The BS in Biology is designed to prepare students for graduate study in the biological sciences, for professional study in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, other biomedical specialties and related health careers as well as for careers as high school teachers.
The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology in addition to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology.
The B.A. in Biology is intended for students who have an interest in science, particularly biology, and wish to integrate the sciences more
fully into the arts and humanities curriculum.
What is biology?
Biology is the study of living organisms. It is a broad-based science, one that has areas of specialization for almost anyone interested in
science. From the structure and function of molecules to the remarkable interaction of plants and animals with their environment, from
animal behavior to toxicology, Biology is an excellent major for you if you have an inquisitive mind, are interested in science and enjoy
hard work. Biologists use mathematics and their knowledge of physical and chemical sciences as tools to study living things. They
routinely work cooperatively and need to possess good communication skills to present their ideas to others.
How do I know if the Bachelor of Arts in Biology is right for me?
• You want to broaden your study of biology in an interdisciplinary program which bridges the biological and physical sciences with the
social sciences, arts and humanities.
• You want a strong background in the biological sciences but you want to pursue a career in nursing, law, environmental policy,
pharmaceutical sales or other jobs related to biology.
You should pursue the Bachelor of Science in Biology if you are planning to study biology in preparation for admission to medical school,
pharmacy, dental or other health related professional schools, master’s or doctoral programs in the medicinal sciences, or if you plan to
become a teacher at a secondary education level.
What are the requirements for this degree?
Chemistry: one year of general chemistry and one semester of organic and biochemistry
Physics: one semester of college physics
Mathematics: proficiency in trigonometry
Biology: one year of the principles of biology and then a well-rounded course selection that includes organismal and systems courses,
genetics, evolution or physical anthropology, environmental science and a choice of upper-level biology electives
Science-Humanities core: selection of three courses from Science and the Humanities, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, or
Science and Religion
Foreign language: one year or proficiency at the 200-level
Interdisciplinary project: a major scholarly paper that integrates biology and the humanities
What can a Biology major do?
• Study the function, development, interaction and evolution of diverse living organisms
• Investigate genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms in the laboratory
• Learn about all the factors (e.g. scientific, economic, political, philosophical and societal) that go into making an educated decision
about global warming and what is good for the environment
• Participate in a practicum (on-the-job experience with a health care professional)
• Work in one of the finest university natural history museums in the Midwest
• Gain research experience by working side-by-side with a faculty member in the department studying biological networks, paleobiology
of fossils, insect/plant interactions, cellular mechanisms of bone loss, lifespan of fruit flies, antibiotic resistance, and genetic
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