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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Science, Eberly College

Biology

Abington College (BIOAB)
Altoona College (BIOAL)
Berks College (BIOBL)
Capital College (BIOCA)
University Park, Eberly College of Science (BIOL)
University College, Penn State Beaver, Penn State Brandywine, Penn State Schuylkill, Penn Sate York (BIOCC)

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

Carla Hass, Person-In-Charge

The curriculum in Biology is planned for preparation for professions requiring competence in biological science or for gaining an understanding of the world of living things. The professional group includes students who intend to secure advanced degrees through graduate study, students who are interested in work with various governmental agencies or industries having biological responsibilities, and students who want to prepare for careers in medicine or other health-related professions. Students whose interests are not professional select the curriculum because its broad approach can result in an educated view of the structure and function of living things. Achievement of these goals, including a special interest in a particular area of biology, can be met by selecting one of five options offered by the Department of Biology that will lead to the B.S. degree in Biology. The options and their key areas are 1) Plant Biology--morphology, systematics, and physiology of plants and fungi; 2) Ecology--behavior, and population and community biology of plants and animals; 3) General Biology--all aspects of modern biology; 4) Genetics and Developmental Biology--genetics, genetic engineering, and plant and animal development; 5) Neuroscience--development, biochemistry, physiology and aging of the central and peripheral nervous system; 6) Vertebrate Physiology--pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pharmacology, and animal physiology.

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Biology major, a student must have: 1) attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average; 2) completed BIOL 110 GN(4), CHEM 110 GN(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), and earned a grade of C or better in each of these courses; and 3) completed at least one of the following courses with a grade of C or better: BIOL 220W GN(4), BIOL 230W GN(4), or BIOL 240W GN(4).

TO VIEW THE Biology Minor (BIOL)

For the B.S. degree in Biology, a minimum of 124 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(15 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 94 credits
(This includes 15 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 40-44 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (32 credits)
CHEM 110 GN(3)[1], CHEM 111 GN(1), CHEM 112 GN(3)[1], CHEM 113 GN(1), MATH 140 GQ(4)[1], MATH 141 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-2)
BIOL 110 GN(4)[1], BIOL 220W GN(4)[1], BIOL 230W GN(4)[1], BIOL 240W GN(4)[1] (Sem: 1-4)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (8-12 credits)
PHYS 250 GN(4), PHYS 251 GN(4); or PHYS 211 GN(4), PHYS 212 GN(4), PHYS 213 GN(2), PHYS 214 GN(2) (Sem: 5-6)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 50-54 credits

ECOLOGY OPTION: (50-54 credits)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (30-33 credits)
CHEM 202(3), CHEM 203(3); or CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4) or STAT 240 GQ(3) or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 3 credits from STAT 462(3) or STAT 464(3) (Sem: 7-8)

Select a minimum of 18 credits of 400-level biology courses, with at least 3 credits from each of the following groups (courses in Group IV--except BIOL 496, SC 295, SC 395, SC 495--may be used to satisfy requirements in other groups) (Sem: 5-8)

Group I: BIOL 412(3), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 435(3), BIOL 436(3), BIOL  444(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 463(3), BIOL 482(3-4), BIOL 499A IL(3)

Group II: BIOL 414(3), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 429(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 464(3), BIOL 474(3)

Group III: BIOL 406(3), BIOL 415(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 446(3), PPEM 425(4)

Group IV: BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 482(3-4), BIOL 496(3), BIOL 499A IL(3), PPEM 425(4), SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3) (A maximum of 3 credits of BIOL 496 or 4 credits of SC 295, SC 395, SC 495 may be used to fulfill the 18-credit minimum in the 400-level biology course requirement.)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (17-24 credits)
Select 17-24 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

GENERAL BIOLOGY OPTION: (50-54 credits)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (24-27 credits)
CHEM 202(3), CHEM 203(3); or CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3), or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)

Select a minimum of 18 credits of 400-level biology courses, with at least 3 credits from each of the following groups (each course may be used to satisfy a requirement in only one group) (Sem: 5-8)

Group I -- BIOL 407(3), BIOL 410(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 441(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 444(3),  BIOL 446(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 499A IL(3), HORT 407(3), HORT 440W(3), PPEM 416(2-4), PPATH 425(4)

Group II -- BIOL 405(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 420(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 425(4), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 438(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 474(3)

Group III -- AN SC 442(3), B M B 400(2-3), B M B 450(2), BIOL 404(3), BIOL 405(3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 410(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 416(3), BIOL 422(3), BIOL 426(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 430(3), BIOL 432(3), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 499A IL(3), HORT 407(3)

Group IV -- BIOL 406(3), BIOL 412(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 415(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 429(3), BIOL 435(3), BIOL 436(3), BIOL 444(3) BIOL 446(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 463(3), BIOL 464(3), BIOL 474(3), BIOL 499A IL(3),

Group V -- BIOL 404(3), BIOL 406(3), BIOL 409(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 413(3), BIOL 416(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 426(3), BIOL 430(3), BIOL 432(3), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 446(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 469(3), BIOL 470(3), BIOL 472(3), BIOL 479(3)

Group VI -- BIOL 400(1-3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 461(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 473(2), BIOL 496(1-3), PPEM 425(4), SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (23-30 credits)
Select 23-30 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY OPTION: (50-54 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (19 credits)
CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)
BIOL 322(3), BIOL 430(3) (Sem: 5-6)
B M B 401(2), B M B 402(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (17-21 credits)
Select 2-5 credits from MATH 220 GQ(2-3), MATH 231(2), MICRB 201(3), MICRB 202(2) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3), STAT 250 GQ(3), or STAT 319(3) (Sem: 5-6)

Select a minimum of 12 credits of 400-level courses, with at least 6 credits from Group I, 3 credits from Group II, and 3 credits from Group III (Sem: 5-8)

Group I -- B M B 400(2-3), B M B 450(2), BIOL 404(3), BIOL 405(3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 410(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 413(3), BIOL 416(3), BIOL 422(3), BIOL 426(3), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 432(3), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 469(3), HORT 407(3), MICRB 410(3)

Group II -- BIOL 405(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 420(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 425(4), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 438(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 474(3)

Group III -- BIOL 400(1-3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 461(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 473(2), BIOL 496(1-3), BIOL 499A IL(3), B M B 442(3), PPEM 425(4), SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (10-18 credits)
Select 10-18 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

NEUROSCIENCE OPTION: (50-54 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (19 credits)

B M B 401(2), B M B 402(3) (Sem: 5-8)
BIOL 469(3), BIOL 470(3) (Sem: 5-8)
CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (15-16 credits)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3), or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)

Select a minimum of 12 credits of 400-level biology courses, with at least 6 credits from Group I, 3 credits from Group II, and 3 credits from Group III (Sem: 5-8)

Group I -- B M B 400(2-3), BIOL 404(3), BIOL 409(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 413(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 426(3), BIOL 430(3), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 472(3), BIOL 473(2), BIOL 479(3) (may select up to 6 credits from department list)

Group II -- BIOL 405(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 420(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 425(4), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 438(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 474(3)

Group III -- BIOL 400(1-3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 461(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 473(2), BIOL 496(1-3), BIOL 499A IL(3),  SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (15-20 credits)
Select 15-20 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

PLANT BIOLOGY OPTION: (50-54 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (22 credits)
CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)
B M B 401(2), B M B 402(3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 441(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES
(12-13 credits)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3), STAT 250 GQ(3), or an advanced statistics course (Sem: 3-4)

Select a minimum of 9 credits of 400-level biology courses, with at least 6 credits from Group I and 3 credits from Group II (Sem: 5-8)

Group I -- BIOL 410(3), BIOL 413(3), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 430(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 446(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 499A IL(3), BIOTC 459(3), HORT 407(3), HORT 440W(3), PPEM 416(2-4), PPEM 425(4)

Group II -- BIOL 400(1-3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 461(3), BIOL 496(1-3), BIOL 499A IL(3),  SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (15-20 credits)
Select 15-20 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

VERTEBRATE PHYSIOLOGY OPTION: (50-54 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (18 credits)
CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2) (Sem: 3-4)
B M B 401(2), B M B 402(3), BIOL 472(3), BIOL 473(2) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (15-16 credits)
Select 3-4 credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3), or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 5-8)

Select a minimum of 12 credits of 400-level courses, with at least 6 credits from Group I, 3 credits from Group II, and 3 credits from Group III (Sem: 5-8)

Group I -- BIOL 404(3), BIOL 406(3), BIOL 409(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 412(3), BIOL 413(3), BIOL 416(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 426(3), BIOL 430(3), BIOL 432(3), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 446(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 469(3), BIOL 470(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 479(3) (may select up to 6 credits from department list)

Group II -- BIOL 405(3), BIOL 411(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 420(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 425(4), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 438(3), BIOL 443(3), BIOL 460(3), BIOL 474(3)

Group III -- BIOL 400(1-3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 417(4), BIOL 419(3), BIOL 421(4), BIOL 437(4), BIOL 439(3), BIOL 444(3), BIOL 448(3), BIOL 450W(3-5), BIOL 461(3), BIOL 471(3), BIOL 473(2), BIOL 496(2), BIOL 499A IL(3), SC 295(1-3), SC 395(1-3), SC 495(1-3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (16-21 credits)
Select 16-21 credits from department list (Sem: 1-8)

Integrated B.S. in Biology/M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

This Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate (IUG) degree program combines the Bachelor of Science in Biology with the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education emphasis.  The program is designed to be completed in five years. The program enables highly qualified and motivated students to delve deeply into a scientific content area and to pursue graduate level preparation in the theory and practice of teaching. Most students in this option intend to seek Pennsylvania teacher certification, and a semester of student teaching comprises part of their final year of studies. The IUG may also be suitable for a student who does not need to become certified, because they intend to teach in a private secondary school or a non-formal educational setting; in such cases, the second graduate semester will be a program of studies determined through consultation with the graduate advisor and customized for the student’s specific needs.   

For specific instructions on applying to the program, please consult the “Application Process” section of the IUG description for the Biology B.S. degree in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Application materials to be submitted include an undergraduate transcript, statement of purpose, draft plan of study, two letters of recommendation, and concurrent submission of an application for master’s study to the graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education emphasis area. Additional details about the graduate application procedure can be found above in the section, “Admissions Requirements.”

IUG students fulfill all degree requirements for a B.S. in the Eberly College of Science. If a student chooses to leave the program without completing M.Ed. requirements, he or she may still receive the relevant B.S. degree, after all B.S. requirements are completed. 

For the M.Ed. degree, students must earn at least 30 credits at the 400/500 level, at least 18 of them at the 500 level. One graduate semester is usually devoted to full time student teaching. Additional graduate coursework is completed in a second semester.  Courses required for the M.Ed. degree include a course in learning theory (e.g., SCIED 552(3)), a course in research methods (e.g., SCIED 558(3)), a course in curriculum (e.g., SCIED 550), and a course in research ethics (C I 590(1)).

Students pursuing teacher certification (the usual option) additionally complete a 500-level EDTHP course (3), C I 595(6), and C I 496(6). SCIED 558(3), C I 496(6), and C I 595(6) comprise the student-teaching semester course load. Students who are not pursuing teacher certification substitute 15 credits of other 400 or 500-level coursework for the student-teaching semester; those courses are selected in consultation with their advisors, in order to address the students’ specific career aspirations.

124 credits are required for the B.S. degree and 30 credits for the M.Ed. degree.  The following courses may be double-counted toward both the B.S. and the M.Ed. degrees, up to a limit of 12 credits: EDTHP 500-level courses (3), SCIED 411(3) & SCIED 412(3), and SCIED 500-level courses. Note that at least 50% of credits proposed for double-counting must be at the 500 level.

There are a number of other requirements for Pennsylvania teacher certification, including state-required tests and clearances, as well as coursework that can be completed at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Some courses, not enumerated above, that are usually required to satisfy teacher certification requirements include C I 280(3), SPLED 400(3), and C I 495C(3).  Please note that changes in Pennsylvania certification requirements are common; students should check the Certification FAQ page at the Penn State Science Education website for updates and clarification about the specific requirements that affect them, based on their admission date to the IUG program option. Note also that students in the IUG program option are not required to complete all Penn State teacher certification requirements in order to receive their B.S. and M.Ed. degrees, as long as they have completed the requirements for those degrees, as described in the undergraduate and graduate Bulletins. For example, a student who has completed all degree requirements but has not yet received a score for the Pennsylvania-required Biology PRAXIS exam may be awarded both of his or her earned degrees.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-01-132

Review Date: 8/23/16

UCA Revision #1: 8/2/06
UCA Revision #2: 7/26/07

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