Our curriculum strives to ensure that all our majors gain knowledge and expertise in the wide variety of sub-disciplines within the complex and diverse field that is biology.
We are increasingly better able to understand the diversity of life through an ecological and evolutionary framework. In addition, technological advances allow us to examine minute changes in gene expression, subcellular localization of specific molecules, and biochemical pathways underlying all kinds of biological phenomena. We offer over 30 courses per year that reflect this diversity of topics as well as the breadth and timeliness of faculty research interests.
All majors begin their study with two introductory courses (BISC 110, BISC 111) which also now include seminar-style options (BISC 112, BISC 113) for students with strong high school preparation. Both courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters in small sections with a maximum of 32 students per lecture and 16 per lab. Almost all courses in our department meet for two periods of lecture per week with a 3.5 hour lab per week. For the non-major, we offer 3 courses designed to increase awareness and exposure to the scientific world: Human biology, Environmental horticulture and Biotechnology.
As the student progresses with her studies, class sizes become smaller with more direct contact with faculty members. Even more emphasis is focused on developing analytical and laboratory skills as well as independent, critical thought. In the junior or senior year, students are encouraged to combine coursework with research or independent study. Over half of all research students become second authors in publications. We strongly believe that science is taught most effectively with a “hands-on” research component.