To best prepare students for leadership careers in the biological sciences the Department maintains five general goals for its students:
To accomplish these goals, the department offers students a strong curriculum and opportunities outside the classroom to develop their biological skills. All courses are thorough and experiential; students use modern laboratory equipment and practice scientific inquiry while learning a breadth and depth of biological information. Faculty members maintain research programs and strongly encourage students to participate in projects.
Biologists study living systems. They seek to answer questions about the molecular basis for life, interactions among organisms and their environment, factors that affect the health and physiology of organisms, how best to treat diseases, and other similar questions.
To answer these and similar questions, the Biology Department prepares students for a variety of careers through two different degree tracks: B.A. or B.S. Both tracks require students to complete the same Biology Core (see below), but they differ according to the perceived long-term needs of students. The B.A. track is typically chosen by students who plan to enter the work force immediately after graduation from Waldorf College. Because it allows students to combine this program with over 20 credits from other academic departments, this flexible B.A. track can become an interdisciplinary program to maximize marketability after graduation. It also requires an internship (BIO 495) between the junior and senior years; this experience will introduce students to the professional world and begin creating professional connections for future employment.
The B.S. track typically is chosen by students with goals to pursue advanced degrees (M.S. or Ph.D.) or professional schools (e.g., human or veterinary medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, optometry, etc.). It requires students to complete additional courses to deepen their preparation in mathematics and sciences, such as in-depth study in molecular, organismal, and ecological biology. (For a listing of courses required for admission into professional schools, see the section in this catalog entitled Health Professions Pre-professional Programs.) The B.S. track also requires students to complete research leading to a Senior Thesis to demonstrate their ability to use biology as a tool to answer questions and solve problems. We do not equate Senior Thesis with that completed by a student in graduate school, but we do expect results from the Senior Thesis (BIO 499) to be of sufficient quality to present at a regional scientific meeting or publish in a regional journal.
In addition to the 40 credits in General Education core courses required by the College, all students majoring in biology will complete 25 credits in these core courses: BIO 100, 120, 220, 222, 332, 370, 372, and 499. Students will also need to complete up to 4 additional credits in Biology Research (BIO 491-492) or complete an Internship (BIO 495). Biology majors will also complete 32-33 credits in these supporting mathematics and science courses: CHM 131, 132, 241, and 242, PHY 221 and 222, MTH 201 and 103 or 203. Finally, to receive a B.A. in Biology, students will need to complete 4 additional credits in biology courses numbered 300 or higher; to receive a B.S. in Biology, students will need to complete MTH 203 and at least 12 additional credits in Biology courses numbered 300 or higher. Students completing a B.S. in Biology will need to complete Biology Research.
A minor in biology requires completion of BIO 120, 220, or 222; CHM 131 and 132; and three additional upper division biology courses. CHM 241 and 242 may be required for some advanced biology courses. MTH 103 or 201 is the recommended Math requirement for students pursuing a minor in biology. Students minoring in biology may elect courses within a single category to obtain a more in-depth study of one area or from several categories to obtain a more diverse overview of biology. Molecular biology courses are numbered 330s and 430s; cellular biology 340s and 440s; organismal biology 350s and 450s; and ecology and evolution 370s and 470s. Students also should realize that some advanced courses may require an additional prerequisite than those listed for the minor.
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