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  Old Westbury Home > Biological Sciences > Majors & Minors

Majors & Minors


Accelerated B.S. in Biological Sciences/D.O. in Osteopathic Medicine (offered in collaboration with the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine):The program requires admission both to SUNY College at Old Westbury and NYCOM. Students accepted into the program are assured admission to the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine provided that they maintain a minimum 3.50 grade point average, provide adequate scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and receive approval from NYCOM faculty following an interview to be conducted during the third year of the program. Students must also complete the regular pre-medical science courses within the first three years. Matriculation at NYCOM will occur in the fourth post-high school year. Students in the program will receive their B.S. after one year in medical school and their D.O. after completing the normal 4-year medical school curriculum. The regular premedical course requirements, in addition to major program requirements and general education requirements, include courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, English and physics. The program is designed for students entering SUNY College at Old Westbury from high school. However, transfer into the program within the freshman year is possible if openings exist and applicants meet the initial continuing requirements.  Information on careers in osteopathic medicine can be found using the following links:

B.S. in Biology or B.A. in Biology: These degree programs offer the basic courses for students whose career plans include the biological sciences, premedical and pre-professional training and secondary education (B.S. in Biology), and public policy or environmental studies (B.A. in Biology). The Biological Sciences Department incorporates an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving in biology. It combines a strong research orientation in the basic sciences with a concern for community health and environmental problems. It offers excellent preparation for professional and research careers as well as training for community health workers concerned with the educational needs of the entire Long Island community.

B.S. in Health and Society: Health and Society majors at Old Westbury examine health and healthcare from the perspective of the social and behavioral, as well as, the biological sciences. Emphasis is placed on the importance of relating theoretical knowledge to community experience. Therefore, each student's learning process integrate classroom study with community service and field work. Housed within the Biological Sciences Department, the degree is designed for those who wish to pursue careers in:

  • Public health
  • Health education
  • Health administration
  • Occupational health
  • Social work

Further, the major has a long tradition of success among those already working in the health professions (e.g., registered nurses and dental hygienists, etc.). While the Health and Society degree does not prepare students for a specific credential or position, graduates of the program will be qualified to enter graduate programs in health or social work to achieve the additional professional training required of many positions in the health field

Other Courses of Undergraduate Study

Premedical and Pre-Health Professions Studies
Old Westbury offers all of the courses required for admission into medical school and other schools in the health professions (dentistry, podiatry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, etc.). While there is no degree program (major) in premedical studies, the college offers a system of advisement in which students intending to pursue a career in the health professions are guided to prepare them academically and holistically to be competitive for admission into health professional schools. Guidance is also provided in the professional school application process.
Click here for details information on the services provided by SUNY College at Old Westbury to students to aid them in pursuing careers in medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, podiatry and optometry.

Undergraduate Minors

Environmental Studies and Ecology: For students interested in the environment and ecology, the Biological Sciences Department offers a minor in Environmental Studies. A B.S. degree with this emphasis will prepare a student for advanced laboratory research in environmental biology while a B.A. degree with this emphasis is designed for students more interested in administering environmental programs. Direct participation in environmental agencies and organizations on Long Island or independent laboratory research on an environmental problem is an important aspect of this emphasis.


To prepare teachers for careers in middle and high school education, SUNY College at Old Westbury offers two degree opportunities in Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12):

  • The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) for aspiring teachers and career-changers seeking to advance their careers.
  • The Master of Science (M.S.) for college graduates holding an undergraduate degree in education.

Click here to o download a fact sheet on the M.A.T. and M.S. degrees.

Curriculum Outlines

M.A.T  in Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12) -- 42 credits

Pedagogy Courses
ED6000 Historical, Social, and Philosophical Found. of Ed    3 credits
ED6001 Human Growth and Development                         3 credits
ED6002 Foundations of Literacy                                     3 credits
ED6003 The Exceptional Learner                                    3 credits
ED6900 Student Teaching                                            6 credits

Content Courses
BS6500 Science and the Community                               3 credits
BS6560 Current Topics in Molecular Bio. and Biochemistry   3 credits
BS6590 Topics in Environmental Science                         3 credits
Topics in Biology                                                         6 credits
[offered in rotation; students take 2 courses]
    BS6630 Developmental Biology
    BS6661 Immunology
     BS6671 Limnology
     BS6750 Biological Pharmacology

Linked Content / Pedagogy Courses
ED6250 Teaching the Nature and Development of Science  3 credits
ED6082 Methods and Materials of Teaching Science          3 credits
ED6092 Literacy, Research, & Technology in Science         3 credits
BS7500 Culminating Experience                                      0 credits

M.S. in Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12)  -- 36 credits

Pedagogy Courses   
ED7001 Human Growth and Development                         3 credits
ED7002 Foundations of Literacy                                     3 credits
ED7003 The Exceptional Learner                                    3 credits

Content Courses
BS6500 Science and the Community                               3 credits
BS6560 Current Topics in Molecular Bio. and Biochemistry   3 credits
BS6590 Topics in Environmental Science                         3 credits
Topics in Biology [students choose one]                         3 credits
     BS6630 Developmental Biology
     BS6661 Immunology
     BS6671 Limnology
     BS6750 Biological Pharmacology

Linked Content  / Pedagogy Courses   
ED7082 Methods and Materials of Teaching Science          3 credits
ED7092 Literacy, Research, & Technology in Science         3 credits
ED7250 Teaching the Nature and Development of Science  3 credits
ED7700 Methods of Research in Educational Settings         3 credits
ED7800 Thesis Research in Educational Settings               3 credits

Graduate Admissions Requirements

Requirement specific to M.A.T.  applicants:

  • Submission of GRE scores (Graduate Record Examination).

Requirement specific to M.S. applicants:

  • Initial or provisional certification in Adolescence Education: Biology.
  • Submission of scores on the CST (Content Specialty Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination).

Requirements for all applicants:

  • B.A. or B.S. in Biology, including at least one course in each of the following biology areas:  cellular, organismic, and population. A two-year sequence in chemistry is strongly recommended.  A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a scale of 4) or the equivalent.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from an academic source.
  • An admission essay.
  • International students must meet additional criteria, including the following: TOEFL scores: paper exam = 550; computer exam= 213; Internet exam= 80.  Students taking the IELTS English (Cambridge) exams must pass with a broad band score of 6.5. Students must also have their overseas documents evaluated by AACRAO International or WES (World Education Services).  TOEFL or IELTS scores are waived if applicant has taken English Composition I at a U.S. college or university and has earned a grade of "C" or higher.

Further Information

For further information and application materials, please contact:

Graduate Admissions Advisor
Office of Enrollment Services
Ph:  516-876-3073
E-mail:  enroll@oldwestbury.edu

All application material should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment Services
SUNY College at Old Westbury
P.O. Box 307
Old Westbury, NY 11568-0307


Did You Know?

Maryann De Leo, a 1977 graduate of the Media & Communications program within the American Studies Department, was honored with an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 76th Annual Academy Awards for her work as producer and director of "Chernobyl Heart," a film about the effects of radiation on the children of Belarus, Russia, 16 years after the infamous nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl.

Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics, Jong Pil Lee, was awarded a 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring during ceremonies held at The White House.

Seniors, Kacey-Ann Thompson and Emmanuel Konde of the Biological Sciences Department, earned recognition at the 14th annual New York State Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program Conference.

SUNY College at Old Westbury, P.O. Box 210, Old Westbury, NY 11568-0210 - (516) 876-3000