Bachelors (BS) in Biology

This major offers a 53- or 54-semester-hour course of study, enabling students to pursue a variety of careers that include research, the health professions, teaching, and non-science fields that require critical-thinking skills. Requirements for the biology major consist of 10 semester hours in core biology courses, 20 hours in chemistry and mathematics, and 24 hours of biology courses based on a selected concentration. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BS in biology will:

  • Understand, interpret, and communicate scientific information
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of field biology, biodiversity, systems level biology and cell/molecular biology
  • Understand the basic forms of scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate the compatibility of science and faith in their worldview

Special General Education Requirements

The biology, chemistry and mathematics courses (listed below) also fulfill up to 12 hours of the sciences requirement for general education. A minimum grade of C- must be obtained in all biology and chemistry courses for graduation.

Major Requirements

Biology (10 hours)
BIOL 211 General Biology I 4
BIOL 212 General Biology II 4
BIOL 490 Biological Exploration 2
Chemistry (16 hours)
CHEM 211 General Chemistry I 4
CHEM 212 General Chemistry II 4
CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II 4
Mathematics (3 to 4 hours)
MATH 201 Calculus (4) or MATH 240 Statistics (3)

Concentrations (24 hours)

General
Courses listed in two areas under the General Concentration may meet requirements for both areas of emphasis. (For example, if BIOL 390 is taken to meet the field studies requirement then it may also fulfill the diversity emphasis as well.)

Students must choose one of the following field studies courses:
BIOL 360 Ecology 4
BIOL 380 Ornithology 4
BIOL 390 Systematic Botany 4
BIOL 460 Invertebrate Zoology 4

Students must choose one of the following diversity courses:
BIOL 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIOL 370 Microbiology 4
BIOL 380 Ornithology 4
BIOL 390 Systematic Botany 4
BIOL 460 Invertebrate Zoology 4

Students must choose one of the following form/function courses:
BIOL 310 Developmental Biology 4
BIOL 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIOL 333 Advanced Physiology 4
BIOL 335 Neuroscience 4
BIOL 340 Plant Physiology 4
BIOL 450 Advanced Human Anatomy 4

Students must choose one of the following cell/molecular courses:
BIOL 335 Neuroscience 4
BIOL 350 Genetics 4
BIOL 370 Microbiology 4
BIOL 410 Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 420 Cell Biology 4

Biology (BIOL) electives (300-level or above)

8-12
Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL 350 Genetics 4
BIOL 370 Microbiology 4
BIOL 410 Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 420 Cell Biology 4

Students must choose one of the following courses:
BIOL 310 Developmental Biology 4
BIOL 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIOL 333 Advanced Physiology 4
BIOL 335 Neuroscience 4

Students must choose one of the following field studies courses:
BIOL 360 Ecology 4
BIOL 380 Ornithology 4
BIOL 390 Systematic Botany 4
BIOL 460 Invertebrate Zoology 4

NOTE: Students are strongly encouraged to take both CHEM 341 and CHEM 342 Biochemistry (8)
Systems and Structural Biology
BIOL 333 Advanced Physiology 4
BIOL 420 Cell Biology 4

Students must choose one of the following courses:
BIOL 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIOL 450 Advanced Human Anatomy 4

Students must choose one of the following courses:
BIOL 310 Developmental Biology 4
BIOL 340 Plant Physiology 4

Students must choose one of the following field studies courses:
BIOL 360 Ecology 4
BIOL 380 Ornithology 4
BIOL 390 Systematic Botany 4
BIOL 460 Invertebrate Zoology 4

Students must choose one of the following cell/molecular courses:
BIOL 335 Neuroscience 4
BIOL 350 Genetics strongly recommended 4
BIOL 370 Microbiology 4
BIOL 410 Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 420 Cell Biology 4
Ecology and Field Biology
BIOL 360 Ecology 4
BIOL 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIOL 350 Genetics 4

Students must choose two of the following courses:
BIOL 333 Advanced Physiology 4
BIOL 340 Plant Physiology 4
BIOL 380 Ornithology 4
BIOL 390 Systematic Botany 4
BIOL 460 Invertebrate Zoology 4

Students must choose one of the following cell/molecular courses:
BIOL 335 Neuroscience 4
BIOL 350 Genetics 4
BIOL 370 Microbiology 4
BIOL 410 Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 420 Cell Biology 4

Thesis Option

Students can petition the department thesis committee by the end of the fall semester of their junior year for permission to do original research as part of their degree requirement. Students allowed to pursue the thesis option must:

  1. Complete an acceptable research proposal and the Research Methods course (BIOL 384) by the end of the spring semester of the junior year.
  2. Take up to 4 hours of Biological Research (BIOL 465) between the spring semester of their junior year and graduation, and Senior Thesis (BIOL 496) during the spring semester of their senior year.
  3. Complete a written thesis acceptable to the thesis committee by April 1 of their senior year.
  4. Prepare a poster and give an oral presentation of their research prior to graduation.

The department considers this an honor to be noted on the student's transcript. The thesis is designed to enhance a student's preparation for graduate or professional school.

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