Contact UsDepartment of Biology
Siena College
Loudonville, NY 12211

Biology Department


Biology Curriculum and Degree Requirements


The Biology Department develops in each student an appreciation for contemporary issues in biology and an understanding of the principles governing life through a laboratory-intensive curriculum taught by faculty dedicated to enriching the learning experience. A variety of courses, coupled with an effective advising system, prepares the Biology major for:

1) Professional studies in the areas of medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic and other health-related fields such as physical therapy and physician’s assistant.

2) Graduate studies in sub-specialties of Biology including Animal Behavior, Biochemistry, Botany, Cell Biology, Conservation Biology, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Endocrinology, Environmental Biology, Evolution, Forensic Science, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience and Physiology.

3) Secondary education certification in collaboration with the Education Department.

4) A variety of other careers including public health administration, genetic counseling, bioinformatics and jobs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Biology Department Learning Goals


In addition to College-wide core curriculum and general elective course requirements, biology majors must complete a total of 11 biology courses, as well as 8 auxilliary science courses.

Biology (BIOL) Courses
Biol-110 or 170 (Gen Bio I Lecture and Lab) 4 credits
Biol-120 or 180 (Gen Bio II Lecture and Lab) 4 credits
Biol-190 Writing and Research Skills for Biologists 3 credits
Biol-260 Genetics 3 credits
One Morphology Course (250,255,335,340) 3 or 4 credits depending on the course selected
One Physiology Course (430, 435, 440, 445) 4 credits
One Organismal/Pop Course (225,230, 235,240,245,325,330,350) 3 credits
One Cell/Molecular Course (220, 320, 420, 425) 3 or 4 credits depending on the course selected
Three additional biology courses (we call them biology electives) are required

The numbers above correspond to specific courses, and the college catalog includes a brief description of each one.  The three required biology electives include any 200 level (or above)course with the exception of BIOL-490 seminar courses.  Up to two Biol-499 (Independent Research) courses may be used to fulfill these biology elective requirements (but only if taken for 2 or 3 credits/semester).

Note that Biol-170 and Biol-180 represent a special sequence in general biology open only to students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam in high school.

Required Auxilliary Science Courses
Math-110 Calculus I 4 credits
Math-120 Calculus II 4 credits
Chem-110 Principles of Chemistry 4 credits
Chem-120 Quantitative Chemistry 4 credits
Chem-210 Organic Chem I 4 credits
Chem-220 Organic Chem II 4 credits
Phys-110 Physics IA 4 credits
Phys-120 Physics IIA 4 credits

The College catalog (pdf file) provides a more detailed description of our teaching philosophy, as well as information on courses offered, requirements for the major (B.S. or B.A.), and requirements for a minor in biology.