College of Arts and Sciences
Irvine Hall 107
Matthew White, Chair
The goal of the undergraduate program in biological sciences is to produce qualified graduates who are fully prepared to enter top professional schools and graduate programs or to gain employment in their chosen fields. To meet that goal, we provide quality instruction in biology at all levels. Our students are exposed to historical and current perspectives, theoretical and practical applications of knowledge and laboratory techniques. Our excellent academic and professional advising system provides each student with an advisor knowledgeable in the student’s chosen concentration, as well as a dedicated preprofessional advising office.
Biology is the study of life and its component parts, from molecules to cells to ecosystems. It encompasses the entire biosphere that is the earth. The current state of biological knowledge has taken centuries to accumulate, and with modern molecular and other analytical techniques, our understanding of biological processes is growing rapidly. The study of biology encompasses a broad spectrum of careers. This includes researchers in the laboratory and field seeking to understand how molecules, cells, organisms, and groups of organisms work; those responsible for the health of all organisms, including humans; those interested in conservation of life and the environment; as well as those who educate others. Each plays a vital role and people in each field need to have a broad understanding of historical and current biology and modern techniques. The biological sciences core curriculum provides a solid basis for an understanding of life, from the micro to the macro level, as well as indepth introductions to three unifying topics: cell biology, genetics, and evolution. Specialized curricula at the upper level include courses designed to prepare students for specific careers, graduate schools, and professional schools. Regardless of the special curricular track chosen, the student will graduate with a solid foundation in biological sciences, as well as a thorough preparation for biological careers and advanced education.
The Department of Biological Sciences offers the following majors and minors:
Biological Sciences (B.S.) - BS2121
Biological Sciences—Cellular and Molecular Biology (B.S) - BS2520
Biological Sciences—Marine, Freshwater, and Environmental Biology (B.S.) - BS2126
Microbiology (B.S.) - BS0411
Biological Sciences—Prephysical Therapy (B.S.) - BS2507
Biological Sciences—Preprofessional Program (B.S.) - BS2127
Biological Sciences—Wildlife and Conservation Biology (B.S.) - BS2522
Biological Sciences—Human Biology (B.A.) - BA2128
Biological Sciences—Environmental (B.A.) - BA2129
Biological Sciences Minor - OR2121
Freshmen who would like to declare any Biology major must have a minimum Math ACT subscore of 20, equivalent Math SAT subscore (490 on tests taken prior to March 2016 or 520 on tests taken March 2016 or later), or a minimum Ohio University math placement score of PL1 to enter these programs. Students who do not meet this criterion may still earn admission to Ohio University but will not be able to enter any of the Biological Sciences majors directly. After admission to Ohio University, students may transfer into a Biological Sciences major if they have earned a grade of “C” or better in both BIOS 1700 and BIOS 1705 and have a minimum accumulative GPA of 2.5 at Ohio University.
Change of Program
Current Ohio University students who would like to declare one of the Biology majors must have a minimum Math ACT subscore of 20; equivalent Math SAT subscore (490 on tests taken prior to March 2016 or 520 on tests taken March 2016 or later); a minimum Ohio University math placement score of PL1; or a grade of “C” or better in equivalent courses to both BIOS 1700 and BIOS 1705 with a minimum accumulative Ohio University GPA of 2.5.
External Transfer Admission
Transfer students who would like to declare one of the Biology majors must have a minimum Math ACT subscore of 20; equivalent Math SAT subscore (490 on tests taken prior to March 2016 or 520 on tests taken March 2016 or later); a minimum Ohio University math placement score of PL1; or a grade of “C” or better in the equivalent courses to both BIOS 1700 and BIOS 1705 with a minimum accumulative GPA of 2.5 from their previous institution.
The common requirements for the Bachelor of Science with a major in biological sciences are as follows:
- A minimum of 36 semester hours earned in biological science (BIOS) coursework. This might require several BIOS electives in addition to the courses listed under each specialized track. Additional courses may include BIOS 1090 or any BIOS course at the 3000- or 4000-level (except 3930 ).
- At least three upper-level 300- or 400-level courses in biological sciences must have a laboratory component. BIOS laboratory courses or BIOS courses with a laboratory component are indicated.
- Core science requirements include the following courses, but note that some programs might have exceptions or require additional courses. See the specific major for the required courses.
If you plan to attend graduate school, it is strongly recommended that you take BIOS 4940 or 4940H (Undergraduate Research) in your junior and/or senior year(s). See the biological sciences Web page for opportunities in undergraduate research.
There are two curricular tracks leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in biological sciences: one with a human health emphasis (BA2128) and one in environmental biology (BA2129). Both provide a sound science background, but with far greater concentration in the social sciences than the Bachelor of Science tracks. This interdisciplinary emphasis of the B.A. gives students the flexibility to prepare for a wide range of higher education and career opportunities in allied health, social service, and environmental fields.
Consult your DARS and your academic advisor when choosing courses to fulfill University and college requirements.
Biological Sciences Departmental Honors Program
Students who have achieved an overall 3.5 GPA at the end of the junior year may apply to complete a senior honors research thesis with one of the faculty in the department. Upon completion of the requirements, which include an indepth research project, thesis and presentation, the student will graduate with honors in biological sciences.
Biological Sciences Tutorial Program through the Honors Tutorial College
Honors Tutorial College and through the Director of Studies within the department. Applications are accepted only from incoming or first year students.
The tutorial, a weekly one-on-one meeting with a faculty member, is the core of the program. In their fourth year, students conduct a scientific research project and complete a thesis. Due to the nature of its core curriculum, the biological sciences tutorial program must restrict the number of students that it can accept each year.
National Biological Honor Society TriBeta
Beta Beta Beta is a national honor and professional society of the biological sciences. A TriBeta chapter offers its members activities and experiences that enrich and extend but do not duplicate the primary requirements of the biology major. The Ohio University Chapter was established in 1994.
Biological Sciences Scholarships
Each year biological sciences majors are invited to submit applications for departmental merit scholarships. Selection of recipients for these scholarships is based on academic performance and need. Awards are announced at the end of the academic year.
Students in majors in the biological sciences are encouraged to explore student clubs related to their academic areas. Some suggestions are:
AMSA PreMed Club
PreSOMA Osteopathic PreMed Club
PrePhysical Therapy Club
PrePhysicians Assistant Club