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Life Sciences School in New York with Degree Program Overviews

New York State has more than one hundred colleges that offer life sciences degree programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

A variety of life sciences degree programs are available within the state of New York with fields of study ranging from biology and biochemistry to environmental and animal science. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and at both 2- and 4-year instititutions. In addition to emphasizing math- and science-based courses, these degree programs also feature research opportunities and fieldwork experience as a means to encourage students' understanding of course material. Along with preparing students for graduate school opportunities, these degree programs also provide students with the skills and training necessary for careers in the biological research, public health, pharmaceutical, environmental and agricultural industries. The degree programs described below are examples of life sciences disciplines at ten of the largest schools in this state.


Columbia University in the City of New York

Located in New York, Columbia University has undergraduate degrees in a variety of life sciences disciplines, such as the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Biology that is offered through the Columbia College. Course topics include organismal biology, ecology and biodiversity conservation. Students are also required to complete a research internship in environmental biology. Other undergraduate degree options include a Bachelor of Arts in Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species. Graduate degrees are also available in several life sciences fields of study, including a master's degree in conservation biology and doctoral degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology or evolutionary primatology.

Cornell University

Cornell University is located in Ithaca and offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs in life sciences, including a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. This degree program is available through the university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) as well as the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to core coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics, this degree program also has courses in human microbes and health, molecular and genetic approaches to neuroscience and stem cell biology.

The university also offers a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, consisting of coursework such as ecology and the environment, field ecology, paleobiology as well as chemical ecology. Another option is a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology, which helps to advance students' knowledge of breeding and developing plants, utilizing sustainable agricultural practices, and analyzing the defense against plant diseases.

Students seeking higher education opportunities may pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology or a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Biology. Comprised of lecture, lab and teaching experiences, the first option features concentration areas in biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology. The latter offers two minor subjects as well as a major concentration in areas such as plant biochemistry, plant cell biology, plant ecology and systematic botany.

CUNY - Hunter College

Located in New York, CUNY - Hunter College has a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. Within this degree program, students may choose to pursue one of two major programs. The first is designed for students interested in graduate studies and the medical, secondary school and biotechnology fields. This degree program features courses in cell biology, biological chemistry, molecular genetics and organic chemistry. Additional concentrations in behavioral neurobiology, bioinformatics and biophysics are also available within this program. The second is designed for students seeking to teach in elementary schools. This degree program is comprised of coursework in organic chemistry, physics and elementary education math. An accelerated BA/MA degree in biological sciences is also available to students, among other program options.

CUNY - Queens College

CUNY - Queens College is located in Flushing and administers a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. This degree program features core coursework in physiology and cell biology, genetics, evolutionary biology, life forms and ecosystems as well as the principles of cell biology. Students may also opt to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. Students with a particular interest in the chemical aspects relating to living systems and health issues are encouraged to pursue this specialized track.

A Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies is another option. Along with courses in biology, chemistry and geology, this program's curriculum features coursework in earth system science, environmental problem-solving and a special topics course in environmental studies. Graduate degrees in many of these fields are also available.

Nassau Community College

Garden City-based Nassau Community College offers an Associate in Science in Biology. Comprised of 67 to 68 credits, this degree program features courses in organic and inorganic chemistry as well as additional options in anatomy, nutritional science, microbiology and physiology. Students within this degree program are provided with access to state-of-the-art lab facilities and equipment as well as extensive career advisement opportunities.

New York University

The Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry at New York University, located in New York, requires students to complete core courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, calculus and physics. Individuals in the program are also encouraged to complete coursework in cellular and molecular biology.

The university also has a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biology. This degree program is designed with a focus on the four following areas: developmental biology, genomics and systems biology, molecular and cellular biology as well as evolution and environmental biology. Students seeking advanced degree opportunities may pursue a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy in Biology.

Students may also opt to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. Along with an internship and capstone seminar course, students within this degree program are required to complete core courses in environmental systems science as well as environment and society.

St. John's University - New York

Located in Queens, St. John's University has a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Within the major sequence, individuals complete lab and lecture courses in biology as well as additional courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, bio-statics, calculus and physics. Students seeking advanced studies may also opt to pursue a Master of Science in Biology, a Doctor of Philosophy in Biology or a dual degree program in which they can earn a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology.

Students may also consider the school's Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. The 126-credit-hour program advances students' understanding of environmental issues and conservation through lecture courses, research opportunities and independent studies. The Bachelor of Arts program features an emphasis in social science and is characterized by a major sequence with courses in ecological principles, population biology, issues in environmental conservation and an internship course. The Bachelor of Science program is characterized by an emphasis in ecology and features major sequence courses in organismic biology, general chemistry, ecological principles and an internship course.

Stony Brook University

This university is situated in Stony Brook and offers a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Students complete coursework in chemistry or molecular science as well as calculus, physics, general genetics and cell biology. Students seeking advanced degree opportunities may pursue a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

The university's Bachelor of Science in Biology is designed with an emphasis in chemistry, physics and mathematics. It includes core courses in organisms and ecosystems, molecular and cellular biology, cellular and organ physiology and scientific inquiry in the biological sciences. Students may also opt to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. Core courses within this program include environmental problems and solutions, contemporary environmental issues, ecosystem ecology as well as population, technology and the environment.

Syracuse University

This Syracuse-based school administers a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Each of these degree programs features core coursework in genetics, cell biology, ecology and evolution as well as an integrative biology lab course. Students seeking advanced degree opportunities may pursue a Master of Science in Biology. This degree program combines a minimum of 30 credit hours in graduate-level courses with 30 credits in research and the student's thesis. A Doctor of Philosophy in Biology is also available.

Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry program. This degree program is recommended to students seeking graduate degrees within fields of study such as biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. Students complete core coursework in general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, genetics and cell biology. Additional elective courses in microbiology, bioinformatics in life sciences, immunobiology and molecular spectroscopy and structure are also offered to students.

University of Buffalo

Students at this Buffalo university might consider the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry program. It requires 82-84 credit hours and coursework in biochemical principles, physical chemistry, advanced topics in biochemistry and research topics in biochemistry. Students may also opt to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. Prior to enrollment in these programs, students must complete courses in evolutionary biology, cell biology, chemistry and calculus. Once enrolled, students complete coursework in physiology, biological chemistry, genetics, physics and organic chemistry.

A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies is also an option. This degree program is offered as a concentration area within the social sciences interdisciplinary major. The university additionally offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences. Within this program, students may select one of the following specialized tracks: ecology and the environment, water and the environment or environmental monitoring and analysis. Graduate programs in biological sciences are also available.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Life Science Degree Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Columbia University in the City of New York 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Biology,
Bachelor of Arts in Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species,
Master of Arts in Conservation Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Evolutionary Primatology
$53,000 (undergraduate)*
$44,176 (graduate)*
Cornell University 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences,
Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Biology
$49,116 (undergraduate)*
$29,581 (graduate)*
CUNY - Hunter College 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences,
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies,
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Biological Sciences,
Master of Arts in Biochemistry
$6,782 in-state;
$13,892 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$10,438 in-state; $19,028 out-of-state (graduate)*
CUNY - Queens College 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Biology,
Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry,
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science,
Master of Arts in Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Biology
$6,938 in-state;
$14,048 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$10,652 in-state; $19,242 out-of-state (graduate)*
Nassau Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Biology $4,854 in-state; $9,388 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
New York University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry,
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biology,
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies,
Master of Science in Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Biology
$47,750 (undergraduate)*
$40,984 (graduate)*
St. John's University - New York 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Biology,
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies,
Master of Arts in Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Biology
$38,680 (undergraduate)*
$24,264 (graduate)*
Stony Brook University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry,
Bachelor of Science in Biology,
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies,
Master of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
$8,855 in-state;
$23,935 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$12,421 in-state; $23,761 out-of-state (graduate)*
Syracuse University 4-year, private not-for-profit; mid-size city Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Biology,
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry,
Master of Science in Biology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Biology
$43,318 (undergraduate)*
$34,500 (graduate)*
University of Buffalo 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry,
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences,
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies,
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences,
Master of Arts or Master of Science in Biological Sciences
$9,381 in-state;
$24,461 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$13,165 in-state; $24,505 out-of-state (graduate)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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