What will I learn?

Biology explores the structure, function and evolution of diverse living systems. It addresses some of the most important issues of our time—genetic engineering, stem cell research, obesity, cancer and effects of global warming. Majoring in Biology prepares students to pursue a career in research, teaching or the allied health sciences. It is also relevant to careers as diverse as environmental policy, law, public health, creative writing and textbook development.

Biology - Multiple Majors

There are four possible ways to complete a major within Biology. A student can obtain a general Biology Major or may complete one of the three majors specializing in a level of Biological organization: Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology and Organismal Biology, or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Introductory Biology and Genetics

All students complete the 1500-level introductory sequence followed by a course in Genetics:

BIOL BC1500x Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology

BIOL BC1501x Introductory Lab in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology

BIOL BC1502y Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology

BIOL BC1503y Introductory Lab in Cell and Molecular Biology

BIOL BC 2100 Molecular and Mendelian Genetics

It is recommended, but not required, that Genetics be taken immediately after completing the 1500-level introductory sequence.

The four majors are summarized in the following Table:


Five courses with at least one course from each of the three categories

Cell & Molecular Biology

Four courses from the Cell & Molecular Biology category, one from another category

Physiology & Organismal Biology

Four courses from the Physiology & Organismal Biology category, one from another category

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Four courses from the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology category, one from another category

Which department am I in?

Barnard College

Study options

Full Time (Total 122 points)

Tuition fees
US$58,920.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, September 2022


Columbia University

116th Street, 2960 Broadway,

New York,

10027, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements:  The minimum TOEFL score expected is 600 (written) or 250 (computer version).

For international students

The Committee on Admissions selects women of proven academic strength who exhibit intellectual voracity and strong potential for further scholarly growth. In addition to school records, recommendations, writing, and test scores, we carefully consider candidates' talents, abilities, interests, and personal history. While admission is highly selective, it is also holistic; no one criterion or score determines acceptance. We consider each applicant in terms of her personal qualities, her intellectual capacity, and the rigor of the curriculum she has pursued, as well as her potential for achieving at Barnard. We review each applicant in the context of her school, community, and individual story.

Barnard's general education requirements cover a wide range of subjects: literature, the social sciences, language and the arts, lab sciences, and quantitative areas. For this reason, you should acquire a strong foundation in high school, taking courses from the core academic subjects: math, science, English, history, and foreign language.

English Language Requirements

Applicant must have IELTS score of 7.0 or higher or TOEFL score of 600 or above on the written test, and 100 or above for the Internet-based test.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.