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Biology

Professors: Lee (chair)

Associate Professors: Bayline, Contreras, DeBerry, March

Assistant Professors: Burns, Kilgore, Shanmuganathan, Weixel

Program Coordinator: McGrain

The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide a challenging and exciting environment where students develop the skills and background necessary to be both well-informed, responsible citizens and highly competitive scholars in their chosen field. Students completing the major learn the most current research skills and methodologies through independent student-based research projects and internships. The department provides a wide variety of learning opportunities outside of the classroom in the form of outreach, student clubs, and field station projects. Biology faculty assume a leading role in programs that provide training in specific fields such as pre-health, neuroscience, biochemistry, education, and environmental studies. The faculty is also dedicated to the further development of departmental programs through grant writing and student recruitment. The department is committed to providing resources and facilities that permit students to use the best possible scientific instruments in an optimal environment.

Available to the Department of Biology for course instruction and student independent study projects is the Abernathy Field Station, located four miles southeast of the campus. The field station is a 54-acre natural area of sugar maple-mixed hardwood forest with a small field, two streams, and an arboretum containing more than 150 different tree species.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: The biology curriculum is designed to permit maximum flexibility for students to work closely with advisors to customize their selection of courses to emphasize areas such as biotechnology, environmental studies, or the neurosciences. The biology major may choose from two programs.

General Biology: BIO 200 ; at least one course from Group 1- BIO 201 , 212 , or 215 ; at least two courses from Group 2- BIO 202205 , 206 , 209 , 235 , 245 , or 288; and at least two courses from Group 3- NSC 300 , BIO 311 , 314 , 317 ,  319 ,  320 ,  412 , 416 , or BCH 333 or BIO 500/501 . There must be a total of seven courses beyond BIO 101 and 102.

Cell/Molecular Biology: (At least one course from BIO 201 , 212 or 202 ), BIO 215 or 314 , 311 , and BCH 333 ; plus two from 201 or 212 , 202 , 235 , 215 or 314 , 317 , 412 or  500 or 501 (but not both), or NSC 300 and one additional course at the 200 level or above. CHM 160 , 170 , 260 , and 270 and PHY 101 and 102 or PHY 107 and 108 .

NOTE: BIO 101 and 102 are required for both programs. BIO 101 and 102 are the only courses numbered below 200 that count toward the major.

CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: All biology majors must complete a capstone experience during either the junior or senior year, and take the Major Field Test in Biology. Any one of the following may be used to satisfy the capstone requirement:

•    Biology Seminar (BIO 301)*
•    An approved biologically-related summer research internship**
•    Approved summer on-campus research in the biological sciences**
•    Experimental Biology (BIO 412)*
•    Specified 300- and 400-level courses with optional capstone projects***: ecology (BIO 320)*; evolution (BIO 416)*; field biology (BIO 319)*;  genomics (BIO 317)*
•    Independent Study (BIO 500 or 501)*
•    An approved biology tutorial (BIO 391 or BIO 392)* during the junior or senior year
•    An approved senior research project in environmental studies (EVS 430)*

All students are required to present their capstone work as a poster, oral presentation, or in some other approved format on campus or at a regional or national meeting.

    * Students must earn a C- or better for a course to count as fulfilling the capstone experience.
    ** Students who do summer research must submit a detailed journal or research notebook documenting their work and they must make a formal presentation of the project on campus (as an oral presentation, poster presentation, or other approved form).
    *** Capstone projects in courses must include the following: library research involving reading of original research publications; a written abstract of the project; and a formal presentation of the project (as an oral presentation, poster presentation, or other approved form).

See the Biology Handbook for additional recommendations in regard to these programs. Pre-professional students should consult the requirements for recommendation by the Committee on Health Professions to assure their completion of entrance requirements.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS: BIO 101  and 102  and four additional courses numbered 200 or above, including a course in botany and one course from each of the three groups indicated under general biology.

NOTE: BIO 100 and 114 are designed for non-majors.

AP Policy: Credit for BIO 100 will be given for 5 on the AP Biology test. Students who earn an A- in BIO 101 and who had a 5 on the AP Biology test may choose not to take BIO 102 but may replace it with another 200-level biology course. Permission of the department chair is required.

TEACHER CERTIFICATION: Students may seek Secondary Education (grades 7-12) Certification in Biology by completing the General Biology major, the required Biology content area requirements, and the Education minor consisting of those courses required for Secondary Education (grades 7-12) Certification. 

The biology content area requirements are: BIO 201, 212, 235, 320, and one from 202 or 206; at least one from each of the following areas: general chemistry, physics, mathematics, and earth and space science (courses that would fulfill this requirement include CHM 160, 170, and 260; PHY 101 or 107; MTH 225 or MTH 245; and any ESS course). Also, the student must serve at least one term as a lab assistant prior to student teaching. 

Students may seek Upper Elementary Education Certification (4--8) in Science in one of two ways: Option 1: Complete the Child Development and Education major and the Biology minor; Option 2: Complete the General Biology major, the required Biology content area requirements, and the Education minor consisting of those courses required for Upper Elementary Education (grades 4-8) Certification. 

Before being formally admitted to either program, students must satisfy-by the end of the sophomore year-the Certification Program Requirements described in the Education (Teacher Certification) section of the catalog.

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