The curriculum in biology is designed to acquaint students with living organisms as whole, functioning entities that, in their diversity, share many common features. In addition to providing the scientific background required of all educated citizens, the courses provide a foundation upon which the student may build a graduate program, undertake training in health-related professions such as medicine or pharmacy, or prepare for secondary-level science teaching. Students also participate in independent or small group research.
In order to help students achieve their career goals, the Biology Department offers three majors, Biology (with concentrations in General Biology and Zoology), Conservation Biology, and Cell and Molecular Biology.
Because contemporary biology leans heavily on mathematics and physical sciences, students majoring in biology should include courses in mathematics, statistics, chemistry, and physics. In the freshman year students in BIO 112 will build a foundation for study of biological processes. Students can proceed to the first 200-level biology course during the second semester of the freshman year. In the sophomore year, students will continue the survey of the kingdoms of life by taking additional 200-level biology courses. Students should strengthen their understanding of mathematics and obtain a background in organic chemistry during that year. Biology courses at the 300- to 400-level should be taken during the junior and senior years, with seminar (BIO 498) reserved for the senior year. Students will examine in detail how organisms function and interact with their environment and each other. Biology majors are required to complete a minor and are encouraged to minor in chemistry. Conservation Biology and Cell and Molecular majors are exempt from the minor requirement.
Upper-level students may enroll in marine biology, ecological, and behavioral courses by cooperative agreement with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory or the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. For information, please contact Dr. JR Kerfoot, (email@example.com) or Dr. Andy Madison, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conservation Biology Majors may meet the requirements to become a certified wildlife biologist by taking twelve hours of communication. The General Core requirement for COM 112 and electives of COM 121 and COM 235 may be used to fulfill 10 hours of this requirement. The remaining hours may be selected in consultation with your assigned faculty advisor.