Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Biology, B.A.

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Justin Merry, jmerry@francis.edu, 814-471-1105

Program Description:

The Biology, B.A. degree provides broad training in the biological sciences, and requires students to broaden their education via a minor, second major, or pre-law concentration. The program provides training across all major fields of the biological sciences, including molecular and cellular biology, organismal biology, ecology, and evolution. The requirements include a core curriculum common to all biology majors, as well as electives that are selected from clusters that represent major levels of analysis within the biological sciences. Students enrolled in this degree who are interested in graduate or professional school may need to complete additional chemistry and physics coursework beyond what is required for this degree, and should consider completing the “Biology, B.S.”, or one of the Biology, B.S. concentrations instead of the B.A.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Employ the scientific method, including the use of discipline-specific techniques, to discover and validate biological knowledge;
  • Demonstrate scientific literacy through reading, writing, presenting, and discussing research;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how atoms and molecules interact to permit the function of living systems, and how cells sense, control, and respond to stimuli in their environments;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of molecular genetics and how this leads to the expression and inheritance of traits;
  • Explain how organisms reproduce and develop, how their anatomical structure permits function, how they maintain internal conditions, and how they sense and respond to external stimuli, across the full range of biological diversity;
  • Describe how evolution by natural selection explains the unity and diversity of life on earth, and articulate how organisms interact at the population, community, and ecosystem levels.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Capstone Requirement:

The senior capstone requirement is completed by taking BIOL 402 Evolution.

Total Credits Required:

128 credits minimum

Courses Required for the Major: (75-79 credits)

Biology Clusters: 18 credits

Select at least 18 additional credits from the list of courses below, including at least one course from each of the three biology clusters. At least four of these additional courses must have a laboratory component.

Collateral Requirements: 37-41 credits

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