Biology (BS)

General, Non-Specialized

Students may elect to complete the general, non-specialized biology major or select one of the alternative specialized emphases. All emphases require BIOL 105, 106, 211, CHEM 201, and ENG 271W.

Program Requirements

Required General Education

Study of biological processes at the suborganismal level including cell chemistry, metabolism, reproduction, genetics, and complex tissue physiology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prereq: C or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or C or higher in CHEM 104

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104.

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Introduction to learning the written and oral communication of technical information. Assignments include writing and presenting proposals, reports, and documentation. Emphasis on use of rhetorical analysis, computer applications, collaborative writing, and usability testing to complete technical communication tasks in the workplace.

Prerequisites: ENG 101 

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-13

Major Common Core

Study of biological processes at the organismal level including a survey of life forms (viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals), their evolution, and ecology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 

Introduction to genetic analysis. Topics covered will include those of both classical and modern genetics: population genetics, molecular genetics, genetic manipulation of organisms and selection. Central to this course will be the primacy of the trait as the object of genetics and the development/refinement of the concept of the gene. Lab included.Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and MATH 112 

Emphasis Common Core

Principles of the study of relationships between organisms and the environment. Topics include flow of energy and materials, organism-level interactions, growth and evolution of populations, and community ecology. Field trips to prairie, lake, stream, and forest communities, training in data collection and analysis, use of equipment, and report writing. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106 or consent 

Evolution is a unifying theory of biology. Students are provided the history of evolutionary thought and the Darwinian revolution, evidence for evolution, mechanics of evolution, and an array of special topics such as speciation, molecular evolution, conservation, and extinction. Readings will include book chapters and journal articles. Lecture/discussion.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211

An examination of eukaryotic cellular structure, organization and physiology. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106, BIOL 211 

Continuation of the basic principles of chemistry including properties of solutions, kinetics, acids and bases, equilibria, buffers, precipitation reactions, electron transfer reactions, electrochemistry, entropy and free energy. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts.

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 201 

Introduction to organic nomenclature, structure, bonding, chemical reactivity, organic acid-base reactions, mechanisms and stereochemistry. IR, MS, and NMR spectroscopy will be introduced. The chemistry of alkanes, alkyl halides, alkenes, alkynes, and alcohols will be covered. Laboratory illustrates synthetic techniques and the preparation and reactions of functional groups discussed during lecture.

Prerequisites: CHEM 202, “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 202.

Emphasis Restricted Electives

Math Requirement - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s).

Basic concepts of trigonometry as preparation for college level mathematics and science course work. Topics include concepts of algebra (real numbers, functions, graphs of functions, exponential and logarithmic functions), trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, applications of trigonometry, and analytic geometry.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 112 with “C” (2.0) or better. 

Goal Areas: GE-04

This course will cover topics of precalculus mathematics. Topics covered will include functions, graphs of functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, conic sections, systems of equations and inequalities, matrices, trigonometric functions, circular functions, vectors and complex numbers, induction, series and probability.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Math Placement Table in this section, or grade of P in MATH 098.

Goal Areas: GE-04

Limits, continuity, the derivative and applications, transcendental functions, L'Hopital's Rule, and development of the Riemann integral.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, MATH 115 or both MATH 112 and MATH 113 with “C” (2.0) or better.

Goal Areas: GE-04

Physics Requirement - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s).

A one semester course which covers the basic principles of physics on a conceptual level and with a minimal amount of math. The course provides an understanding of natural processes and their applications. Topics generally include mechanics, simple machines, atomic structure, heat, light and sound. Lecture and laboratory components.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

General background in physical concepts for those who do not plan advanced study in physics or engineering. Topics include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: Either MATH 112 and MATH 113, or MATH 115

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Designed for science and engineering students. Calculus-based physics. Covers elementary mechanics including kinematics, statics, equilibrium and dynamics of particles, work and energy, rotational motion, gravitation, and oscillation. Lecture and Laboratory. MATH 121 must be completed with a C or better prior to taking this course or must be taken concurrently. High school physics or PHYS 101 is also strongly encouraged. Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Statistics Requirement - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s).

Introduction to statistical analysis as applied to the health sciences. Examines concepts and methods of statistical procedures applied to health problems and issues.

Prerequisites: MATH 110, STAT 154, Or any other mathematics course higher than MATH 110.

An introduction to statistical concepts and methods that is applicable to all disciplines. Topics include descriptive measures of data, probability and probability distributions, statistical inference, tests of hypotheses, confidence intervals, correlation, linear regression, and analysis of variance. The use of statistical software will be emphasized. Prereq: ACT Math sub-score of 19 or higher, successful completion of MATH 098 or appropriate placement scores (see Placement Information under Statistics) Fall, Spring, Summer GE-4

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 098 with grade of P. 

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-04

Physiology Requirement - Note: 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 requirement.

Human Option -

Systems approach to the structure of the human body. The course is designed for students majoring in biology or health related programs. Lab included.

Prerequisites: none

Principles of functions of human cells, organs, and systems with an emphasis on organ/system interactions. This course is designed for students majoring in biology, chemistry, or related sciences, and medically-related areas. Includes a laboratory with a research and medical emphasis.

Prerequisites: BIOL 220, CHEM 104 or CHEM 106 or CHEM 111 or CHEM 201

Plant Option -

Biology of plants including unique features of plant cells, life histories, metabolism, anatomy, physiology, and ecology. The course empathizes plants' remarkable adaptations to their environments, their diversity, and the vital roles they play in ecological interactions. For biology and environmental science majors and minors. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106 or consent 

Plant functions such as water relations, mineral nutrition, translocation, metabolisms, photosynthesis, photorespiration, fat and protein metabolism, respiration, growth and development, phytohormones, reproduction and environmental physiology. Lab included. (One semester organic chemistry is recommended.)

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 217, one semester organic chemistry recommended. 

Microbiology Option -

An introduction to the general principles and methods used in the study of microorganisms. Lab included. Prereq: One BIOL course and one semester of chemistry from among CHEM 104, CHEM 106, CHEM 111, or CHEM 201. Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisites: One BIOL course and one semester of chemistry from among CHEM 104, CHEM 106, CHEM 111, or CHEM 201 

Goal Areas: GE-03

This course presents the physiology and genetics of microorganisms emphasizing those aspects unique to bacteria and archea. Topics include: energy production; biosynthesis of small molecules and DNA, RNA, and proteins; the formation of cell walls and membranes; microbial differentiation and behavior; and the genetic and biochemical regulation of these processes. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 270 

Animal Option -

A comprehensive phylogenetic survey of both invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Emphasis on evolutionary relationships among phyla, the evolution of organ systems, animal organization and function, animal adaptations, and zoogeographical considerations. Research and inquiry of animal unity and diversity will include using the Internet. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106 

A comparison of adaptation mechanisms, from cell to organ-system, used by animals in response to changes in environmental conditions such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, food availability, temperature, water, solutes, pressure and buoyancy.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106 or consent 

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives

Choose 9 - 12 Credit(s). Choose additional upper-division courses for a total of 40 credits in Biology. At least 7 elective credits must be from courses with a laboratory component.

Prerequisites: none

Emphasis General Electives

Recommended Support Courses - Choose 0 - 5 Credit(s).

Analysis of the structure and metabolism of biologically important compounds. This intermediate-level course is designed for students in the medical technology, food science, chemistry education, chemistry and pre-professional health majors. The laboratory teaches basic biochemical techniques.

Prerequisites: Either CHEM 322 and CHEM 324 or CHEM 322 and CHEM 323. “C” (2.0) or higher in all prerequisites 

Detailed analysis of the structures, properties, and functions of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; introduction to carbohydrate metabolism; theory for the purification and analysis of proteins. Concurrent enrollment in CHEM 465 is recommended.

Prerequisites: BIOL 106, CHEM 324. BIOL 106 or permission “C” (2.0) or higher in all prerequisites.

A lecture/laboratory course, which presents methodology and instrumentation used to purify and analyze biomolecules. Techniques include chromatography, radioisotope techniques, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, and PCR analysis.

Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in CHEM 460 or completion of CHEM 460 with “C” or higher. CHEM 305 is highly recommended. 

4-Year Plan

The 4-Year Plan is a model for completing your degree in a timely manner. Your individual 4-Year plan may change based on a number of variables including transfer courses and the semester/year you start your major. Carefully work with your academic advisors to devise your own unique plan.
* Please meet with your advisor on appropriate course selection to meet your educational and degree goals.

First Year

Fall - 15 Credits

Study of biological processes at the suborganismal level including cell chemistry, metabolism, reproduction, genetics, and complex tissue physiology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Concepts of algebra (real numbers, exponents, polynomials, rational expressions), equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations and inequalities, matrices and determinants, conic sections, sequences and series, probability, and binomial theorem.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 098 with grade of P. 

Goal Areas: GE-04

General Education Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Spring - 14 Credits

This course helps students develop a flexible writing process, practice rhetorical awareness, read critically to support their writing, research effectively, represent others ideas in multiple ways, reflect on their writing practices, and polish their work.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-1A

Study of biological processes at the organismal level including a survey of life forms (viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals), their evolution, and ecology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 

Basic concepts of trigonometry as preparation for college level mathematics and science course work. Topics include concepts of algebra (real numbers, functions, graphs of functions, exponential and logarithmic functions), trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, applications of trigonometry, and analytic geometry.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 112 with “C” (2.0) or better. 

Goal Areas: GE-04

General Education Course * 3 credits

Second Year

Fall - 16 Credits

A one semester course which covers the basic principles of physics on a conceptual level and with a minimal amount of math. The course provides an understanding of natural processes and their applications. Topics generally include mechanics, simple machines, atomic structure, heat, light and sound. Lecture and laboratory components.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

An introduction to statistical concepts and methods that is applicable to all disciplines. Topics include descriptive measures of data, probability and probability distributions, statistical inference, tests of hypotheses, confidence intervals, correlation, linear regression, and analysis of variance. The use of statistical software will be emphasized. Prereq: ACT Math sub-score of 19 or higher, successful completion of MATH 098 or appropriate placement scores (see Placement Information under Statistics) Fall, Spring, Summer GE-4

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 098 with grade of P. 

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-04

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prereq: C or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or C or higher in CHEM 104

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104.

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Principles of the study of relationships between organisms and the environment. Topics include flow of energy and materials, organism-level interactions, growth and evolution of populations, and community ecology. Field trips to prairie, lake, stream, and forest communities, training in data collection and analysis, use of equipment, and report writing. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106 or consent 

Spring - 17 Credits

Continuation of the basic principles of chemistry including properties of solutions, kinetics, acids and bases, equilibria, buffers, precipitation reactions, electron transfer reactions, electrochemistry, entropy and free energy. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts.

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 201 

Introduction to genetic analysis. Topics covered will include those of both classical and modern genetics: population genetics, molecular genetics, genetic manipulation of organisms and selection. Central to this course will be the primacy of the trait as the object of genetics and the development/refinement of the concept of the gene. Lab included.Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and MATH 112 

Introduction to learning the written and oral communication of technical information. Assignments include writing and presenting proposals, reports, and documentation. Emphasis on use of rhetorical analysis, computer applications, collaborative writing, and usability testing to complete technical communication tasks in the workplace.

Prerequisites: ENG 101 

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-13

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

Third Year

Fall - 15 Credits

Introduction to organic nomenclature, structure, bonding, chemical reactivity, organic acid-base reactions, mechanisms and stereochemistry. IR, MS, and NMR spectroscopy will be introduced. The chemistry of alkanes, alkyl halides, alkenes, alkynes, and alcohols will be covered. Laboratory illustrates synthetic techniques and the preparation and reactions of functional groups discussed during lecture.

Prerequisites: CHEM 202, “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 202.

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

Writing Intensive Course * 3 credits

Spring - 15 Credits

Evolution is a unifying theory of biology. Students are provided the history of evolutionary thought and the Darwinian revolution, evidence for evolution, mechanics of evolution, and an array of special topics such as speciation, molecular evolution, conservation, and extinction. Readings will include book chapters and journal articles. Lecture/discussion.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211

An examination of eukaryotic cellular structure, organization and physiology. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106, BIOL 211 

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

General Elective Course * 3 credits

General Elective Course * 3 credits

Fourth Year

Fall - 14 Credits

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Diverse Cultures Course * 4 credits

Spring - 14 Credits

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

General Education Course * 4 credits

General Elective Course * 3 credits