Enabling javascript will improve the functionality of this page. skip to content
Lehman College

Catalog search


Catalog links

print page

Program in Biology

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstrate the potential to pursue graduate study successfully —that is, have attained a minimum undergraduate grade average of B in the field selected for the graduate major and a minimum grade average of B- in the undergraduate record as a whole.
  • Have completed a major in biology, chemistry, physics, or an allied field.

With Undergraduate Specialization in Biology:

Candidates whose undergraduate major was in biology must have completed: (1) one year of organic chemistry, with laboratory; (2) one year of college physics; and (3) either one year of calculus or one semester of calculus and a semester of statistics.

With Undergraduate Specialization in Chemistry, Physics, or Allied Field:

Candidates whose undergraduate major was in either chemistry, physics, or an allied field must have completed: (1) the equivalent of an undergraduate minor in biology; (2) one year of organic chemistry, with laboratory; (3) one year of college physics; and (4) either one year of calculus or one semester of calculus and a semester of statistics. In addition, they must submit up to three letters of recommendation and, if conditionally admitted, satisfy the conditions within one year.

Degree Requirements

All students (matriculated or nonmatriculated) should consult with the Departmental Graduate Adviser regarding their programs. The following three tracks toward the Master of Arts degree are available:

• Independent Laboratory Research (Track A). (30 credits)

A student may elect to substitute 3 to 6 credits in original laboratory research (BIO 799.1, 799.2, and 799.3) for 3 to 6 credits of coursework. When a student is ready to select a research problem, a research advisory committee of faculty members will be established in consultation with his or her thesis adviser,* to guide the investigation. A thesis based on this research must be defended satisfactorily in an oral presentation prior to its submission in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts. Approved copies of the thesis must be deposited in the Lehman College Library and the Department of Biology.

*Students who choose a thesis adviser at the New York Botanical Garden or at another institution must have an "in-house" adviser. This individual must be a full-time faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Lehman College and a member of the graduate faculty in biological sciences.

• Comprehensive Examination (Track B). (30 credits)

Students who select this track must complete 30 credits and then must pass a comprehensive examination (which is the CUNY Doctoral Program in Biology's First Examination). Passing this examination will not only meet the requirements for the Master of Arts degree but also qualify the student to proceed into the CUNY Doctoral Program in Biology. A grade of 65 is deemed a passing grade to meet the requirements for the Master of Arts degree, while a grade of 70 is the minimal passing grade that will allow the student to proceed into the CUNY Doctoral Program in Biology (subject to satisfactory meeting of other admission requirements).

• Tutorial (Track C). 34 credits.

A student must include 4 credits of tutorial (BIO 792.2) as part of 34 credits required in this track. This tutorial is performed under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty in Biological Sciences. It is intended to involve the student in the performance of a carefully supervised project. The project may involve research in the laboratory, a library review of relevant topics, or a combination of the two. The results of this project will be written and submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the master's degree. This document will become part of the departmental library.

Academic Probation and Continuation

All graduate students whose GPA falls between 2.7 and 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. See the College's graduate policies and procedures regarding probation and continuation.

Graduate students in Biological Sciences degree programs whose GPA falls below 2.7 will not be eligible for probation and may only continue in their program upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee.

Students who received a failing grade in a course and have a cumulative GPA between 2.7 and 3.0 will only be granted one semester to make sufficient progress towards degree completion and bring the GPA back up to 3.0 or above. Students may not continue in any course for which the failed course is a prerequisite. If the GPA is not raised to a 3.0 or above by the end of the next registered semester the student will be asked to discontinue their program of study.

Students, who receive two failing grades in any of the courses satisfying the degree curriculum, will not be eligible for probation and will be asked to discontinue their program of study.

Last modified: 7/14/2014