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Western Kentucky University

Biology Undergraduate Degrees and Requirements

B.S. Degrees

Majors:

Biology with or without a minor

Biochemistry - Interested students should contact Dr. S. Jacobshagen, Department of Biology. For more information, see page 190 of the Undergraduate Catalog for a list of courses.

Medical Technology - Interested students should contact Dr. S. Jacobshagen, Department of Biology.  For more information, see page 190 of the Undergraduate Catalog for a list of courses.

Minors:

Biology
Biochemistry

Certificates:

Secondary Teaching
Middle Grades Science
Food Science

Other Programs:

Pre-professional:

Pre-Chiropractic
Pre-Dentistry
Pre-Forestry
Pre-Medicine
Pre-Optometry
Pre-Pharmacy
Pre-Physical Therapy
Pre-Physician's Assistant
Pre-Podiatric Medicine

Environmental Science

Five year BS / MS Plan

Graduate (MS) Programs

Five year BS / MS Plan
See our Graduate Pages


Major in Biology

 

Reference Number: 525
Minimum Hours for Major: 48

Minimum Hours for Degree:120
Degree: Bachelor of Science

Sample Degree Path:

This option for a major in biology requires a minimum of 48 hours in biology with 24 hours at the 300 or higher level. No minor is required. A range of upper level courses are available in ecology and evolutionary biology, molecular and cellular biology, plant biology, animal biology, and microbiology. All students are required to complete BIOL 120-121 and BIOL 122-123. In addition, students must select 11 hours of restricted elective coursework chosen from the following.

  • BIOL 222 / 223 or BIOL 224 / 225 or BIOL 226 / 227
  • BIOL 319 or BIOL 327
  • BIOL 322 or BIOL 337
  • BIOL 315 or BIOL 316

Students must also select five laboratory experience courses chosen from: BIOL 312, 321, 322, 324, 325, 326, 328, 331, 337, 348, 350, 400, 404, 405, 412, 447, 450, 456, 457, 458, 460, 470, 472, 485, 496, 497.

In consultation with their advisor, students select majors-level coursework to obtain a minimum of 48 credits total, provided that at least 24 hours total are upper-division courses.  Because an understanding of the principles of subjects outside of biology, in particular agriculture, chemistry, geography & geology, mathematics, physics and sociology is essential to the study of biology; majors are required to complete supporting courses as follow:

  1. MATH 116 and 117 or MATH 118 or higher
  2. PHYS 231-232 or PHYS 255-256
  3. CHEM 120-121, and
  4. Two courses from the following list: AGRO 350 and AGRO 452 or AGRO 454 or AGRO 455/456 or AGRO 457/458, BIOL 382, CHEM 222/223, CHEM 314 or CHEM 340/341, CHEM 330, CIS 243, CIS 226 or CS 146, GEOG 316, GEOG 317, GEOG 328, GEOG 417, MATH 136, MATH 137, MATH 142, MATH 305, MATH 307, PHYS 332/233 or PHYS 265/266; SOCL 302.
  5. Students may count up to 6 credit hours of a combination of BIOL 369 and/or 399, and up to 4 credit hours of BIOL 485 toward this major.

Major in Biology

 

Reference Number: 617
Minimum Hours for Major:
36

Minimum Hours for Degree:120
Degree:
Bachelor of Science

Sample Degree Path:

This option for a major in biology requires a minimum of 36 semester hours in biology with 18 hours at the 300 or higher level plus the requirements of a minor area. The major-minor combination must be at least 54 semester hours. All students are required to complete BIOL 120-121 and BIOL 122-123. In addition, students must select 11 hours of restricted elective coursework chosen from the following.

  • BIOL 222 / 223 or BIOL 224 / 225 or BIOL 226 / 227
  • BIOL 319 or BIOL 327
  • BIOL 322 or BIOL 337
  • BIOL 315 or BIOL 316

Students must also select three laboratory experience courses chosen from: BIOL 312, 321, 322, 324, 325, 326, 328, 331, 337, 348, 350, 400, 404, 405, 412, 447, 450, 456, 457, 458, 460, 470, 472, 485, 496, 497.

In consultation with their advisor, students select majors-level coursework to obtain a minimum of 36 credits total, provided that at least 18 hours total are upper-division courses.  Because an understanding of the principles of subjects outside of biology, in particular agriculture, chemistry, geography & geology, mathematics, physics and sociology is essential to the study of biology, majors are required to complete supporting courses as follow:

  1. MATH 116 and 117 or MATH 118 or higher
  2. PHYS 231-232 or PHYS 255-256
  3. CHEM 120-121, and
  4. Two courses from the following list: AGRO 350 and AGRO 452 or AGRO 454 or AGRO 455/456 or AGRO 457/458, BIOL 382, CHEM 222/223, CHEM 314 or CHEM 340/341, CHEM 330, CIS 243, CIS 226  or CS 146, GEOG 316, GEOG 317, GEOG 328, GEOG 417, MATH 136, MATH 137, MATH 142, MATH 305, MATH 307, PHYS 332/233 or PHYS 265/266, SOCL 302.
  5. Students may count up to 3 credit hours of a combination of BIOL 369 and/or 399, and up to 4 credit hours of BIOL 485 toward this major.

Major in Biochemistry

 

Reference Number: 519
Minimum Hours for Major: 60

Minimum Hours for Degree:120
Degree: Bachelor of Science

Sample Degree Path:

Interested students should contact Dr. S. Jacobshagen, Department of Biology. For more information, see page 190 of this catalog for a list of courses.


Major in Medical Technology

Reference Number: 582
Minimum Hours for Major:
88

Minimum Hours for Degree:120
Degree:
Bachelor of Science

Sample Degree Path:

Interested students should contact Dr. K. McDaniel, Department of Biology. For more information, see page 192 of the Undergraduate Catalog for program information and a list of courses.

Minor in Biology

Reference Number: 326
Minimum Hours for Minor:
24

The minor in biology requires a minimum of 24 semester hours in biology with 12 hours at the 300 or higher level. The required courses are BIOL 120-121 and BIOL 122-123. Students, with the aid of their advisor, select additional biology courses to complete the minor.  Students may count up to 3 credit hours of a combination of BIOL 369 and 399 and up to 4 credit hours of BIOL 485 toward this minor.

Food Science Certificate

Reference Number: 1724
Minimum Hours for Minor: 12

The certificate in Food Science is designed for a student seeking a career in the food industry. The certificate requires 12 semester hours with 6 hours required as BIOL 336 and CHEM 307 and 6 hours of elective courses from the following list of courses: AGEC 360, 468, AGRI 101, 315, 493, AGRO 110, 311, 320, AMS 301, 303, 352, 395, ANSC 140, 141, 340, BIOL 470, HMD 151, 152, 211, 251, or a course approved by an advisor.

Secondary Teaching Certification in Biology
Students who wish to be certified to teach high school biology must complete both the major in Biology (reference number 525 or 617) and the major in Science and Mathematics Education (reference number 774), offered in the School of Teacher Education. Interested students should contact the SKyTeach Office, Thompson Complex Central Wing 105, 270-745-3900.

Middle Grades Science Certification
Students who wish to teach middle school science must complete both the major in Middle School Science Education (reference number 734), offered by Ogden College and SKyTeach, and the major in Science and Mathematics Education (reference number 774), offered in the School of Teacher Education. Interested students should contact the SKyTeach Office Thompson Complex Central Wing 105, 270-745-3900.

Other Department Programs
Several other biologically oriented, specialized programs are available such as biophysics and environmental science, as well as several pre-professional programs. Specific details of these programs are listed under Pre-Professional and Interdisciplinary Programs.

A Five–Year Plan
For highly motivated students, especially those planning to pursue graduate study, the department offers a five-year program leading to both B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology. Typically, students will also participate in the University Honors Program as undergraduates. Completion of the M.S. portion of the program requires enrollment in summer terms during the fourth and fifth years. A key component of this program is early and sustained involvement in undergraduate research, beginning in the sophomore year. As such, interested students must work closely with their undergraduate advisor early in their freshman year to design their five-year plan and identify a faculty mentor and area of research.

Graduate Programs
Students interested in graduate study in biology should consult the The Graduate School’s Catalog at www.wku.edu/graduate for detailed information concerning the various programs available. The department offers: (1) M.S. degree with research thesis for students interested in a career in biology or in preparation for Ph.D. studies; (2) M.S. degree without research thesis (an online option is available); (3) M.A.E. in Biology Education for Teacher Leaders (with a minor is also available) degree in (major or minor in biology) which places less emphasis on specialization and research and more on breadth in biology; 4) Peace Corps Master's International (http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whyvol.eduben.school_detail&coll_prog_id=10992&program=M).

 

Suggested Program of Study:

 
Medical Technology (582)
4 year plan
         
FIRST YEAR             
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
BIOL 120/121 or 122/123 4 BIOL 120/121 or 122/123 4
MATH 116 or Higher 3 MATH 117 or Higher 3
ENGLISH 100 3 CHEM 120/121 5
COMM 145 3 Colonnade Explorations 3
HIST 101/102 3    
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 16 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 15
         
SECOND YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
BIOL 224/225  Animal Diversity 4 BIOL 319 or 327 and Biol 322 or 337 Cellular, Molecular/Genetics 4
BIOL 226-227 Micro 4 Colonnade Explorations 3
ENG 200 3 BIOL 328 Immunology 3
    Colonnade Explorations 3
CHEM 222-223 5 Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 3
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 16 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 16
         
THIRD YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
CHEM 314 5 Colonnade Explorations 3
World Language 3 CHEM 330 5
CS 146 Introductory Programming 3 Colonnade Explorations 3
Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 3 Colonnade Explorations 3
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 15 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 17
         
  Summer Term      
SUMMER TERM

Med Tech School

     
 

BIOL 492

8    
 

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

8

   
         
FOURTH YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
Med Tech School   Med Tech School  
 BIOL 493  14  BIOL 494  14
       
       
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 14 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 14
  Total Credit hours :  120-125

* Some courses are 4 or 5 credit hours and determined by career path

 

Student must maintain a "C" or better in each Biology course and in some supporting courses

Course prerequisites are in parentheses and italics after each course listing.

 

Biology (617)
Biology with a minor - 4 year plan

 

FIRST YEAR             
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
BIOL 120/121 or BIOL 122/123 4 BIOL 120/121 or BIOL 122/123 4
MATH 116 or Higher 3-4 MATH 117 or Higher 3-4
ENG 100 3 CHEM 120/121 5
HIST 101/102 3 Course in Minor 3
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 13-14 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 15-16
         
SECOND YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
BIOL 222/223 or 224/225 or 226/227 Organismal Biology 4 BIOL 319 or 327 and Biol 322 or 337 Cellular, Molecular/Genetics 4
Course in Minor 3 ENG 200 3
BIOL Science Supporting course (see Biology Advisor)* 4 BIOL Science Supporting course (see Biology Advisor)* 4
Colonnade Explorations 3 Colonnade Explorations 3
Course in Minor 3 Course in Minor 3
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 17 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 17
         
SUMMER TERM Summer Term  
 
 
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 0    
         
THIRD YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
BIOL 315 Ecology or BIOL 316 Evolution 3 Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 4
Comm 145  3 Colonnade Explorations 3
Colonnade Explorations 3 Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 4
Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 3 Upper Level Course in Minor 3
Course in Minor 3 Writing in the Disciplines 3
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 16 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 17
         
FOURTH YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester  
Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 4 Upper Level BIOL Elective (see Biology Advisor)* 3
Upper Level Course in Minor 3 Upper Level Course in Minor 3
Colonnade Connections 3 Colonnade Connections 3
World Language  3 Colonnade Connections 3
       
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 13 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS 12
Total Credit hours :  120-122
         

* Some courses are 4 or 5 credit hours and determined by career path.

Student must maintain a "C" or better in each Biology course and in some supporting courses


Course prerequisites are in parentheses and italics after each course listing.


This is a suggested program of study.

 
         

  *Remaining Colonnade and Upper Level Biology Electives are decided in conjunction with an advisor.

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 Last Modified 7/29/15