Undergraduate Studies

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Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

The B.A. in Biological Sciences is a popular choice for students who are interested in a career in areas such as wildlife management or environmental law and is often combined with a minor in a discipline such as Psychology, History, Alaska Native Studies, History, English, a Foreign Language or Music. 

The B.A. in Biological Sciences is also popular with pre-medical students who wish to acquire and demonstrate academic skills and interests that extend beyond the pure sciences.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts in the biological sciences: evolution; structure and function relationships; information flow, exchange and storage; transformation of energy and matter.
  • Apply the process of science and construct knowledge through observations, experimentation, quantitative reasoning and hypothesis testing.
  • Read, analyze and synthesize primary literature, and communicate scientific concepts and data in written and oral form.
 
  • B.A. Biological Sciences Requirements

    Admission Requirements

    Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.

    Academic Requirements

    To graduate with a BA in Biological Sciences, the student must complete all courses covered under major requirements for a BA in Biological Sciences with a grade of C or better. All prerequisites for Biology (BIOL) courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in a lower-division (100- or 200-level) BIOL course may repeat the course two additional times on a space-available basis. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in an upper-division (300- or 400-level) BIOL course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a BIOL course are required to complete all components of that course during the semester in which the course is retaken. When repeating a course with a lecture and laboratory component, both components must be repeated. Students enrolled in a BIOL laboratory must attend lab the first week of class or they may be administratively dropped.

    Graduation Requirements

    Major Requirements

    Support Courses
    Complete 27 credits from the following prefixes, 9 credits of which must be upper-division, and may include courses from the general education requirements lists. You must complete a minimum of 3 credits from each of the following areas:27
    Fine Arts (ART, CWLA, DNCE, MUS, THR)
    Humanities (AKNS, ART, ASL, CHIN, ENGL, FREN, GER, HIST, HUM, JPN, LING, PHIL, PS, RUSS, SPAN)
    Social Sciences (ANTH, BA, CEL, ECON, ENVI, GEOG, INTL, HS, JPC, JUST, LEGL, PSY, SOC, SWK, WS)
    Core Courses
    BIOL A108Principles and Methods in Biology6
    BIOL A242Fundamentals of Cell Biology3
    BIOL A243Experiential Learning: Cell Biology and Genetics4
    or BIOL A273 Experiential Learning: Ecology and Evolution
    BIOL A252Principles of Genetics3
    BIOL A271Principles of Ecology3
    BIOL A288Principles of Evolution3
    BIOL A492Undergraduate Seminar1
    CHEM A105
    A105L
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry I Laboratory
    4
    CHEM A106
    A106L
    General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry II Laboratory
    4
    STAT A200Elementary Statistics3-4
    or STAT A253 Applied Statistics for the Sciences
    or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
    Upper-Division Program Electives18
    Complete a minimum of 3 credits from four of the five subject areas. A minimum of 6 credits must be experiential learning courses from two subject areas. *
    Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology
    Human Genome
    Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
    Molecular Biology
    Molecular Biology of Cancer
    Metals in Biology
    Experiential Learning: Molecular Biology
    Immunology
    Microbial Biology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
    Pathogenic Microbiology
    Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
    Microbial Biotechnology
    Microbial Genetics
    Virology
    Ecology and Evolution
    Astrobiology
    Marine Mammal Biology
    Animal Behavior
    Experiential Learning: Animal Behavior
    Fish Ecology
    Wildlife Ecology
    Biogeography
    Conservation Biology
    Ecotoxicology
    Tundra and Taiga Ecosystems
    Biological Oceanography
    Physiological Plant Ecology
    Ecological and Conservation Genetics
    Marine Biology
    Spatial Ecology
    Exploration Ecology
    Experiential Learning: Exploration Ecology Field Study
    Evolutionary Ecology
    Population Genetics and Evolutionary Processes
    Microbial Ecology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Ecology
    Geomicrobiology
    Diversity and Organismal Biology
    Vertebrate Biology
    Experiential Learning: Vertebrate Biology
    Plant Biology
    Experiential Learning: Plant Biology
    Ichthyology
    Marine Invertebrate Biology
    Marine Mammal Biology
    Plant Diversity and Evolution
    Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    Microbial Biology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
    Microbial Diversity
    Physiology
    Principles of Animal Physiology
    Experiential Learning: Animal Physiology
    Principles of Plant Physiology
    Experiential Learning: Plant Physiology
    Behavioral Endocrinology
    Neurophysiology
    Chronobiology
    Comparative Animal Physiology
    Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology
    Fish Physiology
    Physiological Plant Ecology
    Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    Microbial Physiology
    Additional Upper-Division Electives
    Experiential Learning: Biostatistics
    Experiential Learning: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
    Selected Lecture Topics in Biology
    Selected Laboratory Topics in Biology *
    Instructional Practicum: Laboratory
    BIOL A497
    Independent Study in Biology
    Individual Research *
    Senior Thesis
    Total79-80

    A total of 120 credits is required for the degree, 42 credits of which must be upper-division. 

    ePortfolio

    All BA Biological Sciences majors are required to submit their completed ePortfolios during the semester they intend to graduate. EPortfolios are used for the purpose of program assessment only.

    Biological Sciences Exit Examination

    All BA Biological Sciences majors are required to complete a nationally standardized exit examination during the semester immediately prior to or during the semester they intend to graduate. There is no minimum score required for graduation. 

    Honors in Biological Sciences

    Undergraduate biological science majors may be recognized for exceptional performance by earning departmental honors in biology. In order to receive honors, a student must meet each of the following requirements:

    1. Meet the requirements for Graduation with Honors.
    2. Meet the requirements for a BA in Biological Sciences.
    3. Earn a grade point average of 3.50 or above in the major requirements.
    4. During the senior year of their academic program, the student must gain faculty approval for and complete, with a grade of B or better, a senior thesis research project, with enrollment in BIOL A499. Biological science faculty members must approve the project proposal and final written report.

     

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Students must choose either the Biological Sciences, or Microbiological Sciences Option.

The B.S. in Biological Sciences is a popular choice for students who are interested in pursuing careers in biological research as it provides strong preparation for relevant graduate school programs such as an M.S. in Biological Sciences or a PhD.  The B.S. in Biological Sciences is also a good choice for students who are interested in moving directly into a biological or environmental career.

This B.S. in Biological Sciences Is also a popular choice for pre-medical, pre-dental and pre-veterinary students as combining the degree requirements with the relevant professional school pre-requisites is relatively straight forward and as it enables these students to demonstrate interest and ability in a relevant discipline.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts in the biological sciences: evolution; structure and function relationships; information flow, exchange and storage; transformation of energy and matter.
  • Apply the process of science and construct knowledge through observations, experimentation, quantitative reasoning and hypothesis testing.
  • Read, analyze and synthesize primary literature, and communicate scientific concepts and data in written and oral form.
 
  • B.S. Biological Sciences Requirements

    The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences includes a single core program of coursework with two areas of study. Completing courses from the cellular and molecular biology area prepares students for professional careers in areas such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. Completing courses from the organismal, ecology and evolutionary area prepares students for careers in environmental, organismal and evolutionary biology. A wide selection of electives is available to all students, including courses offered under BIOL A490, which is a selected topics course. It is imperative that students consult their academic advisors within the Department of Biological Sciences to determine which electives are most appropriate to their career interests. Some of these elective courses are offered periodically, depending on demand. Refer to course descriptions to identify these courses.

    Admission Requirements

    • Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.
    • Declare the major (see major requirements below) and select one of two options: biological sciences or microbiological sciences. To choose an option, students must meet with an advisor. To schedule the advising session, contact the Department of Biological Sciences.

    Academic Requirements

    To graduate with a BS in Biological Sciences, the student must complete all courses covered under major requirements for a BS in Biological Sciences with a grade of C or better. All prerequisites for Biology (BIOL) courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in a lower-division (100- or 200-level) BIOL course may repeat the course two additional times on a space available basis. Students who audit or are unable to earn a grade of C or better in an upper-division (300- or 400-level) BIOL or Microbiology (MBIO) course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a BIOL or MBIO course are required to complete all components of that course during the semester in which the course is retaken. When repeating a course with a lecture and laboratory component, both components must be repeated. Students enrolled in a BIOL or MBIO laboratory or experiential learning course must attend the lab or course the first week of class or they may be administratively dropped.

    Graduation Requirements

    Major Requirements

    Biological Sciences Option

    Required Support Courses
    CHEM A105
    A105L
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry I Laboratory
    4
    CHEM A106
    A106L
    General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry II Laboratory
    4
    CHEM A321Organic Chemistry I3
    CHEM A322Organic Chemistry II3
    CHEM A323LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
    MATH A251Calculus I4
    MATH A252Calculus II4
    STAT A253Applied Statistics for the Sciences4
    or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
    Select one of the following options:8
    Option 1:
    College Physics I
    and College Physics I Laboratory
    College Physics II
    and College Physics II Laboratory
    Option 2:
    General Physics I
    and General Physics I Laboratory
    General Physics II
    and General Physics II Laboratory
    Core Courses
    BIOL A108Principles and Methods in Biology6
    BIOL A242Fundamentals of Cell Biology3
    BIOL A243Experiential Learning: Cell Biology and Genetics4
    or BIOL A273 Experiential Learning: Ecology and Evolution
    BIOL A252Principles of Genetics3
    BIOL A271Principles of Ecology3
    BIOL A288Principles of Evolution3
    BIOL A492Undergraduate Seminar1
    Upper-Division Program Electives24
    Complete a minimum of 3 credits from four of the five subject areas. A minimum of 6 credits must be experiential learning courses from two subject areas. *
    Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology
    Human Genome
    Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
    Molecular Biology
    Molecular Biology of Cancer
    Metals in Biology
    Experiential Learning: Molecular Biology
    Immunology
    Microbial Biology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
    Pathogenic Microbiology
    Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
    Microbial Biotechnology
    Microbial Genetics
    Virology
    Ecology and Evolution
    Astrobiology
    Marine Mammal Biology
    Animal Behavior
    Experiential Learning: Animal Behavior
    Fish Ecology
    Wildlife Ecology
    Biogeography
    Conservation Biology
    Ecotoxicology
    Tundra and Taiga Ecosystems
    Biological Oceanography
    Physiological Plant Ecology
    Ecological and Conservation Genetics
    Marine Biology
    Spatial Ecology
    Exploration Ecology
    Experiential Learning: Exploration Ecology Field Study
    Evolutionary Ecology
    Population Genetics and Evolutionary Processes
    Microbial Ecology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Ecology
    Geomicrobiology
    Diversity and Organismal Biology
    Vertebrate Biology
    Experiential Learning: Vertebrate Biology
    Plant Biology
    Experiential Learning: Plant Biology
    Ichthyology
    Marine Invertebrate Biology
    Marine Mammal Biology
    Plant Diversity and Evolution
    Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    Microbial Biology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology
    Pathogenic Microbiology
    Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
    Microbial Diversity
    Physiology
    Principles of Animal Physiology
    Experiential Learning: Animal Physiology
    Principles of Plant Physiology
    Experiential Learning: Plant Physiology
    Behavioral Endocrinology
    Neurophysiology
    Chronobiology
    Comparative Animal Physiology
    Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology
    Fish Physiology
    Physiological Plant Ecology
    Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    Microbial Physiology
    Additional Upper-Division Electives
    Experiential Learning: Biostatistics
    Experiential Learning: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
    Selected Lecture Topics in Biology
    Selected Laboratory Topics in Biology *
    Instructional Practicum: Laboratory
    BIOL A497
    Independent Study in Biology
    Individual Research *
    Senior Thesis *
    Principles of Biochemistry I
    Principles of Biochemistry II
    Biochemistry Laboratory
    Total83

     Microbiological Sciences Option

    Required Support Courses
    CHEM A105
    A105L
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry I Laboratory
    4
    CHEM A106
    A106L
    General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry II Laboratory
    4
    CHEM A321Organic Chemistry I3
    CHEM A322Organic Chemistry II3
    CHEM A323LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
    MATH A251Calculus I4
    MATH A252Calculus II4
    STAT A253Applied Statistics for the Sciences4
    or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
    Select one of the following options:8
    Option 1:
    College Physics I
    and College Physics I Laboratory
    College Physics II
    and College Physics II Laboratory
    Option 2:
    General Physics I
    and General Physics I Laboratory
    General Physics II
    and General Physics II Laboratory
    Core Courses
    BIOL A108Principles and Methods in Biology6
    BIOL A242Fundamentals of Cell Biology3
    BIOL A243Experiential Learning: Cell Biology and Genetics4
    or BIOL A273 Experiential Learning: Ecology and Evolution
    BIOL A252Principles of Genetics3
    BIOL A271Principles of Ecology3
    BIOL A288Principles of Evolution3
    BIOL A492Undergraduate Seminar1
    MBIO A340Microbial Biology3
    MBIO A342Experiential Learning: Microbial Biology4
    Upper-Division Program Electives17
    Complete a minimum of 3 credits each from the Microbial Genetics and Physiology subject area, the Host-Microbe Interactions subject area and the Microbial Diversity and Environmental Microbiology subject area. A minimum of 2 credits must be experiential learning courses from one of the four subject areas.*
    Microbial Genetics and Physiology
    Microbial Physiology
    Microbial Biotechnology
    Microbial Genetics
    Host-Microbe Interactions
    Immunology
    Pathogenic Microbiology
    Experiential Learning: Pathogenic Microbiology
    Virology
    Microbial Diversity and Environmental Microbiology
    Microbial Diversity
    Microbial Ecology
    Experiential Learning: Microbial Ecology
    Geomicrobiology
    Additional Upper-Division Electives
    Astrobiology
    Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
    Selected Lecture Topics in Biology
    Selected Laboratory Topics in Biology
    Instructional Practicum: Laboratory
    BIOL A497
    Independent Study in Biology
    Individual Research
    Senior Thesis
    Principles of Biochemistry I
    Principles of Biochemistry II
    Biochemistry Laboratory
    Total83

    A total of 120 credits is required for the degree, 42 credits of which must be upper-division.

    ePortfolio

    All BS Biological Sciences majors are required to submit their completed ePortfolios during the semester they intend to graduate. EPortfolios are used for the purpose of program assessment only.

    Biological Sciences Exit Examination

    All BS Biological Sciences majors are required to complete a nationally standardized exit examination during the semester immediately prior to or during the semester they intend to graduate. There is no minimum score required for graduation. 

    Honors in Biological Sciences

    Undergraduate biological science majors may be recognized for exceptional performance by earning departmental honors in biology. In order to receive honors, a student must meet each of the following requirements:

    1. Meet the requirements for Graduation with Honors.
    2. Meet the requirements for a BS in Biological Sciences.
    3. Earn a grade point average of 3.50 or above in the major requirements.
    4. During the senior year of their academic program, the student must gain faculty approval for and complete, with a grade of B or better, a senior thesis research project, with enrollment in BIOL A499. Biological science faculty members must approve the project proposal and final written report.

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences

Students must choose either the Environmental Sciences, Pre-Health Professions, or General Sciences Option.

The B.S. in Natural Sciences is a popular choice for students who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM teaching at the secondary school level as the breadth of the program provides them with the qualifications and skills that they need to obtain and to excel in such positions.

The flexible nature of this degree has made it popular with a wide variety of Science students and it is often combined with a minor in a second discipline such as Psychology, Physics or Mathematics.  The three options associated with the degree are intended to maintain this flexibility while still ensuring that students who wish to use it as a stepping stone towards a biological, environmental or medical career are able to do so.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences will be able to:

  • Design and implement scientific investigations to explore natural phenomena using experimentation, which includes exploration and discovery, and testing ideas (gathering and interpreting data)
  • Clearly and accurately communicate scientific ideas, theories, and observations in oral and written forms
  • Apply scientific data, concepts, and models to craft interdisciplinary explanations of scientific ideas across two of the natural sciences
 
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Biologist Employment Statisticsoptional hidden text

 * Courtesy of Camai Cassey, M.B.A, JCTC, JCDC; Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
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Biology Career Optionsoptional hidden text

 * Courtesy of Laura Williams Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Providence College