CBS minors

The college offers a number of minors in subjects ranging from pharmacology to marine biology. 

To declare one of the minors listed below, please complete one of our online forms on the policies, procedures, and forms page. In each CBS minor, students must take the courses on an A-F basis and earn at least a C- in all credits counted toward the minor.

As a student with a declared CBS minor, you have access to the CBS advisors through daily drop-in hours to answer your questions. More information on scheduled drop-in times and appropriate drop-in issues can be found on the drop-in advising page

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Behavioral Biology

Behavioral biology is the scientific discipline that aims to understand all aspects of the biological bases of animal behavior. These aspects include the causal mechanisms underlying behaviors, changes in behaviors over the animal’s lifetime, the adaptive value of behaviors, and the evolutionary history of behaviors. Disciplines informing the field of behavioral biology include: cell and developmental biology, endocrinology, ecology, economics, evolution, genetics, neuroscience, physiology, and psychology.

For more information, please see the undergraduate catalog.

*NOTE: Biology majors are not eligible for this minor due to overlap


The Biochemistry minor is available to CBS students pursuing one of the other department majors. It is also available to non-CBS students. Students must complete the courses listed below. For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the biochemistry minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.

*NOTE: Biology majors are not eligible for this minor due to overlap.


The Biology minor is available to non-CBS students only. Due to significant course overlap, the following majors will not be allowed to complete a biology minor: Biology, Society, and the Environment; Physiology; Medical Laboratory Sciences; Nutrition (Nutritional Science sub-plan only); Fisheries and Wildlife (all sub-plans); Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management major: Environmental Science track; Scientific and Technical Communication major (Biological and Health Sciences subplan); Animal Science (Pre-Vet/Science sub-plan only); individually designed programs with a life sciences emphasis; Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management; Food Science; Applied Plant Science (Environmental Science AND Environmental Education/Curriculum sub-plans). In addition, students pursuing a Biochemistry, Plant Biology, Marine Biology, Microbiology, or Integrative Neuroscience minor are not allowed to receive a biology minor. Transfer courses, AP/IB credit, or courses offered by non-CBS departments are only allowed for use in the biology minor for general biology, general chemistry, and a maximum of three credits of upper division coursework.

*NOTE: GCD 3033 is now an accepted course for the Biology minor. For minor course requirements, view the biology minor in the university catalog.

Cell Biology

The Cell Biology minor is available to non-CBS students and students who are not pursuing the Genetics minor.

Cell Biology is focused on the structure and function of individual cells and cell-to-cell interactions. Key areas within Cell Biology include metabolism, cell communication, cell cycle, and cell secretion. This field is responsible for critical discoveries regarding how cells function, ultimately giving insight into understanding larger organisms. Cell Biology has provided pivotal advances in biomedical fields, including the treatment of cancer and other diseases. More information about the minor, please see the University Catalog.

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

The Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience minor is for CBS students and students from other colleges who have a strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry and are interested in more advanced Neuroscience courses. Like the Integrative Neuroscience major curriculum, students in this minor study the molecular and cellular building blocks that make up the brain and control its function.

For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.

Computational Biology

Large-scale data are now a norm in biological and medical research. The ability to properly analyze large-scale biological data requires mathematical and computational skills as well as an understanding of biology. The Computational Biology minor allows students to focus on courses that include mathematical and computational analysis as well as biology content. The number of biology-related jobs that require mathematical and computational skills has rapidly increased in both industry and academia. Completing this minor develops skills that are highly valued by employers as well as by graduate and professional schools.

For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the Computational Biology minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.


The Genetics minor is available to non-CBS students and students who are not pursuing the Cell Biology minor.

The study of genetics focuses on 1) the relationship between the transmission of genes from parent to offspring and the outcome of the offspring’s traits, 2) molecular understanding of the features of DNA and how these features underlie the expression of genes and 3) genetic variation and how that variation is related to an organism’s environment.More information about the minor, please see the University Catalog.

Health and Genomics

As national initiatives shape healthcare to promote personalized medicine, new standards of care will incorporate, and already are incorporating, genetic counseling and testing. In addition to increasing numbers of specialties utilizing genomic testing, the abundance of genetic testing available via the direct-to-consumer market means all healthcare providers will likely interact with genetic and/or genomic testing over the course of their careers. Genetics in healthcare therefore will impact everyone as it becomes standard of care and especially affect those working in healthcare, research, and public health. The courses in this minor will provide undergraduates interested in healthcare careers with technical knowledge, awareness of ethical and diversity-related issues, along with directed research and/or fieldwork experiences to enrich preparation to incorporation of genomics into their careers.

For more information on the pre-requisites and requirements for the Health and Genomics minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.

Integrative Neuroscience

The Integrative Neuroscience minor provides an in-depth contemporary understanding of how the nervous system functions in both health and disease. The goal of the minor is to provide instruction that will enrich the curriculum through an array of academic majors. As we will all experience the impact of nervous system disease ourselves or through family members and/or friends, instruction in this minor will offer insights into the nervous system that students can utilize throughout their lifetimes.

For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the Integrative Neuroscience minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.

Plant Biology

Learn more about the Plant Biology minor.

*NOTE: Biology majors are not eligible for this minor due to overlap

Marine Biology

Students learn about the foundational concepts of marine biology, and the current issues that affect marine environments. With 71% of our planet covered by oceans, it's important to understand marine ecosystems, organisms, chemistry, and the physics of the oceans. Students in this minor will develop knowledge and skills through which they can explore complex problems such as habitat conservation, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity in the oceans and on land. This minor also provides students with a base for subsequent studies in marine biology.

For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the Marine Biology minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.


Microbiology is a fascinating and important discipline that integrates information from many majors in the biological sciences. Beginning in the Fall semester of 2011, CBS will offer a 14 credit microbiology minor. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in order to declare the minor. This minor is available to both CBS and non-CBS students. If you have taken VBS 2032 (or a non-majors microbiology course at another institution) and wish to pursue this minor, please contact Dr. Leslie Schiff by email ( Transfer credit will only be accepted for the General Microbiology component of the minor.

To declare the minor, please complete the Add/Drop a CBS Minor form. It will be added to the records of students with a 2.5 cumulative GPA effective for Fall 2011.

Prerequisite courses for CBS students: MICB 3301, BIOL 3025 and BIOC 3022 or BIOC 4331

Prerequisite courses for Non-CBS students: MICB 3301 & BIOC3021 and GCD 3022

For information regarding the requirements for the microbiology minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.

*NOTE: Biology majors are not eligible for this minor due to overlap.


Pharmacology is a scientific discipline that studies how drugs affect biological systems. Drugs are defined as chemical/biological agents that act on living organisms, mostly act by interacting with specific target molecules to produce a desired biological effect. Pharmacology is the foundation of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing and many other healthcare professions. Pharmacology is also an interdisciplinary discipline that employs scientific principles and experimental techniques of its own, as well as various biological disciplines such as physiology, biochemistry, cellular/molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, structural biology, and pathology, etc. A fundamental knowledge of the underlying biological processes is required to achieve the objectives of pharmacology study, including identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention, developing new therapeutics, understanding their mechanisms of action and the potential environmental/toxicological implications. For course descriptions, see the Pharmacology course catalog.

For information regarding the pre-requisites and requirements for the pharmacology minor, please see the undergraduate catalog.