Biology Major Overview
Biology prepares logically oriented, scientifically literate students through mentored research and laboratory experimentation to communicate a range of scientific issues in the workplace or graduate studies.
Considerable emphasis is placed on preparing students for graduate work in various areas of biology. This is facilitated through formal courses, including laboratories and seminars in a broad range of subjects that present biological principles, concepts, and processes. Because biology is an experimental science, the program seeks to provide opportunities for students to participate in course based and mentored research throughout the year.
The program recognizes a particular responsibility to prepare students for careers in medicine, dentistry, and other health professions. It cooperates with other academic programs to provide a strong foundation for these professions. Part of that responsibility also extends to preparing students for careers in biomedical research.
The program also assumes special responsibility for the education of young men who have the potential to do college work, but who had inadequate secondary school preparation. First semester freshmen who are not well prepared for college biology based on their placements in mathematics and/or English reading are strongly advised to start the biology major by taking a research immersion course, HBIO 110 Phage Hunters, in their first semester prior to starting HBIO 111 General Biology. Starting with HBIO 110 does not delay graduation and significantly improves the success of these students.
After graduating, recent biology alumni started careers as:
- Research scientists in the biological, biomedical, environmental, or public health sciences (typically after completing the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in graduate school). Such careers may be in academia, industry, or government sectors.
- Healthcare professionals, after completing professional school (medical or dental school, physician assistant’s program, nursing, or physical therapy program).
- Teachers, after completing a graduate program in education.
- Policy experts or advocates, usually after completing a graduate program in an appropriate scientific discipline.
Major Course of Study Requirements
A student must complete 33 semester hours, which must include HBIO 111-112 and their corequisite laboratory courses, HBIO 251, and HBIO 425. The remaining 21 semester hours may be taken from the following elective courses: HBIO 110, 199, 201, 213, 220, 240, 260, 312, 315, 316, 317, 320, 321-322, 330, 340, 350, 381-382, 391-393, 425, 427, 450, 451, 461, 471, 477, or 497. Also included among these 33 hours are three one semester-hour laboratory courses beyond HBIO 111-112 General Biology. Each of these three laboratory courses must be taken concurrently with their associated lecture course.
In addition to the listings already described, the following cognate courses must also be completed successfully: HCHE 111-112; HCHE 231; HMTH 161 and one additional mathematics course (either HMTH 130 or 162); and one physics course (either HPHY 151 or 154). With prior approval of the academic program director for biology, as many as two biology elective courses may be taken from other departments or at other institutions during the academic year or summer.