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Important Changes to Note

Course and Program Changes

Biology Proficiency Required for Biology & Biochemistry Majors

Policy:  Students must achieve a combined C+ average or better in their first two required Biology lecture courses completed at SUNY Geneseo.  Required lecture courses are:

  • BIOL 117
  • BIOL 119
  • BIOL 203* (*not a required lecture for the Biochemistry program)
  • BIOL 222
  • BIOL 300 

For most freshman students, the first two required lecture courses would be BIOL 117 and BIOL 119.  For freshman students with a 5 on the AP Biology exam, it would be BIOL 203 and BIOL 222, unless they elect to retake BIOL 117 and BIOL 119 here.

This policy will apply to transfer students as well.  They may be further along in the required sequence (e.g. they could have credit for BIOL 117, BIOL 119, and BIOL 203), in which case the first two required lecture courses would be BIOL 222 and BIOL 300.  If they already have credit for both BIOL 222 and BIOL 300, they would need to achieve a grade of C+ in BIOL 300 in order to remain a Biology/Biochemistry major.

Please note a student may only repeat a required Biology course, or related requirement, once for major credit; the repeated course must be taken at the next offering of the class.  It may be advisable for transfer students to take other science courses (e.g. Biology courses not required, but electives, for the major, or chemistry or physics courses) their first semester here in order to get acclimated to SUNY Geneseo's rigor before taking the courses that are evaluated for Biology proficiency.

Students performing poorly as a major may choose to withdraw from a required lecture course before the deadline rather than earn a grade that will make it difficult to achieve a C+ average, but this may make it difficult to graduate in eight semesters.

Students adversely affected by this policy may consider completing the Biology minor and should then take: 

  • BIOL 117, BIOL 119, BIOL 116
  • BIOL 203
  • BIOL elective above the 100 level
  • BIOL 271* (or BIOL 222)
  • BIOL 210 or another Biology lecture elective above the 100 level

*preferred for minors

Minimum Competence Revised:

To graduate with a Biology major, students must attain a grade of C- or better in all required Biology courses (excluding Biology electives).  A grade of C- must be achieved in any course before it may be used as a prerequisite for another course.  A student may only repeat a required Biology course or related requirement once for major credit and the course must be taken at the next offering of the class (provided there are seats available).  If a student does not earn at least a C- on the second taking of the class, she/he will not be able to complete the Biology major.


Prereqs/coreqs will generally be strictly enforced for BIOL courses.  These will again be checked at the beginning of the semester and students will be deregistered by the Dean's Office who do not have the required prereqs/coreqs.  Course maximums will be strictly enforced when we are also at the maximum number of people allowed in the room by the fire marshall.

Students wishing to take more than one BIOL 388 Experimental course must go to the Records Office, Erwin 102, as KnightWeb will not allow you to register for the same BIOL course number more than once each semester.

Please remember that, in general, matters concerning the availability of free electives, courses in second majors, minors, individual sections, work schedule conflicts, sports conflicts, preferred instructors, etc. are not considered to be grounds for upholding an appeal by the Biology Chair or the Dean of the College.

Advisement & Degree Works Pregraduation Checks:

Please make an appointment with your assigned advisor during the registration period by signing up outside of their office or as otherwise instructed by your advisor.  Please do not email or call faculty to setup an appointment and please do not wait until it is time for you to register online.  NOTE:  For those with required advisement (freshmen with less than 30 credits total their first two semesters here, transfers, and those on academic probation), only your assigned advisor, NOT the Biology Chair or secretary, will release the hold on your account so that you will be able to register on KnightWeb.  Juniors and seniors are required to complete a Degree Works audit with your assigned advisor  and only your primary advisor may release your pregraduation check hold.

Course Related Notes: 

General Info:

*BIOL 204, BIOL 216, and BIOL 223 are NOT all required Biology lab courses; you are required to take ONE of these three labs. The remaining labs may then be considered elective Biology laboratory courses.

BIOL elective labs:  BIOL 204*, BIOL 215, BIOL 216*, BIOL 223*, BIOL 301, BIOL 312, BIOL 314, BIOL 316, BIOL 330, BIOL 339, BIOL 342, BIOL 344, BIOL 345, BIOL 346, BIOL 347, BIOL 348, BIOL 349, BIOL 354, BIOL 361, BIOL 362, BIOL 364, BIOL 365, BIOL 366, some BIOL 288 or BIOL 388 courses with an approved waiver after completion of the course, BIOL 390, BIOL 391, BIOL 392, BIOL 394, BIOL 396:  These courses are either a lab or contain a lab component and DO count as an elective Biology laboratory course. (*All Biology majors are required to take either BIOL 204, BIOL 216, or BIOL 223; then the remaining required labs may be considered Biology lab electives if completed.)

BIOL 210 Nutrition:  This course may be used as an elective for the Biology minor only, not the major.

BIOL 250 Biological Data Analysis nor BIOL 340 Modeling Biological Systems:  These courses do NOT count as an elective Biology laboratory course since they are computer based.

BIOL 265/266 (now 365/366) or 288 Human Physiology and BIOL 364 Animal Physiology may NOT both be counted as Biology elective credits; it's one or the other.  You may NOT take A&P after taking Animal Physiology.

BIOL 271 Heredity:  This course may be used only for the Biology minor, not the major.

BIOL 288 Exp: Techniques in Microbial Sciences does count as an elective Biology laboratory course. 

Students may receive Biology elective credit for BIOL 304 Biotechnology OR BIOL 322 Molecular Biology, but NOT both.

BIOL 378 Microscope Techniques does NOT count as an elective Biology laboratory course; this is a lecture course.

BIOL 388 Exp: Biological Conservation (Fall 2013 and Fall 2014):  This course offered by Dr. Hannam will NOT count as an elective Biology laboratory course.

BIOL 388 Exp: Global Health in Ghana (Summer):  This summer course offered by Dr. Muench will count as an elective Biology laboratory course, but requires that your advisor submit an online Waiver seeking approval from the Biology Chair.

BIOL 399 Directed Study in a research lab does NOT generally count as a  Biology elective laboratory course.  However, if you are going to be doing your third semester of in-depth directed study credit doing a continuous research project with the same faculty member, your faculty supervisor for the research project may enroll you in BIOL 396 Advanced Research in Biology so your combined experience may count as one Biology elective lab credit. 

BIOL 100 has been replaced with BIOL 105/106
CHEM 103 ... with CHEM 104/105
GEOG 110 ... with GEOG 111/112
GSCI 101 .. with GSCI 130/131
GSCI 105 ... with GSCI 140/141
GSCI 107 ... with GSCI 150/151
GSCI 111 ... with GSCI 160/161
GSCI 112 ... with GSCI 170
PHYS 101 ... with PHYS 102/103
PHYS 105 ... with PHYS 106/107

CHEM course information for advising purposes:

a.   Most students take the following general chemistry sequence:

  • General chem:  CHEM 116 (fall) CHEM 118 (spring)  with lab CHEM 119 (either fall or spring)
  • Organic chem:  CHEM 211 (fall) CHEM 213 (spring) with lab CHEM 216 (either fall or spring)

b.   'Accelerated' students' (generally those with AP credit for general chem and some biochem students):

  • CHEM 203 and CHEM 119 (fall)  CHEM 204 and CHEM 223 (spring)  
  • CHEM 224 and CHEM 216 (fall)

c.   Chem 203 (gen chem) and chem 224 (o chem) are 4 credit lecture classes

d.   Chem 204 (end of gen chem) and 223 (start of o chem) are 2 credit lecture classes taught the first half and the second half respectively of the spring semester

e.   Chem 119 and Chem 216 are labs and are the same for both sequences, but students in the accelerated sequences take them in the fall

BIOL 300 Level Labs (11/30/2017):

The Biology BA and BS majors require a laboratory at the 300 level.  Our curriculum is being revised resulting in moving multiple courses (Plant Diversity, Microbiology, Invertebrate Biology, Vertebrate Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II) from the 200 to 300 level.  These changes are not retroactive (i.e. if you took BIOL 230 this spring, this is what is going to be on your transcript and this is what Degreeworks will see).  However, we are going to allow the following waivers to be applied:

  • BA - If you have taken four BIOL laboratory courses at the 200 level (four of the following: BIOL 204, 215, 216, 223, 230, 241, 242, 265 and 266) but none at the 300 level, you can get a waiver that will allow you to graduate without taking a 300-level lab (see the Biology Chair or your advisor for the waiver*). 
  • BA  - Requirements may be satisfied by counting a student’s fourth 200-level lab both as a 300-level elective and as a 300-level lab, i.e. taking BIOL 216, BIOL 230, BIOL 265, BIOL 266 and BIOL 335 would satisfy the BA requirements.
  • BS - If you have taken five BIOL laboratory courses at the 200 level (five of the following: BIOL 204, 215, 216, 223, 230, 241, 242, 265 and 266) but none at the 300 level, you can get a waiver that will allow you to graduate without taking a 300-level lab (see the Biology Chair or your advisor for the waiver**).

**Waivers cannot be submitted until students have completed and received a final grade in all of the courses that are involved in the waiver, in this case the four (BA) or five (BS) BIOL 200 level lab courses.  An exception is made for graduating seniors for whom waivers may be submitted after the start of the semester that they are graduating.