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The study of biology is the ideal preparation for students planning to enter professions such as medicine and other health-related fields that require competence in the biologic sciences. Students also select this curriculum because it provides the background to understand basic biological issues in health and disease, as well as environmental concerns.

Biology courses at Yeshiva College keep pace with the ever-changing nature of biological science. Courses are offered in ecology, cell structure, microbiology and immunology, molecular biology, and genetics (emphasizing our newfound ability to analyze and manipulate the genome). Honors courses and guided research projects encourage independent research.

The Department of Biology empowers students to participate in research projects with faculty members at both Yeshiva College and, through the Roth Scholar Summer Fellowships, at Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The department is further enhanced by the student-run science research club, Sigma Delta Rho. The club sponsors career nights and lectures by prominent professionals in the field as well as screens films on topics of interest to health science students. Additionally, it keeps students updated on career opportunities.

Most students who major in biology pursue graduate-level studies in health sciences, where competition is intense. Yeshiva College students traditionally have a high acceptance rate to graduate and professional schools, with most going on to the graduate school of their choice.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Biology is for undergraduates majoring in biology to be prepared and qualified to pursue advanced studies in the biomedical sciences as related to human health care and/or pursue employment in various biology-related fields. These milestones will be achieved by providing courses covering a wide spectrum of sub-disciplines within biology, so as to provide students majoring in biology with a comprehensive background in the principles of modern biology and hands-on skills in using laboratory instrumentation.

Student Learning Goals

  • To understand the main principles of modern biology, with an emphasis on the biomedical sciences.
  • To successfully apply skills in modern laboratory techniques and knowledge of the scientific method to analyze scientific problems and to create their own scientific investigations.
  • To critically evaluate scientific literature according to established scientific criteria.
  • To express scientific ideas, both in written and oral communication.

New Biochemistry Major

Yeshiva College is now offering a major in Biochemistry beginning in Fall 2017.  This major is approved by NYSED, and has been successfully offered at SCW for the past 10 years.  A total of 60-61 credits are needed to complete this major. We feel it will be a valuable alternative for our pre-med and pre-dental students interested in gaining expertise in this inter-disciplinary field. The requirements are located online at

For questions or further information on the Biology Program at Yeshiva College, please contact Professor Sumanta Goswami at or 212.960.5400 ext. 130.

Program Information

Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.

  • BIO 1001R, 1002R Essentials of Biology—Lectures
    2 credits

    For non-majors. Takes an integrated approach to the study of biology. First semester: chemico-physical concepts, principles of underlying living systems, cell-structure elements, energetics, and tissue organization; second semester: human anatomy and physiology, human reproduction, and the principles of genetics.
    Corequisite: BIO 1001L, 1002L.
  • BIO 1001L, 1002L Essentials of Biology—Laboratory
    1 credit

    Laboratory work to accompany lectures. Laboratory fee.
    Corequisite: BIO 1001R, 1002R.
  • BIO 1011R, 1012R Principles of Biology—Lectures
    3 credits

    Introduction to the study of living organisms, including such areas as the structure and function of living things, ecology, role of plants in nature, energy cycles, reproduction, heredity, and evolution. The human organism, including normal and abnormal structure and function.
    Corequisite: BIO 1011L, 1012L.
  • BIO 1011L, 1012L Principles of Biology—Laboratory
    2 credits

    Laboratory work to accompany lectures. Emphasizes scientific methods in biological research. Second semester emphasizes animal structure and function (4 hours).
    Laboratory fee: $70.
    Corequisite: BIO 1011R, 1012R.
  • BIO 1376R Biochemistry—Lectures
    3 credits
  • BIO 1376L Biochemistry—Laboratory
    2 credits
  • BIO 1405C Research Methods in Biology
    4 credits

    Current techniques used in biomedical research. These may include radioisotope, bacteriological, somatic cell, genetic, bio-chemical, and molecular; use of scientific literature, preparation of research grant proposals, and presentation of experimental results; selected laboratory experiments and library research projects.
    Lecture: 2 hours; Lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee: $80.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012, two additional biology laboratory courses, and permission of the instructor.
  • BIO 1405L Research Methods in Biology
    2 credits

    Same as 1405C, but without lecture periods (4 hours).
    Laboratory fee: $80.
  • BIO 2206C Invertebrate Zoology
    4 credits

    Survey of the invertebrate phyla (excluding protozoa), with emphasis on functional morphology, life cycles, physiology, and current research problems in invertebrates. Laboratory stresses functional morphology, utilizing living and preserved material.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee: $50.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 2255 Advanced Biophysics
    3 credits
  • BIO 2320C Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    4 credits

    The origins, similarities, and differences among vertebrate classes, as well as their changing diversity through time. Emphasis on adaptations leading from the aquatic to the terrestrial lifestyle as seen across this chordate subphylum.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 2601C Developmental Biology
    4 credits

    Events leading to and proceeding from the fertilization of invertebrate and vertebrate eggs; review of classical and modern experiments uncovering the processes leading to the formation of an integrated organism from a single cell, the zygote.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3038C Ecology
    4 credits

    Classical ecological approaches in light of recent ecological discoveries. An interdisciplinary approach demonstrating the relationships of geological, climatological, and evolutionary principles to ecology.
    Laboratory work and field trips accompany lectures.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3135C Cell Structure and Function
    4 credits

    Structure, organization, and function of tissues; morphological and histochemical study of protoplasm; cell, tissue, and organ structure. Basic laboratory experience in interpretation of cell and organ structures based on light and electron microscopy and histochemistry.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012, CHE 1046.
  • BIO 3207C Cell Biology
    4 credits

    Basic architecture of cells, organelles, and components; dynamics of growth, nutrition, cell cycle, metabolism, and metabolic regulation; specialized cell functions. Laboratory accompanies lectures.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012, CHE 1046.
  • BIO 3230C or 3230H Immunology
    4 credits

    Basic principles, theories, and current problems in immunology. Emphasis on antigens, haptens, antibodies, antibody specificity, antibody-antigen reactions, and immediate and delayed hypersensitivity, as well as transplant and autoimmune phenomena. The honors version focuses in depth on AIDS and society.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisites: CHE 1214, BIO 3207 or BIO 4023R & BIO4023L, and one other intermediate BIO course or permission of the instructor.
  • BIO 3513C Introductory Genetics
    4 credits

    Laws of heredity and variation; theory of the gene and gene action; experiments with Drosophila, Neurospora, and bacterio-phage. Laboratory accompanies lectures.
    Llecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3521C Molecular Biology
    4 credits

    Recombinant DNA techniques and applications. Special attention to recently published journal articles. Laboratory accompanies lectures.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3728C Animal Physiology
    4 credits

    Physicochemical principles involved in life processes. Lecture and laboratory illustrate these principles in the physiological systems of vertebrates. Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3801R Endocrinology—Lectures
    2 credits

    Structure and function of endocrine glands, including the nature of hormones and molecular modes of action.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3801L Endocrinology—Laboratory
    2 credits

    Experiments using modern techniques of endocrinological research, including surgery, isotope techniques, and growth studies (4 hours).
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite or Corequisite: BIO 3801R.
  • BIO 3830C Introduction to Neurobiology
    4 credits

    Nerve cells and their organization into complex nervous systems; major concepts in neurobiology, including impulse conduction, synaptic transmission, sensory processing, motor function, and memory.
    Lecture: 2 hours; lab: 4 hours.
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012.
  • BIO 3830R Introduction to Neurobiology Lectures
    2 credits
  • BIO 4023R Microbiology—Lectures
    2 credits

    Structure, development, identification, control, and use of microorganisms.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012, CHE 1045, CHE 1046.
    Recommended: CHE 1213, CHE 1214.
  • BIO 4023L Microbiology—Laboratory
    2 credits

    Analytical laboratory procedures and experimental methods of research. Emphasis on interaction of microorganisms with the environment and hereditary transmission of genetic material (4 hours).
    Laboratory fee.
    Corequisite: BIO 4023R.
  • BIO 4901, 4902 Independent Study
    Meet with the Yeshiva College academic dean. Laboratory fee on an individual basis.
  • BIO 4930; 4931 Current Topics in Biology
    2 credits

    Seminar in which students make presentations on selected subjects from current developments in the fields of microbiology, endocrinology, animal behavior, embryology, ecology, and environmental studies.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012R & BIO 1012L and permission of the instructor.
  • BIO 4934 Biological Aspects of Bioethics
    2 credits

    Physiological, ecological, and epidemiological bases of decision making in the field of bioethics; definition of death; DNA recombinant research; pesticide use; demographic concerns; abortion; hazardous surgery; human experimentation; organ transplants; social obligation of the scientist; eugenics and euthanasia.
    Prerequisites: BIO 1012 and two additional BIO courses.
  • BIO 4935 Science, Society, and Ethics
    3 credits
  • BIO 4937C or 4937H Advanced Biotechnology
    3 credits

    Intensive research laboratory experience in current molecular biology techniques (6 hours).
    Laboratory fee.
    Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Biology Major: 45-46 Credits

Required Courses (27 - 28 credits)

  • BIOL 1011R, BIO 1011L, Principles of Biology, 1 Lecture and Lab 5 Credits
  • BIO 1012R, BIO 1012L, Principles of Biology, 2 Lecture and Lab 5 Credits
  • CHEM 1045R, General Chemistry 1 Lecture, 3 Credits
  • CHEM 1046R and 1047L, General Chemistry 2 Lecture and Lab, 5 Credits

Required Bio Electives (18 Credits)

Math Requirements (7-8 credits)

  • MAT 1410*, 4 Credits or MAT 1412, 4 Credits 
  • MAT 1413, 4 Credits or STA 1021, 3 Credits

* This new introductory Calculus course is designed for students majoring in biology, pre health sciences, or any other major except mathematics/computer science/physics/engineering/chemistry. It is a course for students who will not need calculus 2, but will take statistics. This course provides the fundamental concepts of the calculus in the context of applications to the health, life and social sciences, and beyond. The course prerequisite is pre-calculus-high school Algebra and Trigonometry.

Courses within any given major or minor require a grade of a “C-“ or better to fulfill its requirement.

Notes: All biology majors going on to graduate school or medical school should take Organic Chemistry (CHE 1213R, 1214R, 1215L), and Physics 1031-1032 R&L.

  1. Independent study and summer research in biology do NOT satisfy any biology requirements.

Biology Minor (20-23 Credits)

Required Courses (10 credits)

  • BIOL 1011R, BIO 1011L, Principles of Biology 1 Lecture and Lab 5 credits
  • BIO 1012R, BIO 1012L, Principles of Biology 2 Lecture and Lab 5 Credits

Required Bio Electives (10-13 credits)

  • Adv. Lab #1 4-5 Credits
  • Adv. Lab #2 4-5 Credits
  • Adv. Elective 2-3 Credits

The following list includes faculty who teach at the Beren (B) and/or Wilf (W) campus.

  • Anya Alayev
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology (B)
  • Neer Asherie
  • Professor of Physics and Biology (W)
  • Harvey Babich
    Professor of Biology (B)
  • Karen Bacon
    Professor of Biology (B) 
    The Mordecai  D. Katz and Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Bill Bassman
    Adjunct Instructor in Biology (B)
  • Chayim Goldberg
  • Adjunct Instructor in Biology (W)
  • Sumanta Goswami
    Associate Professor of Biology (W)
  • Amanda Katz
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology (B)
  • Brenda Loewy
    Clinical Associate Professor of Biology (B)
    Director, Pre-health advisement
  • Radhashree Maitra
    Associate Professor of Biology (W)
  • Jeffrey Mollin
    Senior Laboratory Instructional Specialist in Biology (B)
  • Athulaprabha Murthi
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology (W)
  • Tatyana Kievsky
    Laboratory Instructional Specialist in Biology (B)
  • Barry Potvin
    Professor of Biology, Professor Emeritus (W)
  • Alyssa Schuck
    Clinical Associate Professor of Biology (B)
    Director, JFEW
  • Josefa Steinhauer
  • Associate Professor of Biology (W)
  • Margarita Vigodner
  • Associate Professor of Biology (B)
    Doris and Ira Kukin Chair in Biology
  • Raizy Weinreb
    Adjunct Instructor in Biology (B)
  • Richard Weiss
    Adjunct Instructor in Biology (B)
  • Harriet Zuckerbraun
    Clinical Associate Professor of Biology (B)

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  • Summer Internships
    A wide-ranging portal maintained by Columbia University, including links pertaining to New York and to locations across the United States.
  • Biology Internships
    Another link-rich portal, this time from California State University, Channel Islands. Includes offerings in ecological biology, molecular/cellular biology, biomedical research and more.
  • NIH Student Training Opportunities
    Programs offered by the National Institutes of Health.

Graduate Study

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Yeshiva University's own, and one of the worlds finest.
  • Biological Science Graduate Schools
    From Includes listings in general biology, biochemistry, bioethics and many other fields.

News and Organizations

  • Nature
    An international weekly journal of science.
  • Journal of Biology
    Offers free access to online articles.
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