Bachelor of Science inBiology

Majoring in Biology involves the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, reproduction and behavior. You’ll sharpen your analytical, problem-solving, scientific reasoning, critical thinking, communication and laboratory skills as you take 54 to 55 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Science degree. (The B.S. degree carries a larger course load for the major than the Bachelor of Arts program and allows you experience in the human cadaver laboratory.)

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Biology Curriculum Overview

Biology majors develop a strong foundation in biology by exploring cell biology, genetics, chemistry, molecular biology, ecology, evolutionary theory, scientific methodology, research techniques and more. The coursework encourages students to sharpen their analytical, problem-solving, scientific reasoning, critical thinking, communication, and laboratory skills. Students have the opportunity to work in Concordia University’s research laboratory to get hands-on experience early in their coursework and to develop mentoring relationships with fulltime faculty who are experiences in cutting-edge research. Experience in the human cadaver laboratory is an important part of the program.

Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
BIO - 120 Biology I: The Unity of Life 4
CHE - 115 General Chemistry I 4
MAT - 125 Precalculus 4
MAT - 135 Calculus I 4

Emphasizing inquiry and investigation, this course introduces students to the discoveries, both historical and contemporary, that support the unifying theories of modern biological science. Topics considered include the nature and methods of modern biological science; the basis of life in terms of matter, energy, cells, genetics, and reproduction; and the impact of evolution on the unity of life. The course is comprised of lectures, readings, discussions, written assignments, films, and an inquiry-based laboratory component. (Recommended prerequisites: one year of high school biology and chemistry and four years of high school mathematics)

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Systematic introduction to the conceptual and symbolic aspects of chemistry. Critical and quantitative thought as applied to the topics of measurement, formula and equation writing, stoichiometry, atomic structure and periodicity, bonding and molecular geometry, gases, phases and phase changes. Brief introduction to Organic Chemistry. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisites: High School chemistry and one year of algebra or consent of instructor)

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This course emphasizes functions and their applications. It starts with investigating graphs and solutions of the algebraic functions including polynomial, rational, and root functions. The course continues by exploring transcendental functions including exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. The course concludes with a study of conic sections. The course is a good preparation for Calculus and for those students who will encounter functions in their course of study. Students must earn a minimum grade of C- in this course to progress to the next level Math course. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in MAT100 or MAT105 or level 4 or higher placement on the Math Placement Exam )

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This course explores the concepts of limit and continuity, investigates techniques of differentiation and its applications, introduces integration, and provides the framework for the Fundamental Theorem. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in MAT125 or level 5 placement on the Math Placement Exam.)

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Required: 37 to 38 credits; Biology Core: 18
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
BIO - 130 Biology II: Diversity of Life 4
BIO - 210 Genetics 4
BIO - 330 Cell Biology
BIO - 450 Special Topics in Biology 1
BIO - 456 Research in Biology 4
BIO - 498 Biology Internship 2

Current and competing hypotheses explaining the origin, development, and maintenance of the Earth's biodiversity are critically evaluated. Employing a phylogenetic approach and emphasizing the Eukaryote, the major lineages of life are surveyed and compared by considering evolutionary trends and the relationships between structure and function within and among lineages. Abiotic and biotic factors, including human activity, influencing populations, communities, ecosystems and the biosphere are explored. The course is comprised of lectures, readings, discussions, written assignments, films, and an inquiry-based laboratory component. (Prerequisite: BIO120; Recommended prerequisites: one year of high school biology and chemistry and four years of high school mathematics)

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This course is a study of the principles of heredity based upon concepts and principles of the gene. Major topics include Mendelian genetics, sex determination and sex linkage, gene mapping, structure and function of DNA, translation, transcription, recombinant DNA technology, chromosome mutations and aberrations, transposons, extra nuclear genomes and quantitative genetics. Problem solving will be emphasized. Three lecture/discussion sections and one three hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120)

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This course is a study of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells from a molecular viewpoint. Major topics include molecular cell structure, energy requirements of the cell, membranes and compartments of the cell, nucleus and information of the cell and specialized cellular organelle functions. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120)

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The topic for this course will vary each semester, chosen from a wide range of current research in biology. Students will read background material, participate in discussions and complete writing assignments as directed by the instructor. This course will meet for one lecture/discussion hour per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120)

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This course offers students an opportunity to do original research in an area of expertise of one of the biology faculty members. When applicable, the research will be followed with presentation of a poster or a paper at a research symposium.(Prerequisite: BIO120)

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This internship is designed to provide students with a work/educational experience which will help them determine their future educational and occupational goals.

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Chemistry Requirement: 12 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHE - 116 General Chemistry II 4
CHE - 221 Organic Chemistry I 0
CHE - 328 Biochemistry 0

Continuation of General Chemistry 1. Solutions and Colligative Properties, Equilibrium, Thermodynamics, Qualitative Analysis, Kinetics, Reduction, Oxidation, Nuclear Chemistry. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisite: CHE115)

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This course is an introductory study of organic compounds using a functional group approach and stressing basic principles. Topics covered include the covalence of carbon, isomerism, stereoisomerism and the structure, properties, nomenclature and reactions of the common functional groups. The determination of molecular structure is introduced. (Prerequisite: CHE116)

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Molecular determinants of structure and function of biomolecules. Biological processes at the molecular level. Enzyme catalysis, bioenergetics, and metabolism. Three lectures (150 minutes) and one laboratory period (180 minutes) per week. (Prerequisite: CHE221)

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Mathematics Requirement: 3 to 4 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MAT - 110 Intro Probability & Statistics 3
EDT - 230 Creating Virtual Educ Material 2

This course will explore fundamental topics from probability and descriptive and inferential statistics and apply these to a range of areas of study including business, social science, and biology. Topics include probability and counting rules, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression, chi-square, and analysis-of-variance. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in MAT100 or MAT103 or level 3 or higher placement on the Math Placement Exam.)

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This course is designed to facilitate skills in creating supplemental materials for use in the online environment. Participants apply adult learning theory to the development of selected media tools.

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Physics Requirement: 4 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
PHS - 112 General Physics I (Trig Based) 4
PHS - 221 General Physics I (Calc Based) 4

This algebraic-based course deals with the areas of mechanics and mechanical waves. Physics concepts related to mechanics and mechanical waves are developed mathematically, applied to practical situations, and measured and analyzed in the laboratory setting. Students make use of the computer as a tutorial aid, use a great variety of laboratory equipment (including sensors along with the computer) to procure and analyze data, and use selected software to demonstrate physics concepts and model practical situations. The course meets for two lecture periods each week and for 2 - 2 period lab sessions each week.

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This calculus-based course deals with the areas of mechanics, thermodynamics, and wave motion. Physics' concepts related to these topics are presented, applied to practical situations, and measured and analyzed in the laboratory setting. Students make use of the computer as a tutorial aid, use a great variety of laboratory equipment (including sensors along with the computer) to procure and analyze data, and use selected software to demonstrate physics' concepts and model practical situations. The Internet and literature are used to obtain current information. The course is applicable to students majoring in pre-medicine, pre-engineering, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and science education. (Prerequisites: One year of high school physics and Calculus I)

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Electives: Minimum 17 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
BIO - 220 Plant Biology 0
BIO - 230 Animal Biology and Physiology
BIO - 300 Microbiology
BIO - 315 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO - 316 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIO - 320 Ecology
BIO - 340 Science Issues and Ethics 4
BIO - 350 Medical Terminology 2
BIO - 415 Biology of Aging 3
BIO - 430 Immunology 3
BIO - 435 Molecular Biol Tech Adv Lab 4
BIO - 440 Human Gross Anatomy 4
BIO - 460 Neuroscience 4
BIO - 497 Biology Teaching Assistant 4
KHS - 473 Biomechanics 4
PSY - 310 Physiological Psychology 4

This course is a study of botany based primarily upon morphological and physiological concepts and principles. Major topics include the plant cell; the ontogeny, structure and physiology of plant tissues and organs; and the forms, phylogeny and life cycles of representative plant groups. Three lecture/demonstration sessions and one two-hour laboratory period per week.

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This course provides a comparative study of major animal groups within a taxonomic, morphological and physiological framework. Major topics include animal cells, animal tissues, organ systems, animal phylogeny, life cycles and development. Three lecture sessions and one three hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisites: BIO120)

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This course explores the nature and diversity of microorganisms by considering their structural, functional, ecological and taxonomic relationships. Major topics include microbial structure and growth, metabolism, environmental and ecological interactions, viruses, genetics and representative prokaryotic groups. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120)

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This course is part one of a study of the structure and function of the human body. Major topics include the introduction to the human body, cells, tissues and skeletal, muscle, nervous and cardiovascular systems. Three lectures and one three hour lab period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120)

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This course is part two of a study of the structure and function of the human body. Major topics include the autonomic nerves and special senses and endocrine, respiratory, digestive, immune, metabolism, reproductive and urinary systems. Three lectures and one three hour lab period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120 or instructor consent)

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This course provides the opportunity to study the inter-relationships between organisms, both plant and animal and their environment. These studies include intraspecies and interspecies relationships. The lab consists of field study techniques, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. Thee lecture/discussion sections and one three hour laboratory period per week. (Prerequisite: BIO120 and BIO130, Recommended: MAT110).

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This course includes a short introduction to the study of philosophy and ethics, followed by critical analyses of current issues in health and environmental sciences. Ethical discussions are framed in a solid understanding of the science behind each topic. The course will include a variety of formats, including reading and reviewing papers and/or texts, analyzing case studies, and participating in class discussions. (Prerequisite: BIO120 and CHE115).

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This course will help students learn the components of medical terms. Students will learn the basic elements of words, such as roots, prefixes, suffixes, combining vowels, and combining forms in order to understand, the word's meaning. Students will be able to apply the meaning of the word to an anatomical structure, physiological function or pathology, the course will be mainly online but with several scheduled face-to-face meetings for discussion and examination.

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This 3 credit course will focus on theories of human aging from a biological perspective. The structural and functional changes that occur during the aging process will be investigated at several levels: molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ system. The symptoms and clinical management of age-related diseases will also be explored. This course is targeted for students interested in the health sciences and is required for the gerontology minor/certification. Prerequisite: BIO120 (preferred) OR BIO100

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This course provides a comprehensive study of the immune system. Major topics include passive immunity, cell-mediated immunity, humoral immunity, autoimmune diseases, vaccination strategies and other medically relevant topics. (Prerequisite: BIO330)

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This course provides the students with an opportunity to master a number of molecular biology techniques that are currently used in research laboratories. Major topics may include DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing, recombinant DNA technology and cloning methods, DNA and protein gel electrophoresis, protein purification, and Western blot analysis. There will be focus given to reading and analyzing the scientific literature and writing scientific articles based on the lab. Four hours laboratory/lecture periods per week. (Prerequisite: BIO210)

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This course is a comprehensive study of human anatomy which includes dissection of a human cadaver. Skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, and urogenital systems will be covered, and emphasis will be placed on the relatedness of structure and function.

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This course introduces the rapid growing field of neuroscience. The course covers topics ranging from neuronal structure and function, synaptic communication and signaling, gross organization of the brain and spinal cord, to sensory and motor responses as well as higher functions such as learning, memory, and cognition.

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Students enrolled in this course will work with a faculty member to gain teaching experience in biology courses. Activities may include: designing laboratory exercises; working with students in laboratory, classroom and tutoring environment; preparing and delivering lectures; developing course materials; and grading.

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This course examines the physics of human movement. Content areas include the structural mechanics of bone construction, muscle contraction, ligament, and tendon plasticity and elasticity. Sport implement mechanics and the mechanics of environmental conditions (e.g. friction, air, and water resistance) are also explored. Sport performance issues will also be analyzed for mechanical efficiency. (Suggested prerequisite: KHS474)

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This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of brain and nervous system physiology. The focus will be on how the nervous system governs behavioral and cognitive processes. Functional and dysfunctional physiology and what this tells us about maladaptive behaviors will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: PSY101)

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Bachelor of Science degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 45 to 60 credits, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Meet Your Professors

Mary Ann Yang Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Yang leads CSP’s undergraduate research program, which conducts cutting-edge research in the field of biology that is rare at the undergraduate level.

Amanda Brosnahan Ph.D. Term Faculty of Biology

Dr. Brosnahan joined the science department in August 2013 after spending four years conducting post-doctoral research in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the U. of Minnesota.

Benjamin Harrison Term Faculty of Biology

Dr. Benjamin Harrison brings a wide range of academic interests which stem from his fascination with DNA, chromosomes, and the cell cycle.

Dr. Leanne Bakke Associate Dean - School of Science/Technology/Engineering/Math, Science Department Chairperson, Professor of Science

Career Potential

You’ll also have real opportunities beyond the classroom, in activities such as working as a laboratory assistant, participating in the Tetra Delta science club, tutoring other biology students and completing internships. And because we design our biology program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant major if you’re considering a career as a medical professional, pharmacist, laboratory researcher, genetic counselor, science teacher, environmental scientist or other professional in a biology-related field.

  • Biology Teacher
  • Chiropractor
  • Environmentalist
  • Dentistry
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Laboratory Researcher
  • Medical Doctor
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Reseacher
  • Pharmaceutical Salesperson
  • Pharmacist
  • Science Teacher
  • Wildlife Conservationist

Related Programs
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Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Credit Hours: 39

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

Credit Hours: 40

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