Biology Major Learning Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete a major in Biology are expected to be able to:
- Demonstrate a general understanding of the central features of the extraordinarily diverse and expanding landscape of modern biology;
- Demonstrate a general understanding of the standard laboratory tools, methodology, and process of biological research, and the basics of scientific writing;
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of important principles and laboratory techniques in at least three different biological sub-disciplines within the general areas of (1) cellular and molecular biology, (2) organismal biology and physiology, and (3) population biology and ecology;
- Demonstrate the ability to locate, critically analyze, interpret, and discuss primary research literature in one or more sub-disciplines within the biological sciences;
- Design and conduct independent laboratory or field research that is consistent with the highest standards and practices of research in the relevant biological sub-discipline;
- Present the results of their independent research clearly and effectively in both written and oral forms;
- Be well prepared for post-graduate education and diverse and meaningful careers in and out of the biological sciences.
The Biology Major
The major in Biology leads to the Bachelor of Science degree and requires the successful completion of 34 semester credit hours in Biology, including the following:
Three 300-Level Biology Courses:
One from each of the three areas defined below:
Area A – Cellular and Molecular Biology:
Area B – Organismal Biology and Physiology:
- BIO 310 – Microbiology
- BIO 350 – Immunology
- BIO 360 – Plant Physiology
- BIO 365 – Comparative Anatomy
- BIO 375 – Medical Entomology
- BIO 380 – Animal Physiology
- Appropriate courses at the Duke University Marine Laboratory (e.g., Marine Invertebrate Zoology, Physiology of Marine Animals, Coastal Ecotoxicology, Environmental Biochemistry) may also be used to satisfy the Area B requirement.
Area C – Population Biology and Ecology:
- Appropriate courses at the Duke University Marine Laboratory (e.g., Marine Ecology, Biological Oceanography, Marine Mammals, Ocean Ecosystems, Barrier Island Ecology, Estuarine Ecosystems) may also be used to satisfy the Area C requirement.
Two Semesters of Senior Project:
A Major Must Also Complete:
To obtain the necessary prerequisites for required Biology courses as well as to gain an adequate understanding of modern Biology.
- MATH 160 – Calculus I OR
- MATH 157 – Calculus I for Social/Life Sciences AND
- MATH 158 – Calculus II for Social/Life Sciences
- CHEM 120 – Chemical Concepts 1
- CHEM 122 – Chemical Concepts 2
- CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry I: Form and Function
Two Additional Four-Credit Courses:
In cognate disciplines in the sciences that complement the student’s subdisciplinary interest in Biology and are determined in consultation with a Biology academic advisor. Courses numbered in the 190’s may not be used to fulfill the two-course requirement. The following courses may be used in fulfilling the two-course requirement:
- Biostatistics (BIO 385)
- Chemistry courses at the 200-level or higher (except CHEM 231)
- Computer Science at the 100-level or higher (except BIO 300/CMPSC 300)
- Geology courses at the 100-level or higher (except BIO 331/BIO 331)
- Mathematics courses (MATH 170 or higher)
- Physics courses, specifically PHYS 101 , PHYS 102, PHYS 110, or PHYS 120
In addition, BIO 385 (or another course in statistics) is highly recommended for Biology majors.
All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade. Biology courses exceeding the minimum requirements for the major may be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis, but the department recommends that the number of Credit/No Credit courses be kept to a minimum. Majors are required to have a GPA of at least 2.0 in Biology at graduation. All Biology courses taken for a letter grade at Allegheny, including FSBIO 201, are included in the calculation, with the exception of repeated courses for which only the most recent grade counts.