Programs

Biology

Science Student

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Biology is the study of living organisms and vital processes. Biologists investigate the structure, function, hereditary, and evolution of all living things – microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals. These life forms are studied at all levels: molecule, cell, organism, and population. Through lab work and field work, biology majors acquire a basic understanding of organisms, their habitats, and the processes that govern their life activities.

Biology student presents her research on Bioluminescent Bacteria

At Cottey, we want to make sure that your biology education includes a broad range of topics, and not just those that directly relate to biology. It’s important to have a strong background in scientific communication, leadership, and experiential learning, skills that will help you succeed not just at Cottey but throughout your career. Those skills are built in to the biology curriculum and in to our co-curricular offerings. At Cottey,

  • You can practice your scientific communication skills at national scientific conferences.
  • You can work with a professor to explore independent research during the semester or over the summer.
  • You can become a leader by attending CotteyWiSE meetings and networking with other women in science.

Is This Major For You?

Biology majors are inquisitive by nature and have a strong desire to understand the world around them. They are often analytical, like to problem solve, and have good organizational skills. While some biology majors prefer working in groups, most are independent and motivated. If this sounds like you, you should consider a degree in biology.

What Can You Do With a Biology Degree?

What can’t you do?! A biology degree from Cottey will help you master many skills that all types of employers are looking for, including leadership, problem solving, and communication. Plus you’ll get first hand experience with scientific concepts and techniques in our biology laboratories and our field site. You might decide to use your degree to fill one of the approximately 100,000 new jobs in fields related to biology (1). Possible careers include:

  • Research
  • Conservation
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Science writing
  • Wildlife management
  • Market research and/or quality control
  • Science policy
  • And many, many more!

A biology degree from Cottey will also prepare you for further study in several fields, such as:

  • Doctoral level study in biology, microbiology, ecology, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, and many other subfields
  • Doctoral level study in physical therapy
  • Masters level study in genetic counseling
  • Masters level study in occupational therapy
  • Masters level study in public health or epidemiology

just to name a few!

(1) Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2015.

Cottey College Core Requirements:

Writing (6 hours required)
FYS 101 First-year Writing Seminar 3
WRI 102 College Writing II 3
Math (3 hours required)
Choose one of the following:
MAT 103 College Algebra 3
MAT 112 Statistics 3
MAT 201 Calculus I 4
Fine Arts (Choose from list) (3 hours required)
Humanities (Choose from list) (3 hours required)
Sciences (Choose from list) (4 hours required)
Social Sciences (Choose from list) (3 hours required)
Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) Studies (3 hours required)
Fitness (Choose from list) (2 hours required)

Biology Program Requirements:

Science I (26 hours required)
BIO 107/L Principles of Biology 4
BIO 207/L General Zoology 4
BIO 204/L Genetics 4
CHE 210/1 General Chemistry I 5
CHE 212/3 General Chemistry II 5
PHY 101 Introduction to Physics
-OR-
PHY 205 General Physics I
4
Science II (23-24 hours required)
6 courses required; at least 3 must be 300 level or above, at least 5 must have a laboratory component
BIO 115 Human Nutrition 3
BIO 120/L Introduction to Environmental Science & Lab 4
BIO 211/L Anatomy & Physiology I & Lab 4
BIO 212/L Anatomy & Physiology II & Lab 4
BIO 240/L Medical Microbiology & Lab 4
BIO 301/L Molecular Biology & Lab 4
BIO 401/L Advanced Topics in Microbiology & Lab 4
BIO 440 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease 4
CHE 340/341 Biochemistry & Lab 4
Mathematics (3 hours required)
Choose one of the following:
MAT 112 Statistics 3
MAT 201 Calculus I 4
Social Science (3 hours required)
Choose one of the following:
ENV 322 Ecosystems, Function, and Management 3
ENV 335 Earth Sciences: Soil, Water and Atmosphere 3
PSY 235 Biopsychology 3
PSY 335 Drugs and Behavior 3
-OR-
Students may choose a 300-level or above class from anthropology, environmental studies, psychology, or sociology, as approved by the program coordinator.
Writing (3 hours required)
Upper level writing intensive (WI) course, 300-level or above. 3
Experiential Learning (3 hours required)
Internship, Directed Study, Research, or Service-Learning 3
Scientific Communication and Critical Thinking (3 hours required)
BIO 190 Introduction to Scientific Literature 1
BIO 390 Seminar 1
BIO 490 Capstone Project 1
Required Courses 64-65
Cottey Core 27*
Electives 28-29
Total Requirements for B.S. Degree 120

*Please note that some courses required for the core will overlap with courses required for the program, providing additional opportunity for elective coursework.

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Year 1 Fall Spring
BIO 107/L Principles of Biology & Lab 4 BIO 207/L Zoology & Lab 4
BIO 190 Intro to Scientific Lit 1 MAT 103 College Algebra 3
FYS 101 First Year Seminar 3 WRI 102 College Writing 2 3
Introductory Social Science 3 Fine Arts 3
Humanities 3 Fitness 1
Total: 14 Total: 14
Year 2 Fall Spring
CHE 210/211 General Chemistry 1 & Lab 5 CHE 212/213 General Chemistry 2 & Lab 5
BIO 204/L Genetics & Lab 4 Science II Elective 4
Women, Gender, & Sexuality 3 Upper level Social Science Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Fitness 1 BIO 390 Seminar 1
Total: 15 Total: 16
Year 3 Fall Spring
Science II Elective 4 Science II Elective 4
Science II Elective 4 Science II Elective 4
MAT 112 Elementary Statistics 3 PHY 101 Introduction to Physics 4
Elective 3 Elective 3
Experiential Learning 1 Experiential Learning 1
Total: 15 Total: 16
Year 4 Fall Spring
Science II Elective 4 Science II Elective 4
Science II Elective 4 Science II Elective 4
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 BIO 490 Capstone 3
Experiential Learning 1 Experiential Learning 1
Total: 15 Total: 15
Total Hours: 120

Introductory Biology (BIO101) and its laboratory course (BIO101L) are offered for nonmajors and for prospective majors who need more background in the biological sciences before taking more difficult Biology courses.

BIO 101 Introductory Biology (fs)
Basic concepts of cellular structure and function, patterns of inheritance, evolutionary mechanisms, ecological relationships, and environmental concerns. Not open to students with credit in BIO 105 or BIO 107. 3 credits
Corequisite: BIO 101L


BIO 101L Introductory Biology Laboratory (fs)
Basic laboratory techniques, experimental method, and investigation of topics pertinent to study of living things. Two hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 101


BIO 105 General Botany (xs)
Introduces basic biological concepts as they relate to plants. Plant form and function at cellular and whole plant levels, ecology, reproduction, growth, evolution, and taxonomy of major groups. 3 credits
Corequisite: BIO 105L General Botany Lab


BIO 105L General Botany Laboratory (xs)
Investigation of plant form, function, and taxonomic relationships. Introduces laboratory techniques and experimental methods. Two hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 105 General Botany


BIO 107 Principles of Biology (f)
Emphasizes basic chemical and physical laws applicable to functioning of living things. Cellular morphology, metabolism and reproduction, molecular genetics, heredity, and evolution. Intended for students planning to enter sciences and health care professions. 3 credits
Corequisite: BIO 107L Principles of Biology Lab


BIO 107L Principles of Biology Laboratory (f)
Introduces techniques of laboratory work, methods of scientific inquiry and investigation of topics related to basic functioning of life. Two hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 107 Principles of Biology


BIO 115 Human Nutrition (xs)
This course provides an introduction to the science of nutrition: basic structure and function involved in the ingestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients. 3 credits


BIO/ENV 120 Introduction to Environmental Science (xs)
Involves all basic sciences (geology, physics, chemistry, and biology) in introducing scientific study of biogeochemical cycles and energy flow through ecosystems. It especially considers impact of human activities on populations, communities, and ecosystems. 3 credits


BIO 204 Genetics (f)
Study of hereditary mechanisms with coverage of Mendelian and molecular genetics. 3 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 107 Principles of Biology
Corequisite: BIO 204L Genetics Laboratory


BIO 204L Genetics Laboratory (f)
Patterns and mechanisms of inheritance with emphasis on classical and molecular techniques and laboratory procedures. Three hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 204 Genetics


BIO 207 General Zoology (s)
Examines anatomy, physiology, basic ecology, and evolutionary relationships among major taxa of animals. 3 credits
Corequisite: BIO 207L General Zoology Lab


BIO 207L General Zoology Laboratory (s)
Structure and function of organ systems with an emphasis on vertebrates coupled with survey of diversity, specializations, and taxonomy of animal kingdom. Two hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 207 General Zoology


BIO 211 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 (f)
Anatomical and physiological topics needed to understand basic working of human body. Reviews cellular physiology (respiration, protein synthesis, etc.), tissues, musculoskeletal system, and nervous system. Designed for students directed toward careers in human health fields and is not included in curriculum for pre-med, pre-vet, or pre-dentistry programs. 3 credits
Corequisite: BIO 211L Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 Laboratory


BIO 211L Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 Laboratory (f)
Microscopic study of tissues, dissection of preserved mammals, and study of human materials as available, e.g., skeletons and models. Three hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 211 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1


BIO 212 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 (s)
Remaining organ systems of body are covered: respiratory, special sensory, excretory, digestive, endocrine, and reproductive (including developmental biology). 3 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 211 Human and Anatomy and Physiology 1 OR permission of the instructor
Corequisite: BIO 212L Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 Laboratory


BIO 212L Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 Laboratory (s)
Microscopic study, dissection of preserved mammals, and study of human materials as available, e.g., skeletons and models. Three hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 212 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2


BIO 240 Medical Microbiology (xf)
Medical microbiology is an introductory microbiology class focusing on how microbes affect health. Topics covered will include microbial structure, metabolism, classification, and methods of control. This course features applied learning in the form of diagnostic case studies. 3 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 101 Introduction to Biology OR BIO 107 Principles of Biology
Corequisite: BIO 240L Medical Microbiology Laboratory


BIO 240L Medical Microbiology Laboratory (xf)
Basic microbiological techniques such as propagating, staining, and identification of various microbes are covered. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 240 Medical Microbiology


BIO 301 Molecular Biology (s)
Introduction to structure and synthesis of macromolecules. Coverage of various aspects of gene structure, function, and regulation. 3 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 107 Principles of Biology; CHE 212 General Chemistry 2 recommended
Corequisite: BIO 301L Molecular Biology Laboratory


BIO 301L Molecular Biology Laboratory (s)
Emphasizes isolation and quantitation of DNA, recombinant DNA technology, and exercises which demonstrate the regulation of gene expression. Three hours per week. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 301 Molecular Biology


BIO 401 Advanced Topics in Microbiology (xf)
Study of the cellular structure, metabolism, genetics, and classification of microbes. 3 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 240 Medical Microbiology
Corequisite: BIO 401L Advanced Topics in Microbiology Laboratory


BIO 401L Advanced Topics in Microbiology Lab (xf)
Standard microbiological procedures such as culturing and quantifying microbes, aseptic technique, and the use of various tests to identify unknowns. 1 credit
Corequisite: BIO 401 Advanced Topics in Microbiology


BIO 440 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (xs)
Provides insight into how molecular studies can be employed to expand medical research and aid in the development of novel treatments and therapeutics. The course will cover a number of areas selected by the participants. Possible topics include neurodegenerative disorders, prion diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Four hours per week. 4 credits
Prerequisite: BIO 301 Molecular Biology, CHE 340 Biochemistry recommended


If you are a prospective student and have any questions, please feel free to contact our Biology faculty by email.

Program Coordinator

Catherine Burke Volle, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry
208 Grantham
ext. 2213
cvolle@cottey.edu

Faculty

Robert Jones, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
212 Grantham
ext. 2240
rjones@cottey.edu

Chris Peterson, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
202 Grantham
ext. 2212
cpeterson@cottey.edu