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Mission Statement

Faculty in the Department of Biology maintain active research programs while teaching undergraduate students about the scientific basis of life through rigorouscoursework and extensive research experience. Our students gain a broad background in the life sciences, with the option to emphasize particular areas of biology. We offer classes that focus on the ethics of modern biology and expect our graduates to recognize issues of value that arise in the curriculum. The major prepares students for careers in a variety of areas including biotechnology, education, the health professions and research. We also offer courses designed for the University Core Curriculum that introduce non-science majors to biology and to basic principles of science. Our location in one of the hubs of biotechnology provides many internship opportunities. Moreover, the wide variety of nearby ecosystems provides diverse field sites for teaching and research. Excellent academic advising, dedicated mentoring, and outstanding teaching demonstrate our commitment to the intellectual and personal development of our students.


Goals and Objectives for Student Learning

Biological Concepts.  Students will be able to:

  • Recognize that life is a chemical and physical phenomenon
  • Recognize fundamental relationships between structure and function in biological systems
  • Understand the processes and significance of evolution
  • Recognize the diversity of life on earth, and identify characteristics and relationships of major phylogenetic groups
  • Understand the flow of genetic information in cells and organisms
  • Identify dynamic characteristics of biological systems
  • Recognize factors that limit the abundance and distribution of organisms in the biosphere

Scientific communication. Students will be able to:

  • Summarize and display scientific data clearly and logically
  • Demonstrate competency in scientific writing
  • Present biological concepts and data orally

Social and ethical awareness. Students will be able to:

  • Recognize ethical and social dimensions of biological issues
  • Recognize the importance of ethical conduct in scientific research