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 four core biology courses. Two of these classes are linked with labs so that as you learn the fundamental concepts of the biological sciences, you’ll also get some hands-on field experiences. Click here to view the Major Sheet and DPCL Forms.
Here’s a sample of what you can expect to learn and do.
- Plant Ecology
This course emphasizes understanding the functional ecology of plants and vegetation in terrestrial ecosystems. In the lab, students will engage in handson lab and field experiences in an effort to develop quantitative, experimental approach to studying the ecology of land plants and their ecosystems such as microclimate characterization, leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, plant competition, pollination ecology and others.
- Conservation Biology
The study of the conservation of biodiversity based in the principles of ecology, evolution, and genetics. The primary goal of this course is to understand natural ecological systems in the context of a human dominated world to learn to best maintain biological diversity in concert with an exploding human population. This is accomplished through lecture, group discussion, and videos.
- Tropical Ecology
This course examines biology, ecology, and conservation of flora and fauna of tropical ecosystems. The co-requisite laboratory for this course involves a fieldtrip abroad to a country such as Belize, Ecuador, Honduras, or Panama to experience first-hand the unique natural history and unparalleled biodiversity of tropical ecosystems. Tropical Ecology incorporates an intense study abroad component and service learning.
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: