The Biology Department curriculum is designed to enable students to understand the process of scientific inquiry and to introduce them to the major areas of biological sciences. Objectives of the Department are: 1) to increase knowledge and appreciation of biological systems from the cell to the ecosystem; 2) to create awareness and understanding of the role of the biological sciences in social and economic affairs; 3) to emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary science proficiency and experiences; 4) to develop critical and independent-thinking skills; and 5) to provide the biological background necessary for entrance into careers or into graduate or professional school. Qualified students may serve as departmental laboratory and teaching assistants and may engage in faculty-directed research and opportunities for independent study.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Biology must complete six required departmental core courses (as detailed below). Students also will elect to pursue one of the three Biology concentration areas (Field and Organismal Biology; Molecular, Cellular and Systems Biology; or General Biology), and will select a minimum of four courses within their chosen concentration, plus four collateral courses. Students may take additional courses in their selected concentration or any other concentration as electives. Students interested in pursuing a pre-medical/dental/veterinary preparatory curriculum are encouraged strongly to consider the General Biology Concentration option.
Requirements for the Major
A major in Biology with an Area of Concentration in General Biology is achieved by completion of the following requirements, in addition to the General Education and electives required for a degree:
Required Core Courses
BIO 110, 113, 114, 330, and one (1) approved 300- or 400-level field course (i.e. Field Botany, Dendrology and Forest Ecology, Parasitology, Invertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, or an approved field or field-station course)
Required Capstone Course
Required Concentration Courses
A minimum of four (4) course credits, including one course from each of the following three groups: Group 1 courses include BIO 222, 441, and approved Short Term or BIO 386/486 courses; Group 2 courses include BIO 323, 325, 331, and approved Short Term or BIO 386/486 courses; Group 3 courses include BIO 220, 324, 326, 327, 332, 342, 344, approved field-station courses, approved BIO 386/486 courses, and approved Short Term courses; plus one additional Fall or Spring term course, approved Short or Summer term course, one of the courses listed previously in Groups 1-3, or another course, as approved. Courses within the concentration may include approved courses from any term, but at least three of the four selected concentration courses must be full Fall, Spring, or Summer term courses.
Required Collateral courses
MAT 115 (or waiver); CHM 131 or 134; and CHM 221 and 222. In addition, two terms of the same modern foreign language are required.
Exploring the Major
Students considering a major in Biology should enroll in BIO 110 and CHM 131 or 134. (Students should complete CHM 101 prior to enrolling in CHM 131/134 if they have no or a limited high-school chemistry background.) Students must have waived or completed MAT 012 before enrolling in these courses. BIO 100, 101, 102, and 207 cannot be used toward the Biology major. These courses are General Education courses or are service courses for other departments. Students interested in pursuing a pre-medical/dental/veterinary preparatory curriculum are encouraged strongly to consider the General Biology Concentration option.
Admission to the Major
Completion or waiver of MAT 012 is a prerequisite for all major Biology courses. To be admitted to the Biology major, students must complete BIO 110, 113, and 114 with a combined GPA of 2.37 (two B- grades and one C- grade are the minimum requirement; grades below a C- are not acceptable).