Janet Kay Bester-Meredith, Cynthia Rae Bishop, Bruce David Congdon, Cynthia Fitch, Eric Shaffer Long, Kenneth Moore, Timothy Alan Nelson, Richard L Ridgway, Derek William Wood
The primary goals of the Department of Biology are (1) to cultivate students who understand and respect scientific approaches to the study of life; (2) to produce graduates who demonstrate excellence in their scientific training; (3) to prepare graduates to think critically, to communicate biological principles effectively, and to make informed decisions based on a solid understanding of science and their Christian worldview; and (4) to embolden faculty and students to lead lives of grace-filled wholeness, and personal and professional integrity.
Admission to the Major
The application for major status should be made by the beginning of the junior year, after completion of the sequence in general biology. Transfer students are eligible to apply after successful completion of one 5-credit upper-division biology course at SPU. Applications are considered individually by the biology faculty, but the normal minimum requirement for admission will be a GPA of 2.5 in biology courses.
Requirements for the Biology Major
There are five tracks for biology majors, three leading to the B.S. degree and two leading to a B.A. degree. The requirements for each track are described below and in the summary table.
B.S. in Biology
102 credits; 35 upper-division in biology
This major provides preparation for graduate studies or professional careers in biology. It places special emphasis on undergraduate research. Depending upon interests and professional goals, a student may choose the core and elective coursework to emphasize botany, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, marine biology, physiology, or zoology. In addition to the core and supporting requirements indicated below, 14 credits of biology elective courses are also required. Elective courses should be discussed with biology faculty advisors. General physics is also strongly recommended. As a part of either core requirements or electives, students are required to take a minimum of 3 credits of field biology, taught primarily in the field and emphasizing field methods. Seattle Pacific field biology courses are BIO 4117, BIO 4735, BIO 4740, BIO 4744, BIO 4810, BIO 4815, BIO 4820, BIO 4825, BIO 4830, BIO 4835, BIO 4880, and BIO 4950. An undergraduate research project is required for graduation. Each student will collaborate with a faculty member on an investigation that requires a formal proposal (BIO 4978 Biological Research Proposal), and original research and presentation of results (BIO 4979). Requirements for the B.S. in Biology Option I
This program is designed primarily for those students planning to enter a doctoral degree program in physical therapy. This highly interdisciplinary curriculum will satisfy the basic requirements for entry into physical therapy as outlined by the American Association of Physical Therapists. In addition to the requirements listed below, 10 elective credits are required from the following: BIO 3325, BIO 3434, BIO 4256, BIO 4413, BIO 4418, and BIO 4435. Other recommended courses include FCS 3340, HSC 3395, MAT 1112/1114 or MAT 1221, PES 3590, and SOC 1110. Requirements for the B.S. in Biology Option II
110–130 credits; 26–28 upper-division in biology
This program is specifically designed to aid students in developing competency in the laboratory skills typically needed for entry into a career in biotechnology. The program curriculum was developed with the help of regional biotechnology industry representatives as part of the Washington State Biotechnology/Biomedical Skill Standards Project (1999–2002) and features a unique two-way articulation agreement with Shoreline Community College's bio-technology program. To be considered for this B.S. biology pathway, students must apply and be accepted into the SPU program in biotechnology; application and acceptance must be made prior to enrolling in any upper-division biology, chemistry, or biochemistry courses within the biotechnology curriculum. Prospective students should contact the director of the program in biotechnology for more information.
Requirements for the B.S. in Biology Option III
B.A. in Biology
87 credits; 25 upper-division in biology
The program provides a sound foundation for pre-professional training for medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary sciences, as well as certain other health-related and applied-biology fields. Other courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should be taken to meet the demand of the student's individual plans or career goals. See additional information under Pre-Professional Health Programs.
80 credits; 30 upper-division in biology
This program is designed to provide a broad foundation in biology for liberal arts students and those preparing for the teaching profession at the junior high school or secondary level. Students preparing for biology teaching careers should become familiar with Washington state endorsement requirements prior to selecting core and elective options. Current endorsement requirements include (1) a botany course with lab (satisfied by BIO 3453, BIO 3456, BIO 4415, or BIO 4744); (2) a zoology course with lab (satisfied by BIO 3432, BIO 4413, or BIO 4740); (3) a genetics course (BIO 3325); (4) a microbiology course with lab (BIO 3351 or BIO 4340) or cell biology course with lab (BIO 4352); (5) an ecology course (satisfied by BIO 3310, BIO 4810, BIO 4815, or BIO 4825); (6) an evolution course (BIO 4330); (7) a chemistry course with lab (e.g., CHM 1211 or CHM 3371); (8) experience in lab safety, practice, and management (satisfied by BIO 2101, BIO 2102, and BIO 2103); (9) experience with inquiry-based laboratories (satisfied by upper-division biology lab courses; and (10) experience in relating science to current issues (satisfied by BIO 4615 and BIO 4899).
Admission to the Minor
Applications for a minor in biology are considered individually by the biology faculty, but the normal minimum requirement for admission to the minor will be a GPA of 2.0 in biology courses.
Blakely Island Field Station
For information about the program at Blakely Island Field Station, see Special Studies in Academic Programs.
Courses offered at Blakely Island Field Station
BIO 1100 Biological Science (5) Intended for non-biology majors. Emphasis varies quarterly: human nutrition, human biology, human genetics, environmental biology, biological diversity, marine biology, and others. Basic concepts include the chemistry of living things, their structure and function, and their interactions with the environment. Applications to current issues are considered from a Christian perspective. No credit will be given for students who have taken BIO 2101, 2102, 2103, 2129, 2130, or who have advanced placement biology credit. Also offered at Blakely Island Field Station and as a study tour. Attributes: Biological Sciences.
BIO 4117 Birds of the Pacific Northwest (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2102. Study of birds common to the Puget Sound area and adjacent regions. Class activities include field observations, lectures, library research, and laboratory study. Offered alternate years; includes field trips to Blakely campus and other locales. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4735 Marine Biology (5) Prerequisites: BIO 2102, 2103. Study of the marine environment and the identification, unique features, and natural history of the organisms inhabiting it. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4740 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2102. Provides a field and laboratory course emphasizing identification, life histories, habitats, and interrelationships of Pacific Northwest marine invertebrates. Includes laboratory. Normally taught Summer Quarter at Blakely Island. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4744 Marine Botany (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2103. Provides a field and laboratory course emphasizing identification, life histories, habitats, and interrelationships of marine plants with emphasis on local flora and Blakely Island. Includes laboratory. Normally taught in summer at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4810 Marine Ecology (1-5) Prerequisites: BIO 2102, 2103. Considers recent advances in marine ecology. Symbioses, predation, herbivory, and interactions with the physical environment will be emphasized. Laboratory and field work will include the application of ecological techniques to a specific problem and will include the writing of reports describing the results. Offered during the Summer Quarter at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra fee. Attributes: Upper-Division; and Writing "W" Course.
BIO 4815 Aquatic Ecology (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2102. Introduces students to the biology of freshwater organisms. The physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of flowing and standing water habitats will be studied. The field and laboratory work will focus on lakes, streams, and marshes. Offered Summer Quarter at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4820 Ecomorphology (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2102. Provides an introduction to the study of ecological morphology. Relationships between the environment and the structure, functional design, and behavior of organisms are examined through a combination of lectures, laboratory work, and field observations. Offered Summer Quarter at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra Fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4825 Forest Ecology (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2103. Examines the organisms that comprise the forest ecosystem and their interaction with the physical environment. Emphasis will be placed on field study of forest community composition and the forest as a biologically modified habitat. Normally offered Summer Quarter at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4830 Ecological Restoration Workshop (2) A workshop providing practical experience in restoring damaged forest or wetland sites on Blakely Island, combined with readings and discussions of technical, social, and spiritual issues related to the emerging interdisciplinary area of ecological restoration. Normally offered Summer Quarter at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra Fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4835 Conservation Biology (5) Prerequisite: BIO 2103 or equivalent. Considers values of, threats to, and strategies for conserving biodiversity. Theories of conservation biology will be applied to local biodiversity on Blakely Island. Field exercises will focus on assessing biodiversity of distinct taxa and honing skills for identifying the diversity of plants and animals near the field station. Extra fee. Attribute: Upper-Division.
BIO 4880 Blakely Field Studies (1-5) Provides a brief (e.g., weekend) field learning experience focusing on a single aspect of the Blakely Island environment, such as fresh water, marine, or terrestrial habitats. Offered at Blakely Island Field Station. Extra fee. Course may only be repeated for credit if a different topic is studied. May be repeated for credit up to 5 credits. Attribute: Upper-Division.
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