Biological Sciences

major minor

As a biological sciences major, you’ll have novel opportunities to jump into engaging research projects. With more than 300 faculty, our undergraduate program, jointly run by the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is one of the most highly regarded in the country. You can choose a concentration from multiple areas, including animal physiology; biochemistry; computational biology; ecology and evolutionary biology; general biology; genetics, genomics and development; human nutrition; insect biology; marine biology; microbiology; molecular and cell biology; neurobiology and behavior (neuroscience); plant biology; and systematics and biotic diversity.

Requirements

Transfer Student Admissions

Study the fundamentals of biology while concentrating on: animal physiology; biochemistry; biodiversity and systematics; computational biology; ecology & evolutionary biology; genetics & development; insect biology; marine biology; microbiology; molecular & cell biology; neurobiology & behavior; nutrition; and plant biology.

Academic Record

  • Strong academic record at the college level. In general, competitive applicants have at least a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • CALS Required Coursework should be completed or in-progress with a “B” or better before applying.
  • The most competitive applicants are full-time students who have met the GPA and course requirements.
  • Students who transferred to Cornell University from another institution and are interested in changing their major to biological sciences must complete one semester at Cornell before they will be considered. They must also meet with an advisor from the Office of Undergraduate Biology to have their transfer credit reviewed to determine which major requirements have been met.
  • Students who externally transfer to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and seek to change their major to biological sciences will not be considered unless they were admissible to the major in accordance with the CALS transfer admissions criteria for biological sciences at the time of matriculation to Cornell.

For transfers entering as sophomores or transfers with two full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at the time of application.

Required:

Strongly encouraged (but not required):

  • Organic Chemistry I & II
  • Physics I with labs

For transfers entering as juniors or transfers with four full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at the time of application.

Required:

Strongly encouraged (but not required):

  • Courses that meet the CALS social science and humanities requirements in Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis, Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning, Literature and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Analysis and Foreign Language.

Sample classes

  • Human Microbes and Health
  • Marine Ecosystem Sustainability
  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Stem Cell Biology

Outcomes

All information below is based on the 2018 First-Destination Survey. Lists are not exhaustive; rather, they are a sampling of the data. If you would like more information, please email as_careers@cornell.edu

50%   Employed
34%   Attending Grad School
8%     Seeking Employment
8%     Other

National Institutes of Health was the top employer of 2018 Biological Sciences Graduates.

84% of the Class of 2014-2018 Biological Sciences graduates completed the survey. n = 118

Below, you will find:

  • Top Employment Sectors
  • Where Graduates Work
  • Top Graduate Fields
  • Where Graduates Study

Top Employment Sectors

  • Health and Human Services (39%)
  • Education (15%)
  • Government (10%)
  • Nonprofit Organization (10%)
  • Biotech/Pharma/Life Sciences (7%), Technology (7%)
  • Consulting/Prof. Practice (5%)

Where 2018 Biological Sciences Graduates Work

Employer Job Titles
Accurate Neuromonitoring Neurophysiological Technologist
AKRF Inc Water Resources Engineer
Baruch Blumberg Institute Research Assistant
Boston Children's Hospital Research Assistant
Cayuga Medical Center Medical Scribe
Children's hospital of Philadelphia Research Technician
CityMD Medical Scribe (2)
Collective Health Operations Associate
Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc. Lidar Data Processor
Cornell University Lab Manager
Lab Technician
CVS Health Strategy Analyst
Dr. Muller Medical Intern
Foundation MEdicine, Inc. Clinical Bioinformatics Analyst
Generation Next Fertility Medical Scribe/Clinical Assistant
Google Legal Assistant
Harvard Medical School Researcher
Harvard University Research Assistant
Hospital for Special Surgery Research Assistant
Research Technician
Hycor Biomedical Research Assistant
Independence 360 Activity Coordinator
InterSystems Technical Career Development Program
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital Scribe
Kuchnir Dermatology Dermatological Assistant
Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Research Coordinator
MOKA Analytics Software Engineer
  Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research   Research Support Specialist
National Institutes of Health

Research Assistant (2)
Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellow
  Postbaccalaureate IRTA Research Assistant  

NYU Langone Medical Center Project/Clinical Research Assistant
OrthoBethesda Medical Assistant
Sagaponack Medical PC Medical Assistant
ScribeAmerica Medical Scribe (3)
SNBL USA Verterinary Technician
Spanish Government Auxiliar de Conversacion
Steadman Philippon Research Institute Research Assistant
Teach for America Teacher (2)
Corps Member
UC - Sanf Fancisco Staff Research Associate
Weill Cornell Medicine Research Technician (4)
Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Case Support Specialist
Zitter Health Insights Research Analyst

Top Graduate Fields Pursued

  • Medicine (41%)
  • Biological Sciences (7%)
  • Dentistry (5%)
  • Microbiology (5%)
  • Public Health (5%)
  • Architecture (2%), Biomathematics (2%), Business in Medicine (2%), Chemical Engineering (2%), Genetics (2%), Law (2%), Physician Assistant (2%), Ecology & Evolutionary Bio (2%)

Graduate Degrees Pursued

  • MD   (39%)
  • PhD  (29%)
  • MA    (5%)
  • MPH (5%)
  • MS   (5%)
  • DDS (2%), DMD (2%), JD (2%), MPhil (2%)

Where 2018 Biological Sciences Graduates Study

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Brown University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Cornell University
  • Emory University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • New York Medical College
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pace University
  • Rockefeller University
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick/Piscataway
  • Seton Hall University
  • SUNY Upstate Medical Center
  • The University of Texas Southwestern
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of California-San Diego
  • University of California-Santa Barbara
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus
  • University of Southern California
  • Washington University in St. Louis