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Biology (BIOL)

Chair: Professor Mark McKone

Professors: Mark McKone, Susan R. Singer, John L. Tymoczko, Gary E. Wagenbach, Stephan G. Zweifel

Associate Professors: Fernán Jaramillo, Matthew S. Rand, Debby Rae Walser-Kuntz,

Assistant Professor: Philip Camill III

Visiting Instructors: Anne Elizabeth Carlson, Muir Eaton, Catherine A. Reinke

Adjunct Instructor: Sarah Deel

Senior Lecturer: David J. Hougen-Eitzman


Potential biology majors should select a sequence of courses that will acquaint them with the variety of organisms, and their molecular and cellular structure, physiology, heredity, development, evolution, and ecological interactions. Biologists pursue courses in teaching at the college or high school level, biological research, study in the medical sciences, work in environmental sciences, or work in numerous commercial and industrial areas. This program of study will also serve students interested in biology for purposes of general education.

Requirements for a Major:

Nine courses are required within the department.

      1. Biology 125 and 126 (majors are required to complete both introductory courses, with a grade of "C-" or better before taking any other courses in the department)

      2. One course from each of the following groups including their laboratories where listed separately:

      a. Molecular and Cell Biology (Biology 234/235, 240/241, 278, 280/281, 310/311, 320/321, 340, 380/381, 382/383, 384)

      b. Organismic Biology (Biology 232, 236, 238/239, 250, 270/271, 342/343, 344/345, 359/360, 376/377, 386/387)

      c. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Biology 211, 221/222, 258, 348/349, 350, 352/353, 361/362)

      3. Three electives, which may include a six-credit independent study, a junior/senior seminar, Biology 212, or any of the courses listed above

      4. One course must emphasize data interpretation and analysis of the primary literature. Courses that fulfill this include Biology 340, 344, 348/349, 361/362, 367, 373, 382/383, 384, and all junior/senior seminars (All courses numbered from Biology 365 through 379.)

      5. Integrative Exercise (Biology 400 two terms).

Laboratory work is an integral part of most biology courses. In courses in which registration for the laboratory is separable from the lecture portion of the course, all biology majors are required to register concurrently for laboratory and lecture in order for these courses to count toward requirements for the major. No course taken at another school may be used to meet the requirements for the major without prior approval of the Biology faculty.

Because of the close interrelationship of Biology to other sciences, supporting work in other areas is necessary. The minimum requirement includes 1) Physics 112; or Physics 113 and 115; or Physics 114 and 115; or Physics 126; or Mathematics 215; and 2) Chemistry 123 or 128; and 3) Chemistry 230 or 233. The need for additional courses in allied sciences and mathematics will vary with the professional plans of the student.


The Introductory Sequence:

The introductory Biology sequence consists of two courses, Biology 125 and 126. Generally these are required before any further upper-level course work in Biology. The two courses can be taken in either order. There are several versions of Biology 125 from which to choose, and students are urged to make a thoughtful choice of the proper offering for their background.

In the fall term, a section of Biology 125 is offered "with problem solving." There will be additional class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays for problem solving and review. This offering is appropriate for students who (1) have not taken AP, IB, or Honors Biology, (2) do not feel confident in their high school preparation for college biology, or (3) do not have a strong chemistry background from either high school or college. Students who take Biology 125 in the fall could then go on to take Biology 126 in either the winter or spring terms.

A second fall term section of Biology 125 will be offered only for first-year students who are enrolled in the Triad program (see Cognitive Studies; requires concurrent enrollment in Psychology 110 and Philosophy 110). This Triad offering of Biology 125 is intended for students who meet the criteria for winter term Biology 125 (see below).

The winter term offering of Biology 125 is designed for students who (1) earned a score of 3 or higher in AP Biology, (2) earned a score of 5 or higher in IB Biology, or (3) earned a grade of B or higher in Honors or Advanced Biology in high school. In addition, these students are expected to have mastered basic concepts of chemistry in either a high school or college chemistry course. These same criteria would apply to any students who would like to take Biology 126 before taking Biology 125.


Biology Courses