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Minor inBiology

Minoring in Biology involves the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, reproduction and behavior. How are genes mapped? How can nanotechnologies be made biocompatible? How are we to make ethical choices in the context of scientific progress? You’ll sharpen your analytical, problem-solving, scientific reasoning, critical thinking, communication and laboratory skills as you take 26 credit hours toward a biology minor in conjunction with a different bachelor’s degree major.

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Biology Curriculum Overview

Biology minors develop a strong foundation in biology by exploring cell biology, genetics, chemistry, molecular biology, 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 gain relevant research experience on campus and develop mentoring relationships with full-time faculty who are experienced in cutting-edge research. A human cadaver laboratory is available to supplement the learning experience for those students interested in the healthcare field.

Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
BIO - 120 Biology I: The Unity of Life 4
CHE - 110 Chemistry in Perspective 0
CHE - 115 General Chemistry 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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Chemistry principles will be developed on a need to know basis within the context of selected societal problems. Class format will encourage students to contribute knowledge from non-scientific fields to expand the base of applicability. This course is especially designed for the non-science major and may not be used for credit in any of the science majors or minors. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week.

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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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Required: 8 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
BIO - 220 Plant Biology 0
BIO - 230 Animal Biology and Physiology
BIO - 435 Molecular Biol Tech Adv Lab 4
BIO - 456 Research in Biology 4
BIO - 300 Microbiology
BIO - 315 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO - 316 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIO - 320 Ecology
BIO - 430 Immunology 3
BIO - 450 Special Topics in Biology 1
BIO - 455 Research Proposal 1
CHE - 328 Biochemistry 0

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 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 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 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 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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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 provides the foundation for the Research in Biology Course (BIO456). The students will engage in a literature survey of research in the instructor's area of expertise and develop a research proposal consisting of a research hypothesis, a rationale for the work and experimental design. Course will meet one hour per week. (Open to students in the last two years of study and with instructor consent. Students will plan to complete BIO456 in the following semester with the same instructor.)

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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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An academic minor normally consists of 20 to 24 credits taken in courses in one area or related areas of study prescribed by the faculty.

Meet Your Professors

Mary Ann Yang Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Yang has research experience in the both the industrial and academic sectors of biology. Her areas of interest include neurobiology, tissue engineering, and cell biology.

Amanda Brosnahan Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology, Science Department Chair

Dr. Brosnahan’s interests in infectious disease led her to pursue a Ph.D. in the areas of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology.

Benjamin Harrison, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology

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

Leanne Bakke, Ph.D. Professor of Biology

Dr. Bakke has a background in molecular physiology and currently acts as the head of the science department.

Taylor Mach, Ph.D. Term Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Mach’s varied experience gives him expertise in physical chemistry, physics, and education.

Carolyn Wanamaker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Wanamaker’s interests include using organic and polymer chemistry to create novel biodegradable plastics.

Career Potential

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

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