Western Kentucky University

Biology Undergraduate Degrees and Requirements

B.S. Degrees

Majors:

Biology with or without a minor
Biochemistry
Medical Technology

Minors:

Biology

Certificates:

Secondary Teaching
Middle Grades Science

Other Programs:

Pre-professional and Interdisciplinary

Pre-Chiropractic
Pre-Dentistry
Pre-Medicine
Pre-Optometry
Pre-Podiatric Medicine
Pre-Physical Therapy
Environmental Science
Biochemistry
Medical Technology

Five year BS / MS Plan

Graduate (MS) Programs

Five year BS / MS Plan
See our Graduate Pages

Major in Biology (without a minor)

This option for a major in biology (reference number 525) requires a minimum of 48 hours in biology with 24 hours at the 300 or higher level. No minor is required. Several areas of emphasis are available including 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, and at least one course from each of the following three groups:

(A) BIOL 222-223 or BIOL 224-225 or BIOL 226-227
(B) BIOL 319 & 322 or BIOL 327
(C) BIOL 315 or BIOL 430.

Students, with the aid of their advisor, select additional 300- and 400-level courses to focus their studies on specific areas within biology. Because an understanding of the principles of mathematics, physics and chemistry is essential to the study of biology, majors are required to complete supporting courses as follow:

1. MATH 116 & 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, AGRO 452, AGRO 454, AGRO 455 & 456, AGRO 457 & 458, BIOL 283, CHEM 222 & 223,  CHEM 340 & 341 or CHEM 314, CHEM 330, CIS 243, CIS 226 or CS 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.

Students may count a maximum of 6 credit hours of BIOL 369 and 399 toward this major.

Major in Biology (with minor)

This option for a major in biology (reference number 617) 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, and at least one course from each of the following three groups:

(A) BIOL 222-223 or BIOL 224-225 or BIOL 226-227
(B) BIOL 319 & 322 or BIOL 327
(C) BIOL 315 or BIOL 430.

Students with the aid of their advisor, select additional 300- and 400-level courses to focus their studies on specific areas within biology. Because an understanding of the principles of mathematics, physics and chemistry is essential to the study of biology, majors are required to complete supporting courses as follows:

1. MATH 116 & MATH 116 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: BIOL 283, CHEM 222-223, CHEM 314 or CHEM 340-341, CHEM 330, CIS 343, CIS 226 or CS 226 or CS 230, GEOG 316, GEOG 317, GEOG 328, GEOG 416, GEOG 417, MATH 136, MATH 137, MATH 142, MATH 305, MATH 307, PHYS 332-233 or PHYS 265-266, SOCL 302.

Students may count a maximum of 3 credit hours of BIOL 369, 389, and 399 toward this major.

Suggested Program of Study

Biology Major - 525 and 617

Fall Semester Hours Spring Semester Hours
Freshman Year   Freshman Year  
BIOL 120-121 or BIOL 122-123 4 BIOL 122-123 or BIOL 120-121 4
MATH 118 or 142 5 CHEM 120-121 5
ENG 100 3 General Education Elective 3
BIOL 175 or Gen. Ed. Elective 2-3 General Education Elective 3
       
Total Hours 14-15 Total Hours 15
       
Fall Semester Hours Spring Semester Hours
Sophomore Year   Sophomore Year  
BIOL 222-223 or BIOL 224-225 4 BIOL 319-322 or BIOL 327 4
     or BIOL 226-227   Biology supporting course 3,5
PHYS 231-232 4 General Ed. or Bio. Elective 3-4.5
Biology supporting course 3-5 General Ed. Elective 3
General Education Elective 3    
       
Total Hours 14-16 Total Hours 13-16.5
       

Minor in Biology

The minor in biology (reference number 326) 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.

Major in Biochemistry

(See Biochemistry, reference number 519.) Interested students should contact Dr. S. Jacobshagen, Department of Biology.

Major in Medical Technology

(See Medical Technology, reference number 582) Interested students should contact Dr. K. McDaniel, Department of Biology.

Secondary Teaching Certification in Biology

Students who wish to teach middle school science must complete both the major in Biology (reference number 525 or 617) and the major in science and Mathematics Education (SMED, 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 (MSSE, reference number 734), offered in the Department of Physics, and the major in Science and Mathematics Education (SMED, 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, environmental studies, environmental science, 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.

 Last Modified 1/19/14