Bachelor of Science Degree

Biology is a multidisciplinary cutting-edge field encompassing the vast diversity of life from the smallest amino acid to ecosystem dynamics. The biology program at SUNYIT provides an in-depth introduction to the breadth of the discipline through core courses with a diverse selection of upper-level classes. This program prepares students for a variety of careers in research, conservation, human medicine, veterinary medicine, teaching, as well as employment in government or private firms.

Our faculty are dedicated to quality education through scholarship and research. The breadth of our faculty interests and experiences enable students to specialize in sub disciplines of biology such as ecology and evolutionary biology, entomology, botany, physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology.

Laboratories and Facilities
Many of our biology courses include a 3 hour lab session or fieldwork per week. There are two well-equipped biology laboratories found in Donovan Hall. The biology laboratories are equipped with standard equipment consisting of compound and dissecting microscopes, sterilizer, and incubators. Students also have access to electrophoresis equipment, a PCR instrument and a tissue culture hood. Our chemistry lab has new, state of the art equipment including a high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC), Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR), UV-Vis spectrophotometer, atomic absorption spectrometer, gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, and flame ionization detector. And, for science students who prefer a larger lab experience, the SUNYIT campus includes hundreds of acres of forest and wildflower areas. In addition, SUNYIT is close to diverse ecosystems such as the Utica Marsh, Rome sand flats, and the Adirondack Mountains.

The Program
The biology program is for those students who have an interest in Biology on an organismal or physiological level and wish to study the roles and interdependence that organisms have within an ecological system. Students will be prepared for careers that may involve, but are not limited to, the assessment of environmental impact as a result of human enterprise, the control of animal and biological pests in a safe ecological manner, the impact of genetically altered plants and animals on the environment, the biological effects of global warming, etc.

Pre-med students
Medical schools require that certain courses be taken prior to admittance, but do not require a specific type of degree. Students in our biology program who wish to apply to medical school will work with their advisor to substitute specific core courses to meet medical school requirements and to choose electives that will help ensure their future success, including extra coursework in physics, calculus, and social science.

Degree Requirements
To earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in biology a student must fulfill the following: The structure of the degree program will require all students enrolled to take fifteen core courses (45 credits). Generally, nine to twelve of these courses will be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Also, students will be required to complete all of the general education courses as outlined by the N.Y.S. Board of Regents, many of which may also be completed by the end of their second year in the program.

The major requires an additional 9 to 12 credits of elective course work in biology beyond the core courses. All of these courses will need to be completed during the junior and senior years including 1 credit of Junior Seminar and Senior Seminar taken in the last 2 years.

Additional elective courses in biology or in other academic areas will complete the 124 credit hour degree requirement for the B. S. Degree in Biology.

B.S. in Biology—124 total credits

Students shall satisfy the requirements listed below.

I. SUNY General Education Requirements (30 credits)

All SUNY students must satisfy the following requirements.

No fewer than 30 credits must be attained from the SUNY approved General Education Course List with the following provisions:

  • Mathematics (STA 100 recommended by program)*
  • Basic Communication (ENG 101 or equivalent)

At least five (5) out of the following eight (8) SUNY General Education categories:

  • Natural Science (BIO 103 recommended by program)*
  • Social Science 
  • American History
  • Western Civilization
  • Other World Civilization
  • Humanities
  • The Arts
  • Foreign Language

NOTE: You may take more than one course in a given category to complete this 30 credit hour requirement, but you must also satisfy the appropriate number of categories.

II. Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements (no fewer than 30 credits) 

The New York State Education Department (SED) requires a student earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree to attain no fewer than 60 credits of combined SUNY General Education and Liberal Arts/Sciences courses. There may be overlap (*) between courses meeting the SUNY General Education Requirements, SUNYIT Degree Requirements, Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements, and Program courses; but a student may receive course credits only once even if multiple requirements are satisfied by a single course. The total number of combined credit hours must be no fewer than 60 credits.

SUNYIT degree requirements:

  • Natural Sciences – one course which may be a General Education Natural Science course (fulfilled by BIO 103)
  • Upper-Division Writing Course See the Catalog descriptions for COM courses to find specific courses to satisfy this requirement. 

Specific requirements for BS in Biology majors:

  • Physics I (PHY 101)* 
  • **Students wishing to go to medical school will also take Physics II (PHY102). 
  • Statistical Methods (STA 100)*
  • Elements of Calculus (MAT 112)**
  • **Students wishing to go to medical school should take MAT 151 and MAT 152 instead of MAT112.

Liberals Arts/Sciences Electives (remainder of credits)

III. Core Coursework (50 credits)

  • Introductory Biology I (BIO 103)*
  • Introductory Biology II (BIO 104)
  • Cell Biology (BIO 270)
  • Ecology (BIO 300)
  • Plant and Animal Physiology (BIO 315)
  • Genetics (BIO 351)
  • Evolution (BIO 380)
  • Junior Biology Seminar (BIO 390)
  • Senior Biology Seminar (BIO 487)
  • Introductory Chemistry I (CHE 130)
  • Introductory Chemistry II (CHE 131)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHE 230)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHE 231)
  • Biochemistry (CHE 430)

Program Electives (12-20 credits)

  • Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO 215)
  • Anatomy & PhysiologyII (BIO 216)
  • Plant Anatomy (BIO 230)
  • Introduction to Mycology (BIO 235)
  • General Microbiology (BIO 275)
  • Entomology (BIO 320)
  • Integrated Pest Management (BIO 322)
  • Comparative Plant Morphology (BIO 331)
  • Vertebrate Zoology (BIO 340)
  • Invertebrate Zoology (BIO 341)
  • Animal Behavior (BIO 342)
  • Advanced Physiology (BIO 350)
  • Phylogenetics (BIO 401)
  • Plant systematics (BIO 430)

IV. Unrestricted Electives (remainder of credits)

All students must achieve a minimum of a “C” grade in all major courses (core and track/electives) and a minimum of 2.0 overall grade point average in order to graduate. Pre-med students are strongly advised to take both a psychology and a sociology course as part of their curriculum preparation for the MCAT.

NOTE: Core courses may fulfill general education and/or liberal arts requirements; consult SUNYIT course catalog for specific general education categories.