Biology–Ecological Science

Biology provides a broad background in the life sciences in order to equip you with knowledge and skills to serve God’s creation. Required courses will introduce you to the created order of life, while advanced courses will permit you to concentrate in areas of particular interest. The biology major options will prepare you for a career in ecological science, in medicine and related health professions, in teaching, or to begin graduate or other professional studies in these areas.

Biology department homepage

Major requirements:

AuSable or biology electives: 4 credits
BIO 115 - General Biology: Molecular and Cellular Biology
General Biology I emphasizes the unity of life, examining the processes common to living organisms, and introduce the diversity of life, examining unicellular organisms. This introduction will provide students with a basic understanding of macromolecules, cell structure and function, respiration and photosynthesis, the cell cycle, meiosis, the relationship between gene structure and function, mechanisms of evolutionary change and Christian perspectives on evolutionary biology. (4 credits)
BIO 116 - General Biology: Ecology and Organismal Biology
General Biology II is an introduction to organismal biology emphasizing the diversity of life forms. Representative organisms from the plant and animal kingdoms will be emphasized. Students will also be introduced to basic ecological concepts and Christian perspectives on stewardship. (4 credits)
Choose one course:
AUS 361 - Field Natural History
BIO 205 - Ecology
A study of the processes determining the distribution and abundance of organisms in space and time, their exchange of matter and energy with their environment, the measurement of these phenomena, and the application of ecological knowledge in the care of creation. Prerequisites: BIO115 and 116 (4 credits)
Choose one course:
BIO 202WI - Genetics and Genomics
(Writing intensive) An introduction to the principles of heredity and their practicalapplication. Note: Includes 1 1/2 hours of lab per week. Prerequisites: BIO115 or 116. (4 credits)
BIO 327 - Biochemistry: Molecular Genetics
No course description available.
Choose one course:
AUS 311 - Field Botany
AUS 315 - Woody Plants
BIO 309 - Plant Taxonomy
An introduction to principles of classification of plants and characteristics of major plant families with emphasis on the plants of the Midwest. Includes field study and laboratory practice in identifying, collecting and preserving plants.Prerequisites: BIO116 or permission of instructor.(4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
Choose one course:
BIO 280 - Vertebrate Zoology
An in-depth study of the major groups of vertebrate species. Topics include vertebrate taxonomy, classification, comparative vertebrate anatomy, physiology, behavior, and life histories. Prerequisites: BIO115 and 116. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
BIO 312 - Invertebrate Zoology
A survey of the structure, function, classification and behavior of animalswithout backbones. Special attention is given to those which are parasiticin nature. Note: Includes 3 hours of lab per week. Prerequisites: BIO115 and 116.(4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
Choose eight credits:
BIO 329 - Stewardship Ecology
This course examines the application of the scientific principles ofconservation and restoration ecology through the lens of a Biblicallyinformed view of our role as stewards of God’s Creation. This courseincludes an in-depth study of our call to stewardship, field projects and anextended field trip. This course creates the foundation for development of aworldview that incorporates a personal responsibility for Christianenvironmental stewardship. Note: Each course offering is subject to enrollment. Additional travel costswill be assessed in addition to tuition. Prerequisites: BIO101SN, 116, 205 or permission of instructor.(4 credits; alternate summers, consult department)
BIO 330 - Topics in Ecology
Advanced studies of the function and structure of local ecological communities and/or life forms. Courses will emphasize the use of fieldwork, research projects and/or primary literature.Prerequisites: BIO205 or permission of instructor.(2-4 credits; a minimum of 4 credits will be offered per year)

Cognate requirements:

MAT 116QR - Statistics for the Natural and Social Sciences
(3 credits)(IGE option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is designed to introduce topics in probability and statistics with an emphasis on problems in the sciences. We will study discrete and continuous distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing, p-values, correlation, and simple linear regression. There will be three main sections in this course, examining descriptive statistics (the nature of data and how to summarize it), basic probability concepts (the mathematical study of uncertainty), and inferential statistics (making claims or decisions based on one or more sets of data). Note: Students may receive credit for only one course among MAT 116QR, MAT 117QR and MAT 208.Prerequisites: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT 480 or above), a passing score on the basic algebra placement exam, or permission of instructor.
Choose one sequence:
CHE 101 - College Chemistry
An introductory course in inorganic chemistry. The treatment of topics is predominantly descriptive and the content is especially suited to meet the needs of students whose programs require only one year of chemistry.(4 credits)
CHE 102 - College Chemistry
An introductory course in organic and biological chemistry. The content is especially suited to meet the needs of students whose programs require only one year of chemistry.Prerequisite: CHE101.(4 credits)
CHE 111 - General Chemistry
An introductory course in chemistry that emphasizes physical and inorganic concepts, problems and calculations. Topics include chemical reactions, stoichiometry, properties of gases, thermochemistry, theories of atomic structure, and chemical bonding. The general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 111 and Chemistry 112) is recommended for students with good math / science preparations who intend to proceed to advanced courses in chemistry, the biological sciences or engineering.Prerequisites: high school chemistry and ACT math and natural science scores above the 74th percentile.(4 credits)
CHE 112 - General Chemistry
A continuation of Chemistry 111. Topics covered include kinetics, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acid-base chemistry and nuclear chemistry.Prerequisite: CHE111 or consent of the instructor.(4 credits)

Total credits required: 47


All Biology Ecological Science majors are required to take at least 12 credits of 300-level (or above) biology courses, 8 credits of which must have a laboratory.

Field experience:

All Biology Ecological Science majors are required to complete at least one field experience. This requirement can be met in one of two ways:

Option 1: Completion of BIO329 or a pre-approved AuSable or other experiential ecology course.

Option 2: Complete an approved summer field research or professional employment experience. Submission of a form requesting approval of a summer experience must be submitted to the department chair at least 60 days prior to the initiation of the experience. Experiences will not be approved retroactively.