Undergraduate Program

This illustration shows a cross-section through the blood, with blood serum in the upper half and a red blood cell in the lower half. Illustration by David S. Goodsell, the Scripps Research Institute.

Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia!

The Department welcomes all undergraduates interested in biological sciences. Whether you plan a career in basic research, medicine, public health or the biotech world – or whether you have completely separate career interests but wish to learn what all the excitement in the life sciences is about – we are interested in helping you to learn what we know.

Our undergraduate web page tries to answer most of the commonly asked questions. There are links to frequently asked questions (FAQs) is on the navigation bar to the right of this page.

If you are thinking of eventually enrolling in any of our majors or concentrations, first read our WebPages carefully, and then feel free to consult an advisor. You don't have to be sure of your choice or wait until official major declaration time to consult an advisor. Go to the majors page for information on major requirements, how to declare a major, qualifying for honors, etc.

If you are interested in doing research, click on the Undergraduate Research link on the right of this page.

If you are interested in taking our courses for the science requirement, concerned about AP credit or what biology course you should start with, see FAQ for first year students.

If you are interested in any of our courses, check out our list of course offerings. The list includes all courses normally offered in the department (although some are not offered every year).

If you are planning to go to medical school or law school, please be sure you see your class dean of students or your house dean as soon as possible, to make sure your academic program meets the expectations of your chosen profession. We are not the experts in the pre-med or pre-law business. Also, you might want to check out the Pre-Professional Advising Office.

If you are planning to go to a graduate program in biology, you may consult the Career Advisor.

If these links and the questions and answers do not cover your concerns, check with Ellie Siddens in room 600 of the Fairchild Life Sciences building, or send an email to one of the Department’s undergraduate advisors.

If you are looking for clubs or other extracurricular activities, click on the Extracurricular link on this page.

Environmental Biology

Please refer to the links under Current Students on this page for information related to undergraduate study in the Department of Biological Sciences. There you will find the details and links you will need to get a feel for our program. For information about Environmental Biology, see CERC Center for Environmental Research and Conservation or E3B Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology.


The Visitor's Center provides general tours of our beautiful campus. You can download the Self-guided Walking Tour.


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