Andrew Rasmussen, Ph.D., Chairperson

The Biology Department offers courses designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of students. The program aims to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the creative and critical nature of scientific thought, as well as a knowledge of the processes involved in the phenomenon of life. In addition, students acquire skills necessary for the further pursuit of biological knowledge. Students who wish to pursue a career in research and industry or field studies, who plan to continue their education on the graduate level in the biological and natural sciences, and those preparing for careers in medicine or other health professions will be well prepared by the completion of the biology major or biomedical sciences major. Courses are also offered for students who desire to obtain some knowledge of biology as part of their general education, those who need a mastery of certain areas of biology to complement other programs such as nursing, athletic training, physician assistant and physical therapy, and those who propose to specialize in this subject in preparation for a teaching license. The Biology Department is home to the Xi Gamma Chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honor Society, a national organization devoted to the pursuit and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

The majors’ curricula are designed to accommodate a variety of interests and abilities within the discipline of biology. The department provides a solid foundation in biology and permits students to focus on courses in which they have particular interest and which will best prepare them for advanced study in biology, for Ohio teacher licensure, for professional programs such as medicine or dentistry, and for employment in industry. The student-advisor relationship is a crucial component of appropriate curricular planning, and students are expected to set clear goals and follow a sequence of courses appropriate for meeting those goals.

The Biology Department encourages undergraduate participation in research with the faculty or through opportunities at other research facilities. To support the research experience the department houses research facilities in molecular biology, genetics, ornithology, bioanthropology, anatomy, paleobiology, botany, agriculture and entomology. Alternatively, in consultation with his or her advisor and in keeping with the student’s goals, an internship may be chosen in place of the experimental research project.

In order to remain in one of the Department’s majors, a student must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all major or cognate courses. Students earning a D or F in any major or cognate course (lecture and lab count as one course) will be subject to the following action(s):

  • Student will receive a warning letter from the department chairperson after the first D or F.
  • Student will be placed on probation in the department after the second D or F.
  • Student will be dismissed from the major after the third D or F.

A student may appeal in writing the dismissal from the major to the chairperson. In extenuating circum- stances, the chairperson may reinstate the student to the major.

Requirements for Ohio Teacher Licensure in Biology Students choosing a major in biology who also want to pursue Ohio teacher licensure must satisfy the same requirements as the major and additional requirements in chemistry and physical sciences, and education. The pertinent Adolescent to Young Adult License (grades 7-12) is biology/life science, or integrated science. A concentration in science is available in the Middle Childhood Licensure (grades 4-9) program. See Education.

Minor in Forensic Science
The Biology Department offers an interdisciplinary minor in Forensic Science for students in any major.  The minor consists of 21 credit hours in lecture and laboratory courses spread across the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences.

Minor in Biology
The Biology Department offers a minor in Biology for students in any major outside those in the Biology Department.  The minor consists of 20 credit hours in lecture and laboratory courses including one four-credit introductory course in biology, followed by an additional 16 credits in biology coursework.