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Biology B.A.

Whether you’re interested in molecules and cells, or organisms and ecosystems, learn about life and the natural world as you seek answers to significant questions in biological sciences.
Student examines plants on the fifth floor of the Life Sciences Complex.
It may be winter outside, but inside Syracuse’s on-campus greenhouse, it’s a different story. Research here—for example, on plants and insects—can continue year-round on the fifth floor of the Life Sciences Complex.

About this Program

  • Choose between a B.A. and B.S. degree and customize your curriculum via specialized tracks to focus on coursework and topics that are most interesting to you.
  • Take small seminar courses with fewer than 15 students and build close relationships with faculty as you learn about their unique research interests, studying life from molecular, cellular, organism, community and global perspectives.
  • Learn by doing as you complete independent research and/or pursue internships.
  • Be part of the more than 60% of undergraduate students in the Department of Biology who engage in research or internships, as all students are encouraged to participate, whether or not they have prior experience.
  • Showcase your research and hone your presentation and public speaking skills by presenting at the Department of Biology’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • Get advice for success through the Department of Biology’s peer mentoring program, then serve as a mentor yourself during your junior or senior year.
  • Participate in social activities that will also give you an academic boost, including honor societies like TriBeta and Nu Rho Psi, and more focused student organizations like the Biotechnology Society and Rebecca Lee Pre-Health Society.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Career Path

Exterior of Hall of languages building

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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Establish a general background in the discipline through a series of first- and second-year core courses that preview the major sub-disciplines of biology. Then, take higher level courses to focus on more advanced material to broaden your understanding of biology or focus more on your interests.

  • Recognize and distinguish theories, concepts and principles from the major sub-fields of biology.
  • Analyze and synthesize more specific and advanced concepts in selected areas of biology.
  • Apply skills in the nature and practice of science.
  • Utilize written and oral communication skills relevant to biological sciences.
  • Apply quantitative methods to solve problems in the biological sciences.

The B.A. degree is intended for students who wish to pursue technical or science-related careers that do not require a graduate or professional degree, or careers outside of biology in which a background in science may be useful. For example, B.A. students often pursue careers in science writing, business or law. In contrast, the B.S. degree is intended for students interested in graduate study in biological science or the health professions, including medical school, dental school and veterinary school.

  • Biology of Cancer
  • Animal Communication
  • Pharmaceuticals and Cells
  • Applied Genomics
  • Evolutionary Medicine

Extracurricular Opportunities

Study abroad

Marine Ecology Seminar in Madrid

While studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, biology students often take a special, research-focused seminar on Madrid’s coastal and marine ecosystems and the physiology, behavior and ecology of marine and coastal organisms. As part of the course, students compare coastal management practices between Europe and the north of Africa by traveling along the coast of Spain.

People in colorful canoes under a cliff
Student organization

Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society

Beta Beta Beta (Rho Xi Chapter) is the honors biology society at Syracuse University. This academic society welcomes all students who have an interest in the field of biology, biological research and expanding their scientific network.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

As an important part of a student-centered research university, the Department of Biology provides instruction on research and offers its undergraduates opportunities to participate in research. Undergraduate research is important for anyone who is thinking about pursuing graduate work in the biological sciences. Students hold the primary responsibility for initiating research participation with our faculty, so you should directly contact and talk with faculty about the opportunities they can offer to sponsor your research. If you wish to extend your experience beyond campus, you will have the opportunity to conduct research at Upstate Medical University and other nearby research facilities.

People talking at a poster session

Learn more about this program

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