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Biology Degree Requirements

 

  • What are the Biology major tracks?
    • Undergraduate Biology students, who started their studies at PSU prior to Fall 2014, have four tracks of biology to choose from in order to complete the major. Students should make the choice that best suits their academic and professional goals. Students who will be entering PSU in the Fall of 2014 will not follow the track system, but will follow a newly established curriculum which offers rigorous study in biology while incorporating the ability to apply coursework from related disciplines toward the major. (More information on the Fall 2014 curriculum, degree requirments, and course planning can be accessed herehttp://www.pdx.edu/biology/biology-major-requirements).  
    • General Biology is the track that offers the most flexibility. In addition to the required courses, which will give you a broad overview of the field of Biology, you can use your elective choices to pursue particular avenues of study, such as ecology, evolution, botany, microbiology, and field biology. General Biology is a good option for students planning to go on to graduate study in Biology.
      Organismal Biology deals more specifically with the structure and function of physiological systems, particularly in animals. This track is a good choice for students interested in careers in human or veterinary medicine.
      Microbiology/Molecular Biology focuses on the ways that plant and animal life function at the microscopic level, including cell activity and biochemical interactions. This track is particularly useful for students going into medicine or pharmacy.
      Botany concentrates on the biology of plant life. This track is a good option for students pursuing careers in forestry, plant conservation, or the agricultural sciences.
  • What are the University requirements outside of Biology?
    • In addition to the requirements for the Biology major, all students must complete some general requirements in order to graduate with a bachelor's degree. The most basic of these are the University requirements for total credits:
    • 1. University requirements for baccalaureate degrees:
      • A minimum of 180 credits total (upper- and lower-division combined).
      • A minimum of 72 upper-division credits

    • 2. PSU undergraduates have the option of earning either a Bachelors of Arts (BA) or Bachelors of Science (BS) degree. Nearly all Biology students choose to complete the BS, since the requirements for that degree are built into the required courses for the major.
    • Requirements for the BS= 28 credits, including:
      • 12 credits in the Science distribution area (excluding Mathematics and Statistics), with a minimum of 8 credits of coursework integrated with lab or fieldwork.
      • 12 credits in the Arts and Letters and/or Social Science distribution areas.
      • 4 credits in Mathematics and/or Statistics.
    • 3. Most PSU students, except for those in the Honors program or majoring in Liberal Studies, must also complete the University Studies requirements. University Studies is PSU's version of General Education, something that nearly all colleges and universities across the country require for undergraduates. While there are University Studies requirements for freshman through senior years, transfer students may have somewhat different requirements, depending on how many transfer credits they have when they enter PSU.
      Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ): 1 year-long course that must be taken in sequence (15 credits).
      Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ): 3 courses chosen from a range of offerings, each of which is linked to a different University Studies Cluster (12 credits total).
      Junior Cluster: 3 courses chosen from one cluster which is linked to one of the previously taken SINQ courses (12 credits total).
      Senior Capstone: 1 community-based service-learning course (6 credits). 
    • It is very important to note that you may not use any course to satisfy both cluster and major requirements. That is, any course you take towards your cluster cannot be applied to your Biology major, or vice versa.
  • What are the requirements for the General Biology track?
    • 1. At least two of the following: 
    • • Biology 334: Introduction to Molecular Biology (4 credits)
      • Biology 336: Cell Biology (5 credits) ***
      • Biology 357: General Ecology (4 credits)
    • ***As of Fall term 2013 BI 334 is the mandatory prerequisite course for BI 336 Cell Biology.
    • 2. Upper-division electives (32-33 credits), with at least one course from each of the following areas:
    • Botany  Biology
      • Biology 330: Intro. to Plant Biology
      • Biology 432: Plant Diversity & Evolution• Biology 433: Morphology of Vascular Plants
      • Biology 441: Plant Physiology
      • Biology 435: Plant Systematics
      • Biology 471: Plant Ecology
    • Zoology
      • Biology 387 Vertebrate Zoology
      • Biology 413: Herpetology
      • Biology 414: Ornithology
      • Biology 415: Mammalogy
      • Biology 416: Marine Mammals
      • Biology 461: Invertebrate Zoology
    • Microbiology
      • Biology 480, 488: Microbiology and Laboratory
      • Biology 421: Virology
      • Biology 430: Theory of Recombinant DNA Techniques
    • Evolutionary Biology
      • Biology 358: Evolution
      • Biology 427: Evolutionary Genetics
      • Biology 428: Human Genetics                                                                                                                                                               • Biology 450: Phylogenetic Biology
      • Biology 476: Population Biology
    • 3. All Biology majors are also required to take the following:
      • Biology 251, 252, and 253: Principles of Biology (15 credits)
      • Biology 341: Genetics (4 credits)
      • Either Statistics 243 and 244: Intro to Statistics I and II (4 credits each), or Math 251 and 252: Calculus I and II (4 credits each)
      • Chemistry 221, 222, and 223: General Chemistry
      • Chemistry 227, 228, 229: General Chemistry Labs
      • One term of Organic Chemistry (no lab)
      • Physics 201, 214: General Physics and Lab
      • Additional 12 credits Geology, Chemistry, and/or Physics courses that support Biology track and career goals (see adviser). These courses must be taken at the 200-level or higher.
  • What are the requirements for the Organismal Biology track?
    • 1. All of the following:
    • • Biology 336: Cell Biology (5 credits)***
      • Biology 357: General Ecology (4 credits)
      • Biology 358: Evolution (4 credits)
    • ***As of Fall 2013 BI 334 Molecular Biology is the prerequisite course for BI 336 Cell Biology. Students in the Organismal Biology track will need to plan on taking BI 334 Molecular as one of their upper-division biology electives in order to enroll in BI 336 Cell Biology.
    • 2. Upper-division electives (28 credits), with at least one course from each of the following sub-areas: 
    • Systems Physiology
      • Biology 301, 302, 303: Human Anatomy and Physiology***
      • Biology 417: Mammalian Physiology
      • Biology 418: Comparative Animal Physiology
      • Biology 419: Animal Physiology Lab
      • Biology 441: Plant Physiology
      • Biology 462: Neurophysiology
      • Biology 463: Sensory Physiology  
    • Structure/systematic/development
      • Biology 326: Comparative Vertebrate Embryology
      • Biology 328: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
      • Biology 387: Vertebrate Zoology
      • Biology 413: Herpetology
      • Biology 414: Ornithology
      • Biology 415: Mammalogy
      • Biology 416: Marine Mammals
      • Biology 433: Morphology of Vascular Plants
      • Biology 435: Plant Systematics                                                                                                                      • Biology 455: Histology
      • Biology 461: Invertebrate Zoology
    • Ecology/genetics/evolution/behavior
      • Biology 360: Introduction to Marine Biology
      • Biology 412: Animal Behavior                                                                                                                       • Biology 427: Evolutionary Genetics  
      • Biology 450: Phylogenetic Biology
      • Biology 471: Plant Ecology
      • Biology 472: Natural History
      • Biology 476: Population Biology
      • ESR 475: Limnology and Aquatic Ecology 
    • ***Students who complete the full year of Biology 301, 302, 303 will fullfill BOTH the Systems Physiology AND the
    • Structure/Systematics/Development areas.
    • 3. All Biology majors are also required to take the following:
      • Biology 251, 252, and 253: Principles of Biology (15 credits)
      • Biology 341: Genetics (4 credits)
      • Either Statistics 243 and 244: Intro to Statistics I and II (4 credits each), or Math 251 and 252: Calculus I and II (4 credits each)
      • Chemistry 221, 222, and 223: General Chemistry
      • Chemistry 227, 228, 229: General Chemistry Labs
      • One term of Organic Chemistry (no lab)
      • Physics 201, 214: General Physics and Lab
      • Additional 12 credits Geology, Chemistry, and/or Physics courses that support Biology track and career goals (see adviser). These courses must be taken at the 200-level or higher.
  • What are the requirements for the Micro/Molecular track?
    • 1. All of the following:
    • • Biology 334: Introduction to Molecular Biology (4 credits)
      • Biology 336: Cell Biology  (5 credits) ***
      • Biology 337: Cell Biology Lab (2 credits)
      • Biology 358: Evolution (4 credits)
      • Biology 480, 488: Microbiology and Lab (6 credits)
    • ***As of Fall 2013 BI 334 Molecular Biology is the mandatory prerequisite course for BI 336 Cell Biology. Students in the Micro/Molecular track will need to plan to take BI 334 Molecular Biology prior to BI 336 Cell Biology.
    • 2. Upper-division electives (20 credits), with at least 12 credits from the following list 
    • • Biology 421: Virology
      • Biology 423: Microbial Ecology
      • Biology 424: Molecular Genetics
      • Biology 428: Human Genetics
      • Biology 430, 431: Recombinant DNA Techniques and Laboratory
      • Biology 456: Developmental Biology
      • Biology 481: Microbial Physiology
      • Biology 482: Environmental Microbiology
      • Biology 486: Pathogenic Bacteria
      • Biology 487: Immunology 
    • 3. All Biology majors are also required to take the following:
      • Biology 251, 252, and 253: Principles of Biology (15 credits)
      • Biology 341: Genetics (4 credits)
      • Either Statistics 243 and 244: Intro to Statistics I and II (4 credits each), or Math 251 and 252: Calculus I and II (4 credits each)
      • Chemistry 221, 222, and 223: General Chemistry
      • Chemistry 227, 228, 229: General Chemistry Labs
      • One term of Organic Chemistry (no lab)
      • Physics 201, 214: General Physics and Lab
      • Additional 12 credits Geology, Chemistry, and/or Physics courses that support Biology track and career goals (see adviser). These courses must be taken at the 200-level or higher.
  • What are the requirements for the Botany track?
    • 1. At least two of the following courses: 
    • • Biology 334: Introduction to Molecular Biology (4 credits)
      • Biology 336: Cell Biology (5 credits) ***
      • Biology 357: Ecology (4 credits)
    • ***As of Fall 2013 BI 334 Molecular Biology is the mandatory prerequisite course for BI 336 Cell Biology. 
    • 2. Upper-division electives (32-33 credits), with at least one course from each of the following sub-areas:
    • Structure and Function 
    • • Biology 330: Introduction to Plant Biology
      • Biology 433: Morphology of Vascular Plants
      • Biology 434: Plant Anatomy
      • Biology 441: Plant Physiology
      • ESM 473: Phytoplankton Ecology
    • Evolution and systematics 
    • • Biology 358: Evolution
      • Biology 435: Plant Systematics                                                                                                                       
      • Biology 450: Phylogenetic Biology
      • Biology 476: Population Biology Ecology
    • Ecology
      • Biology 410: Reproductive Ecology of Plants
      • Biology 471: Plant Ecology
      • ESM 475: Limnology and Aquatic Ecology

    • 3. All Biology majors are also required to take the following:
      • Biology 251, 252, and 253: Principles of Biology (15 credits)
      • Biology 341: Genetics (4 credits)
      • Either Statistics 243 and 244: Intro to Statistics I and II (4 credits each), or Math 251 and 252: Calculus I and II (4 credits each)
      • Chemistry 221, 222, and 223: General Chemistry
      • Chemistry 227, 228, 229: General Chemistry Labs
      • One term of Organic Chemistry (no lab)
      • Physics 201, 214: General Physics and Lab
      • Additional 12 credits Geology, Chemistry, and/or Physics courses that support Biology track and career goals (see adviser). These courses must be taken at the 200-level or higher.