Curriculum & Courses

The objectives of the Department of Biology are to provide the student with opportunity to obtain a broad foundation of biological knowledge and to pursue the study of a particular area of biology. The curriculum is based strongly in the sciences of biology, chemistry and physics, within the context of the critical and analytical skills derived from the liberal arts core. The specific aims of the Department of Biology are

  1. to provide an intensive course of study in the biological sciences;
  2. to develop in the majors an appreciation for critical scientific work;
  3. to present a program of study which reflects current thinking in the rapidly expanding field of biology.

After successful completion of the program a student may enter any of several career paths. The biology curriculum prepares a student for graduate school, laboratory work and teaching. It also provides all the requirements for application to medical, dental, veterinary and other health-related programs.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology

The following table summarizes all requirements for a Bachelor of Science in biology. To see the description of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all biology courses. For one possible breakdown of the major by semester, see the Plan of Study below.

 Requirements   Credits 
 Biology  34-38
      BIO/BIOL 105. Biological Science I
      BIO/BIOL 106. Biological Science II
      BIO 291. Genetics
      BIO 292. Cell Biology
      BIOL 293. Genetics and Cell Biology Laboratory
      BIO 399. Biology Seminar
      BIO 456-457. Senior-Faculty Colloquium in Biology
      Biology Electives*
4
4
3
3
1
1
0
18-22
   
 Mathematics  7-8
      MATH 151. Calculus I
      MATH 117. Introduction to Statistics for Natural Science Majors or MATH 152. Calculus II
4
3-4
 Chemistry  16
      CHEM 101. General Chemistry I & CHML 101. General Chemistry I Lab
      CHEM 102. General Chemistry II & CHML 102. General Chemistry II Lab
      CHEM 301. Organic Chemistry I & CHML 301. Organic Chemistry I Lab
      CHEM 302. Organic Chemistry II & CHML 302. Organic Chemistry II Lab
4
4
4
4
 Physics  8
      PHYS 103. General Physics I & PHYL 103. General Physics Lab I
      PHYS 104. General Physics II & PHYL 104. General Physics Lab II
4
4
 Foreign Language  3
      One course at the 202 level or above** 3
 General Education Requirements 37
    The General Education curriculum, a 37-hour program to help students appreciate a liberal arts education, includes required specific courses as well as selected courses from various distributions. For details, go to General Education Curriculum.
 General Electives  11-16
   
 Total  120

* To ensure that biology majors are exposed to a breadth of subjects within the field of biology, majors must complete at least one course in each of the following three elective concentrations.


In addition to these three courses, biology majors must complete three more biology courses of 3-4 credit hours each. These electives must be chosen from among the following: BIO/BIOL 310, BIO/BIOL 321, BIO/BIOL 331, BIO/BIOL 332, BIO/BIOL 341, BIO/BIOL 350, BIO/BIOL 362, BIO/BIOL 371BIO 390, BIO/BIOL 403, BIO/BIOL 406, BIO/BIOL 466, BIO/BIOL 472, BIO/BIOL 490, BIO/BIOL 494. Research participation (BIO 318-319, BIO 418-419) credits may fulfill one or two courses of this requirement, in 3-credit-hour increments.

** The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.

The comprehensive requirement for biology majors is the successful completion of BIO 456-457. Senior-Faculty Colloquium in Biology.

Plan of Study for a Bachelor of Science in Biology

Below is a typical four-year plan of study. Individual students may take the required courses in a different sequence, but these changes must be made in consultation with the student's academic adviser. Move your mouse over a course number to see the course title. Click on the course to see its description.

 ◄ FIRST YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester   Credits    Spring Semester  Credits  
BIO/BIOL 105 4 BIO/BIOL 106  4
CHEM 101 and CHML 101  4 CHEM 102 and CHML 102  4
Foreign Lang. 201*/General Elective
3 Foreign Language 202*
3
FS/THEO 101  3 MATH 151 4
SBU 101 2 SBU 102 1
Total 16 Total 16
  
 ◄ SECOND YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester   Credits   Spring Semester  Credits 
BIO 291  3 BIO 292 3
CHEM 301 and CHML 301  4 BIO 293 1
MATH 117 or MATH 152** 3-4 CHEM 302 and CHML 302
4
ENG 101 3 ENG 102 3
General Education Requirement 3 General Education Requirement 3
Total 16-17 Total 14
 
 ◄ THIRD YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester                          Credits   Spring Semester  Credits 
Biology Elective 3-4 Biology Elective 3-4
BIO 399
1 PHYS 104 and PHYL 104   4
PHYS 103 and PHYL 103 4 General Education Requirement 3
General Education Requirement
6 General Elective  3
Total 14-15 Total 13-14
 
 ◄ FOURTH YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester   Credits   Spring Semester  Credits 
BIO 456  0 BIO 457  0
Biology Electives 6 Biology Electives 6
General Education Requirement 3 General Electives
9-10
General Electives 6

Total 14 Total 15-16

* The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.

** Biology majors may take either MATH 117. Introduction to Statistics for Natural Science Majors or MATH 152. Calculus II to satisfy the second part of the departmental quantitative reasoning  requirement. Some graduate schools require two semesters of calculus. It is the responsibility of the student, in consultation with the academic advisor, to determine which mathematics course would be most suitable.

The comprehensive requirement for biology majors is the successful completion of BIO 456-457. Senior-Faculty Colloquium in Biology.

Requirements for a Minor in Biology

For non-majors, the following courses constitute a minor in biology. For an overview of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all biology courses.

A minimum of three courses in the minor must be taken at St. Bonaventure University.

To declare a minor, a special form must be filled out and filed with the Records Office by the end of the student's junior year. The appropriate form is available from the student's adviser or the Office of the Registrar.