Biological Sciences

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biological Sciences educates students broadly in biology.Students explore the structure, function, behavior, and evolution of cells, organisms, populations, and ecosystems. The B.S. in Biological Sciences differs from the B.S. in Zoology because that program places more emphasis on animals.

Students studying for a degree in Biological Sciences can opt for a general curriculum (BLS) or can choose to focus in a particular area by selecting one of four areas of concentration listed below. All of these curricula lead to a variety of overlapping post-graduation school and career options; we encourage you to look at the differences in course requirements and select a curriculum that best matches your academic interests.

Students in all of these curricula take the same core courses in introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus and must meet the same General Education Requirements.  The curricula differ in more advanced course requirements and electives.

Concentrations

General

Curriculum

Biological Sciences majors receive comprehensive training in biology, spanning plant and animal life. Students explore the structure, function, behavior, and evolution of cells, organisms, populations, and ecosystems. Required courses are designed to develop breadth and depth in core areas, providing a strong base for all Biological Sciences majors.

Biological Sciences graduates are well prepared for employment in various government agencies and private industries. The curriculum also prepares students for post-graduate studies. Graduates may continue their education with studies leading to advanced degrees in many areas of the life sciences, including cell biology, neurobiology, marine biology, physiology, and ecology. Many also choose to pursue degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other health-related areas.

Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology

Curriculum

The concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EEC) offers students in-depth studies in areas of biology of plants, animals, and other organisms and their populations and ecosystems. It is designed for students who have an interest in the diversity of life, including its origins, environmental changes causing its loss, and how to conserve it. More than other concentrations in Biological Sciences, study and practice in EEC involves plants and animals in natural environments and work in the field.

EEC graduates are well prepared for employment in positions regarding environmental research, management, stewardship, and education. These include positions at government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and private industries. The EEC curriculum also prepares students for post-graduate studies. Graduates may continue their education with studies leading to advanced degrees in many areas of the life and environmental sciences, including ecology, fisheries and wildlife, biomathematics, and conservation biology.

Human Biology

Curriculum

The HB curriculum provides training in areas of science important to health-related professions as well as relevant aspects of the humanities and social sciences. It is designed to provide students with a solid education in the scientific and humanistic concepts that underlie modern health sciences and related areas of scientific research. The curriculum is structured to allow students to complete health care graduate program prerequisites and courses exploring human health issues including healthcare economics, ethics, and advancements with applied problem solving.

Key components of this curriculum include: (1) healthcare- and science-related graduate program prerequisites and additional recommended coursework is completed by fall of the junior year for maximum admissions test preparedness and (2) HB, restricted, and HHS elective recommendations are specifically targeted for healthcare-related content. Through this targeted curriculum along with the services provided through Health PAC, HB graduates are well prepared for application to healthcare graduate programs such as medical, dental, optometry, and pharmacy school plus other related program types and science-related post-graduates studies.

Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology

Curriculum

The concentration in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology (IPN) curriculum provides a comprehensive grounding in basic principles of physiology and neuroscience, as well as in-depth exposure to the application of those principles in understanding whole-animal function, links between physiology and behavior, and the ways in which animals cope with challenges presented by their environments.

IPN graduates are well prepared for employment in various industries and government agencies. Graduates may also choose to continue their education with studies leading to advanced degrees in many areas of the life sciences, including neurobiology, endocrinology, cell biology, and physiology. The IPN concentration also prepares students to pursue degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other health-related areas.

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Curriculum

The concentration in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCD) offers students in-depth studies of the molecular and cellular basis of life and the processes through which organisms arise from single cells. Students learn the processes that govern cellular structure and function; gene structure, function, and regulation; the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling development; and modern molecular and cellular tools used in the study of living organisms. Molecular, cellular, and developmental biology is one of the most rapidly advancing areas of biology today and is key to the development and sustainability of biotechnology, projected to be the largest growth industry in the 21st century.

MCD graduates are well-prepared for employment in various government agencies and medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The MCD curriculum also prepares students for post-graduate studies. Graduates may continue their education with studies leading to advanced degrees in many areas of life sciences, molecular and cell biology, physiology, developmental biology, genomics and proteomics. Many also choose to pursue degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other health-related areas.

Minor

Curriculum

The undergraduate minor in Biological Sciences that is intended to enhance the programs of students whose major fields are outside the biological sciences and who are interested in obtaining either a broad-based perspective in biology or a more focused experience in a particular area within biology.  The required courses (8 hours) provide an overview of the field of biology and students then select additional courses (at least 7 hours) within the biological sciences that best match their interests. It is possible to complete this minor entirely through Distance Education course offerings.