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The Biology Department offers a balanced curriculum. Students study life at all levels - from molecules to cells, from microorganisms to plants and animals, and from individuals to populations. With the help of faculty advisors, students choose courses that fulfill both the degree requirements and their individual goals. The biology curriculum comprises slightly more than twenty-five percent of the course work required for graduation.
Biology majors begin with a five quarter sequence of required biology courses two of them with laboratories. The first three quarters focus on ecology,evolution physiology & genetics. The last two quarters students have "hands on" opportunity to learn about these subjects in a laboratory environment. After completing the core courses, students choose seven or more upper-division courses from a long list of electives.
Courses include strong writing components, experiments with modern equipment, and the critical analysis of data and scientific literature. Laboratory sections enroll twenty-four or fewer students, promoting close interactions between students and their professors. Assignments often require students to present their findings utilizing styles of professional scientific meetings or journals. Such activities prepare students for their future careers by developing the critical thinking and language skills needed by scientists.