Undergraduate Programs

Page address: http://cset.mnsu.edu/biology/programs/ugrad/biologybs.html

Biology

College of Science, Engineering & Technology
Department of Biological Sciences
242 Trafton Science Center S #507-389-2786
Website: www.cset.mnsu.edu/biology/
 

Chair: Penny Knoblich, DVM; Ph.D.

Lois Anderson, M.S.; Michael Bently, Ph.D.; Christopher Conlin, Ph.D.; Bradley Cook, Ph.D.; Geoff Goellner, Ph.D.; Marilyn Hart, Ph.D.; John Krenz, Ph.D.; Bethann Lavoie, Ph.D.; Alison Mahoney, Ph.D.; Gregg Marg, Ph.D.; Steven Mercurio, Ph.D.; Beth Proctor, Ph.D.; Cristopher Ruhland, Ph.D.; Timothy Secott, Ph.D.; Robert Sorensen, Ph.D.; Daniel Toma, Ph.D.; Dorothy Wrigley, Ph.D.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers programs for students preparing for careers in education, laboratory and field research, biotechnology, environmental sciences, clinical laboratory sciences, cytotechnology, food science technology, and pre-professional programs including pre-agriculture, pre-forestry, pre-medicine, and pre-veterinary medicine.  

the biology major offers a core program intended to develop a common background in biology and additional upper level courses designed to provide specialized options. Students typically take a broad based general biology major or an emphasis in one of the following: general biology, cytotechnology, ecology, biomedical sciences, microbiology, plant science, toxicology, or zoology. Programs in biotechnology, environmental sciences, food science technology and science teaching are also offered.

Admission to Major: is granted by the department. Admission requirements are 32 earned semester hours including BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, and CHEM 201 with a grade of "C" or better; completed General Education Goal Area 4 (Mathematics); completed General Education Goal Area 2, Part A (English Composition); and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.2, with a cumulative GPA in Biology courses of 2.0.

Residency requirement for the Major. At least 50% of courses 300 level and up that are required for the major must be taken at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Graduation with a Biology Major requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0; and a minimum cumulative GPA in Biology courses of 2.0.
 

Policies/Information

P/N Grading Policy: All courses leading to a major or a minor in biology must be taken for letter grades. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the chairperson of the department.
Refer to the College regarding required advising for students on academic probation.

 GPA Policy: In programs wherenot specifically noted, a minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained in biological sciences. A minimum GPA of 2.6 in the sciences must be maintained to meet student teaching requirements.

Scholarships: Several biology scholarships are available for entering freshmen and currently enrolled MSU students who meet the requirements. Application deadline is March 31 of each year.

Summer: The Department of Biological Sciences offers a well-balanced summer school program. For details concerning the courses being offered consult the summer bulletin.

Biology (B.S.) Major Emphases

Degree completion = 120 credits

Students may elect to complete the general non-specialized biology major or select one of the alternative specialized options or emphases.

Required General Education for all Emphases:

  • BIOL    105       General Biology I (4)
  • BIOL    106       General Biology II (4)
  • BIOL     211      Genetics (4)
  • CHEM  201       General Chemistry I (5)
  • ENG     271W   Technical Communication (4) 

Major Emphasis: General, Non-Specialized

All emphases require: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Math Requirement (Choose 3-4 credits):

  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)
  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)

Physics Requirement (Choose 3-4 credits):

  • PHYS    101    Introductory Physics (3)
  • PHYS    211    Principles of Physics I (4)
  • PHYS    221    General Physics I (4)

Statistics Requirement (Choose 3 credits):

  • HLTH    475    Biostatistics (3)
  • STAT    154    Elementary Statistics (3)

Emphasis Common Core (Choose 20 credits):

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    301    Evolution (2)
  • BIOL    320    Cell Biology (4)
  • CHEM  202    General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM  322    Organic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM  323    Supplemental Organic Functional Group Chemistry (1)

Physiology Requirement:

Choose ONLY ONE of the four following pairs of courses (6 to 9 credits total). Emphasis Restricted Electives plus Emphasis Unrestricted Electives must total at least 18 credits to fulfill the 40-credit major requirment.

Human Physiology:

  • BIOL    220    Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL    330    Principles of Human Physiology (4)

Plant Physiology:

  • BIOL    217    Plant Science (4)
  • BIOL    441    Plant Physiology (4)

Microbiology Physiology:

  • BIOL    270     Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    476     Microbial Physiology and Genetics (5)

Animal Physiology:

  • BIOL    316    Animal Diversity (3)
  • BIOL    431    Comparative Animal Physiology (3)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives (choose 9-12 credits):

Choose additional upper-division courses so you have a total of 40 credits in Biology. At least 7 of these elective credits must be from courses with a laboratory component.

  • BIOL 300 - BIOL 499

 Recommended Support Courses (choose 0-8 credits):

  • CHEM    360    Principles of Biochemistry (4)
  • CHEM    460    Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM    465    Biochemical Techniques I (1)

 Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Biomedical Sciences

The purpose of this option is to prepare the student for a career in biomedicine. The option fulfills the science course requirements for most medical, osteopathic, dental, and chiropractic schools as well as the science course requirements for graduate education in biomedicine. If you are interested in applying for a specific medical school, please contact that school for their specific requirements. All emphases require BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Emphasis Required General Education (4 credits):

  • PHYS    211    Principles of Physics I (4)

Math Requirement (choose 3-4 credits):

  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)
  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)

Emphasis Common Core (choose 37 credits):

  • BIOL    220    Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    320    Cell Biology (4)
  • BIOL    330    Principles of Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL    434    Developmental Biology (3)
  • CHEM  202    General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM  305    Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM  322    Organic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM  323    Supplemental Organic Functional Group Chemistry (1)
  • PHYS   212    Principles of Physics II (4)

Emphasis Restricted Electives:

Biochemistry (choose 4 credits):

  • CHEM    360    Principles of Biochemistry (4)
  • CHEM    460    Biochemistry I (3)
  • CHEM    465    Biochemical Techniques I (1)

Additional Math/Stats Requirement (choose 3-4 credits):

MATH 121 cannot be counted in this category if previously counted in the Math Requirement.

  • HLTH    475    Biostatistics (3)
  • MATH   121    Calculus I (4)
  • STAT     354    Concepts of Probability & Statistics (3)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives (choose 9 credits):

At least one course must have a laboratory component. Choose a maximum of 4 credits from BIOL 497 or BIOL 499.

  • BIOL    324    Neurobiology (3)
  • BIOL    410    Global Change Biology (3)
  • BIOL    417    Biology of Aging and Chronic Diseases (3)
  • BIOL    420    Diagnostic Parasitology (3)
  • BIOL    430    Hematology/Introduction to Immunology (4)
  • BIOL    433    Cardiovascular Physiology (3)
  • BIOL    435    Histology (4)
  • BIOL    438    General Endocrinology (3)
  • BIOL    452    Biological Instrumentation (3)
  • BIOL    460    Introduction to toxicology (3)
  • BIOL    466    Principles of Pharmacology (3)
  • BIOL    474    Immunology (4)
  • BIOL    475    Medical Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    479    Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIOL    497    Internship I (1-12)
  • BIOL    499    Indicidual Study (1-4)

 Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Biology Cytotechnology

A cytotechnologist is an allied health professional and is involved in the microscopic study of cells for evidence of disease and cancer. Cytotechnologists are trained to accurately identify precancerous, malignant, and infectious conditions using cytological techniques. The "Pap test" (an evaluation of cells from the uterine cervix) is the best known test in this field. The four-year curriculum consists of three years spent at the university completing the required courses and the fourth year is a 32 credit internship spent in professional education. Agencies participating in the cytotechnology program include, but are not limited to: Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN. Admission into the fourth year hospital clinical internship is competitive. Therefore, admission to the program does not ensure placement into the fourth year internship. The BS degree is awarded by the university after successful completion of the internship year. Graduates are then eligible to take the certifying examination. Cytotechnologists are employed in hospital laboratories, universities, and private laboratories. Adjunct faculty at the clinical sites include: Kara Hansing, CT (ASCP). Students accepted into the clinical internship will be responsible for: Proof of Medical/Hspitaliztion/Health Incsurance; Health Physical Exam; Tuberculosis (TB) testing; and Proof of Immuniztion which may include the following: Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Chickenpox (Varicella), and Influenza. Students may also be required to submit to Drug Screen Testing. Internship sites are required by law to do Background Checks on all students admitted to their cytotechnology programs. All emphases require BIOL 105, 106, 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Emphasis Required General Education (choose 4 credits):

  • MATH    112    College Algebra (4)
  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)
  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)

Emphasis Required Support Courses (choose 13 credits):

Choose from the following to total at least 13 credits in Chemistry.

  • CHEM    202    General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM    305    Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM    322    Organic Chemistry (5)
  • CHEM    323    Supplemental Organic Functional Group Chemistry (1)
  • CHEM    360    Principles of Biochemistry (4)

Emphasis Core Courses (choose 16 credits):

  • BIOL    202    Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    320    Cell Biology (4)
  • BIOL    330    Principles of Human Physiology (4)

Emphasis Restricted Electives (choose 3-4 credits):

  • BIOL    430    Hematology/Introduction to Immunology (4)
  • BIOL    434    Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIOL    435    Histology (4)
  • BIOL    479    Molecular Biology (4)

Professional Education (choose 32 credits):

  • BIOL    493    Cytotechnology Clinical Internship I (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL    494    Cytotechnology Clinical Internship II (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL    495    Cytotechnology Clinical Internship III (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL    496    Cytotechnology Clinical Internship IV (1-12 credits)

Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Ecology

Ecology is the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. The option consists of fundamental courses in biology and related sciences, mid-level study in genetics, evolution, and statistics, and an array of upper-division electives that emphasize fieldwork, data analysis, and writing. Many students collaborate with faculty in their research or conduct independent research projects. Career titles available with this option include ecologist, naturalist, wildlife biologist, natural resource manager, first biologist, marine biologist, conservational training or graduate school. All emphases require BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Emphasis Common Core (choose 17 credits):

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    301    Evolution (2)
  • BIOL    408    Vertebrate Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    443    Plant Ecology (4)
  • HLTH   475    Biostatistics (3)

Chemistry Requirement (choose 5 credits)

  • CHEM    111    Chemistry of Life Processes (5)
  • CHEM    202    General Chemistry II (5)

Emphasis Required General Education Courses:

Physics Requirements:

  • PHYS    211    Principles of Physics I (4)

Math Requirements (choose 3-4 credits):

  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)

Emphasis Restricted Electives: Physiology Requirement
(COMPLETE ONE GROUP)

Animal Physiology:

  • BIOL   316    Animal Diversity (3)
  • BIOL   431    Comparative Animal Physiology (3)

Microbiol Physiology:

  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    476    Microbial Physiology and Genetics (5)

Plant Physiology:

  • BIOL    217    Plant Sciences (4)
  • BIOL    441    Plant Physiology (4)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives (choose 40 credits):

Choose courses to total 40 credits in biology. Courses other than those listed are allowed with consent of your advisor. A limit of 4 total credits is allowed from BIOL 492, BIOL 497, and BIOL 499 combined.

  • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)
  • BIOL 404 Wetlands (4)
  • BIOL 405 Fisheries Biology (3)
  • BIOL 409 Advanced Field Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 410 Global Change Biology (3)
  • BIOL 412 Soil Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 431 Comparative Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIOL 432 Lake Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 436 Animal Behavior (4)
  • BIOL 441 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 442 Flora of Minnesota (4)
  • BIOL 460 Introduction to Toxicology (3)
  • BIOL 472 Microbial Ecology and Bioremediation
  • BIOL 479 Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIOL 492 Honors Research (1-3)
  • BIOL 497 Internship I (1-12)
  • BIOL 499 Individual (1-4)

Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Microbiology

Microorganisms impact every area of life. The option exposes students to a variety of topics in microbiology and teaches numerous skills needed to work with microorganisms. Training in microbiology prepares students for employment in industry (ex. quality assurance, vaccine production) and government (ex. laboratory technicians). Currently, employment opportunities abound in applied areas of microbiology such as biological products/pharmaceuticals, food processing, environmental assessment. It also prepares a student for continuing education in microbiology, immunology, and cell and molecular biology. Students may elect to work on research projects with faculty who work in the areas of food microbiology, immunology, microbial genetics, and molecular biology.

Required General Education:

Math Requirement (choose 3-4 credits):

  • MATH    112    College Algebra (4)
  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)
  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)

Emphasis Common Core (choose 18 credits):

  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4)
  • CHEM  202    General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM  305    Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM  322    Organic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM  323    Supplemental Organic Functional Group Chemistry (1)

 Emphasis Restricted Electives (choose 4-5 credits):

  • BIOL    476     Microbial Physiology and Genetics (5)
  • CHEM  360     Principles of Biochemistry (4)
  • CHEM  460     Biochemistry I (3)
  • CHEM  465     Biochemical Techniques I (1)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives (choose 25 credits):

BIOL 476, CHEM 360, CHEM 460, and CHEM 465 can satisfy this category IF they are not used in the Emphasis Restricted Electives.

  • BIOL    420    Diagnostic Parasitiology (3)
  • BIOL    452    Biological Instrumentation (3)
  • BIOL    472    Microbial Ecology and Bioremediation (4)
  • BIOL    474    Immunology (4)
  • BIOL    475    Medical Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    476    Microbial Physiology and Genetics (5)
  • BIOL    478    Food Microbiology and Sanitation (4)
  • BIOL    479    Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIOL    497    Internship I (1-12)
  • BIOL    499    Individual Study (1-4)

Recommended General Electives (choose 0-7 credits):

  • HLTH     475    Biostatistics (3)
  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)

Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Plant Science

The Plant Biology option includes the study of cells, genetics, anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, and ecology of terrestrial and aquatic vascular plants, mosses, algae and fungi. The option emphasizes plant structure and function, diversity, evolutionary and anatomical adaptations and interactions between plants and their environment. An option in plant sciences prepares undergraduate students for careers in education, biotechnology, field biology, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. In addition, the option prepares students for Master's and Doctoral degrees in Plant Science. All Emphases require BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

General Education Requirements:

Physics Requirement (choose 4 credits):

  •  PHYS    211    Principles of Physics I (4)

Math Requirement (choose 3-4 credits):

  • MATH    113    Trigonometry
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)

Emphasis Common Core (choose 20 credits):

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    217    Plant Science (4)
  • BIOL    441    Plant Physiology
  • BIOL    442    Flora of Minnesota (4)
  • BIOL    443    Plant Ecology (4)

Emphasis Restricted Electives:

Chemistry Requirement (choose 5 credits):

  • CHEM   111    Chemistry of Life Processes (5)
  • CHEM   202    General Chemistry II (5)

Statistics Requirement (choose 3 credits):

  • HLTH   475    Biostatistics (3)
  • STAT   154    Elementary Statistics (3)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives:
(choose at least 12 credits from the following list of electives)
At least two of the courses must have laboratory components. A MAXIMUM of 4 credits may be selected from BIOL 492, BIOL 497, and BIOL 499 combined.

  • BIOL    301    Evolution (2)
  • BIOL    320    Cell Biology (4)
  • BIOL    404    Wetlands (4)
  • BIOL    409    Advanced Field Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    410    Global Change Biology (3)
  • BIOL    412    Soil Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    432    Lake Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    451    Plant Biotechnology (4)
  • BIOL    460    Introduction to Toxicology (3)
  • BIOL    479    Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIOL    492    Honors Research (1-3)
  • BIOL    497    Internship I (1-12)
  • BIOL    499    Individual Study (1-4)

Recommended Support Courses:

  • IT          200    Introduction to Computing and Applications (4)
  • MATH   121    Calculus I (4)

Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Toxicology

Toxicology is the study of the harmful effects of chemicals, radiation, and other stressors on biological systems. This is a wide-ranging course of study, allowing students to connect their background on chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, etc. to understand all aspects of how an exposure may or may not yield a toxic result. Then students can do elementary risk assessment and environmental or medical analyses. The purpose of this option is to train students in the theory and hands-on research techniques of an interdisciplinary biological science at the undergraduate level in a field where there are few programs in the United States. Since toxins can be antibiotics antiviral or other chemotherapeutic medications, antidotes, agricultural chemicals, industrial chemicals, radiation, or just stressors such as poor ergonomics, graduates can and have proceeded into research and testing of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and environmental toxicology in industry, government, or academic institutions. Additionally, training in risk assessments leads to additional opportunities for statistical modeling, which is employed in the areas mentioned above and industrial hygiene. All emphases require BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Emphasis Required General Education (choose 8 credits):

  • MATH    121    Calculus I (4)
  • PHYS     211    Principles of Physics I (4)

Emphasis Common Core (choose 65 credits):

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    220    Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL    330    Principles of Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL    460    Introduction to Toxicology (3)
  • BIOL    461    Environmental Toxicology (4)
  • BIOL    462    Toxicology Seminar (1)
  • BIOL    464    Methods of Applied Toxicology (3)
  • BIOL    465    Applied Toxicology Project (3)
  • BIOL    466    Principles of Pharmacology (3)
  • BIOL    467    Industrial Hygiene (3)
  • CHEM  202    General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM  305    Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM  322    Organic Chemistry I (5)
  • CHEM  324    Organic Chemistry II (2)
  • CHEM  460    Biochemistry I (3)
  • CHEM  461    Biochemistry II (3)
  • CHEM  465    Biochemical Techniques I (1)
  • CHEM  466    Biochemical Techniques II (2)
  • HLTH    475    Biostatistics (3)

Required Minor:

  • None
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Major Emphasis: Zoology

Zoology is a major branch of the biological sciences that involves the study of animals. Study in this area focuses on organismal diversity, animal structures and the functions, genetics, development, evolution, behavior, and ecological interactions. Occupations that may be available to graduate include: Animal Husbandry, Museum/Zoo Guide, Animal Laboratory Technician, Animal Trainer, Pest Control Technician, Museum Curator, Entomologist, Environmental Consultant, Field Researcher, Science Writer, Physician, Veterinarian, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Zoo Keeper, and Zoologist. Advanced training in professional or graduate schools is required in many of these areas and acceptance for advanced training is competitive. Success in this career field typically requires: a thorough knowledge of general biology, the ability to work and relate with animals, proficiency in reading and writing the ability to collect and analyze data, and an interest in problem solving and decision making. All emphases require BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Emphasis Required General Education (choose 8 credits):

  • MATH    112    College Algebra (4)
  • MATH    113    Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH    115    Precalculus Mathematics (4)
  • PHYS    211    Principles of Physics I (4)

Emphasis Common Core (choose 19 credits):

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    301    Evolution (2)
  • BIOL    316    Animal Diversity (3)
  • BIOL    408    Vertebrate Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    431    Comparative Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIOL    434    Developmental Biology (3)

Emphasis Restricted Electives (choose 6-7 credits):

  • BIOL    420    Diagnostic Parasitology (3)
  • BIOL    421    Entomology (3)
  • BIOL    436    Animal Behavior (4)
  • BIOL    438    General Endocrinology (3)

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives (choose 6 credits):

Other courses may apply with advisor's consent. A MAXIMUM of four credits may be used from BIOL 492, BIOL 497, and BIOL 499 combined.

  • BIOL    320    Cell Biology (4)
  • BIOL    324    Neurobiology (3)
  • BIOL    403    Conservation Biology (3)
  • BIOL    409    Advanced Field Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    410    Global Change Biology (3)
  • BIOL    412    Soil Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    420    Diagnostic Parasitology
  • BIOL    435    Histology (4)
  • BIOL    438    General Endocrinology (3)
  • BIOL    460    Introduction to Toxicology (3)
  • BIOL    472    Microbial Ecology and Bioremediation (4)
  • BIOL    479    Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIOL    492    Honors Research (1-3)
  • BIOL    497    Internship I (1-12)
  • BIOL    499    Individual Study (1-4)

Required Minor:

  • None

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Life Science Teaching

See the Science Teaching section of this bulletin.
 

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Biology Minor

Required for Minor (Core, 17 credits):

  • BIOL    105    General Biology I (4)
  • BIOL    106    General Biology II (4)
  • BIOL    211    Genetics (3)

Minor Elective:

In addition to the course chosen from the list below add any 200-level or above biology course to total 17 credits in the minor.
(choose one course from the following)

  • BIOL    215    General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL    217    Plant Science (4)
  • BIOL    220    Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL    270    Microbiology (4) 
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