Roanoke College

Biology Majors and Minor

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Biology Majors at a Glance

Biology (B.S.)

Biology (B.A.)

Biology 120
Biology 125
Biology Core A
Biology Core B
Biology Core C
Biology Core D
Biology Elective 1
Biology Elective 2
Biology 455
Chemistry 222 (111/112/
221 prereq)
INQ 240
Math 112 or 121
Physics 103/104 or 201/202

From Core and Electives:
4 must have labs
2 must be 200-level labs
3 must be 300 or
400 level courses

Biology 120
Biology 125
Biology Core A
Biology Core B
Biology Core C
Biology Core D
Biology Elective
Biology 455
Chemistry 112 (111 prereq)
INQ 240
Math 112 or 121
INQ 250PH or Physics 103

From Core and Elective:
3 must have labs
2 must be 200-level labs
2 must be 300 or 400 level courses

Introduction

The Biology Department at Roanoke College offers a diverse course of study that complements the college's broadly-based liberal arts curricular core. The Department's curriculum is designed to expose students to important areas in modern biology with contemporary ideas and concepts placed in historical perspective. In addition to the development of a base of knowledge in biological science, students are encouraged to develop the skills that will be required whatever career path is taken beyond the undergraduate level. An important part of our plan is to help our students (both majors and non-majors) develop a sense of the role biological science plays in the modern world and to foster a sense of understanding and responsibility regarding the impact of the human species from the local through the global levels.

Curriculum

The Department's curriculum is based on an introductory core of courses in which students are required to master major concepts in key areas from the ecosystem to the subcellular levels of biological organization, as well as to consider the role the scientific process plays in the accumulation of biological knowledge. The goal at the introductory level is for students to establish a strong foundation of basic knowledge upon which advanced work in upper division courses can be built. While the overarching goal at the upper division level is to achieve significant exposure to a diverse range of topics, students are encouraged to explore areas of particular interest to them in depth through both classroom work and in the context of independent study.

Students, working both independently and collaboratively, are encouraged to think critically at all levels of the curriculum through the process of experimental design, the application of experimental methodologies and techniques, the collection and presentation of data, and the consideration of what collected data mean in a broader context. In this connection, students are encouraged to develop the skills to access biological information in both library-based and computer-based formats. Finally, the importance of information communication in biology is emphasized throughout the curriculum and students are given many opportunities to develop effective written and oral communication skills.

The Department offers two curricular tracks: one leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, the other to a Bachelor of Science. The B.A. degree requires fewer chemical and physical science courses, allowing students more flexibility to do coursework in other disciplines in preparation for teaching or to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. The B.S. degree requires two full years of chemistry and a full year of physics, and is designed principally for students intending to pursue post-graduate study.

B.S. Degree in Biology

Students seeking the B.S. degree are required to complete eight and one-half units of Biology coursework: Biology 120, 125, 455 (one-half unit), and six upper division courses (200-level or above) with at least one of the six chosen from each of the four Biology Department curricular core areas: 1) Molecular Biology & Genetics, 2) Cell Biology & Microbiology, 3) Integrative Biology, and 4) Ecology & Evolution (see below). Additionally, B.S. degree candidates must complete Chemistry 222 (Chemistry 111, 112 and 221 are prerequisites), two units of Physics (103/104 or 201/202), and two units of Mathematics/ Statistics (Statistics 101 or INQ 240 and Mathematics 112 or higher; the Mathematics 121/122 sequence is recommended). Bachelor of Science Biology Major Checksheet

B.A. Degree in Biology

Students seeking the B.A. degree must complete seven and one-half units of Biology coursework: Biology 120, 125, 455 (one-half unit), and five upper division courses (with at least one course chosen from each of the four Biology Department curricular core areas - see below). Additionally, B.A. degree candidates must complete Chemistry 112 (Chemistry 111 is prerequisite), one unit of Physics with laboratory (Physics 101 or the equivalent or 103 or higher), and two units of Mathematics/Statistics (Statistics 101 or INQ-240 and Mathematics 112 or higher). Bachelor of Arts Biology Major Checksheet

Minor in Biology

A minor in Biology requires six units of Biology coursework: Biology 120 and 125 (Biology 101 or the equivalent may be substituted for one of these with Departmental permission), and four additional courses chosen from at least two of the Biology core areas. No more than one unit of Independent Study or Internship may be counted. Courses not listed in the Biology core areas require Departmental approval to be counted toward the minor.

Core Areas:

Core area requirements are intended to ensure students' broad exposure to key areas of modern biology, while allowing significant choice in tailoring their course-of-study to interest and preparation for post-graduate study or work. Students are encouraged to consult Biology Department faculty in determining their course choices and should plan their schedules carefully, paying attention to prerequisite requirements and frequency of course offerings. Please note that most upper division Biology courses are offered on a rotating basis.

The upper-division course component of a student's program-of-study (six for the B.S. degree; five for the B.A. degree) must satisfy the following requirements:

  • For either the B.S. or B.A. degree, at least one of these courses must be chosen from each of the four curricular core areas: Molecular Biology & Genetics, Cell Biology & Microbiology, Integrative Biology, and Ecology & Evolution.
  • The remaining two upper-level courses for the B.S. degree (one for the B.A. degree) may come from any of the four core areas.
  • At least four of the six for the B.S. degree (three of five for the B.A. degree) must be laboratory courses.
  • Students seeking either degree must have at least two 200-level laboratory courses.
  • At least three of the six for the B.S. degree (two of five for the B.A. degree) must be at the 300-level or higher.
  • Courses cross-listed in more than one core area may not be used to satisfy the requirement for more than one core area.
  • Independent Study courses (BIOL 350, 355, 460, 470, 495, 496, 497) and Internship (BIOL 450) are taken in addition to major requirements and may not be counted as part of the upper division course requirement for either the B.S. or B.A. degree.

Four Curricular Core Areas:

Molecular Biology & Genetics
BIOL 245 - Special Topics
BIOL 315 - Genetics
BIOL 345 - Special Topics
BIOL 346 - Special Topics with Laboratory
BIOL 380 - Advanced Genetics
BIOL 400 - Molecular Biology
BIOL 410 - Genomics

Cell Biology
BIOL 210 - Cell Biology
BIOL 245 - Special Topics
BIOL 305 - Principles of Physiology
BIOL 345 - Special Topics
BIOL 346 - Special Topics with Laboratory
BIOL 365 - Plant Anatomy & Physiology
BIOL 370 - Immunology
BIOL 390 - Advanced Cell Biology
BIOL 420 - Developmental Biology

Integrative Biology
BIOL 235 - Microbiology
BIOL 240 - Algae & Fungi
BIOL 245 - Special Topics
BIOL 265 - Plant Kingdom
BIOL 270 - Invertebrate Biology
BIOL 275 - Vertebrate Biology
BIOL 280 - Animal Biology
BIOL 345 - Special Topics
BIOL 346 - Special Topics with Laboratory
BIOL 365 - Plant Anatomy & Physiology

Ecology & Evolution
BIOL 205 - General Ecology
BIOL 225 - History of Life
BIOL 245 - Special Topics
BIOL 300 - Aquatic Ecology
BIOL 330 - Community Ecology
BIOL 345 - Special Topics
BIOL 346 - Special Topics with Laboratory
BIOL 415 - Evolution

Biology 245 and 345 (Special Topics) can be applied to fulfill core area requirements depending upon the specific nature of a particular course and at the discretion of the Department. Biology 230 may not be used as one of the two upper-level biology electives for the B.S. degree or the one upper-level biology elective for the B.A. degree. Biology 260 may be used as one of the two upper-level biology electives for the B.S. degree or the one upper-level biology elective for the B.A. degree. Anthropology 240 is recommended for both the B.A. and B.S. degrees in Biology.