Overview

If you enjoy learning about life processes, living organisms and the natural environment, the biology major is for you. As a biology major, you can study biology at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem level, all the while developing your abilities as a creative problem-solver.

In our small, open classrooms, you’ll receive personalized interaction with your professors, have many opportunities to work collaboratively with classmates and gain hands-on experience. You’ll also conduct professional-level research that will prepare you to be a creative problem-solver for the scientific age. Our faculty members hold terminal degrees and have diverse experience in education, research and industry fields.

Not only will your coursework explore the specifics of the biology major, it will include a strong foundation in the liberal arts, providing you with a well-rounded education. Both graduate schools and employers seek this experience.

Major

In addition to general studies courses and electives, the biology major requires 50 semester hours of biology-focused coursework.

Required Courses

38 Credit Hours required; All courses listed.

BI 141/142 Principles of Biology I/II
Campus | 4 each Credits
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A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Fall (141) and Spring (142), every year. Course fee.

Campus 4 each Credits
BI 225 Science Communications I
Campus | 0 Credits
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problems are major components of the course.

Campus 0 Credits
BI 226 Science Communications II
Campus | 0 Credits
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A continuation of BI 225.

Campus 0 Credits
BI 325 Science Communications III
Campus | 1 Credit
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and development of undergraduate research proposal are major components of the course.

Campus 1 Credit
BI 326 Science Communications IV
Campus | 1 Credit
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A continuation of BI 325. Finalization of undergraduate research proposal and oral presentation of proposed project are major components of this course.

Campus 1 Credit
BI 334 Physiology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Study of the basic principles and phenomena of living organisms, interpretation of the various physio-chemical processes in animal and human metabolism; training in the physiological techniques. Designed principally for science majors. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 336 Cell Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
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The structure, function and interaction of cellular constituents as they relate to the processes of growth, secretion, differentiation, and heredity. Includes a survey of current research techniques. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116. CH 222 is strongly recommended.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 341 Ecology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 342 Genetics
Campus | 4 Credits
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Introduction to basic principles of heredity and variation including classical, molecular and population genetics. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 411/412 Undergraduate Research
Campus | 2/1 Credits
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A two-stage course under the supervision of a research adviser concerning the basic principles of research and problem solving methods in the biological sciences. The first stage consists of the actual research/internship to be completed by end of the first semester of senior year. The second stage consists of completion of research, data analysis, and preparation for communication.

Campus 2/1 Credits
BI 426 Science Communications VI
Campus | 1 Credit
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problem are major components of the course.

Campus 1 Credit
CH 115 General Chemistry I
Campus | 4 Credits
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Introduces the basic chemical concepts of atomic structure, periodicity, and the chemical reactions of both gases and solutions, and the thermodynamics of these reactions. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: One year of high school chemistry or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
CH 116 General Chemistry II
Campus | 4 Credits
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A continuation of the concepts presented in CH 115 as they pertain to reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium and acid-base and precipitation, and redox reactions. The concepts behind solids and liquids are also presented. A brief introduction to organic chemistry is included in the course topics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: CH 115.

Campus 4 Credits

Electives

12 Credit Hours required; All courses listed.

BI 221 Plant Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Three one-hour lectures and one two- hour lab per week. As needed. Course Fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 332 Anatomy
Campus | 4 Credits
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Comparative study of the morphology, anatomy and natural history of typical vertebrates from an evolutionary point of view with human anatomy addressed specifically. Two one-hour lectures and two two-hour labs per week. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 333 Developmental Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Normal development in plant and animal systems from fertilized egg into differentiated organisms, including the related phenomena of metamorphosis, regeneration and growth. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 335 Animal Behavior
Campus | 4 Credits
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Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 340 Conservation
Campus | 3-4 Credits
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Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment. The 4-credit hour class consists of three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week (the 3- credit hour course has no lab). As needed.

Campus 3-4 Credits
BI 351 Microbiology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Introduction to the nutrition, physiology and ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses) including preparation of media, role of microorganisms in health and disease and methods of control. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 352 Medical Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
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Basic concepts in immunology, medical microbiology and parasitology. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 410 Evolution
Campus | 4 Credits
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Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 480 Topics in Biology
Campus | 1-4 Credit
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Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 1-4 Credit

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Minor

The biology minor requires the completion of 20 hours of biology-focused coursework.

Required Courses

8 Credit hours Required; All courses listed.

BI 141/142 Principles of Biology I/II
Campus | 4 each Credits
Show Course Description

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Fall (141) and Spring (142), every year. Course fee.

Campus 4 each Credits

Required Electives

3 Credit hours Required; All courses listed.

BI 334 Physiology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Study of the basic principles and phenomena of living organisms, interpretation of the various physio-chemical processes in animal and human metabolism; training in the physiological techniques. Designed principally for science majors. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 336 Cell Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

The structure, function and interaction of cellular constituents as they relate to the processes of growth, secretion, differentiation, and heredity. Includes a survey of current research techniques. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116. CH 222 is strongly recommended.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 341 Ecology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 342 Genetics
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduction to basic principles of heredity and variation including classical, molecular and population genetics. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits

Electives

(Optional) Choose two courses from the required electives (above) and one course from the list below.

BI 221 Plant Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Three one-hour lectures and one two- hour lab per week. As needed. Course Fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 332 Anatomy
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Comparative study of the morphology, anatomy and natural history of typical vertebrates from an evolutionary point of view with human anatomy addressed specifically. Two one-hour lectures and two two-hour labs per week. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 333 Developmental Biology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Normal development in plant and animal systems from fertilized egg into differentiated organisms, including the related phenomena of metamorphosis, regeneration and growth. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 335 Animal Behavior
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 340 Conservation
Campus | 3-4 Credits
Show Course Description

Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment. The 4-credit hour class consists of three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week (the 3- credit hour course has no lab). As needed.

Campus 3-4 Credits
BI 351 Microbiology
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduction to the nutrition, physiology and ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses) including preparation of media, role of microorganisms in health and disease and methods of control. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 410 Evolution
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 480 Topics in Biology
Campus | 1-4 Credit
Show Course Description

Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 1-4 Credit

Information about Course Requirements

We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Career Paths

With a biology major from The Woods, you are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as microbiology, public health, genetics, physiology, immunology, ecology, and cell biology, or to take your education to the next level by pursuing a medical or graduate degree. Students can also choose to pursue a teaching license for grades 7 through 12 in middle/high school life sciences education. Below is a list of a few of the places graduates with a biology degree from SMWC have gone on to work or continue their education:

  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Rush Medical Center
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital
  • Georgetown University

Career Opportunities

Biology jobs include laboratory work in a number of industries including pharmaceutical, as well as food and agriculture.

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Physical therapy
  • Environmental science
  • Or a multitude of other scientific areas.

Combining Programs

This sequence of course work may be combined with secondary education courses for certification to teach biology, or you may combine the major with other majors or minors, such as equine studies, computer information systems or psychology.

  • Biology teacher
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • College biology professor
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Protection officer
  • Forest geneticist
  • Freshwater biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Mine reclamation scientist
  • Natural resources manager
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Physiologist
  • Research technician
  • Scientific photographer
  • Zoologist

Graduates are working in such careers as:

  • Physician
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoo Worker
  • Clinical Science Research Assistant
  • Opthalmological Research Assistant
  • Chiropractor
  • Optometrist
  • Biology Secondary Education Teacher
  • Principal of High School
  • Medical Technologist in hospital setting