Biological Sciences

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.


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:


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:


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


All information below is based on the 2022 First-Destination Survey. Lists are not exhaustive; rather, they are a sampling of the data. If you would like more information, please email

What can you do with a degree in Biological Sciences?

Graduate school:

In 2022, 32% of biological science majors embarked on graduate school journeys. They pursued various advanced degrees, with 32% focusing on their PhD, 26% working towards an MD, 8% dedicated to an MPH, and more. Their graduate field interest ranges from Medicine (29%) to Neuroscience/Neurobiology (11%) and Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology (8%).

These ambitious individuals have chosen to continue their education at prestigious institutions like Duke University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Technology.


87% of biological science majors take a gap year before graduate school. During this period, 64% secured employment, and the majority entered sectors in human healthcare services (36%) and education (33%). Weill Cornell Medicine, the National Institute of Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were the top 2022 employers. 

Where 2022 Biological Sciences Graduates Work

Employer Job Titles
Boston Children’s Hospital Anesthesia Technician
Clearview Healthcare Partners Healthcare Consulting Analyst
Columbia University Medical Center Lab Technician

Cornell University

Lab Technician
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Computational Biologist

Healthcare Legal Solutions, LLC Healthcare Paralegal

Kuchnir Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery

Medical Assistant

Massachusetts General Hospital

Clinical Research Associate
New York Proton Center Researcher and Nursing Coordinator
Verve Therapeutics, Inc.

Research Associate

Weill Cornell Medicine Bioinformatics Analyst
Wilderness Medical Associates Assistant Wilderness Medicine Instructor