Biology in the broadest sense is the study of life. It is a diverse subject and understanding it requires a background in all the sciences. Students synthesize that knowledge to understand the living world, a world that is both remarkably unified and wonderfully diverse. Our graduates are well prepared for admission to various health professional schools such as medical school, PA school, or pharmacy school, as well as graduate school in the biological sciences, or work in life science industries or organizations.
Students majoring in biological sciences complete a core curriculum in biology, chemistry, math and physics. However, the Biology major has a flexible curriculum and allows students to tailor their elective coursework to match their interests and career goals. A major in biology requires 34 total biology credits. Students should work closely with their faculty advisor to design a suitable academic course plan. Students must achieve a minimum grade of "C" in biology courses and a minimum grade of "C-" in supporting science courses to complete the requirements for the major.
The Biology Department offers these programs:
A B.A. in Biology with Middle and Secondary Education is also available.
Introduces cell biology, intended for students who are not majoring in the natural sciences. Topics include the study of structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; study of the structure, function and behavior of cells; an introduction to cellular metabolism. 2 class hours.
Studies the structure, function and heredity of the human body, primarily for students with minimal science background. The content includes cellular structure and function, organ systems of the body, problems in development and function, basic principles of heredity, nature of gene function, inheritance of some human traits, and mechanisms of evolution. This course is not counted toward the biology major.
Discussion of environmental problems which have developed through man's impact on nature: water resources, food supply, overpopulation and pollution problems are stressed.
Covers a broad range of topics in the life sciences from cell structure and function to ecology. 3 class hours, 2-hour lab. This course is not counted toward the biology major.
Team-taught, topic-based course designed to address global challenges from a scientific standpoint with consideration for societal, policy, or political implications. This course will emphasize team-work, information literacy in the biological sciences, problem-solving skills and oral and written communication. This course is required of all biology majors and a minimum grade of C is needed to move into BIO 1125.
Students will participate in an original, discovery-based laboratory research project designed to identify novel antibiotics from soil bacteria. This course will focus on building skills in experimental design, foundational lab techniques, data analysis, and the process of scientific discovery. This course is required of all biology majors.
An investigation of living systems with particular emphasis on the molecular and cellular levels of organization within the various kingdoms of life. The concepts introduced in this class form a broad foundation for understanding biology, which is the study of all life. Biology is multidisciplinary and integrates genetics, evolution, ecology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and cellular biology, and we will begin to make connections among these disciplines. All biology and biochemistry majors must pass BIO 1125 with a grade of C or better.
Introductory Biology course for non-majors. The focus is on the core topics of cells, genes, evolution, and ecology with emphasis placed on concepts and applications that are essential for the student to be biologically literate.
Combined material of Anatomy/Physiology, Pathophysiology and Medical Terminology as necessary as background basis for students in the Health Information Management graduate program. Intended for online HIM graduate students who have not completed the sequenced courses at the college level. Topics include: Chemistry/Cell Biology Basics, Neoplasia, and the Anatomy/Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Circulatory, Nervous, Musculo-Skeletal, Urinary, Respiratory, Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems.
A semester course that combines essential topics of anatomy & physiology for Health Informatics & Information Management students. Topics include: Chemistry/Cell Biology Basics and the anatomy & physiology of the Integumentary, Circulatory, Nervous, Musculo-Skeletal, Urinary, Respiratory, Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems.
Explores the laboratory techniques and biology related to bacteriophage. Students will purify bacteriophage from soil, visualize bacteriophage using electron microscopy and isolate bacteriophage genomic material for analysis and nucleic acid sequencing.
Explores the genomes of mycobacteriophages using bioinformatics tools. The sequenced genome of at least one novel mycobacteriophage isolated during Bacteriophage Discovery is functionally annotated using a series of computer-based analyses. Using this information, additional comparative genomics projects are performed to deepen the understanding of the genomes of the class bacteriophages and other phages that infect Mycobacterium smegmatis.
Study of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include an introduction to cells, tissues, systems organization, osteology, fluid compartments, gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology of the circulatory system, and the gross anatomy of musculature. This course will be geared towards pre-nursing and pre-health occupational students with an emphasis on how basic anatomy and physiology functions in human health.
Study of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include the physiology of the circulatory, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and defense systems. This course will be geared towards pre-nursing and pre-health occupational students with an emphasis on how basic anatomy and physiology functions in human health.
Lower-division courses on one-time-only basis. Classes can be developed to respond to student interest in specific areas of current interest. The number of class hours equals the number of credits.
A semester course on pathophysiology that is necessary background for students in the Health Information Management undergraduate program. Topics include: Chemistry/Cell Biology Basics, Neoplasia, Pathophysiology of the Circulatory, Nervous, Musculo-Skeletal, Urinary, Respiratory, Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems.
Study of the events concerning the creation of the solar system, earth and life. The evolutionary history of life and the processes of natural selection will be emphasized. Follow Earth’s 4.6 billion year history as it unfolds, producing from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful.
Study of the biology of selected groups of terrestrial, freshwater and marine invertebrate animals. This course contains a laboratory component and provides an overview of the evolution, morphology, ecology, physiology, classification, life histories and habits of the major phyla of invertebrate animals with emphasis on organizational, functional, and ecological significance. This course counts as a Biology elective.
Study of the biology of vertebrate animals. This course contains a laboratory component and provides an overview of the evolution, morphology, ecology, physiology, classification, life histories and habits of vertebrate animals with emphasis on organizational, functional, and ecological significance. This course counts as a Biology elective.
Study of the contemporary and traditional field methods used by biologists. Topics include techniques used in the areas of entomology, floristics, ornithology, mammalogy and mapping. 4 hour lab course.
Introduces systematics of vascular plants with emphasis on identification of woody plants, representative families, terminology and use of taxonomic keys. 2 class hours, 4-hour lab.
A thorough investigation of viral biology from the perspective of both the virus and host cell. Topics covered include viral structure and classification, interactions between the virus and host cell, methods of virology, viral diseases, viral oncogenesis, and therapeutic uses of viruses.
Comic books and other fictional outlets depict human characters of “super” ability; they can fly, transform, withstand extreme temperatures, and utilize a fantastic suite of senses and strengths that are otherwise unfamiliar to humans. In this course, we will explore the animal kingdom to highlight real life examples of these super traits and the extreme physiological adaptations that allow these super traits to exist. Specializations of systemic and molecular physiology will be studied, including topics of nutrition, energy, temperature, movement, respiration, water conservation, and excretion.
Studies classical and molecular genetics, gene interaction, linkage and population genetics. 3 class hours, 2-hour lab. This course is required of all biology majors.
Study of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and viruses to include membranes, receptor proteins, organelles, cytoskeleton, sorting and trafficking, cellular communication, the extracellular matrix, and experimental methods.
Advanced courses on one-time-only basis. In-depth classes, narrowed in scope to respond to student interest in specific areas corresponding to faculty interest and expertise. The number of class hours equals the number of credits.
The Biology department is interested in how our students compare to other students at the national level. This comparison is made by performance on standardized tests that allow us to see areas within biology where our students perform well or not as well. The results of these tests are used only in aggregate to identify our department's area of strengths and weaknesses. This course is required of all biology majors and is to be taken in the spring semester of the senior year.
Aging changes evident in humans as the result of time interacting with molecular mechanisms of biological systems. Current knowledge of these mechanisms will be examined, followed by an application of the basic principles of biological aging to the systems of the body.
Study of current molecular biology research techniques, hypothesis testing and communication of results. Topics may include molecular cloning, plasmid isolation, restriction digest analysis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA sequencing.
Study of the basic principles of ecology, interrelationships and identification of plants and animals making up principal communities of this region, the dynamic balance of communities and the productivity of natural resources. The course includes a research experience. 3 class hours, 3-hour lab.
Introduces the basic questions and study of animal behavior. From an evolutionary perspective we investigate the adaptive value of behaviors such as foraging, communication, predator avoidance, dispersal, sociality, parental investment and mating systems, among other topics. Laboratory work, including an independent research project, under field conditions emphasizes the measurement and analysis of animal behavior.
Introduces original laboratory research in collaboration with a faculty member; requiring literature searching, experimental planning, a minimum of 4-10 hours laboratory work per week depending on credit, a final written report and a seminar presentation of the work. The subject of the research could be of the student's own choosing.
Advanced study and research in an area of special interest. By instructor permission.
Biology of Aging is a course designed to allow study and understanding of the principles of aging applied to the anatomical and physiologic systems of the body. The course is divided into three portions; (1) Examination of the basic principles of aging from the population level; (2) Events of aging seen at the cellular level; and (3) Events of aging observed at the system level of the body.