Academic Bulletin 2022-2023 
    Jul 23, 2024  
Academic Bulletin 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Major

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Biology Major Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete a major in Biology are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a general understanding of the central features of the extraordinarily diverse and expanding landscape of modern biology;
  2. Demonstrate a general understanding of the standard laboratory tools, methodology, and process of biological research, and the basics of scientific writing;
  3. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of important principles and laboratory techniques in at least three different biological sub-disciplines within the general areas of (1) cellular and molecular biology, (2) organismal biology and physiology, and (3) population biology and ecology;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to locate, critically analyze, interpret, and discuss primary research literature in one or more sub-disciplines within the biological sciences;
  5. Design and conduct independent laboratory or field research that is consistent with the highest standards and practices of research in the relevant biological sub-discipline;
  6. Present the results of their independent research clearly and effectively in both written and oral forms;
  7. Be well prepared for post-graduate education and diverse and meaningful careers in and out of the biological sciences.

The Biology Major

The major in Biology leads to the Bachelor of Science degree and requires the successful completion of 34 semester credit hours in Biology, or courses cross-listed with Biology, including the following:

Not all courses are offered each year, and the College reserves the right to cancel or reschedule courses for enrollment, staffing, or other reasons.

Three 300-Level Biology Courses:

One from each of the three areas defined below:

Area A - Cellular and Molecular Biology:

Area B - Organismal Biology and Physiology:

Area C - Population Biology and Ecology:

Junior Seminar:

Two Semesters of Senior Project:

A Major Must Also Complete:

To obtain the necessary prerequisites for required Biology courses as well as to gain an adequate understanding of modern Biology.

Two Additional Four-Credit Courses:

In cognate disciplines in the sciences that complement the student’s subdisciplinary interest in Biology and are determined in consultation with a Biology academic advisor. Courses numbered in the 190’s may not be used to fulfill the two-course requirement. The following courses may be used in fulfilling the two-course requirement: 

In addition, BIO 385  (or another course in statistics) is highly recommended for Biology majors.


All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade. Biology courses exceeding the minimum requirements for the major may be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis, but the department recommends that the number of Credit/No Credit courses be kept to a minimum. Majors are required to have a GPA of at least 2.0 in Biology at graduation. All Biology courses taken for a letter grade at Allegheny, including FSBIO 201 , are included in the calculation, with the exception of repeated courses for which only the most recent grade counts.

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