Faculty: Brian Avery, Bonnie K. Baxter, Christy Clay, David Kimberly, David Parrott, Foad Yousef

Biology Courses

Program Goals

  • To develop an understanding of the scientific process and critical thinking and problem
    solving skills.
  • To enhance communication and information literacy skills.
  • To promote leadership, collaboration and teamwork.
  • To encourage reflective capacities.
  • To teach content knowledge of the various biology subdisciplines.


The Biology program offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a breadth of coursework and a focus on laboratory learning ranging from molecular to organismal topics. Undergraduate research is prominent in our program and is offered to students to learn first-hand the process of science. Presentation of research results at national meetings is encouraged. Students receive degree credit for research and internships. Recent biology graduates have been accepted to professional and graduate schools (at a rate of 50–100% each year), worked as laboratory researchers, educators, and biotechnologists.

1. Students will understand scientific methods and use them to address a biological question

  • Use observations to explain scientific phenomena
  • Design and carry out experiments
  • Construct and employ theoretical models
  • Learn to effectively gather, interpret, and communicate

2. Students will critically and analytically evaluate biological data to formulate valid conclusions

  • Assess the quality of data
  • Organize and summarize data
  • Evaluate the data in light of hypothesis or question

3. Students will effectively communicate biological concepts and data in both written and verbal format

  • Construct effective tables, graphs, and figures
  • Deliver an effective oral presentation
  • Write an effective scientific paper

4. Students will demonstrate proficiency in general scientific skills and skills specific to an area of specialization within biology

  • Collaboration
  • Leadership

5. Students will develop an understanding of the major concepts in the biological sciences. They will be able to explain major concepts in:

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Genetics
  • Classification of organisms and recognition of how form fits its function
  • Ecology

6. Students will be able to see relationships between science and society.

  • Identify the relevance and application of science in everyday life
  • Evaluate the social and ethical implications of science

Program Requirements

The program is designed to allow lateral shifting to other science majors if the student so desires. Students must maintain a minimum 2.3 GPA in biology courses required for the biology major. No more than half of the biology courses required for a major or minor are accepted by transfer. Please note that 300- and 400-level courses are designed for juniors and seniors.

Students choosing a double major or minor within the science program may not apply electives to more than one major or minor. Only classes listed under “required” courses that coincide with both majors/minors may be applied to both.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Biology major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Biology Major

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Biology majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world
II. Lower Division Core Courses 16
BIOL 202 Organisms and Evolution (4)
BIOL 203 Introduction to Ecology (4) pre or corequisite: DATA 220
BIOL 204 Principles of Genetics (4) CHEM 112
BIOL 205 Introduction to Cell Biology (4) CHEM 112
III. Upper Division Courses 2
BIOL 420 Senior Seminar (2) OR WCSAM 400 Science Capstone (2)
IV. Electives 20
Take 20 hours of BIOL upper division electives or other science upper division electives (from CHEM, DATA, ENVI, GEOL, NEURO, PHYS, or PUBH) with advisor approval. A limit of 2 hours for BIOL 387 and a limit of 4 hours each of BIOL 300, BIOL 430, and BIOL 440 is permitted for this elective category.
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 32
CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I and Lab (4) co-requisites: CHEM 111R recommended/MATH 144 required
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II and Lab (4) CHEM 111
CHEM 303 Organic Chemistry I and Lab (4) CHEM 112
CHEM 304 Organic Chemistry II and Lab (4) CHEM 303
DATA 220  Introduction to Statistics (4)
Take one of the following courses:
  • DATA 350 Statistical Modeling (4)
  • MATH 201 Calculus I (4)
DATA 220
MATH 144 or or placement test
Students must take one first-level (I) and one second-level (II) Physics course:
  • PHYS 151 Principles of Physics I and Lab (4) or
    PHYS 211 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and Lab (4)
MATH 144
MATH 144
Co-requisites: MATH 201
  • PHYS 152 Principles of Physics II and Lab (4) or
    PHYS 212 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II and Lab (4)
PHYS 151 or PHYS 211
PHYS 211
Co-requisites: MATH 202

Recommended Plan of Study for Biology

Fall Semester and Spring Semester
Freshman Year BIOL 202
BIOL 203
CHEM 111/112
DATA 220
(and prerequisites if necessary)
WCore Courses
Sophomore Year

BIOL 204
BIOL 205
DATA 250 Statistical Modeling or MATH 201 Calculus I
(if not taken in the previous year)
*CHEM 303/304
BIOL Biology elective
WCore Courses

Junior Year

BIOL Biology Electives (8–12)
*PHYS 151/152 or PHYS 211/212
WCore Courses

Senior Year

BIOL 420 or WCSAM 400
BIOL electives

*Alternatively, a student could take the PHYS 151/152 (or 211/212) sequence his or her sophomore year and the CHEM 303/304 sequence his or her junior year.

Biology Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 16
BIOL 202 Organisms and Evolution (4)
BIOL 203 Introduction to Ecology (4) pre or co-requisite: DATA 220
BIOL 204 Principles of Genetics (4) CHEM 112
BIOL 205 Introduction to Cell Biology (4) CHEM 112
II. Electives 8
BIOL coursework numbered at the 200-, 300- or 400-level
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