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About the Major.
"It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes," -- Charles Darwin, 1859

Image of Oak TreesThe curriculum in biology offers an opportunity for students to understand the structures and processes that characterize life and to appreciate the tremendous diversity of living organisms.

Course work is balanced among three scales of biological organization:

  • Cell/molecular
  • Physiology/organismal
  • Ecology/evolution

An important component of the major is  independent research that enables the student to become familiar with the process of science by investigating a specific biological problem in the laboratory or field. 

Most courses are extensive rather than intensive in content, thus providing the student with considerable breadth in the biological sciences as a whole. Such training may lead to more specifically focused work such as graduate or professional school, employment in government or industry, or teaching at the secondary or college level. Biologists who are graduates of liberal arts colleges often offer employers a broader, more flexible outlook in approaching problems. 

The department of biology occupies the fourth floor of the Haldeman-Thiessen Science Center.

The major course requirements in biology consist of:

  • Investigating Biological Concepts (BIOL 150)
  • Introduction to Ecology, Evolution and Diversity (BIOL 155)
  • Cell Biology (BIOL  200)
  • Genetics (BIOL  202)
  • Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL  204)
  • Ecology (BIOL 307)
  • Two elective courses in BIOL (see list below)
  • Science Seminar (BIOL 350 -- taken for two semesters)
  • Introduction to Research I (BIOL 222)
  • Introduction to Research II (BIOL 322)
  • Research, two semesters (BIOL 440 and 450) or appropriate summer research experience
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 130)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM 140)
  • Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 220)
  • Analytical Chemistry Lab (CHEM 225)
  • Statistics for the Sciences (MATH 207)
  • Calculus I (MATH 151)
  • Physics I (PHYS 130)
Electives in Biology include:
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • Microbiology
  • Advanced Physiology
  • Comparative Vertebrate Morphology
  • Vertebrate Embryology
  • Parasitology
  • Field Botany
  • Field Zoology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Evolution
Biology Minor
A minor in biology consists of the six core courses in Biology that are required for the major.
  • BIOL 150 Biological Concepts
  • BIOL 155 Ecology, Evolution and Diversity
  • BIOL 200 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 202 Genetics
  • BIOL 204 Anatomy & Physiology
  • BIOL 307 Ecology
Teacher Certification
The student who seeks  certification for secondary education must complete the Biology major cited above, as well as a program of study in education. Their work in biology also qualifies the candidate to teach general science. Other requirements for certification are described in the Education Department section of the catalog. Education 342, Secondary School Science Curriculum and Methods, must be included.
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