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Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in biology.

Description of Program

Courses offered in the Biology Department allow students to choose from several areas of study, including preparation for graduate programs, careers in the health sciences, or industry or other areas in the biological sciences. Drake University’s biology program is notable for having a large number of new faculty actively engaged in research and a rich diversity of courses in traditional and modern areas of biology

Students who earn a B.S. or B.A. degree in biology and who meet the entrance requirements may apply to schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, osteopathic medicine, 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 and conservation biology.

Requirements for Major

Minimum of 32 credit hours in biology, which must include 6 courses having laboratory experiences (courses with “L” designations) and the following requirements:

  • Biology 12 and 13 (General and Pre–Professional Biology)
  • Biology 191 and 192 (Seminar in Biology)
  • Biology 199 (Senior Capstone Experience)

And one course from each of the following five categories (asterisk * denotes courses with laboratory component):

  • Molecular and Cellular Processes
    • Biology 105 (Introduction to Genetics)
    • Biology 165* (Cell Biology)
    • Biology 186* (Molecular Biology)
    • Biology 188* (Structural Biology)
  • Biological Diversity
    • Biology 019* (Introduction to Botany)
    • Biology 101* (Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates)
    • Biology 103* (Microbiology)
    • Biology 121* (Parasitology)
    • Biology 123* (Biology of Invertebrates)
  • Systems Biology
    • Biology 018* (Introductory Anatomy and Physiology)
    • Biology 126* (Developmental Biology)
    • Biology 127* (Histology)
    • Biology 129* (Mammalian Physiology)
    • Biology 182* (Immunology)
  • Ecology/Evolution
    • Biology 114* (Understanding Evolution)
    • Biology 117* (Ecology)
    • Biology 125* (Conservation Biology)
    • Biology 152* (Field Botany)
    • Biology 168* (Limnology)
  • Applications of Biological Principles
    • Biology 21 (selected Topics in Biology)
    • Biology 024* (Field Ornithology)
    • Biology 061 (Natural History Photography)
    • Biology 095 (Principles of Microbiology)
    • Biolgoy 098 (Introduction to Primatology)
    • Biology 099 (Biological Research and Statistical Methods)
    • Biology 104 (Introduction to Virology)
    • Biology 106* (Research in Genetics)
    • Biology 108 (Emerging Infectious Diseases)
    • Biology 110* (Iowa Natural History)
    • Biology 115* (Aquatic Biology)
    • Biology 116 (Bioinformatics)
    • Biology 119* (Herpetology)
    • Biology 120* (Ecosystem Ecology)
    • Biology 122* (Mammalogy)
    • Biology 124* (Collaborative Research)
    • Biology 134* (Biology of Exercise and Sport)
    • Biology 138 (History of Biology)
    • Biology 141 (Biology of Terrorism)
    • Biology 145 (Selected Topics in Biology)
    • Biology 156 (Biology Short Course)
    • Biology 158 (Biomedical Aspects of Aging)
    • Biology 167* (Population and Community Ecology)
    • Biology 176* (Neurophysiology)
    • Biology 185 (Human Genetics)
    • Biology 187* (Molecular/Cell Biology Lab)
    • Biology 189 (Regulatory Biology)
    • Biology 193* (Senior Lab Assistant)
    • Biology 195* (Advanced Molecular Life Science Lab)
    • Biology 197* (Undergraduate Research)
    • Biology 198 (Independent Study in Biology)

Additional requirements for the major include:

  • Mathematics 20 (College Algebra or higher)
  • Chemistry 1/3 and 2/4 (General Chemistry I and II)
  • Chemistry 107/109 and 108/110 (Organic Chemistry)
  • Physics 11 and 12 (General Physics I and II)

B.A. Degree: Students pursuing the B.A. degree also must take one course of at least 3 credit hours in either calculus, statistics or Computer Science 65.

First-Year Students: First-year students who plan to major in biology are encouraged to enroll in Biology 15 (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 adviser in biology.

B.S. Degree: For the B.S. degree, Computer Science 65 or a course in calculus is recommended. The BS degree program is designed to provide experience in research, and students pursuing this degree must complete Biology 99 (Biological Research and Statistical Methods) or its equivalent, and Biology 197 (Undergraduate Research). All undergraduate research projects must be planned with the assistance of the faculty adviser and given approval by the Biology Department prior to the research experience.

No more than 2 credit hours of Biology 197 or its equivalent can be applied toward the Biology major. At the conclusion of their research project, students in the BS program must deliver a formal presentation on their research to the department and submit to the department a written or electronic document. Students are required to present their research project in the Biology 192 Seminar course, and must be enrolled in Biology 192 during the semester they give their presentation.

Program of study for minor: Completion of 20 credit hours in biology, at least 3 of which must be from 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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