Purpose of Biology Program
The biology program provides diverse training for careers in the biological sciences. The biology curriculum includes content courses required for (1) teacher certification in life science, (2) acceptance to post-graduate studies and (3) pre-professional studies in preparation for admission to professional schools.
Students will acquire content and skills to enter a variety of biology-related careers such as research, marine biology, wildlife and coastal management, environmental protection, laboratory technician, biotechnology industry, medical or environmental microbiology, technical writing, pharmaceutical sales, careers in the medical, dental, and allied health fields, and science education.
Field and laboratory courses emphasize the development of practical skills in using special materials and equipment. Focus is on enhancement of critical thinking skills, which will prepare the student for careers in the biological sciences as well as in other general areas of employment.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will possess a broad understanding of biology.
- Students will understand the scientific method and use it to develop and conduct biological experiments.
- Students will have the skills necessary to successfully communicate biological information to a range of audiences.
The Honors Program
The Honors Program (admission by application only) offers highly motivated students from any academic discipline an enriched program of study in which to develop global perspectives. Appropriate courses approved by both a student’s Biology faculty mentor and Honors advisor may count toward the Biology degree. Thus, a Biology student in the Honors track can usually graduate with no additional course work. For more information, consult the section entitled “Honors Program” near the front of this catalog.
Requirements of the Undergraduate Biology Major
The requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree are a minimum of 120 semester credit hours: 45 are from designated University Core Curriculum Program courses, 31-33 are from biology core courses and 42-44 are from biology career track courses. Students select one of eight biology career track areas: (A) Ecology, (B) Marine Biology, (C) Cell/Molecular Biology, (D) Microbiology, (E) Animal Biology, (F) Plant Biology, (G) Integrative Biology, and (H) General Biology. The student should select a biology career track after completion of a minimum of 35 semester hours of university course work and no later than the completion of 50 semester hours. Students are strongly encouraged to take mathematics through Calculus I.
- First-Year Seminars (when applicable)
- Core Curriculum Program**
- Biology Core Courses
- Biology Career Track Courses
||Total 120 (122)
I. First Year Seminars
First-Year Seminars or Electives
Full-time, first-year students are required to take the following courses:
II. Core Curriculum Program
**Three of these four-hour science and mathematics courses are required for all Biology students: BIOL 1406 , BIOL 1407 , and either MATH 1442 or MATH 2413 ). Only the 3 lecture hours of each will apply to the University Core Curriculum. Each one-hour laboratory component will be counted as a Biology Core or Biology Career Track requirement as appropriate.
III. Biology Core Courses
A student who takes MATH 3342 to fulfill the Biology Core requirement, must first take MATH 2413 ; in this case, the 3 lecture hours of MATH 2413 will count as the University Core Mathematics requirement.
IV. Biology Tracks
Each of the tracks is designed to provide the student with specific background in a certain area of biology. The general biology and integrative biology tracks provide a broad background in the biological sciences.
Any of the tracks will prepare a student for careers in basic academic, governmental, or private sector research or consulting. Although some careers require only the BS degree, most require additional graduate training. Students should consult their faculty mentors to determine which track is most suitable for their career choice.
Each track consists of a core of required courses, with remaining 42-44 hours selected from a list of electives, to total 120 hours in the total degree (excluding First-Year Seminar). Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their faculty mentor when choosing the electives.
A. Ecology Track
This track focuses on the interaction of organisms with each other and with the physical environment. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in agriculture, environmental protection and conservation, natural resource management, habitat restoration, field ecology, outdoor recreation, or public education.
I. Ecology Core Courses (24 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Ecology Electives (Choose 20 Sem. Hrs.):
B. Marine Biology Track
This track focuses on organisms in marine and coastal systems. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in fisheries and aquaculture, coastal/marine management and conservation, outdoor recreation, aquatic science, marine zoology, or marine animal care.
I. Marine Biology Core Courses (28 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Marine Biology Electives (Choose 16 Sem. Hrs.):
C. Cell/Molecular Biology Track
This track focuses on the chemical, cellular, and tissue levels of biological organization. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in biotechnology, bioinformatics, hospital and research laboratory positions, industrial quality control, health care professions, and health related sales.
I. Cell/Molecular Biology Core Courses (22 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Cell/Molecular Biology Electives (Choose 22 Sem. Hrs.):
D. Microbiology Track
This track focuses on bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Many of these organisms are important to industry, agriculture and health care. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in industrial, environmental, medical, public health, and agricultural laboratories, industrial quality control, health care professions, research, biotechnology, and microbiology-related sales.
I. Microbiology Core Courses (23 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Microbiology Electives (Choose 21 Sem. Hrs.):
E. Animal Biology Track
This track focuses on the natural history, ecology, structure and function of animals. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in wildlife management, conservation and protection, animal care, zoology, animal systematics, curation, agriculture, and outdoor recreation.
I. Animal Biology Core Courses (19 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Animal Biology Electives (Choose 25 Sem. Hrs.):
F. Plant Biology Track
This track focuses on the natural history, ecology, structure and function of plants. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in horticulture, plant health, plant resources, plant systematics, biotechnology, curation, forestry, agriculture, habitat restoration, and education.
I. Plant Biology Core Courses (19 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Plant Biology Electives (Choose 25 Sem. Hrs.):
G. Integrative Biology Track
This track emphasizes the integration of physical factors, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems in producing functional organisms. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in health care, government or academic research, agriculture, or biology sales.
I. Integrative Biology Core Courses (15 Sem. Hrs.):
II. Integrative Biology Electives (Choose 29 Sem. Hrs.):
H. General Biology Track
This track is designed to provide students with broad-based knowledge in all major areas of biology. Students choosing this track will be preparing for careers in teaching, scientific writing, technical advising, science law, public education, or biology sales.
I. General Biology Core Courses (31 Sem. Hrs.):
II. General Biology Electives (Choose 13 Sem. Hrs.):
Any upper-division biology (BIOL) courses for which the appropriate prerequisites have been taken.