Life’s funny, isn’t it? That’s one thing people say. Or amazing. Or chaotic, beautiful, unfair, and too short. But a biologist says that life is discoverable. Medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, environmental service, molecular genetics, virology, botany, ecology, marine biology, microbiology, physiology, zoology—our program is the first step toward all of these fields and more. Whether your interest is micro or macro, we’ll turn you into an expert-level life scientist.
Overview of Courses
In your first two years, you’ll take the six core biology courses. These classes include labs in addition to lectures so that as you learn the fundamental concepts of the biological sciences, you’ll also get some hands-on field experiences.
The Biology Department offers six tracks, which are: Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Cell & Molecular Biology, Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Ecology and Evolution, Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Marine Biology, Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Pre-Health, and Biological Sciences with Teacher’s Certification. Click here to view the Major Sheets and DPCL Forms.
Here’s a sample of what you can expect to learn and do:
- Developmental Biology
The study of animal development from fertilization through organogenesis. Major developmental events, embryo anatomy, the origin of major cell types, cell-cell interactions as well as the molecular mechanisms guiding development are explored.
- Molecular Genetics
This course investigates the structure and function of nucleic acids, mechanisms of DNA replication, RNA transcription, protein translation, and the tools of modern research. The laboratory focuses on four major experiments spanning multiple lab sessions exploring practical aspects of genetic engineering, DNA barcoding, and GMO detection.
- Biology of Fishes
This course emphasizes functional morphology, sensory biology, physiology, reproduction, behavior, ecology, and conservation of fish. You will learn a good deal about the taxonomy and natural history of common southeastern freshwater and marine fishes through fieldtrips and laboratory study of collected specimens. You will boldly go where most terrestrial biologists avoid!
All majors are expected to complete the biology core courses during their first two years. These courses present the fundamental concepts of the biological sciences through lectures, discussions, field experiences, and investigative laboratories. Upon completing the biology core courses, students are prepared to enroll in biology elective courses.
- BIOL A101 BioInquiry
- BIOL A106 Cells & Heredity – Lec
- BIOL A107 Cells & Heredity – Lab
- BIOL A108 Biology of Organisms – Lec
- BIOL A109 Biology of Organisms – Lab
- BIOL A208 Ecology & Evolution – Lecture
- Plus 22 credits of biology electives
- CHEM A106/A108 General Chemistry II + Lab
- CHEM A300 Organic Chemistry I – Lec
- CHEM A305 Organic Chemistry I – Lab
- CHEM A301 Organic Chemistry II – Lec
- MATH A258 or MATH A260
- PHYS A115 Physics for Life Sciences
- PHYS A112 Physics Lab I
- PHYS A116 Physics for Life Sciences II
- PHYS A113 Physics Lab II
- Plus 16 credits of general electives
Biology Elective Courses
The remainder of the courses required for the major are biology electives (a minimum of 22 hours) which the students select according to their interests. Students are encouraged to conduct original research under the supervision of a faculty member for which they may receive elective course credit (6 credit hours).
Biology Course Information
Find out more about the Biology major:
Students seeking teacher preparation in Biology follow a plan very similar to the B.S. in Biological Sciences that includes the focus-area courses for teacher education. See the degree plan here, and the list of teacher-education course descriptions here.