Major Requirements

Undergraduate
Current Students

Requirements for Columbia College students:

Biology major
Biology concentration
Biochemistry
Biophysics
Neuroscience and Behavior

Requirements for General Studies students:

Biology major
Biochemistry
Neuroscience and Behavior
Biology concentration
Biophysics

Honors:

Instructions for applying for Honors

How to declare a major or concentration:

Fill out the forms for the University (either the College or GS). This is so the university can send your docket to the right department and keep track of which department has to clear you for graduation.

Columbia College Students

  • Students majoring or concentrating in Biology or Related Fields
    1. Review the requirements for your desired major/concentration detailed in the links above. An abridged version for each of the biology-related majors is provided here for your convenience: Biology Major Checklist, Neuro & Behavior Major Checklist, Biochemistry Major Checklist, Biology Concentration Checklist, Biophysics Checklist. Please email Ellie Siddens ([email protected]) to go over the progress of your major completion.
    2. Fill out a major planning form as far as you can, using the checklist and the information in the bulletin. Include both courses you have completed AND courses you plan to take to complete your major.
    3. Consult the appropriate departmental advisor to discuss any variances from the normal guidelines. Bring your filled out major planning form with you to this meeting. Your advisor will then email any approved variances from the normal requirements to the biology departments administrator, Ellie Siddens, who will approve your major completion for graduation.
    4. Visit the Major Declaration Page during the Major Declaration Period (usually Spring Break of your Sophomore year) to officially declare your major.
  • For CC students majoring in Biochemistry, Biophysics or Neuroscience & Behavior (joint majors): If you are planning a joint major, you may consult an advisor in either department to plan your program. For the joint majors, both departments (e.g. biochemistry will need to be approved by chemistry and biology) will each certify the student for graduation in their part of the major.

General Studies Students

  1. Review the requirements for your desired major/concentration detailed in the links above. An abridged version for each of the biology-related majors is provided here for your convenience: Biology Major Checklist, Neuro & Behavior Major Checklist, Biochemistry Major Checklist, Biology Concentration Checklist, Biophysics Checklist. Please email Ellie Siddens ([email protected]) to go over the progress of your major completion.
  2. Fill out a major planning form as far as you can, using the checklist and/or biology website. Include both courses you have completed AND courses you plan to take to complete your major. If you plan to use transfer credits for any major courses, you will need to get permission from the appropriate department for each course. Please send the department administrator your transcript and the syllabus for each course for which you are requesting transfer credit. Please send any approvals of transfer credit to Ellie Siddens ([email protected])
  3. Go to the proper departmental adviser with you major planning form. Please cc Ellie Siddens ([email protected]) on any emails about the progress of your major completion.
  4. Use the online Major Declaration System during the Major Declaration Period (see the GS Academic Calendar for specific dates) to officially declare your major. 
  5. For future advice, consult your advisor and/or Ellie Siddens.

Business Office

Department of Biological Sciences
500 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2401
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
[email protected]
212 854-4581