Biology Studies

Learning goals:

  • Biology majors will learn to identify and describe the basic principles and theories of the biological sciences.
  • Using the basic principles and theories of the biological sciences, students will learn to construct and critique logical arguments in biology.
  • Students will learn to use biological skills and techniques to acquire and evaluate scientific evidence.

Requirements for the Major in Biology. The Bachelor of Science degree in biology requires 63 or 64 semester hours in biology, chemistry and physics with grades of C- or better in biology. The Bachelor of Science degree includes an introductory sequence, biology distribution requirements (in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution), and other requirements with an emphasis in research (Group A) or added academic instruction (Group B). In addition, all students must complete an experiential learning requirement.

semester hours

16

Introductory Sequence

 

4

BIOL:101 Ecology, Evolution and Heredity

 

4

BIOL:102 Cell and Organismal Biology

 

4

BIOL:201 Genetics

 

4

BIOL:202 Systematic Biology

9

Biology Distribution Requirements

 

3

Cell and Molecular Biology: BIOL:300 Developmental Biology, BIOL:306 Cell Biology, BIOL:316 Molecular Biology or BIOL:400 Immunology

 

3

Organismal Biology: BIOL:302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, BIOL:310 Animal Physiology, BIOL:312 Microbiology, BIOL:320 Exercise and Extreme Physiology, BIOL:404 Plant Physiology, BIOL:440 Behavioral Neuroendocrinology or BIOL:455 Neurons and Networks

 

3

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: BIOL:308 Vertebrate Natural History, BIOL:324 Animal Behavior,BIOL:326 Invertebrate Zoology, BIOL:406 Ecology or BIOL:408 Aquatic Ecology

Biology courses at the 300 level or above may be used to satisfy biology elective credit requirements.

15

Other Requirements: Based upon their qualifications and career goals, students may be invited to participate in a collaborative research program (Group A), or they may elect more academic instruction (Group B).

 

Group A: 64 semester hours total

 

4

BIOL:550 Explorations in Biology or BIOL:560 Interdisciplinary Explorations in Biology (at least two different courses)

 

3

Three laboratory courses

 

4

BIOL:510 Student Research I

 

4

BIOL:511 Student Research II

14

Group B: 64 semester hours total

 

9

Biology elective courses, including at least 4 semester hours in BIOL:550 Explorations in Biology or BIOL:560 Interdisciplinary Explorations in Biology, taken in at least two different courses

 

3

Three laboratory courses

 

2

BIOL:501 Seminar in Biology

0

Experiential Learning Requirement. This requirement is satisfied by the completion of one of the following:

 

BIOL:510 Student Research I

 

BIOL:511 Student Research II

 

*BIOL:502 Biology Internship

Or by demonstrating successful completion of an alternative experience including but not limited to the following:

 

*Study abroad

 

*Off-campus internships

 

*Students who choose one of these options need to have the experience approved by the Department of Biology in advance.

24

Corollary Courses

 

4

CHEM:101 General Chemistry I or CHEM:103 General Chemistry I Teams or CHEM:111 General Chemistry I Teams WS

 

4

CHEM:102 General Chemistry II or CHEM:104 General Chemistry II Teams or CHEM:112 General Chemistry II Teams WS

 

4

CHEM:221 Organic Chemistry I

 

4

CHEM:222 Organic Chemistry II

 

4

PHYS:204 Introductory Physics I

 

4

PHYS:205 Introductory Physics II

Minor in Biology: Students minoring in biology complete 20 semester hours, including BIOL:101 Ecology, Evolution and Heredity and BIOL:102 Cell and Organismal Biology. Students choose additional biology courses at the 200, 300 or 400 level. No more than six semester hours of 200-level courses can be applied. Although BIOL:500, BIOL:502, BIOL:550 and BIOL:560 may apply to the minor, other courses at the 500 level may not be taken for minor credit.

At least two laboratory courses are required in addition to BIOL:101 and BIOL:102. BIOL:201 Genetics and BIOL:202 Systematic Biology may also be used to fill the laboratory requirement for the minor.

Honors in Biology. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes superior academic performance in biology. To graduate with departmental honors, biology majors must request entry to the program or be nominated for entry to the program by a member of the biology faculty by the beginning of the senior year.

Candidates for academic honors must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a GPA of 3.5 in major courses to qualify for academic honors, and
  • Successfully complete Student Research I and II (BIOL:510 and BIOL:511) and earn a grade of B- or better in these courses.

Candidates for research honors must:

  • Be nominated by a member of the biology faculty by midterm of Student Research II (BIOL:511),
  • Submit an acceptable research thesis based upon two semesters of Student Research (BIOL:510 and BIOL:511), and
  • Pass an oral comprehensive examination of their thesis in their final semester.

Secondary Teaching Certification is available to biology majors who also fulfill additional Department of Education requirements. These include student teaching during the senior year. Please note that the completion of a biology degree with secondary education certification within four years requires immediate attention to the courses required. For further information on requirements, see the education department section.

Off-Campus Study. The department encourages students to study abroad. Typically, study abroad occurs during the junior year, but students should begin planning while a first-year student for an optimum experience. Majors may choose to take college science courses in foreign countries. There are also special opportunities for courses or research at colleges, universities or research institutions in the United States. Opportunities for short-term overseas study may also be available.

Ecology Research Facilities. The Center for Environmental Education and Research (CEER) is an 87-acre tract of land immediately adjacent to campus that serves as a convenient field station for observational and manipulative studies in ecology. The site also includes a research greenhouse, research plots and storage facilities for field equipment. In addition, the department operates the George A. Hepner Ecology Laboratory at Camp Karoondinha. It provides a modern research laboratory and a variety of habitats, offering students experience through short- and long-term experiments. The property features more than 600 acres from 600 to 1,800 feet above sea level. It includes both deciduous and mixed coniferous forests, an 8-acre lake, Penns Creek, and small streams.