Biology, B.S. Requirements

Department Chair:Magdalena James-Pederson Office: Shields Science Center 311 Phone: 508-565-1573mpederson@stonehill.edu

The Biology major curriculum fulfills entrance requirements for medical, dental and graduate schools and for medical technology programs. It is also recommended for careers in research, academia, allied health fields, private enterprise, or government service. Students completing the major sequence and their General Education courses will graduate with a solid foundation in biological science and a broad educational background. Students enrolled in the major are encouraged to strengthen their career preparation by completing an internship, directed study, or research project before graduation.

The B.S. in Biology requires the completion of 19 courses.

Complete Five Core Courses

Code Course Credits

BIO 101

Biological Principles I

Offered: Fall Semester

An introduction to the concepts of molecular biology, the cell, energetics and genetics.

Fulfills the Natural Scientific Inquiry requirement.

4

BIO 102

Biological Principles II

Offered: Spring Semester

An introduction to the principles of evolution, biodiversity, and ecology.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101.
Fulfills the Natural Scientific Inquiry requirement.

4

BIO 211

Cell Biology (WID)

Offered: Fall Semester

An overview of eukaryotic cell structure and function. Topics include: mechanisms of protein processing, vesicular transport, intercellular and intracellular communication; cell cycle regulation; cell proliferation, differentiation and programmed cell death. (CORE)

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 102 (with a grade of C- or above - starting with the Class of 2019).
Fulfills the Writing-in-the-Disciplines requirement for Biology and Neuroscience majors.

4

BIO 212

Genetics

Offered: Spring Semester

Classical genetics of eukaryotes, the biochemistry of gene function, regulation of gene expression, mutation and repair, and genetics of prokaryotes and viruses. Laboratory work stresses classical and molecular genetics research techniques. (CORE)

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102 and BIO 211

4

BIO 323

Evolution

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Mechanisms of evolutionary change. Classical and molecular approaches to evolutionary analysis will be introduced and primary literature will be used to illustrate current examples. Problem-based learning will be used in the laboratory.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102, and Junior or Senior standing.

4

Complete One Environmental/Ecological Course

Code Course Credits

BIO 303

Environmental Botany

Offered: Alternate Years: Fall 2016, 2018

Structure and function of lower and higher plants. Ecological principles. Evolutionary relationships.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and (BIO 102 or ENV 200).
This course fulfills the Environmental/Ecological requirement.

4

BIO 305

Marine Ecosystems

Offered: Fall Semester

Physical, chemical, and biological features of marine ecosystems. Ecological principles. Study of the local Massachusetts coastal region.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, (BIO 102 or ENV 200) and Junior or Senior standing.
This course fulfills the Environmental/Ecological requirement.

4

BIO 307

Ecology

Offered: Spring Semester

Structure and dynamics of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Mathematical models.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 102, (BIO 101 or ENV 200) Junior or Senior standing.
This course fulfills the Environmental/Ecological requirement.

4

Complete One Molecular/Cellular Course

Code Course Credits

BIO 304

Molecular Biology

Offered: Fall Semester

This course provides an in-depth coverage of advanced cell and molecular genetics topics, expanding on fundamental topics covered in BIO 212 - Genetics . It reviews modern molecular biology techniques with emphasis on experimental design and data analysis. It incorporates material from the textbook and from current scientific literature. The laboratory portion introduces molecular techniques like cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, and RFLP.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 211, BIO 212 and CHM 222.
This course fulfills the Molecular/Cellular requirement.

4

BIO 309

Microbiology

Offered: Spring Semester

A survey of microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria. Topics include: microbial cell biology, growth, metabolism, and genetics; control of microbial growth; host-microbe interactions; and environmental microbiology.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 211 and Junior and Senior standing.
This course fulfills either the Molecular/Cellular or Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 310

Developmental Biology

Offered: Fall Semester

This course will provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of animal and plant development. The course will investigate and integrate the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of development, organismal diversity in development, and the evolution of developmental processes. Topics will include genetics and gene expression, cell communication, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, axis specification, organogenesis, neural development, sex determination, morphogens, patterning, and stem cells.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 211 and BIO 212
This course fulfills either the Molecular/Cellular or Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 321

Biology of Cancer

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2015, 2017

Study of the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer and its effect at the tissue, organ and organismic levels. Symptoms, stages and treatment options, ongoing research studies, insurance issues, and the impact of the sequencing of the human genome will be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 211.
Recommended for students who have taken BIO 212

3

BIO 324

Endocrinology

Offered: Spring Semester

The endocrine system plays an integrative and regulatory role in the organism. Therefore, endocrinology can be discussed in relation to complex biology and behavior. The role of hormones in a variety of topics, including reproductive biology, stress, and diabetes will be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102 and BIO 211.
This course fulfills the Molecular/Cellular requirement.Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

4

BIO 326

Advanced Cell Biology

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2016, 2018

This course builds upon the topics covered in cell biology. It examines current models for intracellular processes including membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal function, cell signaling, the regulation of the cell cycle and differentiation into specific cell types. It incorporates material from both the assigned textbook and from current scientific literature. Students will be required to participate in analysis of assigned research articles, including a group oral presentation.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 211 and BIO 212.
This course fulfills the Molecular/Cellular requirement.

4

BIO 409

Immunology

Offered: Fall Semester

Explores the cellular and dissolved components and complex mechanisms that protect humans and other animals from disease. Four hours of lecture per week includes review and in-depth investigation and discussion of immune-related disease in humans.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102 and BIO 211.
This course fulfills the Molecular/Cellular requirement.This course may be approved to fulfill the Biology Capstone with approval of the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the Department Chair before the first day of classes.

4

BIO 423

Virology

Offered: Spring Semester

Structure and biology of the viruses of eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Emphasis is on the interaction between viral genetic systems and the host cell environment and defense systems.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 211, BIO 212 and Senior standing.
This course fulfills the Molecular/Cellular requirement.This course may be approved to fulfill the Biology Capstone with approval of the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the Department Chair before the first day of classes.

3

NEU 412

Neuroscience

Offered: Fall Semester

The nervous system is our liaison with the world. Tissues, organs, and molecules of the nervous system are identified. Brain anatomy, the action potential, neurons and neurotransmitters are discussed. Brain mechanisms underlying learning and memory, reproduction and addiction are examined. Conditions including stroke, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia are discussed.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 - BIO 102, BIO 211, BIO 312 or PSY 415.
Fulfills the Functional Organismic requirement for Biology majors.Fulfills the Capstone requirement for Neuroscience and may be approved to fulfill the Biology Capstone with approval of the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the Department Chair before the first day of classes.

4

Complete One Organismal Course

Code Course Credits

BIO 301

Parasitology

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2017, 2019

An exploration of parasites and their complex life-cycles. We will study a wide variety of parasites, their hosts, the vectors that carry them, and the diseases that they cause. We will emphasize human diseases and the immune responses to parasites.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102.
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 309

Microbiology

Offered: Spring Semester

A survey of microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria. Topics include: microbial cell biology, growth, metabolism, and genetics; control of microbial growth; host-microbe interactions; and environmental microbiology.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 211 and Junior and Senior standing.
This course fulfills either the Molecular/Cellular or Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 310

Developmental Biology

Offered: Fall Semester

This course will provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of animal and plant development. The course will investigate and integrate the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of development, organismal diversity in development, and the evolution of developmental processes. Topics will include genetics and gene expression, cell communication, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, axis specification, organogenesis, neural development, sex determination, morphogens, patterning, and stem cells.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 211 and BIO 212
This course fulfills either the Molecular/Cellular or Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 311

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Offered: Fall Semester

System-by-system comparative study of vertebrate anatomy with emphasis on functional morphology. Integrated lecture/lab approach.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 102.
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 312

Vertebrate Physiology

Offered: Spring Semester

Principles governing the function of excitable and contractile tissues, respiration, circulation, kidney function, and osmoregulation in vertebrates with emphasis on the maintenance of homeostasis.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 102.
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement.

4

BIO 321

Biology of Cancer

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2015, 2017

Study of the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer and its effect at the tissue, organ and organismic levels. Symptoms, stages and treatment options, ongoing research studies, insurance issues, and the impact of the sequencing of the human genome will be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 211.
Recommended for students who have taken BIO 212

3

BIO 406

Seminar in Behavioral Ecology

Offered: Fall Semester

Behavioral ecology is the study of animal behavior from evolutionary perspectives. Historical, developmental, immediate, and ultimate determinants of animal behavior will all be explored. Topics: foraging, habitat selection, anti-predator behavior, migration, communication, learning, competition, aggression, deception, affiliation, courtship, mating, parental care, domestication and "zombie" behavior. Assignments include an animal behavior grant proposal and a mock grant panel.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101 and BIO 102. Recommended: BIO 212 and/or BIO 323.
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement.This course may be approved to fulfill the Biology Capstone with approval of the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the Department Chair before the first day of classes.

3

BIO 407

Ornithology

Offered: Alternate Years: Fall 2015, 2017

Ornithology is the study of birds. Lecture covers a variety of topics as they apply to birds, including evolution, ecology, behavior, and conservation. Lab focuses on identification and observation of birds, with field trips to local destinations and a museum bird collection.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 102 (Recommended: BIO 311 and BIO 323)
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement and may be applied to the Environmental Science major or minor. This course may be approved to fulfill the Biology Capstone with approval of the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the Department Chair before the first day of classes.

4

BIO 416

Adaptation to the Environment

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2014, 2016

Explores physiological adaptations that allow organisms to survive various challenges to homeostasis in harsh environments. The role of physiological parameters such as size, metabolism, and conductance in ecology. Students will present, discuss, and critically evaluate data from a variety of sources.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 101, BIO 102 and two 300 or 400 level biology courses.
This course fulfills the Organismal requirement.

3

Complete One Additional Molecular/Cellular or Organismal Course

Complete One Additional 300 or 400-Level Course

May be a Biology, Biochemistry or Neuroscience course from any category for a minimum of 3 credits.

Complete Eight Additional Courses

Code Course Credits

CHM 113

General Chemistry I

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

The fundamentals of chemistry are covered including: matter and measurement, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, and an introduction to chemical kinetics and equilibrium.

Fulfills the Natural Scientific Inquiry requirement.

4

CHM 221

Organic Chemistry I

Offered: Spring Semester

The basics of organic chemistry are covered including: structure and bonding of alkanes, alkenes, aromatic hydrocarbons and alkynes; functional groups containing heteroatoms; chromatography; spectroscopy; stereochemistry; methods of studying organic reaction; and an introduction to mechanisms of organic reactions.

Prerequisite(s): CHM 113 (with a grade of C- or better - starts with the Class of 2019).

4

CHM 222

Organic Chemistry II

Offered: Fall Semester

The mechanistic and synthetic organic chemistry relating to nucleophilic substitution, elimination, additions to carbon-carbon multiple bonds, aromatic substitution, addition and substitution at carbonyls, substitution alpha to carbonyls, rearrangements, and polymerizations. The organic chemistry of natural compounds (e.g. peptides, carbohydrates, etc.) is introduced.

Prerequisite(s): CHM 221 (with a grade of C- or better - starts with the Class of 2019).

4

CHM 232

General Chemistry II

Offered: Spring Semester

The course further develops the introductory physical and analytical chemistry initiated in CHM 113, while introducing new topics in order to complete the coverage of all general chemistry concepts. The topics covered include gases, states of matter, solutions, nuclear chemistry, and an in-depth treatment of kinetics and the equilibria of acid-base, solution, and electrochemical reactions.

Prerequisite(s): CHM 113 (with a grade of C- or better - starts with the Class of 2019) and Sophomore standing or permission of both the Engineering Program Director and the Chemistry Department Chairperson.

4

MTH 125

Calculus I

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Calculus of a single variable: functions, limits, derivatives, differentiation rules, applications of derivatives, integrals, techniques of integration, applications of integration, infinite sequences and series, first and second order differential equations. May not receive credit for both MTH 125 and MTH 119.

4

MTH 126

Calculus II

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Calculus of a single variable: functions, limits, derivatives, differentiation rules, applications of derivatives, integrals, techniques of integration, applications of integration, infinite sequences and series, first and second order differential equations.

Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite for MTH 126: MTH 125.

4

MTH 225

Statistics for Science

Offered: Spring Semester

Probability; descriptive statistics; normal distribution, inference; hypothesis testing; analysis of variance; sampling theory; correlation and regression. Examples from the sciences.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 125.
Fulfills the Statistical Reasoning requirement. Course may be applied to the Data Science program.

3

PHY 101

Basic Physics I

Offered: Fall Semester

Fundamentals of physics for students of biology. Topics in classical mechanics, heat and molecular view of gases; electricity and magnetism, optics and modern physics. Three periods of lecture and two hours of laboratory a week for two semesters.

4

Complete a Capstone in Biology

Several options fulfill this requirement. All must integrate sub-disciplines within biology, connect this work within biology to a broader view of academics and society, and present that work in oral and written form.

The Senior capstone course (400-level) must be pre-approved by the Chair of the Biology Department at registration and before the first day of classes.

Options 2-4 below require written approval from the faculty member supervising the Capstone project and the department chair before the first day of classes.

  1. Enroll as a senior in BIO 406 - Seminar in Behavioral Ecology, BIO 407 - Ornithology, BIO 409 - Immunology, BIO 423 - Virology, NEU 412 - Neuroscience, or BIO 498 - Senior Honors Thesis I & BIO 499 - Senior Honors Thesis II.
  2. Petition to have any 300 or 400-level Biology class (taken in the senior year) fulfill the capstone requirement. This option will probably result in additional work in that class.
  3. Complete a BIO 490 - Directed Study, BIO 496 - Independent Research, a research-based BIO 475 - Internship in Biological Sciences, or S.U.R.E. project, write a research paper based on this work, and present this in an open seminar format.
  4. Present work done in a non-biology course to fulfill the Capstone requirement. This work must contain a very strong biology component and deal with larger societal issues associated with the project.

Major Field Test in Biology

All juniors and seniors majoring in Biology must take the Major Field Test in Biology.

Biology Honors

Students who complete the honors requirements in Biology below will be awarded a degree "with honors in Biology." Departmental Honor Scholars must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA of 3.50;
  • GPA of 3.20 in science courses (Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience, Physics);
  • Meet either of the following criteria on a national standardized achievement test in biology:
    1. score within the top 10% of Stonehill students on the Major Field Test in Biology (MFT; Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ); or
    2. score within the top 30% of students nationally who have taken either the MFT in Biology, or Graduate Record Examination either in Biology or in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ); and
  • Submit, and present orally, an acceptable ("B" or better) senior honors thesis, which is evaluated by a panel of three science faculty. Ordinarily, this thesis will be based on a directed study, research internship, S.U.R.E. project, or other college-level research experience.

Contact Professor Magdalena Pederson, Chair of the Biology Department for additional details and deadlines.