Environmental Biology



One year of introductory Biology with lab at the 1500-level sequence
One lecture course in ecology with lab
One lecture course in organismal biology
One additional lecture course in Biology (not including organismal biology)

Environmental Science

One year of introductory Environmental Science with lab
One course in methodology
One additional lecture course offered in Environmental Science


One year of introductory Chemistry including one semester of Organic Chemistry

Data Handling

One course in data handling

Senior Thesis

Senior Thesis completed in Biology or Environmental Science

For details, see Environmental Biology Major Worksheet, envbioworksheet.doc.



Students may substitute courses taught at Columbia (in the Departments of Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, or Statistics) or at other institutions with the prior approval of both major advisers. Calculus, Physics, and a second year of Chemistry are recommended for students planning graduate study in Environmental Biology.

Students interested in Environmental Biology often choose to spend a semester "abroad", at the School for Field Studies program, the Organization for Tropical Studies, or at comparable programs offered by other institutions. We encourage students to take advantage of such opportunities, and we expect that most of the courses they complete in these programs will be accepted in lieu of some of the major requirements. In addition, we recommend that those students planning to go abroad in the junior year elect to do so in the Fall Semester rather than the Spring Semester in order to take best advantage of senior seminar research planning and programming.

Students who elect a major in Environmental Biology will have a major adviser in each department. Although one member of the faculty will serve as the primary adviser, requests to substitute courses from Columbia or other institutions must be approved by both major advisers.

Internships or some type of work or field experience are extremely valuable in preparing students for careers in the environment. Go to Opportunities & Affiliations for listings. Studies have shown that students who have had related work experience are more attractive to employers and graduate schools.

Students should check the catalogue and the department for additional information on the major and courses offered by Barnard and Columbia. Classes with grades less than C- or taken pass/fail can not be counted towards the major.

See also Senior Research Seminar for information on senior thesis requirements completed in Environmental Science Department.