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 be retained as a biology major, a student must maintain a 2.0 average based on all biology courses attempted. No courses below BIO 202 except BIO 150, BIO 151, and BIO 152 can be used to fulfill the biology major requirements. In many biology courses a student is expected to devote more time than scheduled in laboratory and field investigations. Biology majors must complete 14 courses, nine in biology and five cognate courses.

  1. Three Introductory Courses
    BIO 150: Principles of Biology I: Organisms and Populations
    BIO 151: Principles of Biology II: Cells and Organisms
    BIO 152: Principles of Biology III: Molecules and Cells

  2. Six Biology Electives at the 200-level and above (except BIO 200, BIO 201, and BIO 960), at least one course from each of List A, B, and C:

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

    BIO 204: Invertebrate Zoology
    BIO 255: Ornithology
    BIO 260: Field Botany and Plant Ecology
    BIO 262: Cultural and Economic Botany
    BIO 265: Behavior 
    BIO 268: Freshwater Ecology
    BIO 270: Ecology
    BIO 272: Field Marine Biology

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

    BIO 240: Developmental Biology
    BIO 242: Entomology
    BIO 245: Comparative Anatomy
    BIO 250: General Physiology


    LIST C
    Courses studying cells and molecules, including a lab component:

    BIO 205: Cell Biology
    BIO 215: Genetics
    BIO 220: Biochemistry
    BIO 225: Microbiology

  3. At least one of the six courses must be a Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) course numbered between 400 and 499. These are advanced, seminar-style courses that incorporate inquiry-oriented student projects.

  4. Five Cognate courses
    CHM 103: General Chemistry I
    CHM 104: General Chemistry II
    CHM 201, 203 or 205: Organic Chemistry I 
    MTH 121: Calculus I or MTH 122: Calculus II or MTH 223: Calculus III
    PHY 121: General Physics I

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the second semester of organic chemistry and physics because a full year of each are required by virtually all graduate programs in the biological sciences or health professions.

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