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 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 or optometry; (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 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.
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.
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-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.
Students interested in agriculture may want to pursue a major or minor in agribusiness. (See the Department of Business for more information regarding the agribusiness major or minor.)
Courses in Biology