Biology Major

The biology curriculum is designed to provide students an opportunity to study the principles governing life processes within the broader context of the liberal arts. Students investigate the science of life at all levels, from molecular biology to population ecology. Courses are designed to develop each student's ability to acquire and interpret data, pose questions, and critically evaluate facts and theories. By proper selection of biology and other science courses, a student will be prepared for graduate school in the life sciences, for admission to medical, dental, veterinary, and other health profession schools, and for positions in government or industry.

Major Requirements

 

To declare and be retained as a biology major, a student must maintain a 2.00 grade point average based on the courses attempted which satisfy the biology major’s requirements.  No courses numbered below 204, except BIO 160, BIO 165, and BIO175, can be used to fulfill the biology major requirements.  

Required Courses:

Biology majors must complete nine biology courses and four cognate courses.


Biology courses

Three introductory courses:

BIO 160 – Foundations of Biological Inquiry 1 course unit 

BIO 165 – From Ecosystems to Organisms 1 course unit

BIO 175 – From Organisms to Molecules 1 course unit

For pre-requisite purposes, the previous introductory coures, BIO 150, 151, and 152 will be considered as equivalent to BIO 160, 165, and 175, respectively.

Five biology electives:

Five biology electives numbered between 204 and 900, which may include ESC 312 - CUE: Toxicology, NSC 311 - Neurons & Networks, SUS 350 - Community Sustainability in Costa Rica, and up to one credit of BIO 970 - Biology Independent Study/Research.  At least one course must be from each of List A, B, and C.


One biology CUE numbered between 400 and 499.


List A

Courses studying populations through ecosystems, including a lab or field component:

BIO 204 - Invertebrate Zoology 1 course unit

BIO 255 - Ornithology 1 course unit

BIO 260 - Field Botany & Plant Ecology 1 course unit

BIO 262 - Cultural & Economic Botany 1 course unit

BIO 265 - Behavior 1 course unit

BIO 268 - Freshwater Ecology 1 course unit

BIO 270 - Ecology 1 course unit

BIO 272 - Field Marine Biology 1 course unit


List B

Courses studying organisms and tissue systems, including a lab or field component:

BIO 240 - Developmental Biology 1 course unit

BIO 242 - Entomology 1 course unit

BIO 245 - Comparative Anatomy 1 course unit

BIO 250 - General Physiology 1 course unit


List C

Courses studying cells and molecules, including a lab component:

BIO 205 - Cell Biology 1 course unit

BIO 215 - Genetics 1 course unit

BIO 220 - Biochemistry 1 course unit

BIO 225 - Microbiology 1 course unit


Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE):

One of the biology courses numbered between 400 and 499.  This is an advanced, seminar style course that incorporates inquiry-oriented student projects.


BIO 405 - CUE: Cell Biology of Human Disease 1 course unit

BIO 412 - CUE: Molecular Biology of Cancer 1 course unit

BIO 423 - CUE: Scanning Electron Microscopy 1 course unit

BIO 460 - CUE: Behavioral Ecology 1 course unit

BIO 465 - CUE: Conservation Biology 1 course unit

BIO 470 - CUE: Evolution 1 course unit

BIO 472 - CUE: Genomes and Gene Evolution 1 course unit

BIO 487 - CUE: Host-Bacteria Interactions 1 course unit


Cognate courses (4 courses)

CHM 103 - General Chemistry I 1 course unit

CHM 104 - General Chemistry II 1 course unit


Any two additional courses (2 course units) chosen from:


Chemistry: 

CHM 201/203/205 - Organic Chemistry I 1 course unit

CHM 202/204/206 - Organic Chemistry II 1 course unit


Computer Science: 

CSI 102/104/106/109 - Computer Science I 1 course unit

CSI 111 - Computer Science II 1 course unit


Mathematics: 

MTH 119 - Statistical Analysis 1 course unit

MTH 121 - Calculus I 1 course unit

MTH 122 - Calculus II 1 course unit

MTH 219 - Statistical Models 1 course unit

MTH 223 - Calculus III 1 course unit

MTH 226 - Linear Algebra 1 course unit

MTH 227 - Differential Equations 1 course unit

MTH 240 - Transition to Abstract Mathematics 1 course unit

MTH 314 - Applied Mathematics & Modeling 1 course unit

MTH 331 - Probability 1 course unit


Physics: 

PHY 121 - General Physics I 1 course unit

PHY 122 - General Physics II 1 course unit


Note:

In consultation with their advisor, students preparing for careers in the health professions should consider completing a year of Organic Chemistry and a year of General Physics. 

Students seeking teacher certification for secondary biology education should contact the department head.