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Academic Catalog Undergraduate Programs: Biologynext

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Degree earned

Total number of credits




Program Goals

  • Students will develop an understanding of the central themes, principles, and technologies of biological knowledge and a familiarity with appropriate supporting areas of chemistry and mathematics.
  • Students will develop the scientific literacy necessary to analyze, critically evaluate, and communicate scientific concepts.
  • Students will develop their investigative skills and increase their understanding of science as a way of knowing that guides and facilitates scientific investigation and decision-making.


Program Description

The purpose of the Bachelor’s of Science degree program in Biology is to provide rigorous training to those students desiring careers in the biological, biomedical, and environmental sciences. The program also provides the necessary preparation to those students who wish to pursue graduate training in biology, medicine, or veterinary science. The goal of the program is to produce graduates who, having been trained in the analytical and investigative techniques of the biological sciences, are ready to embark on promising careers in government, industry, and biomedical sciences.

The Biology major at Medaille College is designed to introduce students to the broad spectrum of biological knowledge, from the complexities of the single cell to the dynamics of the ecosystem, and to develop an awareness of the achievements, methods, potentials, and limitations of the biological sciences. Consistent with a liberal education, the Biology major includes a combination of required and elective courses. Students may utilize their electives to experience the rich traditions of the liberal arts, to develop significant expertise in a second area of study, such as communications or management, or to acquire an additional degree or certification, i.e., the Associate in Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

The curriculum consists of a 40-credit core of courses designed to allow students to explore, in depth, the analytical procedures and principle tenets of thought in biological science. The core consists of (a) eight required courses in botany, cell biology, ecology, genetics, microbiology, epidemiology and biostatistics, and comparative anatomy and physiology; and (b) a choice of electives from courses that include immunology, animal behavior, advanced vertebrate physiology, herpetology, ichthyology, ornithology, mammalogy, organic evolution, developmental biology, and biochemistry. Students also take courses in general and organic chemistry, and mathematics. The design of the Biology curriculum is such that graduates of Medaille College’s Associate in Science degree program in Veterinary Technology may transfer into the Bachelor of Science degree program in Biology without loss of any credits, provided they take the appropriate chemistry and liberal arts sequences.


Credit Distribution

General Education Core (27 credits)

ENG 110 College Writing (3)

ENG 200 Advanced College Writing (3)

GEN 110 Introduction to Critical Thinking (3) [Required of first-year students; all other students must substitute a Social Sciences Elective]

GEN 220 Justice and Democracy in America (3)

GEN 230 Creative Expression (3)

GEN 410 Baccalaureate Capstone I (3)

GEN 411 Baccalaureate Capstone II (3)

MAT 115 Pre-Calculus (3) [Students who meet the math requirement by placement must substitute a Free Elective]

SPE 130 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (3)

Major Requirements (31 credits)

BIO 120 Botany (4)

BIO 170 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology I (5)

BIO 171 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology II (5)

BIO 200 Microbiology (4)

BIO 220 Cell Biology (3)

BIO 301 Epidemiology and Biostatistics (3)

BIO 320 Ecology (4)

BIO 330 Genetics (3)

Major Electives (9 credits)

Electives: Choose 3 from the following:

BIO 303 Toxicology (3)

BIO 310 Immunology (3)

BIO 340 Animal Behavior (3)

BIO 370 Advanced Vertebrate Physiology I (3)

BIO 371 Advanced Vertebrate Physiology II (3)

BIO 421 Ichthyology (4)

BIO 422 Herpetology (4)

BIO 423 Ornithology (4)

BIO 424 Mammalogy (4)

BIO 430 Organic Evolution (3)

BIO 470 Developmental Biology (3)

BIO 498 Independent Study In Biology (3)

CHE 400 General Biochemistry (4)

Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses (19 credits)

CHE 200 General Chemistry I (4)

CHE 201 General Chemistry II (4)

CHE 300 Organic Chemistry I (4)

CHE 301 Organic Chemistry II (4)

PHI 300 Ethics (3)

Computer Information Systems (3 credits)

CIS 115 Computer Information Systems or above (3)

Free Electives (39 credits)

  • May include any College course

Total 128 credit hours

Note: Students planning to apply for admission to graduate, medical, or veterinary school are strongly encouraged to take CHE 400 General Biochemistry, PHY 200 Principles of Physics I and PHY 201 Principles of Physics II. Additionally, students are encouraged to take either MAT 216 Survey of Introductory Calculus and its Applications, or MAT 251 Calculus I and MAT 252 Calculus II (a two-course sequence). Students interested in professional careers in medicine are advised to develop a foundation in the Humanities and the Social Sciences.