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Bachelor of Arts

Back to Biology (B.A.)

  1. Biology majors will be able to demonstrate understanding in the following fundamental areas of the biological sciences:
    • Biological Diversity. Biological diversity is the diversity of subspecies, species, and higher level taxa or clades, the phylogenetic relationships of those taxa, and the features that distinguish specific lineages or taxa. This concept does not include genetic or phenotypic diversity of individuals within a species.
    • Evolution. Evolution consists of change in the hereditary characteristics of groups of organisms over the course of generations. It encompasses several subdisciplines: behavioral evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, evolutionary systematics, paleontology, and molecular evolution.
    • Sub-organismal biology. Sub-organismal refers to the structure, function, and evolution of the components of individual organisms, from the molecular level to tissue and /or organ-system level. This includes, but is not limited to, biochemistry and metabolism, proteomics, genetics, molecular and cell biology, neurobiology, and physiology.
    • Organismal biology. The term organismal refers to individual organisms and their structures and processes, such as reproduction, development, life cycle events, ecophysiology, behavior, feeding, locomotion, dispersal, and mortality. Whether applied to single-celled microorganisms or to complex multicellular organisms,'organismal' denotes specific modes of survival and reproduction and refers to the target or object of natural selection.
    • Supra-organismal biology. Supra-organismal refers to populations, communities, ecosystems and other higher levels of biological organization such as landscape, biome or biosphere. It includes focus on patterns of diversity, community succession, species interactions, behavioral ecology, population dynamics, trophic structure, nutrient cycling, and energy flow.
  2. Biology majors will be able to develop testable hypotheses, design experiments to test hypotheses, and conduct experiments including data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation. They will also be able to effectively search computer databases for relevant literature (primary and secondary) on scientific topics.
  3. Biology majors will demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills, both oral and written, for the purposes of conveying biological information to professional scientists and the lay public.
  4. Biology majors will develop intellectual independence, scientific literacy, and an appreciation for the connections between biological science and society.