional schools in such areas as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physician assistant, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and other health-related fields. Please find more information by clicking the following links:
Bachelor of Arts. In addition to majoring in biology, students can choose to minor in biology or environmental studies.
Agronomist, Animal Scientist, Aquarium Curator, Biochemist, Biologist, Botanist, Dentist, Environmental Engineer, Forensic Science Technician, General Internist, Geneticist, Horticulturalist, Microbiologist, Oceanographer, Pharmacist, Soil Scientist, Zoologist.