W. Lindsay Whitlow, PhD, Chair
Biology is the study of life at all levels, from the molecular to the global. A vital part of liberal education, knowledge of biology provides insights into the nature of the human body, social structure and behavior, as well as the ecological interrelationships, genetics and evolution, physiological functions, cellular and molecular processes of all living things.
Emphasizing laboratory and field work, the bachelor of science (BS) major in biology is designed to prepare students for careers in the life sciences, for graduate work in basic and applied research, and for professional careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and teaching. Working within the general requirements of the biology major, it is possible to structure your coursework to create programs with an emphasis in ecology, physiology, zoology, or microbiology.
In addition to the BS major in biology, two additional majors are offered for students who prefer to specialize in one area of biology. The bachelor of science (BS) major in cell and molecular biology provides students with opportunities to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which cells function. Coursework includes instruction in genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology, genomics, and cell biology. The curriculum includes intensive laboratory work and independent research projects that give students invaluable research experiences that benefit a variety of career options. This coursework may be structured to create appropriate background for students with future interests in biotechnology careers, graduate work, and health professions.
The bachelor of science (BS) major in marine and conservation biology allows students to develop an appreciation for the marine environments and ecology and conservation efforts. The curriculum includes several course options in biodiversity, organismal biology, physiology, and ecosystems and encourages participation in related research projects. A valuable part of the curriculum is the education abroad component, in which students will take coursework, encounter different habitats, and gain research experience at sites across the globe.
The bachelor of arts (BA) major in biology is designed for those students who would like to incorporate a biology degree into a broader liberal arts education or for those students who plan to integrate a background in biology into a related career path. The program will offer the students exposure to the breadth of the field of biology and still allow them the opportunity to combine their science training with expanded course work in other disciplines. Possible multi-disciplinary combinations could prepare students for careers in science writing or illustration, genetic counseling, environmental policy, or business in the biotechnology industry.
Students specifically interested in premedical, pre-dental, or pre-veterinary medicine should also consult the pre-professional health studies section of the Catalog.