Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

Overview

The Bachelor of Science degree in biology is designed for students who want a more intensive background in the sciences. It is especially tailored for students who aspire for graduate studies in biology or a related field, or who wish to enter medical, dental, or veterinary school. The Bachelor of Science degree in biology differs from the Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in that it requires additional courses in physics, mathematics, research methods in biology, and a senior capstone.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

2022-2023
Core Curriculum 43
Pre-Major Courses 8
Major and Related Courses 63
Free Elective Courses 6
TOTAL: 120

 

A biology major must complete at least one internship in the field. 

Required pre-major courses 8 hours

This course covers the fundamentals of biomolecules, cell physiology, respiration and photosynthesis, and genetics. In laboratory, students will develop and test hypotheses by designing their own experiments to better understand different biological concepts. Students will also learn how to use a microscope and pipettors and will write laboratory reports in the same format as professional journal articles. This is one of two courses of introductory biology for science majors. BIO107 and BIO108 can be taken in either order. BIO 107 and BIO 108 are designed for students who want to major in biology or another science, or who plan to attend dental, veterinary, or medical school after graduation. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

This course covers the fundamentals of evolution, comparative biodiversity, human and animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology and environmental science. In laboratory, students will develop and test hypotheses by designing their own experiments to better understand different biological concepts. Students will also learn how to use computer simulation models to predict outcomes, grow and enumerate bacteria and plants, and write laboratory reports in the same format as professional journal articles. This is one of two courses of introductory biology for science majors. BIO107 and BIO108 can be taken in either order. BIO 107 and BIO 108 are designed for students who want to major in biology or another science, or who plan to attend dental, veterinary, or medical school after graduation. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

Required biology courses 7 hours

BIO 201: Four hours count toward the general studies requirement, replacing GSR 230

This course will provide an overview of descriptive and experimental research methods in the sciences. Topics include research design and methodology, statistical analyses, responsible conduct of research, the use of animal and human subjects, and the critical analysis of published peer-reviewed research reports. Students will work in groups to design a research project, collect and analyze pilot data, and present the results. Development of scientific writing skills will be emphasized. Four hours of lecture per week.

This course is for STM majors who are in their last year of the program. Students will produce two major products: (1) a grant proposal to a national or private agency and (2)interdisciplinary group project. In addition, students will discuss future career plans,examine contributions of different deaf scientists to science, and engage in discussions on science ethics and science literacy.

Required chemistry courses 16 hours

Designed for science majors, this is the first of a two-semester sequence and is designed to help students become familiar with the properties and reactions of matter. This course will also address modern applications of these concepts. Specific topics for this course include: observation of properties and changes, scientific method, unit conversions and measurements, chemical formulas, balancing equations, predicting products and yields, reactions and reaction types, the Ideal Gas Law, thermodynamics, molecular and atomic structure of matter, and orbital hybridization.

Designed for science majors, this course is the second of a two-semester sequence and is designed to help students become familiar with the properties and reactions of matter. This course will also address modern applications of these concepts. Specific topics for this course include: chemical bonding concepts, solution chemistry, colligative properties, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, solubility and equilibria, entropy, free energy, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 107, this course enables students to develop skills appropriate to the first-year chemistry course for science majors. Experiments for this course include: observation of properties and changes, measurements, observing activities and reactions for the various types of reactions, obtaining quantitative and qualitative information regarding products, and the use of computer simulations.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 108, this course enables students to develop skills appropriate to the first-year chemistry course for science majors. Experiments for this course include: quantifying thermodynamic changes, observing colligative properties, evaluation of chemical kinetics, evaluation of acid/base reactions via titration, and the use of computer simulations.

This course is designed to give an introduction to the chemistry of carbon-hydrogen compounds, also known as organic chemistry. Students will study the structures, properties, synthesis, and uses of organic compounds and learn important classes of organic compounds including alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, aromatics, heterocycles, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. Organic reactions will be discussed including addition, substitution, oxidation, reduction, polymerization and synthesis of organometallic reagents.

This is the second course in a two-semester sequence. A functional group approach to organic chemistry is presented, with an emphasis on alkenes, alkynes, aromatic compounds, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and amines. Students will study the structures, properties, synthesis, identification and uses of organic compounds and learn important classes of organic compounds and practice use of instrumentation commonly used in organic chemistry. A number of organic reactions will be covered including addition to carbonyl compounds, substitution at carbonyl positions and aromatic positions, oxidation of alcohols and aldeydes, reduction of aldehydes, ketones and other carbonyl compounds, polymerization and organometallic reactions with carbonyl compounds.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 211. This course consists of one three-hour laboratory session per week. The laboratory covers the techniques for preparing, purifying, analysis and identification of organic compounds. Students will carry out experiments aimed at studying the structures, properties, synthesis, and uses of organic compounds and learn important classes of organic compounds. Students will also learn and use analytical instruments, including the FTIR spectrometer, precision balances, and the GC-MS.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 212. This course consists of one three-hour laboratory session per week. This class covers the techniques for preparing, purifying, analysis, and identification of organic compounds. Several organic reactions will be covered including addition, substitution, oxidation, reduction, polymerization and organometallic reactions. Students will learn to perform some important organic procedures like Grignard reactions, Ester synthesis, nitration and soap synthesis. Students will also learn and use analytical instruments, including the FTIR spectrometer, GC-MS, and the NMR spectrometer.

Required physics courses 8 hours

This introductory physics course develops a view of the universe as a clocklike mechanism where change is continuous, observers do not affect their measurements, identical experiments yield identical outcomes and the laws of physics are never violated. It uses methods of calculus to investigate topics in the kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies, phases of matter, geometrical optics, optical instruments and Einstein's theory of relativity.

This introductory physics course develops a view of the universe as a realm of uncertain possibilities, where change may be discontinuous, measuring may cause different experimental results, identical experiments yield many different outcomes and the laws of physics are violated under certain conditions. It uses methods of calculus to investigate topics in electricity and magnetism, vibrations, wave motion, quantum physics, atomic and nuclear physics, heat, ideal gas laws, thermodynamics, and quantum statistical physics.

This is the companion laboratory course to PHY151. Through a sequence of selected experiments, students will practice experiment design, report writing, use of standard instruments, data visualization, and error analysis skills.

This is the companion laboratory course to PHY152. Through a sequence of selected experiments, students will practice experiment design, report writing, use of standard instruments, data visualization, and error analysis skills.

Required mathematics course 8 hours

MAT 130: Three hours count toward the general studies requirement, replacing GSR 104

This course emphasizes the meaning and application of the concepts of functions. It covers polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities. Passing both MAT 125 and 126 is equivalent to passing MAT 130.

Limit processes, including the concepts of limits, continuity, differentiation, the natural logarithm and exponential functions, and integration of functions. Applications to physical problems will be discussed.

Elective biology courses 24 hours

Take at least one course from each of these four areas, for a total of 24 credits.

Ecology

A study of the interrelationships between organisms and physical factors in and with the natural world. The course discusses ecological parameters (physical factors, nutrient cycles, energy flow), organisms (life histories, evolutionary fitness), populations (population growth, temporal and spatial dynamics), communities (predator-prey interactions, competition, co-evolution, succession), ecosystems (biomes, biodiversity, species-area relationships). Laboratory experiences will include both field trips and modeling exercises. Three hours of lecture and one two hour laboratory per week.

The theory of evolution is the foundation of modern biology because it explains the unity and diversity of life on earth. This course will cover the history of evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory framework at levels of biological organization ranging from genomes to ecological communities. The interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses will be emphasized, thus acquainting students with the process of science.

This course will teach botany in the context of real-life research activities. The class will work with a partner organization to carry out botanical research that will contribute knowledge to decision-making. This will involve designing and conducting a semesterlong research study from start to finish. Students will practice skills such as reading primary literature, analyzing data, and communicating scientific findings for both a lay and scientific audience, while working collaboratively. Content may include basic morphological and physiological principles, systematics and genetics, with an emphasis on the ecology and evolution of plants. The course consists of tightly linked lecture and laboratory learning experiences. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

This course will offer students an opportunity to take an intensive look at aquatic systems, beginning with an overview of the chemical, geological, and physical aspects of the world's oceans. Students will learn about the ecology of marine systems of microscopic (bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton) to macroscopic organisms (fish and marine mammals). A variety of current events will be discussed (e.g. harmful algal blooms, iron fertilization, recent discoveries in bacteria and phytoplankton genomes). Three hours of lecture per week and one all-day field trip to the Chesapeake Bay.

Genetics

This course provides an overview of modern genetics, including classical Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, genomics, and population genetics. Laboratory activities will introduce students to basic statistical and computational techniques and tools, organisms used in genetics laboratories including E. coli and Drosophila melanogaster, and wet lab techniques including gel lectrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA fingerprinting using STR polymorphism analysis. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

This course is cross-listed and is otherwise known as BIO 711. An in-depth examination of the mechanisms involved in producing genetic variation in humans and medical/clinical aspects of genetic variation and disease. Topics include human cytogenetics and chromosomal disorders, nontraditional inheritance, genetic counseling, and the ethical, legal, and social impact of genetics technology. Hereditary variations in deaf people are also discussed. Three hours of lecture per week.

Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology

A general survey of the microorganisms, with emphasis on their morphology, physiology, growth, and methods of isolation and identification. Laboratory activities will introduce students to wet lab techniques including staining and microscopy, pipetting, streaking, preparing media, spread and pour plating, serial dilutions, plate count assays, metabolic tests for identification of bacteria, bacterial transformations and phage stock preparation. Three hours of lecture and two two-hour laboratories per week

This course will discuss the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of infectious diseases and the mechanisms by which microorganisms subvert host defenses and cause infections, resulting in tissue damage and perhaps death. Students will study the epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment and prevention of infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. This course will also cover a number of case studies giving students an opportunity to diagnosis patients suffering from infectious diseases.

Organismal Biology

Advanced survey of the biology of invertebrates with an emphasis on comparative and functional morphology to include major features of body plans (multicellularity, symmetry etc), physiology, evolution, systematics, behavior of the invertebrates, a study of the reproductive strategies, development and diverse ecological strategies invertebrates exhibit. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

Through a combination of lectures, laboratories, field trips and independent research projects, this course will provide a general overview of the many aspects of vertebrate biology to include: comparative anatomy of the vertebrates, function of organ systems, developmental pathways, evolution, physiological, ecological and behavioral adaptations. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

The first part of a two-semester course sequence, this course will study the various systems of the body from a combined anatomical and physiological standpoint, with laboratory experiments which illustrate their structure and function. Students will develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing hypothetical problems relating to anatomy and physiology; many of these problems will have medical applications. The first semester will focus on the following organ systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and special sensory. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

The second part of a two-semester course sequence, this course will cover the remaining physiological systems of the body Students will develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing hypothetical problems relating to anatomy and physiology; many of these problems will have medical applications. This semester will focus on the following organ systems: endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and male and female reproductive systems. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

Other Electives

These courses count as biology electives but do not count toward the requirement for any one area.

This course covers the building blocks of basic medical terminology. The relationship of word parts to their anatomical counterparts will be studied. Rules for combining word parts into complete medical terms will be emphasized. The correct contextual use of terms will be emphasized throughout the course. Such understanding will facilitate learning of scientific and medical principles encountered during more advanced career preparation.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for freshmen. Students may enroll in 195 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

Special Topics in the discipline, designed primarily for sophomores. Students may enroll in 295 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

This course is for sophomores to develop critical thinking and data analysis skills by performing hypothesis-driven research. A large body of science education research shows that undergraduate science majors who perform research do better in their courses, are more likely to graduate from college, and are more likely to succeed in their graduate and professional careers. Students will perform experiments, collect, record and analyze data, and present their data at weekly, one-hour project meetings guided by the faculty researcher and which may include other students or technicians involved with the project. Each credit hour is the equivalent of three hours of research per week. To enroll in this course, students must obtain the permission of the faculty researcher.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for juniors. Students may enroll in 395 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

This course is for juniors to develop critical thinking and data analysis skills by performing hypothesis-driven research. A large body of science education research shows that undergraduate science majors who perform research do better in their courses, are more likely to graduate from college, and are more likely to succeed in their graduate and professional careers. Students will perform experiments, collect, record and analyze data, and present their data at weekly, one-hour project meetings guided by the faculty researcher and which may include other students or technicians involved with the project. Each credit hour is the equivalent of three hours of research per week. To enroll in this course, students must obtain the permission of the faculty researcher.

Students whose capstone research project requires more than one semester of work may also enroll in this course for the second semester to obtain additional course credit. The student and instructor will need to draw up a work contract which specifies the parameters of this work as well as meeting times.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

This course is for seniors to develop critical thinking and data analysis skills by performing hypothesis-driven research. A large body of science education research shows that undergraduate science majors who perform research do better in their courses, are more likely to graduate from college, and are more likely to succeed in their graduate and professional careers. Students will perform experiments, collect, record and analyze data, and present their data at weekly, one-hour project meetings guided by the faculty researcher and which may include other students or technicians involved with the project. Each credit hour is the equivalent of three hours of research per week. To enroll in this course, students must obtain the permission of the faculty researcher.

Reading, research, discussion, writing in the discipline, or laboratory work, according to the goals of the student. The student and instructor will need to draw up a work contract which specifies the parameters of this work as well as meeting times.

A study of the principles and reactions that involve proteins and DNA in biological systems. The course investigates the structure and chemistry of amino acids, the combination of the amino acids in the formation of proteins, the function and structure of proteins, the building blocks of DNA, the chemistry and structure of DNA, the structure of RNA, the replication of DNA, and current topics in biochemical/biomedical engineering.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 325. Qualitative and quantitative experiments related to ordinary biological-chemical materials. One three-hour laboratory.

This course provides an overview of the goals, functions, and methods of public health. After an introduction to the core concepts and tools used in public health research and practice, applications of these methodologies are considered in the context of five current controversies/problems in public health. Students work together to develop strategies for prevention and control that take into consideration different points of view, outside research, and impacts on individuals and communities.

Program Outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge of current theories of biology and concepts basic to biology, including: Levels of complexity (molecular/cellular through population/communities/ecosystems); biological principles and processes; connections among concepts across disciplines (physical sciences, mathematics, social sciences).

 

2. Demonstrate critical thinking skills through: Identifying appropriate questions, issues or problems to be explored; analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating evidence; constructing well-supported, clearly articulated arguments and conclusions.

 

3. Demonstrate information literacy and research skills through effective use of: Sources of information in biology including published literature and scientific databases; computer applications to acquire and analyze experimental data and develop graphic models. 4. Demonstrate experimental research methods including: Scientific methods and instrumentation; safe and appropriate use of laboratory equipment; experimental design; data analysis; familiarity with professional standards in science.

 

5. Demonstrate effective communication with varied audiences and media by: Providing clear structure and transitions; demonstrating substantial understanding via research, credible sources, and supporting evidence; demonstrating audience-appropriate purpose, agenda, language, and style.

 

6. Demonstrate preparation for future career and educational goals by: awareness of personal competencies (strengths and weaknesses); ability to work in a team to accomplish a goal; understanding of professional and ethical behavior.

 

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B.S. in Biology

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