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Biometry & Statistics Major and Minor

Tackling the life sciences from a new perspective

Biometry is the application of statistics, mathematics, computing and other quantitative methods to phenomena and problems in the life sciences. Statistics is concerned with many aspects of scientific investigations: developing and studying the design and measurement aspects of investigations, executing investigations and collecting numerical information, summarizing the data obtained, and making inferences from the data.

Students learn how to use statistics, mathematics, computing, and other methods to solve problems in diverse fields, from the life and social sciences to business and finance.

Students enter the Biometry and Statistics major as freshmen or as transfer students. A strong background in mathematics is highly recommended for students considering a major in Biometry and Statistics. Students currently enrolled as freshmen or sophomores at other institutions who are considering transferring to the Biometry and Statistics program are encouraged to satisfy as many of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) distribution requirements as possible before transferring. 

Biometry and Statistics is also a part of the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.

Major in Biometry and Statistics

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Biometry and Statistics majors have many career opportunities and possibilities for graduate study. Career choices are as varied as the fields of application of statistics. Collecting and using data effectively are vital activities in many organizations. 

Recent research in Biometry and Statistics includes discovering human genes and modeling the evolution and domestication of dogs. 

CALS seeks students who maintain a rigorous high school curriculum and demonstrate an outstanding record of academic achievement.

  • 4 Units of English
  • 4 Units of Mathematics  (including calculus)
  • 3 Units of Science (biology, chemistry and physics recommended)
  • Also recommended: an additional unit of science

Biometry and Statistics major requirements for students entering the major in:

All courses satisfying the major requirements must have a letter grade of C- or better.

  • Discuss the mathematical basis and foundations of probability and statistics.
  • Explain and apply the fundamentals of applied statistical methodology.
  • Use modern statistical software and a programming language.
  • Effectively communicate the results of a statistical analysis.

Students in the statistics concentration should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of specialized statistical methods

Students in the statistical genomics concentration should be able to:

  • Apply statistical and computational methods for genomic data

Minor in Biometry and Statistics

The Minor in Biometry and Statistics is designed to provide students with basic knowledge of statistical techniques and the mathematics necessary to understand and use them. To obtain a Minor students must take the required courses and three elective courses from the electives list. Students may petition to have other courses that are not listed as electives.  Courses taken at other institutions may be credited towards the minor, but a minimum of three elective courses must be taken at Cornell.

Required Courses [each course is 4 cr.]

  • BTRY 3010: Biological Statistics I or BTRY 6010: Statistical Methods I or equivalent
  • BTRY 3020: Biological Statistics II or BTRY 6020: Statistical Methods II
  • BTRY 3080: Probability Models and Inference
  • MATH 1110: Calculus I
  • MATH 1120 or MATH 1220 or MATH 1910: Calculus II
  • MATH 1920 or MATH 2130 or MATH 2220: Multivariable Calculus

Elective Courses

  • BTRY 3090 / STSCI 3090: Theory of Interest [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 3100 / ILRST 3100 / STSCI 3100: Statistical Sampling [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4030 / STSCI 4030: Linear Models with Matrices [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4090 / STSCI 4090: Theory of Statistics [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4100 / ILRST 4100 / STSCI 4100: Multivariate Analysis [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4110 / ILRST 4110 / STSCI 4110: Categorical Data [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4140 / ILRST 4140 / STSCI 4140: Applied Design [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4270 / STSCI 4270: Introduction to Survival Analysis [3 cr.]
  • BTRY 4381: Bioinformatics Programming [3 cr.]
  • BTRY 4520 / STSCI 4520: Statistical Computing [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4820: Statistical Genomics [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4830: Quantitative Genomics and Genetics [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4840: Computational Genomics [4 cr.]
  • BTRY 4940: Special Topics (as appropriate) [1-3 cr.]
  • ILRST 6140: Structural Equations w/ Latent Variables [3 cr.}
  • ILRST 6190: Special Topics in Social Statistics [3 cr.]
  • MATH 2210 or MATH 2310: Linear Algebra [4 cr.]
  • NTRES 6700: Spatial Statistics [3 cr.]
  • ORIE 3510 and 4520: Stochastic Processes [4 cr.]
  • ORIE 4740 / STSCI 4740: Statistical Data Mining and Machine Learning I [4 cr.]
  • STSCI 4550 / ILRST 4550, ORIE 5550: Applied Times Series Analysis [3 cr.]
  1. Make an appointment to see the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising, Julia Aquadro (jra269 [at] Appointments can be made on Cornell Chatter.
  2. Download the Minor Application form and submit it to Julia Aquadro.
  3. Plan a course of study to complete the Biometry and Statistics Minor requirements. Select required courses and an elective course that best suit your interests. If you need assistance in planning, contact your supervising SDS faculty advisor. Address any questions to your supervising SDS faculty advisor or the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising.
  4. Keeping track of progress in meeting requirements is the student's responsibility. If your course choices change, contact your faculty advisor and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising. If the change creates any doubt about meeting the requirements of the minor, confirm its acceptability with your supervising SDS faculty advisor. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each course used for the minor.

Apply to the Minor

Transfer Student Admissions

Apply statistics, mathematics, computing, and other methods to solve problems in diverse fields, from the life and social sciences to business and finance.

Academic Record

  • Strong academic record at the college level. In general, competitive applicants have at least a 3.0 (B) average.
  • CALS Required Coursework should be completed or in-progress with a “B” or better before applying.
  • The most competitive applicants are full-time students who have met the GPA and course requirements.

For transfers entering as sophomores or transfers with two full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application.


Strongly encourage (but not required)

  • One full academic year of Introductory Biology with labs (for PreMed/PreVet students or those intending to take the Statistical Genomics concentration)

For transfers entering as juniors or transfers with four full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application.


  • Two College Writing/English Composition courses or one writing/composition and Public Speaking
  • Calculus I & II
  • Two course sequence in statistical methods (e.g. Statistics I and Statistics II)
  • Linear Algebra

Strongly encouraged (but not required)

  • One full academic year of Introductory Biology with labs (for PreMed/PreVet students or those intending to take the Statistical Genomics concentration)
  • Courses that meet the CALS social science and humanities requirements in Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis, Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning, Literature and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Analysis and Foreign Language.

Careers in Biometry and Statistics

Biometry and Statistics professor giving a lecture.


  • Banking analyst
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Management consulting analyst
  • Financial services analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Business development associate
  • Project analyst
  • Implementation consultant
  • Assurance associate
  • Global benefits analyst
  • Assistant trader
  • Life sciences consultant
  • Options trader
  • Web analyst
  • Risk analyst


  • Strategic planning analyst
  • Math teacher
  • Census bureau survey statistician
  • Media data management associate
  • MLB advanced media analyst


  • Cancer center data analyst
  • Computer scientist
  • Medical research data scientist
  • Research associate
  • Research fellow
  • Healthcare technical services


  • Information security practitioner
  • Data analyst
  • Technology analyst


Study reveals new insights about the origin of dogs

Three types of dogs sitting on a doorstep.

Resources for Biometry Students

A CALS education goes beyond the classroom and gives students frequent opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world settings.