Biology

If you enjoy learning about life processes, living organisms and the natural environment, the biology major is for you. As a biology major, you can study biology at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem level, all the while developing your abilities as a creative problem-solver.

Our Approach

In our small, open classrooms, you’ll receive personalized interaction with your professors, have many opportunities to work collaboratively with classmates and gain hands-on experience, You'll also conduct professional-level research that will prepare you to be a creative problem-solver for the scientific age. All of our faculty members hold terminal degrees in their field and have diverse experience in education, research and industry fields.

Not only will your coursework explore the specifics of the biology major, it will include a strong foundation in the liberal arts, providing you with a well-rounded education. Both graduate schools and explorers seek this experience.

Biology Major - (50 credit hours)

A baccalaureate degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College requires at least 125 semester hours. In addition to general studies courses and electives, the Biology major requires 50 semester hours of biology focused coursework.

Required Courses

38 Credit Hours required; all courses listed.

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three classes plus one two-hour lab per week. Course fee applies.

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three classes plus one two-hour lab per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisite: BI141.

Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problems are major components of the course.

Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problems are major components of the course.

A continuation of BI 325.

Study of the basic principles and phenomena of living organisms, interpretation of the various physio-chemical processes in animal and human metabolism; training in the physiological techniques. Designed principally for science majors. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116.

The structure, function and interaction of cellular constituents as they relate to the processes of growth, secretion, differentiation, and heredity. Includes a survey of current research techniques. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141, 142, CH 115 and 116. CH 222 is strongly recommended.

Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and a biotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or instructor‘s consent.

Introduction to basic principles of heredity and variation including classical, molecular and population genetics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

A two-stage course under the supervision of a research adviser concerning the basic principles of research and problem solving methods in the biological sciences. The first stage is the initial background and proposal of a novel research project to be completed and approved in the second semester of junior year. The second stage consists of the actual research/internship to be completed by end of the first semester of senior year.

A two-stage course under the supervision of a research adviser concerning the basic principles of research and problem solving methods in the biological sciences. The first stage is the initial background and proposal of a novel research project to be completed and approved in the second semester of junior year. The second stage consists of the actual research/internship to be completed by end of the first semester of senior year.

Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problem are major components of the course.

Introduces the basic chemical concepts of atomic structure, periodicity, and the chemical reactions of both gases and solutions, and the thermodynamics of these reactions. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisite: one year of high school chemistry or consent of professor.

A continuation of the concepts presented in CH 115 as they pertain to reaction thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium of acid-base and precipitation reactions as well as redox chemistry. The concepts behind solids, both salts and metallic, are also presented. A brief introduction to organic chemistry is included in the course topics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisite: CH 115.

Electives

12 Credit Hours required; all courses listed.

Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Prerequisites: BI 141 and 142, or consent of instructor.

Application of biological principles to the study of the structure, function, origin and development of typical invertebrates. Field work may be required in addition to regular laboratory periods. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Comparative study of the morphology, anatomy and natural history of typical vertebrates from an evolutionary point of view. Two lectures and two two-hour laboratories.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Normal development in plant and animal systems from fertilized egg into differentiated organisms, including the related phenomena of metamorphosis, regeneration and growth. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and a three-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of the instructor.

Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment.As needed.

Introduction to the nutrition, physiology and ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses) including preparation of media, role of microorganisms in health and disease and methods of control. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Basic concepts in immunology, medical microbiology and parasitological. Three lectures plus one two-hour laboratory.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115, and CH 116, or instructor‘s consent.

Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution.

Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Biology Minor (20 credit hours)

The biology minor requires the completion of 20 hours of biology focused coursework.

Required Courses

8 Credit hours Required; all courses listed.

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three classes plus one two-hour lab per week. Course fee applies.

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three classes plus one two-hour lab per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisite: BI141.

Required Electives

3 Credit hours Required; all courses listed.

Study of the basic principles and phenomena of living organisms, interpretation of the various physio-chemical processes in animal and human metabolism; training in the physiological techniques. Designed principally for science majors. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141, BI 142, CH 115 and CH 116.

The structure, function and interaction of cellular constituents as they relate to the processes of growth, secretion, differentiation, and heredity. Includes a survey of current research techniques. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141, 142, CH 115 and 116. CH 222 is strongly recommended.

Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and a biotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or instructor‘s consent.

Introduction to basic principles of heredity and variation including classical, molecular and population genetics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Electives

(Optional) Choose two courses from the required electives (above) and one course from the list below.

Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Prerequisites: BI 141 and 142, or consent of instructor.

Application of biological principles to the study of the structure, function, origin and development of typical invertebrates. Field work may be required in addition to regular laboratory periods. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Comparative study of the morphology, anatomy and natural history of typical vertebrates from an evolutionary point of view. Two lectures and two two-hour laboratories.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Normal development in plant and animal systems from fertilized egg into differentiated organisms, including the related phenomena of metamorphosis, regeneration and growth. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and a three-hour laboratory. Course fee applies. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of the instructor.

Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment.As needed.

Introduction to the nutrition, physiology and ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses) including preparation of media, role of microorganisms in health and disease and methods of control. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution.

Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology.As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Teacher Licensure

Students can also choose to pursue a teaching license for grades 7 through 12 in Middle/High School Life Sciences Education.  For more information on teaching licensures please visit the Education Department website.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

With a biology major from The Woods, you are prepared to pursue biology jobs in areas such as microbiology, public health, genetics, physiology, immunology, ecology, and cell biology, or to take their education to the next level by pursuing a medical or graduate degree. Students can also choose to pursue a teaching license for grades 7 through 12 in Middle/High School Life Sciences Education. Below is a list of a few of the places graduates with a biology degree from SMWC have gone on to work or continue their education:

  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Rush Medical Center
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital
  • Georgetown University

Career Opportunities

Biology jobs include laboratory work in a number of industries including pharmaceutical, as well as food and agriculture.

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Physical therapy
  • Environmental science
  • Or a multitude of other scientific areas.

Combining Programs

This sequence of course work may be combined with secondary education courses for certification to teach biology, or you may combine the major with other majors or minors, such as equine studies, computer information systems or psychology.

  • Biology teacher
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • College biology professor
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Protection officer
  • Forest geneticist
  • Freshwater biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Mine reclamation scientist
  • Natural resources manager
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Physiologist
  • Research technician
  • Scientific photographer
  • Zoologist

Graduates are working in such careers as:

  • Physician
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoo Worker
  • Clinical Science Research Assistant
  • Opthalmological Research Assistant
  • Chiropractor
  • Optometrist
  • Biology Secondary Education Teacher
  • Principal of High School
  • Medical Technologist in hospital setting