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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Undergraduate Programs

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

Biology

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, bio-business, cytotechnology, ecology, human biology, microbiology, physiology, plant science, toxicology, or zoology.

Admission to Major: Admission to Biology (B.S.) major is granted by the department. The necessary forms for admission to the major are available through the department or the College Advising Office. Admission requirements are 32 earned semester credit hours including BIOL 105 and 106, with a grade of a "C" or better in both BIOL 105 and 106; and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.

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.

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.

Biology (B.S.) Options: Students may elect to complete the general non-specialized biology major or select one of the alternative specialized options or emphases.

General, Non-Specialized Option (40 credits)

Required for Option (Core, 20-21 credits):

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

Choose two courses from the following:

  • BIOL 215 General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)

One physiology course [Biol 230 (4), Biol 431 (4), Biol 441 (4), or Biol 476 (5)]

Required Electives (5-8 credits):

Choose two courses from the following:

BIOL 301  BIOL 316  BIOL 403  BIOL 408  BIOL 418  BIOL 430  BIOL 435  BIOL 436  BIOL 442  BIOL 443  BIOL 451  BIOL 452

Additional upper division electives:
Choose additional Biology 300-400 level courses to total 40 credits in this option.

Required Minor: Yes. Chemistry.

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Cytotechnology / Cytogenetics Options (85 credits)

Cytotechnology Track

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 at Mayo School of health-Related Sciences in Rochester, MN or Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, IA. 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 in the areas of research, education, and administration.

Cytogenetics Track

Cytogenetics is the specialized area of laboratory medicine involving the study of normal and abnormal chromosomes and their relationship to human disease. Cytogenetic technologists analyze chromosomes using tissue cultures and preparations from peripheral blood, bone marrow, amniotic fluid, products of conception, and tumor samples. Cytogenetic technologists use fluorescent-labeled DNA to detect chromosome abnormalities associated with birth defects, retardation, infertility, miscarriage, and cancers. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization or FISH has become the most rapidly growing area in cytogenetics. 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 at 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. Cytogenetic technologists are employed in hospitals, clinical laboratories, research laboratories, and cytogenetic-related biotechnology companies.

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (4 credits):

Math 112 College Algebra or any higher numbered math (4 credits)

Required Support Courses (18 credits)(# Highly recommended):

Choose from the following to total at least 18 credits in Chemistry:

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)
  • CHEM 202 General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM 305 Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM 320 Organic Chemistry (5)
  • CHEM 360 Principles of Biochemistry (4)#

Core Courses (16 credits):

  • BIOL 220 Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL 230 Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 270 General Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)

Recommended Support Courses (0 credits)

Required Courses (3-4 credits)

  • BIOL 430 Hematology/ Introduction To Immunology (3)
  • BIOL 434 Development and Human Embryology (3)
  • BIOL 435 Histology (4)*
  • Molecular Biology(4)**
    • *Highly recommended for Cytotechnology Track
    • **Highly recommended for Cytogenetics Track

Required Minor: None

Professional Education (32 credits)

Clinical internships for the Cytotechnology and Cytogenetics programs are at Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN.  Adjunct faculty at the clinical sites include: Jill Caudill, CT(ASCP), Michael Henry, M.D., and Peggy Stupca, MS,CLSp(CG).  Internship sites are required by law to do background checks on all students admitted to their programs.

  • BIOL 493: Cytotechnology / Cytogenetics Clinical Internship I (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL 494: Cytotechnology / Cytogenetics Clinical Internship II (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL 495: Cytotechnology / Cytogenetics Clinical Internship III (1-12 credits)
  • BIOL 496: Cytotechnology / Cytogenetics Clinical Internship IV (1-12 credits)
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Ecology Option

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. For more information about the option and the ecology faculty, select "ecology" at the department page (see the Biological Sciences page).

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (9 credits):

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)
  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I (4)

Required Support Courses (8 credits):

Choose one:

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

Choose one:

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

Core Courses (21-27 credits required):

  • BIOL 215 General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 301 Evolution (2)
  • BIOL 408 Vertebrate Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 412 Soil Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 443 Plant Ecology (4)

Choose one letter:

  1. BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)
  2. BIOL 431 Comparative Animal Physiology (3)
  3. BIOL 217 Plant Science (3) and BIOL 441 Plant Physiology (4)
  4. BIOL 270 Microbiology (4) and BIOL 476 Microbial Physiology and Genetics (5)

Recommended Support Courses (12 credits)

  • COMS 100 Introduction to Computer Science (4)
  • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)
  • ENG 271 Technical Communication (4)

Elective Courses (20-28 credits)

  1. Choose 2-8 credits from the following Biology courses for a total of 40 credits of Biology:
    BIOL 316  BIOL 403  BIOL 404  BIOL 409  BIOL 410  BIOL 431  BIOL 432  BIOL 436  BIOL 441  BIOL 442  BIOL 460  BIOL 472  BIOL 479  BIOL 492#  BIOL 497#

    BIOL 499# and others by consent of advisor.
    #Limit of 4 credits total from these courses.

  2. Choose at least 18 credits from non-Biology courses in consultation with your advisor.
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Human Biology Options

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 will as the science course requirements for graduate education in biomedicine. If you are interested in applying of a specific medical school, please contact that school for their specific requirements.

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (9-10 credits):

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)

Choose one:

  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I (4)
  • PHYS 221 General Physics I (5)

Required Support Courses (25-27 credits):

  • CHEM 202 General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM 305 Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM 320 Organic Chemistry I (5)
  • CHEM 360 Principles of Biochemistry (4)

Choose one:

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

Choose one to complete one year of a Physics sequence:

  • PHYS 212 Principles of Physics II (4)
  • PHYS 222 General Physics II (5)

Core Courses (15-16 credits):

  • BIOL 220 Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL 230 Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)

Choose one:

  • BIOL 270 Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL 217 Plant Science (3)

Recommended Support Courses (3 credits)

  • CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry II (2)
  • CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry II lab (1)

Electives Courses (13-14 credits):

Choose electives from the following to total 40 credits in Biology:

Choose at least one:

BIOL 316  BIOL 420  BIOL 430  BIOL 433  BIOL 435  BIOL 452  BIOL 474  BIOL 475  BIOL 479  BIOL 497#  BIOL 499#

# Choose a maximum of 4 credits from these courses

Choose additional credits from:

BIOL 324  BIOL 410  BIOL 417  BIOL 418  BIOL 434  BIOL 438  BIOL 474  BIOL 460  BIOL 466

Required Minor: Yes. Chemistry.

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Microbiology Option

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 for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (8-9 credits) (include Math requirements)

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)
  • MATH 112 or any higher numbered math course listed in General Education Category 4

Required Support Courses (14 credits):

  • CHEM 202 General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM 305 Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM 320 Organic Chemistry I (5)

Core Courses (8 credits):

  • BIOL 270 General Microbiology (4)

Choose one from the following:

  • BIOL 215 General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 217 Plant Science (4)
  • BIOL 230 Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)

Recommended Support Courses (0 credits required)

  • HLTH 475 Biostatistics (3)
  • CHEM 360 Principles of Biochemistry (4)
  • CHEM 460 Biochemistry I (3)
  • CHEM 465 Biochemical Techniques I (1)
  • MATH 122 Calculus (4)
  • STAT 154 Elementary Statistics (3)

Electives Courses (21 credits):

Choose electives from the following to total 40 credits in Biology:

BIOL 420  BIOL 452  BIOL 472  BIOL 474  BIOL 475  BIOL 476  BIOL 478  BIOL 479  BIOL 499

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Plant Science Option

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.

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (13 credits) (including Math requirements):

  • MATH 111 College Algebra (4)
  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I (4)
  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)

Required Support Courses (8 credits):

Choose one:

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

Choose one:

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

Core Courses (16 credits):

  • BIOL 215 General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 217 Plant Science (3)
  • BIOL 441 Plant Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 442 Plant Taxonomy (4)

Recommended Support Courses (12 credits)

  • ENG 271 Technical Communication (4)
  • COMS 100 Introduction to Computer Science (4)
  • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)

Electives (13 credits required)*:

  1. Choose at least 13 credits from the following list of Biology courses. The electives must include a minimum of two courses with a laboratory component

    BIOL 301  BIOL 320  BIOL 430  BIOL 404  BIOL 409  BIOL 410  BIOL 412  BIOL 432  BIOL 440  BIOL 443  BIOL 445  BIOL 451  BIOL 460  BIOL 479   BIOL 492†   BIOL 497†   BIOL 499†

    † Limit of 4 credits total from these courses

  2. Choose at least 18 credits from non-Biology courses in consultation with your advisor.
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Toxicology Option

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 an 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.

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (14 credits):

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)
  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I (4)
  • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)

Required for Support Courses (28 credits):

  • CHEM 202 General Chemistry II (5)
  • CHEM 305 Analytical Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM 320 Organic Chemistry (5)
  • CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry (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)

Core Courses (32 credits):

  • BIOL 215 General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 230 Human Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 270 Microbiology (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)

Recommended Support Courses (0 credits)
Elective Courses (0 credits)

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Zoology Option

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.

Required for Option (11 credits):

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

Required General Education (13 credits):

  • CHEM 201 General Chemistry (5)
  • MATH 112 College Algebra I (4)
  • PHYS 211 Principles of Physics I (4)

Recommended Support Courses (8 credits):

Choose one:

  • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)

Required Support Courses (8 credits):

Choose one:

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

Choose one:

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

Core Courses (22-23 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)

Choose two from the following:

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

Recommended Support Courses (0 credits required):

  • COMS 100 Introduction to Computer Science (4)
  • ENGL 271 Technical Communication (4)
  • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)

Electives Courses (24 credits):

  1. Choose at least six credits from the following Biology courses

    BIOL 320   BIOL 324   BIOL 403   BIOL 408   BIOL 409  BIOL 410  BIOL 412  BIOL 420  BIOL 434  BIOL 435  BIOL 438  BIOL 460  BIOL 472  BIOL 479  BIOL 492#  BIOL 497#  BIOL 499#

    Other electives may apply with advisor's consent.

  2. Choose at least 18 credits from non-Biology courses in consultation with your advisor.

Life Science Teaching

See the Science Teaching section of this bulletin.

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Biology Minor

Required for Minor (Core, 17 credits):

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

Choose one course from the following:

BIOL 215   BIOL 217   BIOL 220   BIOL 270

Additional Elective:

Any 200 level or above course to total 17 credits in the minor.

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