The undergraduate program in biology provides an outstanding modern science education with required courses in biology (34 hours), chemistry (16 hours), physics (8 hours), calculus (4 hours), and an additional mathematics or statistics course. In addition to these science experiences, the program stresses a liberal arts education in which non-science courses make up approximately half of the curriculum. Thus, biology graduates are prepared to compete in the best graduate and professional programs in the country and abroad. This course of study provides excellent support for students pursuing health professional careers, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry, podiatry, nursing, and related areas. The breadth of educational experiences offered by the program provides the foundation for diverse career opportunities in the life sciences—from health and human services to the environment, to basic and applied research in in molecular genetics, virology, cancer biology, developmental biology, botany, ecology and evolutionary biology, marine biology, microbiology, physiology, and zoology.
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Bachelor of Science in Biology Curriculum
To earn a B.S. degree in biological sciences, students must complete a curriculum of required biology courses (34 hours) which includes four core lecture courses and two lab courses, biology electives (minimum of 22 hours), plus adjunct and Loyola Core classes, and they must complete a departmental comprehensive and exit interview. View the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Biology »
The department views field and laboratory experiences as being critical for a modern science education. Therefore, at least five of the core and elective biology courses that students complete must include laboratory experiences. For example, students completing the core courses with Cells and Heredity Lab (BIOL A107) and Biology of Organisms Lab (BIOL A109) will have taken two laboratory courses toward this requirement. They then will need to ensure that at least three of the elective courses they select include laboratories.
Research experiences are invaluable to the education of a biologist. Students may elect to conduct original research under faculty guidance in an independent study format in three courses. Research Proposal (BIOL A400), Independent Research (BIOL A401), and Research Thesis (BIOL A402). Students present their findings in a departmental seminar and write their results in a thesis format at the completion of their project.
All candidates for graduation must successfully complete comprehensive exit examinations during their Junior year.
Departmental Honors Program
Students who complete original research projects (see Undergraduate Research, above) and maintain 3.0 in both their Loyola cumulative and in their biology major course work are awarded departmental honors in biology.
Biological Sciences is one of the majors identified by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Page 4 of Bulletin 746) for which students can seek secondary grades certification (grades 6-12). Students preparing for certification in this area complete the major courses plus the focus-area courses for teacher education. See the degree plan here, and the list of teacher-education course descriptions here.