Biology Department Curriculum
The biology curriculum is structured so you begin with a broad overview of the discipline in the first year, with emphasis on the major unifying themes in biology. During your first year, you are introduced to investigative laboratories that stress that science is curiosity-driven, rather than goal-driven. You will also begin to learn the skills and tools utilized in lab and field experiments, with more sophisticated techniques and instruments added as you progress through the curriculum. During your junior year, you might choose to study science at Cambridge University or in New Zealand or Australia.
Upon completion of the biology major, a student will have been exposed to a broad biology background while having had the opportunity to explore specific areas of interest. A degree in biology will allow a student to pursue careers in education, research, medicine, biotechnology, conservation, and industry either through immediate entry into the career or further study at the graduate level.
The department offers these majors, minors and programs:
For further information on the majors refer to those sections of the course catalog. For biology majors, admission into the department requires the completion of three biology classes of at least 4 credit hours each, including BIO 133 and 134 or the equivalent; a GPA minimum of 2.5 in biology and 2.5 overall; and a formal application including a self-assessment form. After admission into the program, students will complete a four-semester Senior Thesis. Students must have a GPA minimum of 2.5 in biology and 2.5 overall to begin the project. Students must complete a thesis to graduate with a major in biology. Those who select biology as a second major must complete all requirements for the BA degree.
The major in biology leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Upon completion of a biology major, a student will have been exposed to a broad biology background while having had the opportunity to explore specific areas of interest through a senior thesis project. A degree in biology would allow a student to pursue careers in education, research, medicine, biotechnology, conservation and industry, either through immediate entry into the career or further study at the graduate level.
The department also offers opportunities for study outside the traditional major. Those interested in careers in health-related fields may add a concentration in pre-physical therapy or pre-medicine or earn a BS degree in clinical laboratory science. For those interested in applied professions relating to the environment, William Jewell offers a three-two program with Duke University leading to a Master of Forestry degree or a Master of Environmental Management degree. Applicants for this liberal arts/environment program should indicate their intentions at the time of enrollment in college. Further details of the program are available in the pre-professional section of the catalog.
Students majoring in biology may receive certification to teach biology in grades 9-12 in the state of Missouri by double majoring in biology and secondary education. Procedures to be followed in obtaining teacher certification are included in the Student Handbook for Teacher Certification. Specific course requirements for all certification programs may be found on check sheets available in the Education Department.
Students working toward a major in biochemistry who transfer credit from other institutions must satisfactorily complete in residence a minimum of 16 hours of the required courses in biology or chemistry courses numbered over 200. Courses in chemistry and biology that are more than 10 years old will not normally be counted toward the major. Students majoring in biochemistry must complete all requirements for the BA degree.
Prospective biochemistry majors may apply for admission into the major after completing the following three courses: CHE 122, CHE 206 and BIO 233.The student’s GPA must be a minimum of 2.5 in biology and chemistry courses and 2.5 overall in order for the student to be accepted into the major.
Students must be admitted to the major before beginning the research sequence or taking 400- level coursework.
Students will not be permitted to double major in chemistry and biochemistry or in Oxbridge molecular biology and biochemistry. Refer to the Biology and Chemistry sections of this catalog for descriptions of individual courses.
Oxbridge: Molecular Biology
For specific major requirements, review the Oxbridge Handbook with your academic advisor or visit the Oxbridge Honors Program.