Biology Program Options

The biology curriculum emphasizes the central principles while allowing students to specialize with courses from three distinct tracks to prepare them for a variety of career paths in the biological sciences.

The curriculum includes cognate courses in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. In addition, hands-on investigative research is integrated into the curriculum to provide students with more opportunities to conduct research projects and enhance their learning experiences. This curricular approach, in conjunction with the supporting courses required by the curriculum, provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare for a diverse array of career paths.

Program Options

  1. B.S. Biology with research option: Students who choose the research option are required to take five biology electives. Additionally, they will take at least 2 credits of BIO 480 to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member and present their findings in BIO 491 Senior Thesis.
  2. B.S. Biology with the non-research option: Students who choose the non-research option are required to take six biology electives and present a paper on a topic prescribed by the BIO 491 Senior Thesis course. These students are not required to take BIO 480 Research.
  3. B.A. Biology: The Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology provides a solid education in the biological sciences and is ideal for students who wish to pursue a biology major together with a major or minor in another discipline. The B.A. degree requires fewer biology courses than the B.S. degree and supports students who are interested in transitioning into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Biology/Secondary Education students.
  4. Minor in Biology: Students with an interest in the natural sciences may choose to pursue the 19–20 credit minor in biology. The curriculum offers a broad background in the origin, growth, structure, and reproduction of living matter in its various forms.

B.S. Biology with Research Option Curriculum

First YearCr.
First Semester
BIO 111Evolution, Genetics & Ecology4
CHM 133Chemical Principles I4
Second Semester
BIO 112Cell and Molecular Biology4
CHM 134Chemical Principles II4
Second YearCr.
First Semester
BIO 201Organismal Structure & Function4
CHM 243Organic Chemistry I4
MTH 171Calculus I4
Second Semester
BIO 200Sophomore Seminar1
BIO 202Biological Interactions4
CHM 244Organic Chemistry II4
MTH 172Calculus II4
Third YearCr.
First Semester
BIOElective Track4
CHM 353Biochemistry I3
PHY 221General Physics I4
BIO 300Junior Biology Seminar1
Second Semester
BIOElective Track4
PHY 222General Physics II4
BIO 480Research1
Fourth YearCr.
First Semester
BIOElective Track4
BIOMajor Elective3
BIO 480Research2
Second Semester
BIOMajor Elective3
BIO 491Senior Thesis1

Minimum credits required for graduation: 120


Pre-professional Curriculum

The Pre-professional curriculum (Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Optometry and Pre-Dental) is the same as the Biology BS degree curriculum.

Students are advised to find information about graduate studies from the following sources:

American Dental Association: www.ada.org

American Medical Association: www.ama-assn.org

American Optometric Association: www.aoa.org

American Veterinary Medicine Association: www.avma.org

B.S. Biology with Non-Research Option Curriculum

Sequence of Required Courses for the research option track. Students pursuing the non-research option would not take BIO 480, and would take an additional BIO major elective.

B.A. Biology Curriculum


First Year
First Semester
BIO 111Evolution, Genetics & Ecology4
CHM 133Chemical Principles I4
Second Semester
BIO 112Cell and Molecular Biology4
CHM 134Chemical Principles II4
Second Year
First Semester
BIO 201Organismal Structure & Function4
CHM 243Organic Chemistry I4
MTH 171Calculus I4
Second Semester
BIO 200Sophomore Seminar1
BIO 202Biological Interactions4
CHM 244Organic Chemistry II4
MTH 172 or
MTH 115
Calculus II or
Basic Statistics I
4 or
3
Third Year
First Semester
BIOElective Track I4
CHM 353Biochemistry I3
PHY 221General Physics I4
Second Semester
BIOElective Track II4
PHY 222General Physics II4
Fourth Year
First Semester
BIOElective Track III4
BIOMajor Elective3-4
Second Semester
BIOMajor Elective3
Minimum credits required for graduation 121-123

Minor in Biology Curriculum

The minor in biology may be pursued by any student with an interest in the natural sciences. The 19–20 credit curriculum offers a broad background in the origin, growth, structure, and reproduction of living matter in its various forms.


Course Sequence

BIO 111

Evolution, Genetics and Ecology

4

BIO 112

Cell and Molecular Biology

4

BIO 201

Organismal Structure and Function

4

BIO 202

Biological Interactions

4

Biology Elective

3-4

Total 19-20 credits

Elective Tracks

The following are suggested curricula for a variety of biology specialties including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Biology/Secondary Education, or Bachelor of Arts in Biology (Pre-DPT).

Students are required to take five electives with at least one elective from each of the elective tracks and any two additional electives.


Track I: Cell and Molecular Biology

BIO 341: Genetics (4 credits)

BIO 343: Microbiology (4 credits)

BIO 345: Developmental Biology (3 credits)

BIO 352: Histology (4 credits)

BIO 360: Immunology (4 credits)

CHM 354: Biochemistry II (3 credits)

BIO 435: Cell Biology (3 credits)

BIO 441: Molecular Genetics (3 credits)

BIO 450: Endocrinology (3 credits)


Track II: Organismal Biology

BIO 251 or 351: Comparative Anatomy (4 credits)

BIO 301: Gross Anatomy (5 credits)

BIO 311: Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (4 credits)

BIO 312: Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)

BIO 346: General Physiology (4 credits)

BIO 352: Histology (4 credits)


Track III: Ecology and Evolution

BIO 351: Comparative Anatomy (4 credits)

BIO 310: Environmental Biology (4 credits)

BIO 313: Marine Biology (4 credits)

BIO 425: Ecology (4 credits)

BIO 431: Field Biology (3 credits)

Course Descriptions

BIO 105 Essential Biology, 3 credits

This survey course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of modern biology, starting with its chemical nature and cells and proceeding to organisms and their roles in their environment. May be taken concurrently with BIO 105L: Essential Biology Laboratory to complete the laboratory science requirement of the core.
Lecture: 3 hours.

BIO 105L Essential Biology Laboratory, 1 credit

This laboratory course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of modern biology, starting with its chemical nature and cells and proceeding to organisms and their roles in the environment. The lab is designed to give the student a hands-on experience in the biological sciences.
Laboratory: 3 hours.
Corequisite: BIO 105

BIO 106 Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 credits

Environmental science will introduce students to the complexity of human interactions with the global environment. By conducting in-depth research on particular case studies, students will learn to analyze relevant scientific data pertaining to a particular case and examine the issues associated with that case from different perspectives, including scientific, social, political, and economic considerations.
Lecture: 3 hours.

BIO 111 Evolution, Genetics and Ecology, 4 credits

The course examines the basic principles of biological evolution, genetics, and ecology. This course introduces students to the concept of biological evolution as the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. The course focuses on understanding and application of scientific methodology to gain an understanding of the basic principles that describe how and why living things change over time. A basic understanding of the principles of genetics, ecology and evolution is invaluable to anyone contemplating a career in any of the life sciences.
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

BIO 112 Cell and Molecular Biology, 4 credits

The course focuses on the cellular and molecular principles of biology with emphasis on the interrelationship of structure and function of cells, organelles, subcellular structures. Major biochemical processes including cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and genetic processes will be examined at the molecular level. Cell-cell interaction and cellular responses to environment will be studied by examination of intracellular and intercellular signals mechanisms. Cell division, cell cycles and cell differentiation will also be discussed. Laboratory will provide an opportunity for students to actively investigate cell structure and cell processes using modern methods, technology and instrumentation.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 111, or permission of the instructor.

BIO 121 Human Structure and Function I, 4 credits

A study of the human body structure and function with emphasis on its cellular control and selected systems involving dynamic control, support and movement.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

BIO 122 Human Structure and Function II, 4 credits

This course is a study of the human body structure and function with special emphasis on its ability to circulate fluids, absorb and excrete, and reproduce.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.
Prerequisite BIO 121

BIO 200 Sophomore Biology Seminar, 1 credit

The Sophomore Biology Seminar course will introduce students to the biological literature and guide them through the process of finding, analyzing and understanding the scientific literature.
Lecture: 1 hour
Prerequisite: BIO 111 and BIO 112, or permission of instructor.

BIO 201 Organismal Structure and Function, 4 credits

This course deals with the structure and function of systems found in animals and plants. It will emphasize major homeostatic mechanisms and their evolutionary significance; as well as, demonstrate organismal adaptations to common problems of transportation, control, and reproduction. The course will be taught in two parts with one section emphasizing animal adaptations, and the other part emphasizing plant adaptations. The lab will focus on demonstrating actual anatomical and physiological mechanisms on organisms.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 111 and BIO 112, or permission of instructor

BIO 202 Biological Interactions, 4 credits

Biological Interactions is the fourth required course in the introductory sequence for the biology major. In this course, students will integrate and apply the biological concepts learned in BIO 111 Evolution, Genetics and Ecology, BIO 112 Cell and Molecular Biology, and BIO 201 Organismal Structure and Function to particular examples. The course will be based on a critical analysis of the biological literature on a particular topic, such as community interactions, host-pathogen relationships, or symbiosis.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 201, or permission of instructor

BIO 210 Biology of Aging, 3 credits

Mechanisms of aging processes with special reference to humans will be studied. Unfavorable progressive changes in molecules, cells, systems, and organisms will also be detailed.
Lecture: 3 hours.

BIO 211/212 Anatomy and Physiology I & II, 4 credits each

A detailed study of the structure and same function of the human body. Emphasis on physiology phenomena and concepts.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.
Prerequisites: No prerequisite for BIO 211. Prerequisite for BIO 212 is BIO 211 or permission from instructor

BIO 228 Introduction to Microbiology, 4 credits

General morphology and physiology of bacteria, yeasts, molds, and viruses. Study of infection and immunity. Special studies of foods, water, and sewage with reference to health and sanitation. (Formerly BIO 227, Bacteriology)
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

BIO 251 Comparative Anatomy, 4 credits

A detailed study of the tissues, organs, and selected systems of the human compared to those of representative vertebrates. Laboratory dissection and prepared slide studies.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or BIO 212; or permission of instructor

BIO 300 Junior Biology Seminar, 1 credit

The Junior Biology Seminar course will guide students through the process of preparing a formal research proposal for their senior thesis project through a critical evaluation of the scientific literature and the writing of the research proposal.
Lecture: 1 hour.
Prerequisite: BIO 200, or permission of instructor

BIO 301 Gross Anatomy, 5 credits

The study of human anatomy, embryology, and histology emphasizing structure and function in relationship to simple and complex human movement; inter-relationships of neuromuscular and skeletal development and structure (cross-sectional and three-dimensional); and appreciation of anatomical differences among individuals. Laboratory sessions will include cadaver dissection and will strongly integrate Analysis of Human Movement and Applied Physiology.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 6 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 211/212, or BIO 351/352, or permission of the instructor.

BIO 302 Neuroscience, 4 credits

The study of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropathology; inter-relationships of nervous system development and structure as related to function; introduction to theories and research regarding postural and motor control and motor learning; applied neuroanatomy/physiology as a basic component of servomotor evaluation.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 211/212, or BIO 351/352, or permission of the instructor.

BIO 310 Environmental Biology, 4 credits

This course is designed to investigate the complexity of human interactions with the global environment. By conducting in-depth research of particular cases, students will learn to view and understand the issues from different perspectives to include both scientific data and social, political and economic considerations.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 311 Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 4 credits

This course provides an integrated and interdisciplinary study of the molecular, physiological and biochemical functions of plants by applying biological principles to the understanding of plant growth and development, metabolism and plant response to the environment.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 312 Invertebrate Zoology, 4credits

This course focuses on the major forms and evolutionary trends among invertebrates. This course provides a broad overview of morphology, phylogenetic relationships, ecology, physiology, and behavior of the invertebrate phyla.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory and field work: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 202or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 313 Marine Biology, 4 credits

This course will study of the nature of life in the oceans and in coastal environments with emphasis on applying basic scientific principles to problems of the marine environment. This course will include study of the abiotic environment surrounding marine organisms, the geological, physical, and chemical parameters of marine environments, and the interrelationships between organisms and these parameters.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory and field work: 3 hours. Field trip.
Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 341 Genetics, 4 credits

A detailed study of the principles of heredity. Both classical and molecular genetics are given equal treatment.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: CHM 134; BIO 202 or BIO 212; or permission of instructor

BIO 343 Microbiology, 4 credits

Fundamental principles and techniques of microbiology, including general morphology, ecology and physiology of microorganisms, methods of study, identification, destruction, and control.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or BIO 212; or permission of instructor

BIO 345 Developmental Biology, 3 credits

A comprehensive study of developmental biology. Genetic, molecular, and cellular aspects involved in the regulation of temporal and spatial development will be covered. Current experimental systems in the study of developmental biology will be introduced.
Lecture: 3 hours.
Prerequisites:BIO 202 or 212 or 341, or permission of instructor.

BIO 346 General Physiology, 4 credits

A detailed study of the function of the muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, and excretory systems. Laboratory experiments deal with the physiology of humans and lower vertebrates.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or 212 or 351 and CHEM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 351 Comparative Anatomy, 4 credits

A detailed study of the tissues, organs, and selected systems of the human compared to those of representative vertebrates. Laboratory dissection and prepared slide studies.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or BIO 212; or permission of instructor

BIO 352 Histology, 4 credits

A detailed study of the tissues, organs, and selected systems of the human compared to those of representative vertebrates. Laboratory dissection, prepared slide studies, and techniques of tissue slide preparation.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or BIO 212; or permission of instructor

BIO 360 Immunology, 4 credit

This course will introduce the student to the fundamental concepts of immunology, control of physiological processes by the immune system, cellular components of the immune system, and the role of the immune system in disease. This course also comprises of a laboratory component, which is required to be taken as part of the course.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 3 hours
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or 212; CHM 353; or permission of instructor.

BIO 413 Biology Cooperative Education, 3-12 credits

Academic study combined with work experience in the community.
Prerequisite: 24 credits in Biology.

BIO 425 Ecology, 4 credits

A study of the inter-relationships between plants, animals, and other components of the total environment.
Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory and field work: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 431 Field Biology, 3 credits

Familiarization with local plants and animals based on actual field observation and collection. Includes sampling of forest, field and pond habitats.
Lecture and field work: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 212, CHM 134, or permission of instructor

BIO 435 Cell Biology, 3 credits

A detailed study of the morphology and physiology of cells. Special emphasis is placed on the inter-relationship between molecular structure and cell function.
Lecture: 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or 212; CHM 353 or permission of instructor

BIO 441 Molecular Genetics, 4 credits

A study of the molecular basis of information storage, regulation, processing, and expression. Structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, and their interactions are discussed. Molecular approaches used in contemporary biology will be covered with specific attention to plant biotechnology, gene therapy, transgenic organisms, and cloning. Laboratory will focus on current molecular biology methodology including DNA sequencing, recombinant DNA technology, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Lecture: 3 hours Lab: 3 hours
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or 212 or 341 or permission of instructor

BIO 450 Endocrinology, 3 credits

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of endocrinology, control of various physiological processes by hormones, neuroendocrinology and comparative endocrinology.
Lecture: 3 hours
Prerequisites: BIO 202 or 212 or 346, and CHM 353; or permission of instructor

BIO 480 Biological Research, 1-2 credits

Biological research under the direction of a faculty member in the biology department. Students are expected to perform a minimum of 45 hours of research per credit hour. Research requirements can be met by conducting research at Misericordia University under the supervision of a faculty member during the academic year and/or during the summer, or summer research internship conducted at other institutions under the supervision of a research mentor.

BIO 485 Special Topics, 1-4 credits

Topic may vary from semester to semester and will be announced with preregistration information and course hours.
On demand

BIO 487 Independent Study, 1-3 credits

Special investigation of a selected topic.
Prerequisite: 24 credits in Biology

BIO 491 Senior Thesis, 1 credit

Senior Thesis is a capstone course for the Biology major. Course requirements include the preparation of a senior thesis and a seminar presentation based either on a student’s independent research project or library research.
Lecture: 1 hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 300 or permission of instructor

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