Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Biology, Bachelor of Science (617)

Department website: http://www.wku.edu/biology


Program Coordinator

Michael E. Smith, michael.smith1@wku.edu, (270) 745-2405

The major in biology (617) gives students an opportunity to take basic biology courses and couple the major with a second major or minor. In addition to coursework, students may work with faculty on research projects to gain experience for the workforce.

Students who wish to be certified to teach high school biology must complete both the major in Biology (reference number 617) with a Teacher Education concentration (TCHR) and the major in Science and Mathematics Education (reference number 774), offered in the School of Teacher Education. Interested students should contact the SKyTeach Office, Kelly Thompson Hall 1011A, 270-745-3900.

Concentrations

  • Teacher Education (TCHR)

Program Requirements (36 hours)

This option for a major in biology requires a minimum of 36 semester hours in biology with 18 hours at the 300 or higher level plus the requirements of a minor area or a second major. The major-minor / second major combination must be at least 54 total hours with 48 unduplicated hours.

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

Required Courses
BIOL 120
BIOL 121
Biological Concepts: Cells Metabolism and Genetics
and Biological Concepts: Cells, Metabolism, and Genetics Lab 1
4
BIOL 122
BIOL 123
Biological Concepts: Evolution, Diversity, and Ecology
and Biological Concepts: Evolution, Diversity, and Ecology Lab 1
4
BIOL 489Professional Aspects of Biology1
Restricted Electives *
Select one of the following:4
Plant Biology and Diversity
and Plant Biology and Diversity Lab
Animal Biology and Diversity
and Animal Biology and Diversity Lab
Microbial Biology and Diversity
and Microbial Biology and Diversity Lab
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology
and Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory
Genetics
and Genetics Laboratory
Select one of the following: 3
Ecology
Evolution: Theory and Process
Laboratory Experience Courses *
Select three of the following:
Genome Discovery Exploration
Bioinformatics
Comparative Anatomy
Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory
Histology
Insect Biodiversity
Immunology
Animal Physiology Laboratory
Genetics Laboratory
Plant Taxonomy
Introduction to Recombinant Genetics
Ecology Lab
Ornithology Lab
Plant Physiology
Techniques and Theory of Electron Microscopy
Aquatic Insect Diversity
Cell Biology Laboratory
Biochemistry Laboratory
Recombinant Gene Technology
Ichthyology
Herpetology
Fisheries Management
Parasitology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Field Biology
Plant Biotechnology
Aquatic Field Ecology
Science Process Courses *
Select one of the following:
Genome Discovery Exploration
Bioinformatics
Animal Physiology Laboratory
Introduction to Recombinant Genetics
Ecology Lab
Scientific Process
Techniques and Theory of Electron Microscopy
Virology
Cell Biology Laboratory
Ichthyology
Herpetology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Molecular Genetics
Plant Biotechnology
Aquatic Field Ecology
Honors Thesis / Project II
Total Hours20

Supporting Courses

Because an understanding of the principles of subjects outside of biology, in particular agriculture, chemistry, geography and geology, mathematics, physics and sociology is essential to the study of biology, majors are required to complete supporting courses.

MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 117Trigonometry3
or MATH 136 Calculus I
CHEM 120
CHEM 121
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Laboratory
5
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Physics and Biophysics I
and Laboratory for Physics and Biophysics I
University Physics I
and University Physics I Lab
Select two of the following:
Soils
Introductory Biostatistics
College Chemistry II
and College Chemistry II Laboratory
Quantitative Analysis
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
Principles of MIS
Introduction to Visual Programming
Introduction to Programming
Introduction to Programming
Fundamentals of GIS
Geographic Information Systems
Calculus I
Calculus II
Introduction to Physics and Biophysics II
and Laboratory for Physics and Biophysics II
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
Social Research Methods
Total Hours15

In consultation with their advisor, students select majors-level coursework to obtain a minimum of 36 credits total, provided that at least 18 hours total are upper-division courses. Students may count up to 3 credit hours of a combination of BIOL 369 and/or BIOL 399, and up to 4 credit hours of BIOL 485 toward this major.

Finish in Four Plan 

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 120
BIOL 121 (or BIOL 122. BIOL 123)
4BIOL 120
BIOL 121 (or BIOL 122, BIOL 123)
4
MATH 116 (or higher)3MATH 117 (or higher)3
ENG 1003CHEM 120
CHEM 121
5
HIST 101 or HIST 1023Course in Minor or Certificate3
 13 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 222
BIOL 223 (or BIOL 224/225 or BIOL 226/227)
4BIOL 319
BIOL 322 (or BIOL 327/337)
4
Course in Minor3ENG 2003
Biology Science Supporting Course with Lab4Biology Science supporting course with lab4
Colonnade - Explorations3Colonnade - Explorations3
Courses in Minor3Course in Minor or Certificate3
 17 17
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 315 or BIOL 3163BIOL upper-division Elective with lab4
COMM 1453Colonnade - Explorations3
Colonnade - Explorations3BIOL upper-division Elective with lab4
BIOL upper-division Elective4Upper-division Course in Minor3
Course in Minor3Colonnade - Writing in the Disciplines3
 16 17
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 4891BIOL upper-division Elective3
Upper-division Course in Minor3Upper-division Course in Minor3
Colonnade - Connections3Colonnade - Connections3
World Language or Elective3Colonnade - Connections3
BIOL Process Elective (see Biology advisor)3 
 13 12
Total Hours 120