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Department of Biology

The Biology Department offers bachelor’s degree programs in biology. Students majoring in biology may complete the professional major leading to a bachelor of science degree, the pre-veterinary emphasis leading to a bachelor of science degree, the biology teaching program leading to a bachelor of science degree, or the liberal arts major in biology leading to a bachelor of arts degree.

Program in Biology

Glimpses into the molecular basis for life have caused biology to grow in scope in recent years, and opportunities in the field are commensurate with this growth. Providing knowledge that students will need about biology in the twenty-first century is a goal for the department. The Biology Department prepares students for (a) entrance into professional schools, such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, or veterinary; (b) entrance into graduate school in biological fields; (c) teaching careers in middle and secondary schools; and (d) research and application of biology in industry positions.

Biology majors and minors must demonstrate satisfactory mathematics placement scores prior to enrolling in their intended chemistry, mathematics or physics courses (see Mathematics Placement Testing Policy).

Students who choose biology as a professional major in the bachelor of science degree complete 42 hours in biology and environmental science, including BI 161/L, 222/L, 261/L, 321/L, 451; ES 211/L; and 21 additional hours from biology and environmental science, including at least three courses from BI 342/L, 371/L, 375, 422/L, 432/L and 462/L. Also required are MA 151; CH 161/L, 162/L, 263/L and 264/L; and PH 211/L and 212/L. For students planning to attend graduate or professional school, biochemistry and calculus are strongly recommended. BI 141 is a highly recommended elective in the freshman year.

Students who choose biology as a major with a pre-veterinary emphasis in the bachelor of science degree complete BI 161/L, 222/L, 261/L, 321/L, 432/L, and 451; and 18 additional hours from biology or agribusiness courses, including at least three courses from AG 231/L, 351/L, BI 322/L, 371/L, 422/L (or AG 241), and ES 211/L. Also required are MA 151; CH 161/L, 162/L, 263/L, 264/L, 411; and PH 211/L and 212/L. Pre-vet students are strongly advised to take several business courses, especially BA 232, 252, and 331. For students planning to attend graduate or professional school, calculus is strongly recommended. BI 141 is a highly recommended elective in the freshman year. More information regarding Pre-Veterinary Study is listed under Degrees and Programs, Pre-Veterinary Study.

Students who select biology as a major in the bachelor of arts degree complete BI 161/L, 222/L, 261/L, 321/L, 451; eight additional semester hours in biology, four of which must be in courses numbered 300 or above; MA 151; ES 211/L; CH 161/L and 162/L. BI 141 is a highly recommended elective in the freshman year.

Students who complete a bachelor of science degree in biology education can be licensed in Indiana to teach science in middle school settings or biology in high school settings. The program requires BI 161/L, 222/L, 261/L, 321/L, 342/L, 422/L, and 432/L; CH 161/L, 162/L, 263/L; MA 151; ES 211/L, 262; PH 211/L and 212/L. BI 141 is a highly recommended elective in the freshman year. Refer to the Department of Education for education courses required for teacher licensing. Students preparing to teach biology are encouraged to complete a minor in chemistry to strengthen their license and give them greater employment options.

The minor in biology requires BI 161/L, 222/L, and 261/L; 11 additional semester hours in biology or environmental science, four of which must be in courses numbered 300 or above; and CH 161/L.

The minor in nutrition is for students interested in providing nutritional care and education related to health, disease prevention and wellness. The nutrition minor requires BI 271, 311, 312; CH 141/L; and nine hours of electives from BI 232/L, 241/L or 242/L, 251, 490, NU 490, PY 230, 321, and 351.

Environmental Science

The minor in environmental science is available to students who wish to take a concentration of courses related to environmental stewardship and sustainability. This program is open to students from all majors and may be of particular interest for those considering careers in missions and development, conservation and wildlife biology, agriculture, public health, environmental law and policy, or civil service. Environmental science is a highly interdisciplinary field and students in the minor can choose from electives that reflect their specific interests within the discipline. 

The environmental science minor requires ES 211/L; BI 222/L or 261/L; BI 422/L or AG 241; one course from Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies; and six to eight additional semester hours from BI 222/L or 261/L (if not taken above), AG 331/L, PS 171, CH 331/L, 333/L, ES 262, EB 321, 413, 421, CO 322, and courses from Au Sable Institute. MA 151 is recommended for the core mathematics requirement.

Forensic Science

The forensic science minor provides a focus on forensic science for students interested in pursuing careers in criminal justice or crime labs. The minor complements existing majors in biology, chemistry and criminal justice. The minor in forensic science requires BI 131, 161/L, 396 (3 hours); CH 161/L, 162/L; CH 331/L or CH 333/L; CJ 111 or CJ 345; and four hours from BI 241/L, 321/L, or 432/L.

Pre-Medicine

Pre-medical students are advised to major in biology or chemistry with substantial coursework in both, as well as electives in other areas of the liberal arts. Recommended coursework for pre-medical and health professions is listed under Degrees and Programs, Pre-Medical Study.

Agricultural Studies

Students interested in agriculture may want to pursue a major in animal science, a major in crop science and agronomy, or a major or minor in agribusiness. (See the Department of Agricultural Studies for more information regarding these majors or minor.)

Courses in Biology

BI 111 Biology in the Modern World
(3 credits - Fall, Spring)

This course is a general survey of biological principles for non-science majors. Students will study ecology and environmental stewardship, origins, nutrition, structure and function of the human body, disease, genetics and biotechnology. Christian perspectives on these topics and applications to everyday life are emphasized.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 111L.

BI 111L Laboratory for Biology in the Modern World
(1 credit - Fall, Spring)

Laboratory exercises illustrate biological concepts and provide experience with techniques in biology. Includes field trips, field measurements and laboratory work.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 111.

BI 131 Introduction to Forensic Science
(4 credits - Offered on Sufficient Demand)

This course will serve to introduce the student to the field of forensic investigation, primarily as it applies to criminal investigation. Areas of discussion will include crime scene investigation, the nature of physical evidence, analysis of evidence, ethical practice and the relationship between forensic science and social justice.

BI 141 Freshman Biology Seminar
(1 credit - Fall)

This course will introduce students to the biology major as well as prepare them for future studies in the sciences. The course will be organized around a topical theme of current interest, which will require that students attain some basic knowledge in an area of cell biology. Students will be provided with a foundation of scientific thought, critical analysis, research and writing. The course is highly recommended for students planning to major in biology.

BI 161 Cell Biology
(3 credits - Spring)

Introduction to cellular organization, function and genetics; includes biological molecules, energy transformations, differentiation and function of organelles and cells, enzymes, replication, translation, synthesis and movement. Includes introduction to the processes used in investigating scientific phenomena and those used in communicating the findings of these investigations.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 161L.
Prerequisite: CH 141/L or 161/L

BI 161L Laboratory for Cell Biology
(1 credit - Spring)

Laboratory experiments and demonstrations which support or extend concepts presented in the lecture course.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 161.

BI 195 Job Shadowing in Biology
(1 to 2 credits - Fall, Spring)

Students observe the daily routines and activities of employed professionals and see how skills and knowledge acquired in class are applied in the biology field.
Prerequisite: Consent

BI 222 Zoology
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Survey of major invertebrate phyla and the chordates, emphasizing anatomy, physiology, classification, adaptations, behavior, evolution, ecological relationships and the relation of zoology to the broad areas of biology.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 222L.
Prerequisite: BI 161/L or environmental science minor

BI 222L Laboratory for Zoology
(1 credit - Spring Odd Years)

Study of the structure and function of representative animals from many different phyla, from sponges through increasing complexity to the vertebrates. Dissection and microscope slides are used to investigate.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 222.

BI 232 Microbiology for Health Sciences
(2 credits - Fall)

Structure and function of bacteria, viruses, protists and fungi with an emphasis on the disease-causing organisms relevant to the health sciences. Structure and metabolism of the organisms will be examined in addition to characteristics of disease caused by infections and treatment of such diseases. Methods for preventing/controlling contamination and infection will also be discussed. Includes understanding basic immune system function.
This course does not fulfill requirements in the biology major. Must be taken concurrently with BI 232L.
Prerequisite: CH 141/L

BI 232L Laboratory for Microbiology for Health Sciences
(1 credit - Fall)

Students will learn aseptic technique for culturing bacteria, how to identify bacteria via their growth habits and differential staining procedures. Includes learning how to take patient samples for diagnosis of infection.
This course does not fulfill requirements in the biology major. Must be taken concurrently with BI 232.
Prerequisite: CH 141/L

BI 241 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
(3 credits - Fall)

An introduction to the form and function of the human body. Topics include the basic biochemical and cellular foundations of the body as well as the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Disorders of each system will be introduced as appropriate.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 241L.

BI 241L Laboratory for Human Anatomy and Physiology I
(1 credit - Fall)

Laboratory experiences to complement the topics discussed in lecture. Computer and Web-based technologies will be used to complement hands-on learning in the lab.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 241.

BI 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
(3 credits - Spring)

A further introduction to the form and function of the human body. Topics include the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Human development and genetics will also briefly be discussed. Disorders of each system will be introduced as appropriate.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 242L.
Prerequisite: BI 241/L

BI 242L Laboratory for Human Anatomy and Physiology II
(1 credit - Spring)

Laboratory experiences to complement the topics discussed in lecture. Computer and Web-based technologies will be used to complement hands-on learning in the lab. Cats will be used for dissections.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 242.

BI 251 Food Science
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Chemistry, microbiology and processing of foods. Food additives, food safety and biotechnology of foods. Regulatory aspects of food processing, quality, safety and labeling. Manufacturing practices to ensure food quality and safety.
Identical with AG 251.
Prerequisite: CH 141/L or 161/L

BI 261 Botany
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

Survey of algae, fungi and plants. Topics include diversity, evolution, ecology, morphology and anatomy, reproduction, physiology, biotechnology, current issues involving botany and the relation of botany to the broad areas of biology. The importance of plants to humans will also be discussed.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 261L.
Prerequisite: BI 161/L or environmental science minor

BI 261L Laboratory for Botany
(1 credit - Fall Odd Years)

Exploration of algae, fungi and plants, including taxonomy, life cycles, morphology and anatomy, physiology and ecology. Laboratory work and field trips are included.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 261.

BI 271 Nutrition
(3 credits - Spring)

A general course designed to address dietary needs of individuals across the lifespan. Students are introduced to dietary guidelines and nutritional standards. Some attention will be given to the role of the nurse, dietician and community agencies in promoting good health through the proper use of food.
Identical with EX 271.

BI 287 Medical Terminology
(2 credits - Fall, January)

This course introduces medical words and terms through an analysis of their construction, including prefix, suffix, root, connecting and combining forms. Medical meanings applicable to the structure, function and diseases of the human body are stressed.

BI 295 Practicum in Biology
(1 to 3 credits - Fall, Spring)

Practicum in some aspect of biology designed to give student practical, directed experience.
Prerequisite: Consent

BI 311 Metabolism of Nutrients
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

The sources, digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients focusing on carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The course will integrate knowledge from the Introduction to Biological Chemistry and the Nutrition course to understand the process of metabolism.
Prerequisites: CH 141/L and BI 271

BI 312 Nutritional Assessment and Education
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Examines methods and techniques for assessing and educating individuals and populations related to nutrition. Students will address nutritional issues related to culture, religion and age.
Prerequisites: CH 141/L and BI 271

BI 321 Genetics
(3 credits - Fall Even Years)

A study of heredity at the classical Mendelian, molecular and population levels. Emphasis will be placed on the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, translation, gene expression, cloning and related topics.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 321L.
Prerequisite: BI 161/L

BI 321L Laboratory for Genetics
(1 credit - Fall Even Years)

Laboratory experiments investigating genetic phenomena in micro-organisms, Drosophila, corn and mammals.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 321.

BI 322 Animal Anatomy and Physiology
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

Structure and function of animal body systems, with reference to farm animals. Includes tissues, organs and systems and their physiological functions. Tissue and organ systems covered include blood, nervous, sensory, endocrine, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, digestive, reproductive and lactation.
Identical with AG 321. Must be taken concurrently with BI 322L.
Prerequisite: AG 231/L

BI 322L Laboratory for Animal Anatomy and Physiology
(1 credit - Fall Odd Years)

Laboratory experiments and demonstrations which support, extend, or complement the concepts presented in the lecture course.
Identical with AG 321L. Must be taken concurrently with BI 322.

BI 323 Animal Health and Disease
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

Maintaining the health of farm animals through an understanding of diseases caused or influenced by pathogens, inadequate nutrition or environmental hazards. Management of animal diseases that affect humans. Animal welfare and ethical issues in managing animals.
Identical with AG 323.
Prerequisite: AG 231/L

BI 342 Human Physiology
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

A systems approach is used to study the physical, chemical and biological processes that contribute to the function of the human body. Discussion will focus on the integral role of each system in maintaining homeostasis.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 342L.
Prerequisites: BI 161/L and 222/L, and CH 161/L and 162/L

BI 342L Laboratory for Human Physiology
(1 credit - Spring Even Years)

Functions of various organs and organ systems are investigated using the human, frog and turtle. Techniques include respirometry, electrocardiography and urinalysis.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 342.

BI 365 Reproduction and Breeding of Farm Animals
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

Fundamental physiological processes of reproduction in farm animals. Male and female reproductive systems and function, endocrine relationships, fertility and factors affecting reproductive efficiency. Current methods used in managing farm animal reproduction, including artificial insemination and embryo transfer. Population and quantitative genetics as they relate to animal breeding and mating systems used for the improvement of various livestock/farm animal species and breeds.
Identical with AG 365. Must be taken concurrently with BI 365L.
Prerequisites: AG 231/L, 321/L and BI 321/L

BI 365L Laboratory for Reproduction and Breeding of Farm Animals
(1 credit - Fall Odd Years)

Laboratory experiments and demonstrations which support, extend, or complement the concepts presented in the lecture course.
Identical with AG 365L. Must be taken concurrently with BI 365.

BI 371 Comparative Embryology
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

A study of developmental biology of invertebrates and vertebrates. Includes gametogenesis, fertilization, blastulation, gastrulation, neurulation and organogenesis.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 371L.
Prerequisite: BI 222/L

BI 371L Laboratory for Comparative Embryology
(1 credit - Spring Even Years)

Study of living and preserved gametes and embryos during development. Observation and experimentation will focus on slime molds, sea urchins, frogs and chickens.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 371.

BI 373 Animal Growth and Development
(3 credits - Fall Even Years)

Overview of how cell types differentiate, how tissues develop, and how bodies grow throughout the lifespan of mammals, bird, etc. Changes during prenatal and postnatal growth and development will be discussed. This course does not include a lab component.
Identical with AG 373.
Prerequisite: BI 161/L

BI 375 Cognitive Neuroscience
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

An introduction to the biological mechanisms and processes that underlie human behavior. Emphasis will be on how the central nervous system controls and affects individual neurons, sensory and motor systems, emotion and motivation, learning , memory, speech, development and aging and abnormal behavior. Effects of brain injury and psychopharmacology will also be discussed.
Identical with PY 375.
Prerequisites: PY 111; BI 111 or 161; and sophomore standing at time of registration

BI 395 Practicum in Biology
(1 to 3 credits - Fall, Spring)

Practicum in some aspect of biology designed to give student practical, directed experience.
Prerequisite: Consent

BI 396 Forensics Practicum
(3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer)

The student will participate in a supervised learning experience in a professional setting related to the emphasis of the student's forensics minor, such as forensics laboratory, police department, coroner's office or criminal investigation agency. A minimum of 120 contact hours must be completed, along with a written report of the experience. Students are encouraged to complete the practicum during summer when feasible. Students must fill out an application at least one semester in advance in the Enterprise Resource Center, in coordination with the faculty advisor, and obtain appropriate background checks.
Prerequisite: BI 131

BI 422 Ecology
(3 credits - Fall Even Years)

Study of the relationships between organisms and their physical and biological environments. Includes effects of the physical environment on plants and animals, population biology and natural selection and community ecology and dynamics such as succession.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 422L.

BI 422L Laboratory for Ecology
(1 credit - Fall Even Years)

Measurements of physical conditions, soils, plant type and distribution and other field activities will be performed. Predator-prey interactions will be simulated. Field trips will be taken to observe dune succession and bog ecology.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 422.

BI 432 General Microbiology
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Structure and function of viruses, bacteria and protists, microbial genetics, survey of infectious diseases, immunology, the role of microorganisms in nature and the relation of microbiology to the broad areas of biology.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 432L.
Prerequisite: BI 161/L

BI 432L Laboratory for Microbiology
(1 credit - Spring Odd Years)

Sterile technique, identification of microorganisms through use of staining techniques, growth characteristics, diagnostic media, preparation of microscope slides, uses of antibiotics and antiseptics and immunological tests.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 432.

BI 451 Seminar in Biology
(1 credit - Spring Even Years)

Students prepare a major research paper on a topic of their choice in biology and present the information in a formal seminar setting. Graduate and professional degree programs and career opportunities in biology are discussed and students prepare a resume. A portion of class time is devoted to examining the philosophical, moral and ethical aspects of biology with discussions based on assigned readings. Particular attention is given to Christian perspectives.
Prerequisite: Junior biology major

BI 462 Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

An in-depth examination of cell structure and function, including topics such as membrane structure and function, bioenergetics, cell motility and communication, gene expression, and cancer. This course will primarily focus on eukaryotic cells, although some topics will also include prokaryotes.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 462L.
Prerequisite: BI 321/L

BI 462L Laboratory for Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
(1 credit - Fall Odd Years)

Experiments will employ techniques and equipment designed to investigate cell structure and function as well as biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. Techniques will include recombinant DNA, fractionation, isolation, purification of proteins and PCR.
Must be taken concurrently with BI 462

BI 490 Independent Study
(1 to 4 credits - Fall, Spring)

Experiments or special projects will be selected according to the interest of the student and will be performed on an individual basis.
Prerequisites: Junior standing and consent

BI 495 Internship in Biology
(2 to 4 credits - Fall, Spring)

A field experience in biology which provides an opportunity for the student to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. Student maintains close cooperation with the supervisory personnel in the field.
Prerequisite: Consent

Courses in Environmental Science

ES 211 Environmental Resources
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

Survey of world environmental history with a focus on the United States. Discussion of current problems and practices involved in the use and conservation of water, tropical and temperate forests, soil, energy sources, agricultural and crop genetic resources and control of pollution.
Must be taken concurrently with ES 211L.

ES 211L Laboratory for Environmental Resources
(1 credit - Spring Even Years)

Students will perform basic lab techniques used in environmental science. Field trips will be taken to local sites that employ resource management principles discussed in lecture.
Must be taken concurrently with ES 211.

ES 262 Physical Geography
(3 credits - Offered on Sufficient Demand)

Survey of basic statics and dynamics of the physical world as these affect human cultural development and demographic trends. Extensive development of conceptual models.