2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog
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Biology

BIOLOGY DEGREES
BA in Biology
BS in Applied Human Biology
BS in Biology
BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology
BS in Ecology
BS in Physiology
Biology Minor


BIOLOGY

Science Building
206-281-2351
spu.edu/depts/biology

FACULTY:  Janet Bester-Meredith, Cindy Bishop, Elena Brezynski, Bruce Congdon, Ryan Ferrer, Eric Long, Tim Nelson, Charlotte Pratt, Rick Ridgway, Jenny Tenlen, Cara Wall-Scheffler, Derek Wood

The primary goals of the Department of Biology:

  • Cultivate students who understand and respect scientific approaches to
    the study of life.
  • Produce graduates who demonstrate excellence in their scientific training.
  • 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.
  • Embolden faculty and students to lead lives of grace-filled wholeness, and personal and professional integrity.

Admission to the Majors
The application for Biology 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.

Application may be made through the Major or Minor Application form (PDF). A student must complete the Biology major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.

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 Biology minor will be a GPA of 2.0 in biology courses. A student must complete the minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the minor.

Description of Majors
The Department of Biology offers a total of six different majors, including BS degrees in the following:

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Human Sciences
  • BA degree in Biology

The requirements for each major are described below and in the summary tables linked on the left. Students wishing to double major in any combination of the above fields must complete at least 20 credits' worth of work that is unique to each additional major. 

BS in Biology
104 credits; 35 upper-division in biology
This Biology major provides preparation for graduate studies or professional careers in biology.

  • Students receive special emphasis on undergraduate research.
  • Students may choose the core and elective coursework to emphasize botany, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, marine biology, physiology, or zoology, depending upon interests and professional goals.

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. Students interested in graduate school should consult with their advisor as to whether coursework beyond degree requirements (e.g., physics, MAT 1235) would be appropriate.

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 listed within the major requirements found through the link below.

Similarly, as part of either the core requirements or electives a student is required to take at least one botany course (generally chosen from BIO 3453, 4415, or 4744). 

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). No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

Requirements for the BS in Biology

BS in Ecology
105 credits, 40 upper-division
This Ecology program is intended for students interested in ecology and related larger-scale sub-disciplines of biology, including marine biology, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, behavioral ecology, wildlife management, etc.

  • Students in this track will most likely be considering attending graduate school or working as a biologist after graduation.
  • Elective courses should be discussed with biology faculty advisors.

Students interested in graduate school should consult with their advisor as to whether coursework beyond degree requirements (e.g., physics, cell biology, MAT 1235, etc.) would be appropriate. BIO 4950 Special Topics in Biology may be used to meet certain stated requirements if the topic is determined to be appropriate by the Department of Biology in advance. For example, BIO 4950 Introduction to GIS can substitute for a quantitative supporting course. 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 listed within the major requirements found through the link below. 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). No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

Requirements for the BS in Ecology

BS in Physiology
105-107 credits; 35 upper-division in biology
The Physiology program is intended for students with an interest in physiology.

  • Provides a sound foundation for pre-professional training for medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, as well as certain other health-related and applied-biology fields.
  • Some students interested in pursuing graduate education in physiology may also choose this major.

Students interested in professional health-science training or graduate school should consult with their advisor as early as possible to determine what other courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should be taken to meet the demand of the student's individual plans or career goals.

All students in this track must either take one of the specified courses in ethics or complete an undergraduate research project. The course in ethics is strongly recommended for students interested in medical school or other professional health-science training, while the research project is essential for students interested in graduate school. No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

Requirements for the BS in Physiology

BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology
108 credits; 26–28 upper-division in biology
This Cellular and Molecular Biology program is intended for students interested in cellular and molecular biology and may be considering attending graduate school or working as a biologist after graduation. Elective courses should be discussed with biology faculty advisors.

Students interested in graduate school should consult with their advisor as to whether coursework beyond degree requirements (e.g., physics, MAT 1235) would be appropriate.

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).

No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major. 

Requirements for the BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology

BS in Applied Human Biology
108 credits; 23 upper-division
This program is designed primarily for those students planning to enter a physical therapy doctoral degree program.

This interdisciplinary curriculum will satisfy the basic requirements for entry into physical therapy as outlined by the American Association of Physical Therapists. BIO 3899 is recommended, but not required for this degree. No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

Requirements for the BS in Applied Human Biology

 

BA in Biology
81 credits; 30 upper-division in biology
This Biology 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.

No more than 6 credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

Requirements for the BA in Biology

Secondary Teacher Certification

Students seeking secondary (junior or senior high school) certification should pursue one of the Biology majors.

Requirements for Secondary Certification

Integrated Studies Major with a concentration in Natural Sciences

(For students seeking K-8 certification)

Students who are planning to obtain Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Elementary Education and are interested in biology must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in natural sciences.

Requirements for Integrated Studies: Natural Sciences Concentration

Requirements for Elementary Certification

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 1101 Biological Fundamentals (5)

BIO 4117 Birds of the Pacific Northwest (5)

BIO 4256 Environmental Physiology (5)

BIO 4735 Marine Biology (5)

BIO 4740 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (5)

BIO 4744 Marine Botany (5)

BIO 4810 Marine Ecology (5)

BIO 4815 Aquatic Ecology (5)

BIO 4825 Forest Ecology (5)

BIO 4835 Conservation Biology (5)

BIO 4880 Blakely Field Studies (1-5)

 

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