Apr 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, B.A.

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Majoring in biology offers students the opportunity to choose from a variety of exciting and interesting courses of study and future careers. The Biology program at UMF offers three concentrations, reflecting three common areas of interest and career paths for students who choose a BA in Biology as their major. These concentrations are: Pre-Professional, Ecology and Conservation, and General Biology. The degree requirements for each concentration are listed separately, below.

Total Major Requirements 51 - 52 Credits



Other Requirements

General Education Requirements

For specific information about general education requirements and expectations see the General Education Requirements  in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.

Graduation Requirements

Completion of at least 120 credits and all requirements for this specific program, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000.

Minimum Total Credits for The Degree: 120

Learning Goals and Assessment

General Program Goals:

Biology majors at UMF become members of a scientific community. They will learn scientific techniques of field observation, experimentation, measurement, sampling, and analysis. They will learn how to work side by side with professors in classes, laboratories, and in the field as they conduct research in nearby forests, lakes, rivers, hospitals, health agencies, and bio-technological settings. They become proficient in doing and communicating science, often making presentations in public and scientific arenas.

Learning Goals:

  • Students will be able to use the scientific techniques of field observation, experimentation, measurement, sampling, and analysis.
  • Students will be able to work and conduct research collaboratively with peers and professors in classes, laboratories, and in the field.
  • Students will gain an understanding of core areas of biology sufficient to prepare them for entry-level career positions or graduate/professional school.
  • Students will be able to do and communicate science, including making presentations.

Pre-professional Track:

  • Students will acquire the scientific knowledge in biology, chemistry, and physics necessary for admission to professional health careers.
  • Students will acquire observational, sampling, data analysis, and communication skills common to both science and professional health careers.

Assessment Criteria:

  1. Knowledge
    • Students will be able to use biological vocabulary (“nominal and functional biological literacy”).
    • Students will be able to understand of major concepts in the following six critical areas of biology, and communicate these concepts in their own words:
      • Evolution
      • Interaction and Interdependence
      • Genetic Continuity and Reproduction
      • Growth, Development, and Differentiation
      • Energy, Matter, and Organization
      • Maintenance of a Dynamic Equilibrium​​
    • Students will be able to distinguish science from non-science.
    • Students will understand the place of biology among other disciplines and the interactions between biology and society.
  2. Skills​
    • Students will be able to apply the scientific method (i.e., to understand procedural knowledge and skills so that one can carry out a scientific study as well as critically analyze the work of others).
      • This includes the ability to:​
        • develop hypotheses and make predictions
        • design experiments to test hypotheses
        • critically evaluate results and draw conclusions
    • Students will be able to use basic modern technology for biological research and communication. This should include use of the following:
      • equipment used in field biology (standard monitoring equipment)
      • microscopes
      • equipment and techniques used in molecular genetics (micropipettes, centrifugation, electrophoresis, etc.)
      • computer-based data acquisition & analysis hardware and software
      • computer-based literature searching.
    • Students will be able write scientific papers is appropriate format and orally communicate the results of scientific research.
  3. Attitude
    • Students will be able to demonstrate professional behavior.
    • Students will be aware of the ethical responsibilities of scientific practice.

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