The Department of Biological Sciences offers a range of introductory and advanced courses in the areas of zoology, botany, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, and ecology. The B.S. degree program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for employment, or future study that can lead to employment, in the biological sciences, within the context of a broad liberal arts education. In addition, our curriculum prepares students for employment, or future study that can lead to employment, in the health sciences (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, etc), environmental fields, teaching, and many areas of research (academic, industrial, governmental, medical, etc.) The biology faculty aim to facilitate a well-rounded educational experience for each student by providing challenging in-class instruction, hands-on laboratory and field experiences, and opportunities to engage in independent study.


(B.S. degree) A minimum of 49 hours is required. A minimum of 38 hours in Biology including BIO 111, 212, 213, 314, 335, 451, 452, and one field course selected from the following: BIO 300, 316, 320, 413, or 470 (Tropical Biology); the remaining 11 hours of electives to be selected from other 300-400 level courses in Biology (excluding BIO 306). A maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study, BIO 440, can be used to satisfy the elective hours. In addition, the required allied hours are MAT 111 and CHE 111, 112, and 113. MAT 121, and CHE 201, 202, 309 and 310 are recommended. Teaching majors in Biology must also include BIO 305 and 311, and therefore only have 3 additional elective hours of 300 or 400 level courses. The four courses in the biology core (BIO 111, 212, 213, 314) are preferably taken in the freshman and sophomore years; all should be completed by the end of the junior year.


A minimum of eighteen hours including BIO 111. Note that BIO 212, 213, or 314 are prerequisites for most upper level electives. BIO 100 does not apply to a major or minor in Biology.


100. Science of Life. (3 hours) A general course designed for students other than biology or environmental science majors or minors. Laboratory. Fall and Spring

111. Biological Principles. (4 hours) An introduction to the major themes of biology: organismal diversity, evolution and ecology, and the cellular, genetic, and metabolic basis of life. Laboratory. Fall

212. Cellular and Molecular Biology. (4 hours) An introduction to cell biology, metabolism, genetics, gene expression, and diversity of unicellular organisms. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 111. Spring

213. Organismal Diversity. (4 hours) An introduction to the biology of multicellular organisms. Lecture topics include reproduction and early development, control of gene expression in development, homeostatic systems of plants and animals, signaling and coordination in plants and animals, and the history of multicellular life. Lab will emphasize the diversity and evolution of multicellular organisms. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 111. Fall

260. Preceptorship in Health Sciences or Veterinary Science. (1 hour) On site

supervised experience in the medical, dental, or veterinary sciences. Prerequisite: Junior classification, GPA 3.2, and permission of instructor. BIO 305 recommended. (Pass/Fail only). Fall and Spring

300. Marine Biology. (3 hours) An introduction to marine science with an emphasis on the taxonomy and ecology of marine life and marine ecosystems. Required off campus field trip. Prerequisite: BIO 212. Even Springs

305. Human Physiology I. (4 hours) The function of the human body with emphasis on cellular and tissue-level structure and function. Topics include cellular physiology and the physiology of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 212; CHE 111 and 112 are recommended. Fall

306. Human Physiology II. (4 hours) A continuation of Biology 305. The physiology of the brain and sensory organs, and of the endocrine, digestive, immune, and urogenital systems, with emphasis on cell and tissue structures and function. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 305. Spring

311. General Microbiology. (4 hours) Introduction to the diversity, cell biology, physiology, genetics, ecology, and medical impact of microorganisms and viruses. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212. Fall and Spring

312. Immunology and Pathogenesis. (4 hours) A study of the bacteria pathogenic to humans and the mechanisms of infection and immunity. Methods of isolation, growth, and identification of the pathogens and serology are emphasized. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 311. Even Falls

314. Evolution and Ecology. (4 hours) Study of populations, communities, and ecosystems, and the evolutionary forces that shape them. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 111; MAT 111 recommended. Spring

316. Plant Taxonomy and Spring Flora. (4 hours) Principles of classification, identification, and nomenclature of vascular plants. Field-oriented laboratory emphasizes collection and identification techniques, as well as on-sight recognition of local flora in winter and spring conditions. Prerequisite: BIO 213. Odd Springs

320. Vertebrate Ecology. (4 hours) An investigation of vertebrate animals emphasizing their ecology, biogeography, and conservation. Special emphasis is placed on life history strategies. Field-oriented laboratory activities include the collection and identification of animals, as well as the gathering and analysis of baseline population data. Prerequisite: BIO 213. Odd Falls

325. Vertebrate Anatomy and Embryology. (4 hours) A course on the organization, development, and function of the vertebrate body, with emphasis on understanding why vertebrates, including humans, are built as they are. Laboratory includes detailed dissection of sharks and cats and microscopic study of frog and chick embryos. This course provides a strong foundation for the study of medical or veterinary gross anatomy, but it is not intended solely for pre-medical and pre-veterinary students. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 213 or BIO 305. Spring

330. Principles of Environmental Science. (3 hours) (See ENV 330) Even Springs

335. Genetics and Molecular Biology. (4 hours) Introduction to both classical and molecular genetics using microbial, plant, and animal systems. Modern recombinant DNA techniques and their applications are also discussed. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212. Fall

337. Cell Biology. (4 hours) Relationships of intricate cell structures to specialized cell function, including mechanisms associated with growth, differentiation, biochemical activity, physiological behavior. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 335. Spring

413. Freshwater Biology. (4 hours) Freshwater systems and the nature and interactions of their physical and biotic components. Includes taxonomic identification, emphasizing the algae, invertebrates and vertebrates. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 213. Even Falls

421. Developmental Biology. (3 hours) The genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying the development of multicellular organisms. Topics include control of gene expression, pattern formation, and selected topics in animal and plant development. Emphasis on reading and discussion of current research literature. Prerequisites: BIO 213; BIO 335 recommended. Odd Falls

440. Independent Study. (1-3 hours) An independent research project supervised by a member of the department. Prerequisites: BIO 213, and consent of supervising professor. Fall and Spring

451. Seminar I. (2 hours) Emphasizes scientific writing, research presentation techniques, and applying for jobs and post-graduate school. Information on careers in biology, as well as graduate and professional school provided by guest lecturers and field trips. Prerequisites: BIO 213 and Junior classification. Spring

452. Seminar II. (2 hours) A topical “capstone” course which draws upon the skills, knowledge, and experiences students have gained throughout their years of college study, particularly in biology. Emphasizes library research, scientific writing, oral presentations, discussion, and critical thinking. Prerequisites: BIO 451 and Senior classification. Fall

470. Topics in Biology. (1-4 hours) Significant topics in biology. Course content varies. Not offered on a regular basis; students should consult the current class schedule. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


113. General Geology. (4 hours) Physical structure of the earth; processes acting on the earth’s features; common minerals and rocks. Chronological study of different ages of earth’s history. Laboratory. Fall and Spring