Degree Programs

The Department of Biology offers a B.S. degree in Biology, with concentrations in Integrative Biology; Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology; and Cellular/Molecular Biology. The program in Biology consists of 37 credit hours. There is ample opportunity to tailor the experience to the needs of the student through a wide selection of elective courses. All Biology majors carry out an independent research project in collaboration with a faculty mentor to fulfill the comprehensive requirement of the College. The Advanced Writing Proficiency is fulfilled through the process of writing four papers based upon the research.   Students interested in the biology program at Saint Mary's College are encouraged to contact the department chair, Dr. Nancy Nekvasil (nekvasil@saintmarys.edu).

Departmental Minors

The minor in biology consists of a minimum of five (5) courses and 17 credit hours. All courses must be 3- or 4-credit courses and at least three must be laboratory courses.

An interdisciplinary minor in Environmental Studies is offered at Saint Mary's College but not conferred by the biology department.  Dr. Cassie Majetic (cmajetic@saintmarys.edu) is the departmental liaison for this minor and students are encouraged to contact her with questions if they are interested.

 

Requirements for all B.S. degrees in Biology (37 credits)

  • The following required biology courses:
    • BIO 153/154, Foundations of Biology I & II
    • BIO 221, Introduction to Genetics
    • BIO 385, Introduction to Research
    • BIO 485, Research in Biology
  • An additional 21 credits biology courses in one concentration chosen from the three below
  • Successful completion of the Advanced Writing Proficiency Requirement (998) and the Senior Comprehensive (999)
  • The following required non-biology courses: a year of calculus, a year of general chemistry (CHEM 121/122) and a semester of organic (CHEM 221), plus any additional science or math hours to reach 60 hours for B.S.

 

Integrative Concentration (choose 21 credits)

  • One physiological course. Choose from:
    • 230 Moelcular Biology
    • 317 Microbiology
    • 328 General Physiology
  • One field course. Choose from:
    • 301 Field Biology (Infrequently offered summer course)
    • 308 Vertebrate Natural History
    • 316 Conservation Biology
    • 323 Ecology
    • 324 Field Botany
    • 332 Ornithology
    • 335 Plant-Animal Interactions
  • One organismal course. Choose from:
    • 213 Human Anatomy
    • 220 Comparative and Human Anatomy
    • 308 Vertebrate Natural History
    • 320 Parasitology
    • 332 Ornithology
  • One botanical course. Choose from:
    • 313 Economic Botany
    • 324 Field Botany
    • 335 Plant-Animal Interactions
  • Plus biology elective credits to total at least 21 hours.

Note that some courses (e.g., Bio 324, Bio 332) can count toward fulfilling two requirements. Only 3 hours of non-traditional or two non-lab courses (3 hours each) can be counted toward the required electives.

 

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology Concentration (21 credits)

Students majoring in Biology may opt to concentrate their courses around an environmental theme, incorporating a variety of field courses offered by the department, and reducing their cellular course requirements.

The following required biology courses:

  • 248 Issues in Environmental Biology
  • 312 Evolution
  • 315 Statistical Methods for Biologists
  • 323 Ecology

Plus two courses chosen from the following: 

  • 301 Field Biology (infrequently offered summer course)
  • 308 Vertebrate Natural History
  • 316 Conservation Biology
  • 324 Field Botany
  • 332 Ornithology
  • 335 Plant-Animal Interactions

Plus biology elective credits to total at least 21 hours.

Only 3 hours of non-traditional or two non-lab courses (3 hours each) can be counted toward the required electives.

 

Cellular/Molecular Biology Concentration (21 credits)

Students majoring in Biology may opt to concentrate their courses around a cellular/molecular theme, incorporating a variety of courses offered by the department and reducing their field and organismal course requirements.

The following required biology courses:

  • 230 Molecular Cell Biology
  • 317 Microbiology
  • 328 General Physiology
  • 330 Seminar in Molecular/Cellular Biology
  • 331 Biotechnology

Plus biology elective hours to total at least 21 credits.