Bachelors (BS) in Biology

Overview

This major offers a 56- or 58-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 18 semester hours in core biology courses, 22-24 hours in physical sciences and quantitative skills, and 16 hours of upper-division biology coursework. 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
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Major Requirements

Biology Core Requirements (18 hours)

Complete the following:
An introduction to life science for those majoring in biology and bioscience-related fields. Topics include basic concepts in chemistry and biological molecules, an introduction to cellular structure, function and metabolism, genetics and theories of inheritance, and an introduction to prokaryotic cells and viruses. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required.
An introduction to life science for those majoring in biology and bioscience-related fields. Topics include a taxonomic survey of protists, fungi, plants, and animals with emphasis on the development, anatomy, and physiology of plants and animals. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required.
An introduction to the origin and maintenance of biodiversity for students majoring in Biology. This project-based course will provide foundational exposure to the process of scientific discovery, twenty-first century science practices, and the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or permission of the instructor. Additional course fee is required.
A general genetics course covering Mendelian genetics, population genetics, and an introduction to molecular biology. This course fulfills the requirement for biology majors, and is appropriate for those with an interest in current topics in genetics, including inheritable diseases, cloning, and other recent scientific breakthroughs. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
Discussion- and experience-based course covering scientific analysis, communication, and research. Prerequisite: Junior status or permission of the instructor

Biology Upper-Division Electives (16 hours)

Complete at least one course from each of the following groups.
Courses listed in two groups may meet requirements for both groups. (For example, if BIOL 390 is taken to meet the Diversity requirement then it may also fulfill the Processes requirement as well.)
Choose one of the following:
Theories and study of differentiation as they apply to growth and development of animals, with some emphasis on the mechanism involved. Includes historical topics, fertilization, embryonic organization, cell induction, histogenesis, organogenesis, and developmental morphogenesis of echinoderms, frogs, chicks, and pigs. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
The comparative study of the structure and functional morphology of organisms in the phylum Chordata. Laboratory will emphasize dissection of representative vertebrate animals. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
An introductory course that provides a basic understanding in the multidisciplinary field of Neuroscience. Major topics covered in this course include neural signaling, neurophysiology, sensation and sensory processing, physical and functional neuroanatomy, movement and its central control, nervous system organization, brain development, complex brain functions and diseases of the nervous system. The course will examine different model organisms that have advanced the field of neuroscience. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
A course for biology majors in the structure, metabolism, classification and health aspects of microorganisms. Special emphasis will be given to microbial diversity, the molecular physiology and genetics of prokaryotes, and the human immune response to infection. Methods of microbiological investigation are emphasized and include current techniques and experiences within the field of Microbiology. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
An introduction to the modern field of molecular biology. We will examine the structure, organization, and transfer of genetic information at the molecular level and its requirement for life processes. Viral, prokaryotic, and eukaryotic systems will be examined. Major themes include transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional events (RNA processing), and regulation of translation. The laboratory is designed to include current techniques and experiences within the field of molecular biology. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
This course includes the study of cell physiology, energetics, neurobiology, muscle biology, and cell signaling. Other topics that will be discussed are cancer and immunology at the cellular level. Laboratory will focus on current cell culturing and analysis techniques. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
A majors-level course intended to meet the anatomy requirement of graduate/professional programs in health-care fields. A course presenting a systemic approach to the study of the human body. Lecture presentations begin with an introduction of anatomical terminology, tissue classification, and developmental origins to systems. Body structure will be studied by organ systems and will include histology. Laboratory work will follow a regional gross anatomy of the human body through cadaver dissection, human skeletal collections and preserved specimens. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
Choose one of the following:
A study of mechanisms associated with the process of evolution (e.g. natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, etc.) and their underlying assumptions. Topics covered include phylogenetic history, the genetic theory of phenotypic evolution, species and speciation, evolution of genes and genomes, etc. Special attention will be given to how the principles of evolution interface with Christian beliefs. Three hours lecture and one laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
The comparative study of the structure and functional morphology of organisms in the phylum Chordata. Laboratory will emphasize dissection of representative vertebrate animals. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
An analysis of population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. Laboratory will emphasize field measurements, computer modeling, and behavior. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week, and one required field trip to the Malheur Field Station. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
A course for biology majors in the structure, metabolism, classification and health aspects of microorganisms. Special emphasis will be given to microbial diversity, the molecular physiology and genetics of prokaryotes, and the human immune response to infection. Methods of microbiological investigation are emphasized and include current techniques and experiences within the field of Microbiology. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
A study of avian biology including phylogeny, evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and ecology. Laboratory will emphasize identification, bird banding, and basic anatomy. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week, and one required field trip to the Malheur Field Station. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
This course integrates the disciplines of plant diversity, plant physiology, plant systematics and plant ecology by surveying the structure and function of plants from the organismal to the ecosystem levels. Students will receive a comprehensive survey of concepts in plant biology with an emphasis on mechanisms of development and growth, ecophysiology, identification and classification, and current global issues that are rooted in plant biology. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
Comparative phylogeny, morphology, ecology, and life histories of several invertebrate groups and protozoa. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Some weekend field trips required. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
Choose one of the following:
Theories and study of differentiation as they apply to growth and development of animals, with some emphasis on the mechanism involved. Includes historical topics, fertilization, embryonic organization, cell induction, histogenesis, organogenesis, and developmental morphogenesis of echinoderms, frogs, chicks, and pigs. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
Investigation of physiological principles in animals, with 4 hours. A majors-level course is intended to meet the physiology requirement of graduate/professional programs in health-care fields. Investigation of physiological principles in humans/mammals, with emphasis on mechanisms of integration and homeostasis at cellular, organ, and system levels. Topics include muscular, neural, vascular, excretory, and endocrine interactions. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
An introductory course that provides a basic understanding in the multidisciplinary field of Neuroscience. Major topics covered in this course include neural signaling, neurophysiology, sensation and sensory processing, physical and functional neuroanatomy, movement and its central control, nervous system organization, brain development, complex brain functions and diseases of the nervous system. The course will examine different model organisms that have advanced the field of neuroscience. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
An analysis of population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. Laboratory will emphasize field measurements, computer modeling, and behavior. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week, and one required field trip to the Malheur Field Station. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
This course integrates the disciplines of plant diversity, plant physiology, plant systematics and plant ecology by surveying the structure and function of plants from the organismal to the ecosystem levels. Students will receive a comprehensive survey of concepts in plant biology with an emphasis on mechanisms of development and growth, ecophysiology, identification and classification, and current global issues that are rooted in plant biology. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.

Physical Sciences (16 hours)

Choose four of the following:
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Successful completion of MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics (or equivalent).
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 General Physics I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 211 General Physics with Calculus I.

Quantitative Skills (6-8 hours)

Complete the following:
An introduction to probability and statistics with content and application directed toward the natural and physical sciences. Topics to be covered include methods of describing data, probability, random variables and their distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, linearregression, and correlation. Prerequisite: MATH 180 College Algebra or equivalent.
Choose one of the following:
A foundational course for the study of computer science and information systems. The course covers an overview of programming methodology and gives the student an ability to write computer programs using standard style and structure. Programming projects are completed in one or more high-level languages. Prerequisite: high school algebra or equivalent. Additional course fee required.
The class is a study of limits limits of functions, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics or equivalent.

Optional Thesis

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.