SBU rounds out the curriculum for some bio majors

Down to basics: Stony Brook University's new Bachelor of Arts degree in biology is a little less ... well, biology-ish.

Stony Brook University now offers a biology degree for students not necessarily enamored with gross anatomy.

The university this week announced a new Bachelor of Arts in Biology program that delivers a more basic bio degree – that is, a bachelor’s degree with a wider selection of College of Arts and Sciences minors, but less focus on actual biology.

Calling its traditional Bachelor of Science in Biology program – which it still offers – more of a “specialist degree” for future biologists and life-science professionals, Stony Brook said the new degree program “involves fewer advanced courses in biology,” and instead requires students to complete a non-overlapping minor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

There are some restrictions placed on that non-overlapping minor, but they exist primarily to ensure the bio BA is a more well-rounded educational experience than the more-focused bio BS, which is aimed more toward students pursuing advanced courses and topics in the biological sciences.

For instance, no more than three credits from the minor program can be applied to the bio BA’s life-science requirements.

The new program is meant as an option for students “interested in careers that build on foundational knowledge in the life sciences, but also have strong interests in areas such as the fine arts, humanities or social sciences,” the university said Wednesday.

Sacha Kopp, dean of SBU’s College of Arts and Sciences, heralded a new “opportunity for students to explore and gain skills.”

“Marrying a major in biology with complementary training in writing, a language, history, literature, or other options will both offer a well-rounded education and offer skills in the humanities, arts and social sciences that employers and graduate programs tell us are the keys to success,” Kopp said in a statement.