Bachelor of Arts in Biology


Program Description

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:

  • Bioethics
  • Environmental Ecology
  • Global Environmentalism
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Vertebrate Biology
  • Invertebrate Zoology
  • 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:

BIO 1001 Principles of Biology I 4
BIO 1002 Principles of Biology II 4
CHM 1001 Principles of Chemistry I 3
CHM 1003 Principles of Chemistry Lab I 1
CHM 1002 Principles of Chemistry II 3
CHM 1004 Principles of Chemistry Lab II 1
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:

BIO 3099 Research Seminar 2
BIO 3499 Senior Research 3
BIO 3998 Senior Evaluation 2

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):

BIO 3099 Research Seminar 2
BIO 3499 Senior Research 3
BIO 3998 Senior Evaluation 2

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:


Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health


Bachelor of Arts. In addition to majoring in biology, students can choose to minor in biology or environmental studies.

Career ideas

Agronomist, Animal Scientist, Aquarium Curator, Biochemist, Biologist, Botanist, Dentist, Environmental Engineer, Forensic Science Technician, General Internist, Geneticist, Horticulturalist, Microbiologist, Oceanographer, Pharmacist, Soil Scientist, Zoologist.

Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

Welcome to our tight-knit community of smart, diverse students, and accomplished, nurturing faculty. After the whirlwind of orientation and moving in, the real journey begins. Kickoff a great year by ... Read More

Welcome to our tight-knit community of smart, diverse students, and accomplished, nurturing faculty. After the whirlwind of orientation and moving in, the real journey begins. Kickoff a great year by checking out some of our exciting Fall campus events and programs. We believe higher education elevates students' knowledge both academically and practically. That's why we offer 50+ undergraduate areas of study and 70+ graduate programs, degrees, and certificates reinforced by internships, career counseling, mentors, and networking opportunities. We call it outcomes-based learning. Read less