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Biology, conservation and traditional tracks (B.A., B.S.)

Student studies plant in biology.

The major program in biology provides students with a broad background in various areas of biology and prepares students to understand and use biological principles and methods. The relevance of biology to other disciplines is emphasized. The program promotes participation in laboratory and field studies. Students are prepared upon graduation to enter graduate school, professional school or careers in biologically-related areas.

The Department of Biology provides students with opportunities to develop their following abilities:

  1. To understand biological principles and their implications from the molecular to the ecosystem levels of organization;
  2. To study, analyze experimentally and interpret biological problems;
  3. To communicate effectively about biological matters.

Major Requirements

The requirements for the biology major are structured so that students take at least one course in each of several areas of biology and related sciences. BIO 145 serves as a prerequisite for each of the upper-level biology courses. Courses that consider the characteristics of major kinds of life (BIO 212, 222, 262 and 263) are intended to follow BIO 145 and should be started before other upper-level biology courses are taken. Additional courses in biology, related sciences and math are important for advanced work in biological fields. (Conservation biology track majors should take BIO 116 during their first year.) All courses taken for the major in biology must be passed with a grade of C minus or better.

Biology Major with Two Tracks

A major in biology can be satisfied by completing the requirements for one of two tracks, traditional or conservation biology. The traditional biology track is a traditional balance of requirements in molecular, organisms and population biology. (Drs. Abi Abdallah and Swerdlow advise students in the traditional track.)

Conservation biology places more emphasis on biological diversity, population biology, environmental biology and conservation strategies. This discipline is international and global in perspective and requires an interdisciplinary perspective. (Drs. Balas and Palé advise conservation biology students.)

Conservation biology track students should take BIO 116 (Conservation Biology) during their first year.

Refer to the curriculum guides above for the required coursework for each track.

Suggested Schedule of Science Courses for Biology Majors, BA

Traditional

First Year, Fall

  • BIO 145 Foundations of Biology
  • CHEM 140 General Chemistry I
  • MATH 141 Precalculus (minimum)

First Year, Spring

  • Systematics Course or BIO 290 Cell Biology
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry II

Sophomore, Fall

  • BIO 322 Genetics or Biology elective

Sophomore, Spring

  • A systematics course or BIO 290 Cell Biology

Junior, Fall

  • BIO 322 Genetics or Biology elective
  • BIO 392 Ecology

Junior, Spring

  • BIO 342 Biostatistics and Research Methods
  • BIO 395 Jr. Research Seminar

Senior, Fall

  • BIO 452 Advanced Biology or BIO 482 Independent Study
  • BIO 462 Senior Seminar

Senior, Spring

  • Biology elective
Conservation

First Year, Fall

  • BIO 145 Foundations of Biology
  • CHEM 140 General Chemistry I
  • MATH 107 College Algebra

First Year, Spring

  •  BIO 116 Conservation Biology
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry II
  • BIO 262 Animal Systematics or Biology elective

Sophomore, Fall

  • BIO 222 Entomology or BIO 263 Plant Systematics

Sophomore, Spring

  • BIO 262 Animal Systematics or Biology elective
  • BIO 290 Cell Biology

Junior, Fall

  • BIO 392 General Ecology or Biology elective
  • BIO 322 Genetics

Junior, Spring

  • BIO 342 Biostatistics and Research Methods
  • BIO 395 Jr. Research Seminar

Senior, Fall

  • BIO 462 Senior Seminar

Senior, Spring

  • BIO 452 Advanced Biology or BIO 482 Independent Study

Suggested Schedule of Science Courses for Biology Majors, BS

Traditional

First Year, Fall

  • BIO 145 Foundations of Biology
  • CHEM 140 General Chemistry I
  • MATH 142 Precalculus

First Year, Spring

  • Systematics Course or BIO 290 Cell Biology
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry II
  • MATH 181 Calculus I

Sophomore, Fall

  • BIO 322 Genetics or Biology elective
  • CHEM 200 Organic Chemistry I

Sophomore, Spring

  • A systematics course or BIO 290 Cell Biology
  • CHEM 210 Organic Chemistry II

Junior, Fall

  • BIO 322 Genetics or Biology elective
  • BIO 392 Ecology
  • CHEM 345 Biochemistry

Junior, Spring

  • BIO 342 Biostatistics and Research Methods
  • BIO 395 Jr. Research Seminar
  • BIO 399 Molecular Biology

Senior, Fall

  • BIO 452 Advanced Biology or BIO 482 Independent Study
  • BIO 462 Senior Seminar
  • BIO 350 Principles of Immunology

Senior, Spring

  • Biology elective
Conservation

First Year, Fall

  • BIO 145 Foundations of Biology
  • CHEM 140 General Chemistry I
  • MATH 142 Precalculus

First Year, Spring

  •  BIO 116 Conservation Biology
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry II
  • BIO 262 Animal Systematics or Biology elective

Sophomore, Fall

  • BIO 222 Entomology or BIO 263 Plant Systematics

Sophomore, Spring

  • BIO 262 Animal Systematics or Biology elective
  • BIO 290 Cell Biology

Junior, Fall

  • BIO 392 General Ecology or Biology elective
  • BIO 322 Genetics

Junior, Spring

  • BIO 342 Biostatistics and Research Methods
  • BIO 395 Jr. Research Seminar

Senior, Fall

  • BIO 462 Senior Seminar

Senior, Spring

  • BIO 452 Advanced Biology or BIO 482 Independent Study