Biology Major

College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) – Department of Biology

 

General Education Requirements

All students must satisfy a general education requirement consisting of ten (10) courses outside of the major department. The General Education Domain II-B (Natural Sciences) and laboratory requirement are satisfied through the completion of the Biology major.

Course Prerequisites

Courses may have specified conditions for enrollment, such as prior completion of less advanced courses, permission of the instructor, or appropriate placement test scores. Students should refer to course descriptions in the department listings for prerequisite requirements.

 

 

Requirements for the Major in Biology

Biology majors must complete core requirements as well as additional requirements for the particular concentration chosen (see below).

The following thirteen (13) Biology core course requirements (12 course-credits) are required of Biology majors in all concentrations:

Biology Major Core Courses:

  • BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 161 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 208 Genetics
  • BIOL 260 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 308 Reading and Analysis of Biological Literature (0.5 course-credit)
  • BIOL 318 Writing for the Biological Sciences (0.5 course-credit)
  • BIOL 402 Processes of Organic Evolution
  • CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry
  • CHEM 108 Principles of Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 207 Organic Chemistry I
  • MATH 200 Precalculus*
  • MATH 208 Biostatistics or ENVS 202 Data Analysis for Scientists

Required Capstone Course:

  • BIOL 460 Research Experience in Biology**

*Students proficient at the precalculus level should enroll in MATH 219 Calculus I to satisfy the Gen. Ed. Domain Common Core Math requirement.

**An original research project is required of all Biology majors. Students may enroll in this course only after completing both BIOL 308 Reading and Analysis of Biological Literature and BIOL 318 Writing for the Biological Sciences. Prior to enrollment in BIOL 460 Research Experience in Biology, the student should meet with her/his advisor and with other Biology faculty to tailor the research project to the student’s interests and career goals.

Additional courses are required of Biology majors in all concentrations. Biology electives are listed below in groups labeled “A-E”. The number and distribution of electives required for completion of a Biology major varies according to the concentration selected by the student.

Group A: Cellular and Molecular Biology Electives

  • BIOL 262 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 307 Microbiology
  • BIOL 340 Immunology
  • BIOL 371 Medical Microbiology
  • BIOL 409 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 453 Seminar in Recombinant DNA Technology

Group B: Organismal Diversity Electives

  • BIOL 203 Plants and Society*
  • BIOL 211 Biology of the Reptilia
  • BIOL 232 Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 240 Botanical Diversity
  • BIOL 251 Vascular Plant Taxonomy
  • BIOL 305 Cetacean Biology and Conservation
  • BIOL 320 Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 336 Ornithology
  • BIOL 350 Vascular Plant Anatomy and Morphogenesis

* These courses may not be used as a required plant course.

Group C: Physiology Electives

  • BIOL 224 Animal Physiological Ecology*
  • BIOL 235 Principles of Human Physiology*
  • BIOL 241 Human Anatomy and Physiology I*
  • BIOL 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 255 Plant Physiology
  • BIOL 325 Neurobiology
  • NEUR 225 Biopsychology
  • NEUR 380 Neuropharmacology

* Only one of these courses may be taken in order to receive biology credit.

Group D: Ecology and Environmental Biology Electives

  • BIOL 233 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
  • BIOL 316 Wetlands: Hydrology, Ecology, Restoration
  • BIOL 335 Principles of Wildlife Biology
  • BIOL 341 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 248 Principles of Ecology
  • BIOL 291 Principles of Tropical Ecology and Conservation: Field Study
  • BIOL 413 Quantitative Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 457 Quantitative Plant Ecology

Group E: Advanced Biology Electives

  • BIOL 490 Independent Study in Biology
  • BIOL 495 Internship in Biology

 

For students who plan to pursue an advanced degree in Biology, the following courses are strongly recommended:

(Note: MATH 219 Calculus I is a prerequisite for Principles of Physics I.)

 

CONCENTRATIONS

Concentration in General Biology (UBIG):

Biology majors may elect to take a broad spectrum of courses covering the major areas of biology: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, physiology, and ecology and evolutionary biology, possibly combined with a minor according to the student’s interests. This curriculum prepares students for the advanced Graduate Record Examination in Biology, a prerequisite for admission to many graduate programs in biology. In addition to entering graduate school, students graduating with a bachelor’s of science in biology are employed as laboratory technologists in academic and industrial settings, sales representatives for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, scientific illustrators, and technical writers.

Students must take an additional six (6) biology electives (one of these courses must focus on plants and one on animals):

One (1) course from Group A

One (1) course from Group B

One (1) from the following Group C courses:

  • BIOL 224 Animal Physiological Ecology*
  • BIOL 235 Principles of Human Physiology*
  • BIOL 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology II*
  • BIOL 255 Plant Physiology

*Only one of these courses may be taken in order to receive Biology credit.

One (1) from the following Group D courses:

  • BIOL 248 Principles of Ecology
  • BIOL 457 Quantitative Plant Ecology

Two (2) additional courses from Group A-E

 

For students who plan to attend graduate school, it is recommended that they take:

(Note: MATH 219 Calculus I is a prerequisite for Principles of Physics I.)

 

Concentration in Wildlife and Environmental Biology (UBIW):

Requirements for the concentration in wildlife and environmental biology include courses in wildlife biology or environmental science, both animal and plant systems, ecology, and policy/communication. Upon graduation, students will have completed the majority of curriculum requirements for certification as a Wildlife Biologist by the Wildlife Society. Graduates of this program are prepared for graduate studies or careers as wildlife biologists, wildlife managers, conservation biologists, environmental consultants, park rangers, and zookeepers.

Students must take seven (7) additional courses:

  • BIOL 224 Animal Physiological Ecology
  • BIOL 251 Vascular Plant Taxonomy
  • BIOL 335 Principles of Wildlife Biology
  • BIOL 248 Principles of Ecology

Must choose one course from each of the following biology elective groups:

  • One (1) course from Group A
  • One (1) course from Group B
  • One (1) course from Group D

Other courses that are not required but would be useful for students in this concentration include the following:

  • CHEM 301 Biochemistry I
  • EASC 246 Oceanography
  • INTD 301 Water Resources Planning and Management
  • INTD 302 Coastal Issues: Science and Policy
  • GEOG 216 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • GEOG 235 Environmental Law and Policy
  • GEOG 240 Municipal Land Use
  • GEOG 375 Resource Management
  • PHYS 201 Introductory Physics*
  • POSC 329 Public Policy Analysis

Note: Students interested in certification by The Wildlife Society should meet with the program advisor when choosing electives.

 

Concentration in Biotechnology (UBIO):

Students may elect a curriculum that emphasizes cellular and molecular biology. Courses covering microbiology, immunology, genetics, Recombinant DNA technology, and cell culture are appropriate for those interested in research positions in the biotechnology industry, medical centers, and government agencies. Graduates of the program are also prepared for careers in diverse areas of the pharmaceutical industry such as product development, sales and marketing, quality control, and technical training.

Students must take an additional six (6) biology electives (One of these six courses must focus on plants and one on animals):

Three (3) courses from Group A

One (1) course from Group B

Two (2) courses from Group C - which must include one of the following:

  • BIOL 224 Animal Physiological Ecology*
  • BIOL 235 Principles of Human Physiology*
  • BIOL 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology II*
  • BIOL 255 Plant Physiology

*Only one of these courses may be taken in order to receive Biology credit.

All students in this concentration are advised to take:
  • CHEM 208 Organic Chemistry II
Those students with a career goal in plant-oriented biotechnology are advised to take:
  • BIOL 255 Plant Physiology
For students who plan to attend graduate school, it is recommended that they take:

(Note: MATH 219 Calculus I is a prerequisite for Principles of Physics I.)

 

Concentration in Biology Secondary Education Teaching Program (UBIT):

Students who plan to teach at the middle school or high school level will fulfill the Commonwealth’s requirements for secondary education certification in biology by completing a program similar to the general biology concentration. Students must also declare and complete the requirements for a Secondary Education Minor (see Education Department section of the catalog).

Students must take the following additional courses:

  • BIOL 235 Principles of Human Biology or
    • BIOL 241 Human Anatomy & Physiology I and
    • BIOL 242 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIOL 248 Principles of Ecology
  • PHSC 109 Introduction to Physical Science (for EEB Minor) or 
    • PHYS 201 Introductory Physics (for SEB Minor)

One (1) of the following courses relating to plants:

  • BIOL 203 Plants and Society
  • BIOL 251 Vascular Plant Taxonomy
  • BIOL 240 Botanical Diversity
  • BIOL 255 Plant Physiology
  • Recommended Course:
  • BIOL 307 Microbiology
  • GEOL 231 Physical Geology

Eight (8) Education courses are also required for a Secondary Education Minor (see Education section of the University catalog).

Note: Before registering for EDUC 300 Professional Preparation II: Special Needs and Educational Technology and EDUC 315 Professional Preparation and Field Study II - High School or EDUC 316 Professional Preparation and Field Study II - Middle School, students must have completed ten (10) of the eleven (11) Biology core requirements (all courses, except for BIOL 460 Research Experience in Biology) and five (5) of the six (6) Biology Secondary Teaching Program requirements; those remaining courses may be taken concurrently. Before enrolling in EDUC 410/411 Student Teaching Seminar and Practicum I/II - High School or EDUC 414/415 Student Teaching Practicum and Seminar I/II - Middle School, students must have completed all courses in the major and EDUC 300 Professional Preparation II: Special Needs and Educational Technology, EDUC 315 or EDUC 316.

 

Concentration in Pre-Health Program (UBIP):

This concentration is designed for Biology majors who plan to attend medical school, dental school, veterinary school, or pursue a career in either human or animal health. Though specific programs may have additional or slightly varying requirements, these basic courses are required by the majority of professional schools. Students are strongly advised to meet the pre-professional advisor early in their coursework.

Students must take eight (8) courses, depending upon their interest in either veterinary or human studies respectively:

Either:
 (recommended for veterinary studies)

Or:
(recommended for human studies)

One (1) course from Group A

The following five (5) courses are also required:

  • CHEM 208 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 301 Biochemistry I
  • MATH 219 Calculus I
  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I
  • PHYS 212 Principles of Physics II