Biology Major

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Biology at Wheaton CollegeThe Department of Biology introduces biology majors and other students to the concepts and role of biology as an integrative science helping them to discover and interpret the characteristics of nature as part of God’s creation. Biology majors are expected to comprehend and integrate biological principles at the molecular, cellular, organismal, population, and ecosystem levels in order to be prepared to teach, enter the health professions, pursue graduate work, or enter the biotechnology industry. Biology majors and students who take the general education component of the biology curriculum are expected to understand the concepts and processes of biology as a scientific discipline. The Department of Biology aids students in the development of both Christian and biological perspectives for their careers and practices as stewards of God’s creation.

The biology faculty members maintain ongoing research projects and encourage students to participate in their collaborative research groups. Research experiences are designed to provide students with opportunities to play a significant role in the processes of scientific investigation with the goal of contributing to current scientific knowledge and the opportunity to be published as co-authors. Active participation in these experiences develops the student's understanding of the processes and limitations of science, encourages critical thinking skills, and improves their ability to better evaluate published scientific reports. Students who are interested in participating in research should contact the Biology Department office or individual faculty members.           

Students who complete a Biology major are granted a Bachelor of Science degree unless they request a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Biology major requirements

36 hours of Biology including

BIOL 241 Organization of Life: Genetics and Cell Biology (4)
BIOL 242 Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany (4)
BIOL 243 Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution (4)
BIOL 252 Modeling the Systems of Life - a research methods course taken in the sophomore year (4)
BIOL 356 Genetics (4)
BIOL 494 The Integrated Biologist (2) - Senior capstone.
Totaling 22 hours and 14 hours of electives including at least one course from each of three course clusters:

Organization of Life (Cellular)
BIOL 331 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 358 Techniques in Recombinant DNA
BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology
BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology
BIOL 374 Bioinformatics

Diversity of Life (Organisms)
BIOL 343 Plant Taxonomy
BIOL 344 Economic Botany
BIOL 352 Parasitology
BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology
BIOL 365 Marine Biology
BIOL 368 Invertebrate Biology
BIOL 372 Field Zoology
BIOL 382 Field Natural History

Processes of Life (Systems)
BIOL 321 Human Physiology
BIOL 332 Anatomy and Physiology II
BIOL 341 Plant Physiology
BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology
BIOL 365 Marine Biology

*The same course may not be used to meet the requirements for more than one cluster.

16 hours of supporting courses are also required:
A student majoring in biology is required to develop a sound understanding of chemical processes as well as biological processes. This requirement is fulfilled in one of two ways: (1) by completion of CHEM 236, CHEM 237, and CHEM 341 and CHEM 342 or (2) by completion of CHEM 221, CHEM 222, CHEM 241, and an additional course in science.

Students interested in health professions may take the following courses among their 14 hours electives: BIOL 317 Biomedical Ethics, BIOL 331 Anatomy and Physiology I, BIOL 332 Anatomy and Physiology II, or BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology, and BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology. Students interested in medical school must also take PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and BIOL/CHEM 461 Biochemistry, as well as other non-science courses.

Biology faculty are prepared to advise students regarding courses that will best prepare them for graduate programs, health professions, or other career objectives.

Requirements for a major with a biotechnology emphasis are BIOL 241, BIOL 242, BIOL 243, BIOL 252, BIOL 356, and BIOL 494 and 14 hours of electives that must include BIOL 358 Recombinant DNA, BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology, BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology, and BIOL 374 Bioinformatics. Chemistry requirements are the same as those for the biology major. Additional recommended courses are BIOL/PHIL 317 Biomedical Ethics (2), BIOL/CHEM 461 Biochemistry, and CSCI 235 Programming I.

Requirements for a minor in Biology are 20 hours, including BIOL 241, BIOL 242, and BIOL 243 and 8 hours recommended by a student’s advisor and approved by the Biology Department in accordance with the student’s goals.

Cross-referenced courses cannot be used for the minor in Biology and cannot be counted toward a Biology major if they are included in the major or minor program of another department.

Students may register for biology elective credit in cooperative programs such as courses provided by the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) or the Morton Arboretum.

Description of biology courses are listed on the course listing page.

Biology at Wheaton CollegeThe Department of Biology introduces biology majors and other students to the concepts and role of biology as an integrative science helping them to discover and interpret the characteristics of nature as part of God’s creation. Biology majors are expected to comprehend and integrate biological principles at the molecular, cellular, organismal, population, and ecosystem levels in order to be prepared to teach, enter the health professions, pursue graduate work, or enter the biotechnology industry. Biology majors and students who take the general education component of the biology curriculum are expected to understand the concepts and processes of biology as a scientific discipline. The Department of Biology aids students in the development of both Christian and biological perspectives for their careers and practices as stewards of God’s creation.

The biology faculty members maintain ongoing research projects and encourage students to participate in their collaborative research groups. Research experiences are designed to provide students with opportunities to play a significant role in the processes of scientific investigation with the goal of contributing to current scientific knowledge and the opportunity to be published as co-authors. Active participation in these experiences develops the student's understanding of the processes and limitations of science, encourages critical thinking skills, and improves their ability to better evaluate published scientific reports. Students who are interested in participating in research should contact the Biology Department office or individual faculty members.           

Students who complete a Biology major are granted a Bachelor of Science degree unless they request a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Biology major requirements

36 hours of Biology including

BIOL 241 Organization of Life: Genetics and Cell Biology (4)
BIOL 242 Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany (4)
BIOL 243 Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution (4)
BIOL 252 Modeling the Systems of Life - a research methods course taken in the sophomore year (4)
BIOL 356 Genetics (4)
BIOL 494 The Integrated Biologist (2) - Senior capstone.
Totaling 22 hours and 14 hours of electives including at least one course from each of three course clusters:

Organization of Life (Cellular)
BIOL 331 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 358 Techniques in Recombinant DNA
BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology
BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology
BIOL 374 Bioinformatics

Diversity of Life (Organisms)
BIOL 343 Plant Taxonomy
BIOL 344 Economic Botany
BIOL 352 Parasitology
BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology
BIOL 365 Marine Biology
BIOL 368 Invertebrate Biology
BIOL 372 Field Zoology
BIOL 382 Field Natural History

Processes of Life (Systems)
BIOL 321 Human Physiology
BIOL 332 Anatomy and Physiology II
BIOL 341 Plant Physiology
BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology
BIOL 365 Marine Biology

*The same course may not be used to meet the requirements for more than one cluster.

16 hours of supporting courses are also required:
A student majoring in biology is required to develop a sound understanding of chemical processes as well as biological processes. This requirement is fulfilled in one of two ways: (1) by completion of CHEM 236, CHEM 237, and CHEM 341 and CHEM 342 or (2) by completion of CHEM 221, CHEM 222, CHEM 241, and an additional course in science.

Students interested in health professions may take the following courses among their 14 hours electives: BIOL 317 Biomedical Ethics, BIOL 331 Anatomy and Physiology I, BIOL 332 Anatomy and Physiology II, or BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology, and BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology. Students interested in medical school must also take PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and BIOL/CHEM 461 Biochemistry, as well as other non-science courses.

Biology faculty are prepared to advise students regarding courses that will best prepare them for graduate programs, health professions, or other career objectives.

Requirements for a major with a biotechnology emphasis are BIOL 241, BIOL 242, BIOL 243, BIOL 252, BIOL 356, and BIOL 494 and 14 hours of electives that must include BIOL 358 Recombinant DNA, BIOL 362 Cell and Developmental Biology, BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology, and BIOL 374 Bioinformatics. Chemistry requirements are the same as those for the biology major. Additional recommended courses are BIOL/PHIL 317 Biomedical Ethics (2), BIOL/CHEM 461 Biochemistry, and CSCI 235 Programming I.

Requirements for a minor in Biology are 20 hours, including BIOL 241, BIOL 242, and BIOL 243 and 8 hours recommended by a student’s advisor and approved by the Biology Department in accordance with the student’s goals.

Cross-referenced courses cannot be used for the minor in Biology and cannot be counted toward a Biology major if they are included in the major or minor program of another department.

Students may register for biology elective credit in cooperative programs such as courses provided by the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) or the Morton Arboretum.

Description of biology courses are listed on the course listing page.