May 25, 2018  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology - Major

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The Bachelor of Science degree in biology consists of a three-tiered curriculum. Tier I is a three-semester introductory biological systems course that includes a survey of general and advanced topics in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, evolution, organism diversity (with an emphasis on plants and animals), the structure and function of multicellular organisms, and population, community, and ecosystem ecology . The second tier centers on three major levels of biological investigation: the cell, the organism, and ecology/evolution. Biology majors choose one upper division course from each of these levels in addition to one elective upper division biology course for majors. The third tier comprises a three-semester capstone seminar, beginning in the second semester of the junior year, and continuing through both semesters of the senior year.  The seminar emphasizes student integration of diverse biological subdisciplines, planning and implementing an original laboratory, field-based, or library-intensive research project, and formal presentation of research papers. Students also take two years of chemistry (one year of introductory chemistry and one year organic chemistry), one year of mathematics (one year calculus or one semester calculus plus one semester statistics), and a year of physics.

All biology department courses for the major programs must be completed with a grade of C- or better to satisfy the program requirements.

Note: See list of Minors for related minors in Bioethics  , Environmental Science  , Pre-Dental  , Pre-Medical  and Pre-Veterinary  .

Biology Core

The Biology core provides the foundation for this program.  Students take the three Biological Systems courses listed below, and choose one each of cellular, organismal, and ecology courses (courses in each category are listed below), as well as one additional biology elective.  The capstone experience prepares the students for their comprehensive examination and subsequent post-undergraduate career plans.

Additional Courses Required for Biology - Major

Elective Courses for Biology - Major

Biology majors select 1 course from each of the following lists of courses (Cellular, Organismal, Ecology/Evolution – each with a lab) for a total of 3 courses (12 credits). The fourth course can be any upper division Biology course for Biology majors (3 or 4 credits).

Note: All courses must be taken with the laboratory whenever a laboratory is offered.

Cellular Electives

Students select at least one from this list:

Organismal Electives

Students select at least one elective from this list:

Ecology/Evolution Electives

Students select at least one elective from this list:

Fourth Biology Elective

Students must choose one additional course of at least three credits from any of the three categories above (cellular, organismal, ecology/evolution). Bio 452 (Biology research) is also an available elective (1-3 credits).

Note: Each course chosen will only satisfy ONE requirement.

In addition to the Biology Course, students in the Biology major are required to take the following:

Mathematics Requirement

Capstone Experience

For Biology majors, the Capstone Seminar is a three semester sequence beginning in the Spring semester of the junior year; the Fall and Spring semesters of the senior year function as the Senior Experience and may also fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement of the core curriculum. Capstone Seminar (Bio/Env. 350, 450, 451) is a three-semester, 3-credit course sequence (one credit per semester). The first semester (junior year) develops scientific reasoning and communication skills essential for the graduating Biology majors, and encourages the integration of students’ scientific experience with other modes of inquiry. Students propose a capstone research project in this first semester, designate a faculty supervisor, and begin the literature investigation to support their proposed project. Students are encouraged to develop either a laboratory or field-based original research project, but some students may elect to complete an exhaustive literature-based project on a topic in the primary literature of biological science. The second semester is devoted primarily to the continued background research for their proposed project, and initial implementation of that project.  The third and final semester of the Capstone Seminar is devoted to the completion of the research project, including analysis and formal presentation of results. The Capstone Seminar enables students to integrate materials from diverse courses within biology, while using knowledge and skills from their entire college experience to reflect upon and communicate that material to each other through written and oral presentations. The Comprehensive Examination requirement typically is satisfied by the student completing the Major Field Test in Biology during the third semester of Capstone Seminar.

  • BIO/ENV 350 – Biology/Env.Sci. Junior Seminar Credits: 1
  • BIO/ENV 450 – Biology/Env.Sci. Senior Seminar I Credits: 1
  • BIO/ENV 451 – Biology/Env.Sci. Senior Seminar II Credits: 1
  • BIO /ENV 499 – Biology/Env.Sci. Comprehensive Credits: 0

Biology Sample Program

Sophomore Year

  • Perspectives - Enduring Questions (PEQ) Credits: 6-9
  • Cellular, Organismal, or Ecology/Evolution Elective with Lab – Credits: 4-8

Junior Year

  • Perspectives - Enduring Questions (PEQ) Credits: 3-6
  • Integrative Studies (IS) Credits: 3-6
  • Cellular, Organismal, or Ecology/Evolution Elective with Lab – Credits: 4-8
  • Core Milestone Experience Credits: 0

Senior Year

  • Integrative Studies (IS) Credits: 3-6
  • Liberal Arts Electives Credits: 6-12
  • Cellular, Organismal, or Ecology/Evolution Elective with Lab - Credits: 4
  • Biology Electives Credits: 4

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