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Biology

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Biology

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Biology department web site


Program Overview

Biology is the study of life and all its remarkable forms and processes. Drake University’s biology program uses an inquiry-based and integrated approach throughout the curriculum. This modern approach engages students in scientific methods and research from the first year of study, giving students a jump-start on developing skills in research, critical thinking, scientific communication, and data analysis.

Coursework toward a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biology exposes students to microscopic cells, complex ecosystems, and everything in between (and beyond). Drake’s biology curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong foundation of biological understanding in a variety of areas. Students can also delve more deeply into disciplines of their choosing in preparation for graduate and professional programs, careers in the health sciences, or careers industry or other areas in the biological sciences.

Drake’s affiliations with Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Mississippi provides opportunities for Drake students to earn credit towards a Biology degree while taking specialized courses such as soil genesis, watershed hydrology, prairie ecology, marine biology and ecology, marine mammals and ichthyology, coastal herpetology and oceanography.


B.A. Degree Requirements

Students who earn a B.A. degree in biology and who meet the entrance requirements may apply to schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, or other health related programs. Further opportunities include advanced study in graduate school or career positions with industry, government or private agencies in biologically related fields such as biotechnology, conservation biology, agriculture, and forensic science.

The B.A. in Biology requires a minimum of 32 credit hours in biology which includes courses as outlined below, chemistry, physics and math courses outlined below, an average GPA of 2.0 or higher in biology courses, and at least 6 biology courses having laboratory experiences (courses with “L” designations).

Course Credit Hours
BIO 012 - General and Pre-Professional Biology I (with lab) 4
BIO 013 - General and Pre-Professional Biology II (with lab) 4
One course from each of the five core areas  
Molecular and Cellular Processes  
BIO 105 - Introduction to Genetics 3
BIO 165 - Cell Biology 4
BIO 186 - Molecular Biology 3
Biological Diversity  
BIO 019, 019L - Introduction to Botany 4
BIO 092, 092L - Introduction to Ethnobotany 4
BIO 101, 101L - Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates 4
BIO 103, 103L - Microbiology 5
BIO 113, 113L - Vertebrate Biology 4
BIO 123, 123L - Biology of Invertebrates 4
Systems Biology  
BIO 018, 018L - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 4
BIO 126, 126L - Developmental Biology 4
BIO 127, 127L - Histology 4
BIO 129, 129L - Mammalian Physiology 5
Ecology/Evolution  
BIO 114, 114L - Evolution 4
BIO 117, 118L - Ecology 5
BIO 125, 125L - Conservation Biology 4
BIO 152, 152L - Field Botany 4
BIO 168, 168L - Limnology 4
Applications of Biological Principles  
BIO 021 - Special Topics in Biology 1-3
BIO 024, 024L - Iowa Birds & Birding 2
BIO 025 - Animal Behavior 3
BIO 061 - Natural History Photography 3
BIO 064 - Museum Curation 1-3
BIO 091 - Understanding Evolution 3
BIO 093L - Lab Assistant 1-2
BIO 095 - Medical Microbiology 3
BIO 098 - Introduction to Primatology 3
BIO 099 - Biological Research and Statistical Methods 4
BIO 104 - Introduction to Virology 3
BIO 106L - Research in Genetics 3
BIO 107 - Behavior Genetics 3
BIO 108 - Emerging Infectious Diseases 3
BIO 110, 110L - Iowa Natural History 2
BIO 111 - Evolved Foodways 3
BIO 112L - Avian Winter Ecology 3
BIO 115, 115L - Aquatic Biology 3
BIO 116 - Bioinformatics 3
BIO 119, 119L - Herpetology 3
BIO 120, 120L - Ecosystem Ecology 4
BIO 121, 121L - Parsitology 5
BIO 122, 122L - Mammalogy 3
BIO 124L - Research Collaboration 1-3
BIO 130, 130L - Orinthology 3
BIO 131, 131L - Biochemistry 4
BIO 132 - Medical Biophysics 3
BIO 133, 133L - Kinesiology 4
BIO 134, 134L - Exercise Physiology 4
BIO 138 - History of Biology 3
BIO 145, 145L - Selected Topics in Biology 1-6
BIO 156 - Biology Short Course 1
BIO 167, 167L - Population and Community Ecology 4
BIO 176, 176L - Neurophysiology 4
BIO 182, 182L - Immunology 5
BIO 185 - Human Genetics 2
BIO 187L - Molecular Cell Biology Lab 1-3
BIO 188, 188L - Structural Biology 5
BIO 189 - Regulatory Biology 2
BIO 193L - Senior Lab Assistant 2
BIO 195L - Advanced Molecular Life Sciences Lab 3
BIO 198 - Independent Study 1-3
MATH 020 - College Algebra (or higher) 4

MATH 050 - Calculus I, or

CS 065 - Introduction to Computer Science I, or

BIO 099 - Biological Research and Statistical Methods

3-4
CHEM 001/003 - General Chemistry I (with lab) 4
CHEM 002/004 - General Chemistry II (with lab) 4
CHEM 097/098 - Organic Chemistry I (with lab) 4
CHEM 108/110 - Organic Chemistry II (with lab) 4
PHY 011 - General Physics I (with lab) 4
PHY 012 - General Physics II (with lab) 4
BIO 199 - Senior Capstone Experience 3
Total 32

First-year students who plan to major in biology are encouraged to enroll in BIO 015 - Introduction to Biology during the fall semester of their first year.  Students have the responsibility to develop their program of study and review it with their faculty advisor in biology.


B.S. Degree Requirements

Students who earn a B.S. degree in biology and who meet the entrance requirements may apply to schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, or other health related programs. Further opportunities include advanced study in graduate school or career positions with industry, government or private agencies in biologically related fields such as biotechnology, conservation biology, agriculture, and forensic science.

The B.S. in Biology requires a minimum of 32 credit hours in biology which includes courses as outlined below, chemistry, physics, and math courses outlined below, an average GPA of 2.0 or higher in biology courses, at least 6 biology courses having laboratory experiences (courses with “L” designations), and a research experience.

Course Credit Hours
BIO 012 - General and Pre-Professional Biology I (with lab) 4
BIO 013 - General and Pre-Professional Biology II (with lab) 4
One course from each of the five core areas  
Molecular and Cellular Processes  
BIO 105 - Introduction to Genetics 3
BIO 165 - Cell Biology 4
BIO 186 - Molecular Biology 3
Biological Diversity  
BIO 019, 019L - Introduction to Botany 4
BIO 092, 092L - Introduction to Ethnobotany 4
BIO 101, 101L - Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates 4
BIO 103, 103L - Microbiology 5
BIO 113, 113L - Vertebrate Biology 4
BIO 123, 123L - Biology of Invertebrates 4
Systems Biology  
BIO 018, 018L - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 4
BIO 126, 126L - Developmental Biology 4
BIO 127, 127L - Histology 4
BIO 129, 129L - Mammalian Physiology 5
Ecology/Evolution  
BIO 114, 114L - Evolution 4
BIO 117, 118L - Ecology 5
BIO 125, 125L - Conservation Biology 4
BIO 152, 152L - Field Botany 4
BIO 168, 168L - Limnology 4
Applications of Biological Principles  
BIO 021 - Special Topics in Biology 1-3
BIO 024, 024L - Iowa Birds & Birding 2
BIO 025 - Animal Behavior 3
BIO 061 - Natural History Photography 3
BIO 064 - Museum Curation 1-3
BIO 091 - Understanding Evolution 3
BIO 093L - Lab Assistant 1-2
BIO 095 - Medical Microbiology 3
BIO 098 - Introduction to Primatology 3
BIO 099 - Biological Research and Statistical Methods 4
BIO 104 - Introduction to Virology 3
BIO 106L - Research in Genetics 3
BIO 107 - Behavior Genetics 3
BIO 108 - Emerging Infectious Diseases 3
BIO 110, 110L - Iowa Natural History 2
BIO 111 - Evolved Foodways 3
BIO 112L - Avian Winter Ecology 3
BIO 115, 115L - Aquatic Biology 3
BIO 116 - Bioinformatics 3
BIO 119, 119L - Herpetology 3
BIO 120, 120L - Ecosystem Ecology 4
BIO 121, 121L - Parsitology 5
BIO 122, 122L - Mammalogy 3
BIO 124L - Research Collaboration 1-3
BIO 130, 130L - Orinthology 3
BIO 131, 131L - Biochemistry 4
BIO 132 - Medical Biophysics 3
BIO 133, 133L - Kinesiology 4
BIO 134, 134L - Exercise Physiology 4
BIO 138 - History of Biology 3
BIO 145, 145L - Selected Topics in Biology 1-6
BIO 156 - Biology Short Course 1
BIO 167, 167L - Population and Community Ecology 4
BIO 176, 176L - Neurophysiology 4
BIO 182, 182L - Immunology 5
BIO 185 - Human Genetics 2
BIO 187L - Molecular Cell Biology Lab 1-3
BIO 188, 188L - Structural Biology 5
BIO 189 - Regulatory Biology 2
BIO 193L - Senior Lab Assistant 2
BIO 195L - Advanced Molecular Life Sciences Lab 3
BIO 198 - Independent Study 1-3
MATH 020 - College Algebra (or higher) 4
CHEM 001/003 - General Chemistry I (with lab) 4
CHEM 002/004 - General Chemistry II (with lab) 4
CHEM 097/098 - Organic Chemistry I (with lab) 4
CHEM 108/110 - Organic Chemistry II (with lab) 4
PHY 011 - General Physics I (with lab) 4
PHY 012 - General Physics II (with lab) 4
BIO 099 - Biological Research and Satistical Methods 3
BIO 197/197L - Undergraduate Thesis Research 2
BIO 199 - Senior Capstone Experience 3
Total 32

Additional requirements for the major include:

  • Collaboration with a faculty advisor in a significant research investigation (minimum of two semseters)
  • Research proposal submitted to the Biology department for approval before senior year
  • Research paper and a copy of the presentation submitted to the department

First-year students who plan to major in biology are encouraged to enroll in BIO 015 - Introduction to Biology during the fall semester of their first year.  Students have the responsibility to develop their program of study and review it with their faculty advisor in biology.


Biology Minor

A minor in biology is designed to provide students with a broad background in biology while allowing them the flexibility to explore courses of interest. 

Completion of 20 credit hours in biology is required, which must include at least three biology laboratory courses. A minimum grade-point average of 2.00 must be achieved, and credit/no-credit courses may not be used for the minor. The program for the biology minor must be approved by the chair of the Biology department.

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