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Major in biology


The Biology B.S. trains students in the fundamental concepts and basic principles of the biological sciences.  Areas of emphasis--including cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, organismal, ecology and conservation biology, plant biology, and physiology-- allow students to specialize to meet diverse career goals.

Biology majors receive practical training in field and laboratory biology, which prepares them for academic, industrial, or governmental careers. The major also prepares students for professional schools (medical, dental, or veterinary),  graduate school in any area of the biological sciences, training in an allied medical science, and secondary science education.


Required Biology:
101--3 hrs.; 101L--1 hr.; 102--3 hrs.; 102L--1 hr.; 330--3 hrs.; 330L--1 hr.; 350--3 hrs.; 350L--1 hr.; 374--3 hrs.; 374L--1 hr.; 380--3 hrs.; 380L--1 hr.

To complete the 40 hours required for the major, a minimum of 16 hours beyond the core curriculum must be selected from the following: 371/371L, 375/375L 403, 405, 406/ 406L, 408/408L, 412, 418, 424/424L, 425/425L, 426/426L, 427/427L, 428/428L, 431, 434, 437/437L, 445, 447, 450, 451, 454, 458/458L, 461/461L, 475, 476, 480, 482/482L, 485, 490, 491, and 492; Capstone 497, 498, 499, Chemistry 431/431L, 432.

BIO 415 is an acceptable elective only for departmental majors pursuing a secondary school teaching curriculum. Four credit hours of BIO 492 may be used to fill the elective requirement.

A portion of the 16 hours of elective credit required of Biology majors beyond the core curriculum may be composed of courses from cognate areas, subject to the approval of the student's advisor and in agreement with the Department Chairperson. This excludes cognate courses that are prerequisite for courses in the Department of Biology.

Cell and Molecular Biology Emphasis:
Cell Biology or Cellular Development and Cell and Tissue Culture, and Immunology, plus additional electives from the following: BIO 250, 408/408L, 417, 418, 482/482L; Chemistry 431/431L, 432.
Microbiology Emphasis:
Specific courses selected to fulfill the interests and employment opportunities of the student. A possible program might include Bacteriology, Immunology, Virology, and Recombinant DNA. Additional microbiology electives include: Biology 250, 371/371L, 403, 404, 408/408L, , 417, 418, 475, 476, 482, and 482L. A chemistry minor including 7 hours of biochemistry (Chemistry 431/431L, 432) is strongly recommended.
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Emphasis:
Recombinant DNA, Cell and Tissue Culture, Immunology, and additional electives from the following: Biology 250, 371/371L, 404, 405, 406/406L, 407, 408/408L, 417, 418, 437/437L, 476, 482/482L; Chemistry 431/431L, 432.
Organismal and Conservation Biology Emphasis:
Advanced Ecology, Evolution, Plant Taxonomy, or Vertebrate Zoology, plus electives (8 hours) selected from 250, 421, 425/425L, 426/426L, 427/427L, 428/428L, 447, 451, 454, 458/458L, and 491.
Physiology Emphasis:
A possible program could include Vertebrate Physiology or Plant Physiology; Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy or Plant Anatomy; and additional electives from the following list: 412, 431, 433, 434, 461/461L, 491--Special Topics (recent topics include: Cardiovascular Physiology, Reproductive Physiology, Behavioral Endocrinology, Environmental Physiology).
Plant Biology Emphasis:
Specific courses are selected to fulfill the interests and employment opportunities of the students. A possible program selected from the following list might include Plant Taxonomy, Plant Physiology with laboratory, Plant Anatomy, Virology, and Cell and Tissue Culture with laboratory (Biology 403, 405, 406/406L, 417, 418, 437/437L, 445, 447). A chemistry minor including 7 hours of biochemistry (Chemistry 431/431L, 432) is strongly recommended for some students.


Students enrolled as teaching majors are urged to take a course in developmental biology and a course in conservation as part of the 16 hours of electives beyond the core curriculum.

Prerequisites for the Biology major include the following:
Chemistry 105--3 hrs.; 105L--1 hr.; 106--3 hrs.; 106L--1 hr.; 351--3 hrs.; 351L--1 hr.; 352--3 hrs.; 352L--1 hr.; Mathematics--3?4 hrs. (a course in statistics or calculus, such as Biology 485, or Mathematics 131 or 241); Physics 105--3 hrs.; 105L--1 hr.; 106--3 hrs.; 106L--1 hr. (Total: 27 or more semester hours; thus, no fewer than 67 semester hours in sciences and mathematics are needed to complete a biology major.)

A chemistry or general science minor is recommended to accompany a biology major. Students planning to enter medical school should select Biology 342--4 hrs. and 461--3 hrs. It is recommended that these students consider for inclusion in their course work the following: a chemistry minor, a foreign language, humanities electives, and Psychology 101--3 hrs. Because some physical science courses are prerequisites for the required courses in the Department of Biology, a Biology major can complete a chemistry minor with a minimum of 7 additional hours.

  Biology Undegraduate Major.pdf