Academic Catalog 2018-19

Biological Sciences (BA, BS and Minor)

The Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics offers a balanced curriculum designed to prepare students for a wide range of graduate programs, teacher credential programs, entry-level careers in government or private organizations, and professional programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, physical therapy, nursing, and related paramedical careers. The department assists students in developing an understanding of science, the fundamental concepts of the scientific method, careful laboratory techniques, the ability to use scientific literature, and sensitivity to the interrelationship between science and human values.

Students may choose among four curricular emphases in the Biological Sciences: Integrative Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Molecular Cell Biology, and Organismal Biology, leading to either a BA or BS. Four minors offered by the department include Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and Mathematics. The program also offers courses designed to fulfill General Education requirements and prerequisites for majors and minors in other programs.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in active research projects, thereby gaining valuable hands on experience in research methodology, problem solving, and intellectual discovery. The department provides internships in career related areas to further engage students in the active learning process.

For information on coursework that is recommended for students who wish to pursue a preparatory course of study for the Health Professions, but without a biological sciences major, please see the Health Professional Program Preparation section of this catalog.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing a Bachelor's degree in the Biological Sciences will have acquired:

  1. Comprehension and integration of fundamental scientific concepts in the biological and physical sciences.
  2. The ability to safely and effectively perform selected laboratory techniques in modern science.
  3. The ability to apply scientific and mathematical principles in developing an independent research project, utilizing appropriate scientific techniques, including information and data analysis technology.
  4. Objectivity in scientific investigations by suspending preliminary judgments, drawing conclusions only from observable and testable data, and attempting to exclude cultural assumptions and biases.
  5. Effective communication skills in written and oral presentation of research processes and results.
  6. The ability to integrate concepts of scientific and humanistic study and to understand the interaction of science and human values.
  7. Appreciation and knowledge of the range of possible science-based careers.
  8. The ability to apply scientific concepts, principles, and techniques in a professional scientific setting.