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Why Biology at Albright?

The Biology Major

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THE BIOLOGY MAJOR

The biology major allows you to develop a comprehensive knowledge of, and appreciation for, the many dimensions of the biological sciences and the close relationship of biology to other scientific disciplines, such as mathematics, chemistry and physics.

Biology majors focus in general biology, biotechnology, marine and aquatic science or environmental science, and often pursue interdisciplinary or dual majors. Biochemistry and psychobiology are the most frequently chosen combinations, but students also combine biology with such other majors as history, business administration and Spanish. You also may choose a biology education program that leads to certification to teach high school biology in Pennsylvania.

Special affiliations/agreements exist between Albright College and institutions such as Penn State (Early Assurance Program with Hershey Medical School).

Students also may choose the Marine and Aquatic Science Program, a specific course sequence that offers opportunities to study a range of topics from the ecophysiology of marine organisms to wetland and watershed restoration. Field study is conducted in nearby lakes and rivers and at coastal locations including Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay and the Bahamas.


Requirements for the Biology Major

  • A total of 10 courses in biology, including BIO 151, 152, 203, and one 400-level course.

  • No more than two courses at the 100-level may be counted toward the area of concentration.

  • Biology majors must pass both of the introductory courses (BIO151 and 152), earning a minimum average grade of 2.0 over the two courses, or have permission of the Biology Department chair, in order to enroll in other biology courses.

  • Seniors must take the department exit exam as a graduation requirement.

In addition, one course from each of the following three groups must be taken:

  • Group I (BIO 211, 214, 312, 315, 318 and 319)

  • Group II (BIO 220, 321, 322, , 325, 327, and 329)

  • Group III (BIO 234, 235, 331, 333 and 337)

  • Within the context of these guidelines, students may freely elect any biology course or CHE 325 to meet the 10-course requirement.

  • MAT 131 (Calculus I) or BIO 200

  • CHE 207 and 208


Requirements for the Combined Major in Biology

  • A total of seven courses in biology, including BIO 151, 152, 203, and one 400-level course.

  • Biology majors must pass both of the introductory courses (BIO151 and 152), earning a minimum average grade of 2.0 over the two courses, or have permission of the Biology Department chair, in order to enroll in other biology courses.

  • Seniors must take the department exit exam as a graduation requirement.

In addition, one course from each of the following three groups must be taken:

  • Group I (BIO 211, 214, 312, 315, 318 and 319)

  • Group II (BIO 220, 321, 322, 325, 327, and 329)

  • Group III (BIO 234, 235, 331, 333 and 337)


Interdisciplinary Majors in Biology

The department participates in formal interdisciplinary majors such as psychobiology, biochemistry and environmental science. Certain biology majors, such as those anticipating entrance into cooperative forestry, environmental studies or teacher education programs, may include a geology course as a part of their program, upon approval of the department chair. Students interested in pursuing teacher certification in biology must consult the chair of the Education Department regarding specific requirements for the program.


Requirements for the Biotechnology Track

Albright offers a special track in biotechnology. This track is primarily for biology majors but may be completed by students in other majors (such as biochemistry and psychobiology) who have the prerequisites.

Requirements

  • Six of the following courses, with at least one being a 400-level seminar: BIO 321, 322, 325, 327, 329, 495, 498, CHE 325, 326

Biology students in the biotechnology track must meet the following requirements:

  • BIO 151, 152, and 203

  • The six biotechnology courses listed above

  • One course from Group I or Group III

  • MAT 131 or BIO 200

  • CHE 207 and 208


Requirements for the Marine and Aquatic Science Minor

In addition to completing the requirements for the biology or environmental science majors, students electing to complete the marine and aquatic science minor must complete the following courses:

  • BIO 211

  • BIO 312 or BIO 315

  • BIO 337

  • BIO 318

In addition to the above requirements, students are strongly encouraged to seek an experiential, off-campus experience in marine science. Consult Professor Bryce Brylawski for more information.


Independent Research

Independent research under the supervision of a member of the Biology Department is strongly encouraged. Recent independent research projects have included studies on bat ecology and echolocation, ultrastructure of insect visual receptors, the ecology of area streams, lakes and wetlands, the distribution of endangered species of mammals, and cloning of genes using recombinant DNA techniques. Such projects involve field trips to nearby ecosystems, and the use of equipment such as a Zeiss EM 109 transmission electron microscope, a digital scanning electron microscope, fluorescence microscopy, laminar flow hoods for working with sterile technique, ultramicrotomes, computer-assisted recording of physiological variables, amplification and electrophoresis of DNA and proteins, and scientific imaging equipment. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computer laboratory, a greenhouse, complete color darkroom facility, and faculty-student independent research space support laboratory experimentation in many courses and independent projects.