About Us

Who we are...

The students and faculty of the Biology Department are a community of learners who use inquiry-based methods to investigate the breadth of Biology, its connection to other disciplines, and its relevance to individuals and society.

As a community of learners, students and faculty work collaboratively to expand their understanding of biology.

Towards that end:

  • faculty members maintain research programs that mentor students;
  • faculty members and students collaboratively explore current scholarship in Biology;
  • faculty members and students communicate their scholarship with their peers and the public.

Further, students will:

  • engage in inquiry-based methods to investigate biological systems.  The results of this are to be seen as students:
    • analyze, evaluate, and apply information from the Biological literature;
    • develop a diverse collection of investigative skills that they will use to study biological systems;
    • communicate their conclusions effectively both orally and in writing;
  • investigate the breadth of Biology, recognizing that Biology is a diverse discipline unified by fundamental themes:
    • how the process of evolution underlies both the diversity and unity of life;
    • how biological systems use energy and materials;
    • how living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information;
    • how interactions within biological systems can produce complex, novel properties;
    • how structure relates to function in biological systems.
  • investigate Biology's connection to other disciplines.  Students will recognize that a comprehensive understanding of biological systems requires the application of knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines.
  • study the relevance to individuals and society of Biology.  Students will recognize the linkages between the discipline of Biology and human social systems.

The Biology Major:

  • Students begin the major with the Introductory Biology sequence (BIOL 121, 221 and 222).  This set of courses builds a fundamental understanding of all areas of Biology, from cellular and molecular to organismal to ecological and evolutionary.
  • Upon completing the Introductory sequence, students take five additional courses in any of the four fundamental areas of biology: organismal diversity, ecology/evolution, structural/functional biology and cell/molecular biology.
  • Supporting courses in chemistry and mathematics are also required.  Additional courses in physics and advanced chemistry are recommended but not required.
  • A more complete description of the Biology curriculum and course options can be found by following the Curriculum link to the left.