College of Arts and Sciences
Irvine Hall 107
Ralph DiCaprio, 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 adviser knowledgeable in the student’s chosen concentration, as well as a dedicated pre-professional 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 needs to have a broad understanding of historical and current biology and modern techniques. The first two years of the biological sciences curriculum provide a solid basis for an understanding of life, from the micro to the macro level, as well as in-depth 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 (BS2121)
Biological Sciences—Cellular and Molecular Biology (BS2520)
Biological Sciences—Marine, Freshwater, and Environmental Biology (BS2126)
Biological Sciences—Microbiology (BS0411)
Biological Sciences—Pre-Physical Therapy (BS2507)
Biological Sciences—Pre-professional Program (BS2127)
Biological Sciences—Wildlife and Conservation Biology (BS2515)
Biological Sciences—Human Biology (BA2128)
Biological Sciences—Environmental (BA2129)
Biological Sciences Minor (OR2121)
This department does not have additional admission criteria beyond those of the University and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The common requirements for the Bachelor of Science with a major in biological sciences are as follows:
- A minimum of 54 quarter 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 109 or any BIOS course at the 300 or 400 level (except 392).
- 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 493 or BIOS 494H (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 adviser when choosing courses to fulfill University and college requirements.
Unless otherwise indicated, BIOS departmental courses may be retaken only once.
Biological Sciences Departmental Honors Program:
Students who have achieved an overall 3.5 G.P.A. 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 in-depth research project, thesis and presentation, the student will graduate with honors in Biological Sciences.
Biological Sciences Tutorial Program through the Honors Tutorial College
This is a four-year course of study for exceptional students seeking a more independent approach to learning. Admission into this program is initiated through the 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 Tri-Beta
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 winter quarter 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
Pre-Physical Therapy Club