Department of Biological Sciences

BS in Biology: Ecology concentration

Career Options

Students who complete this concentration are well qualified to pursue careers in ecology, environmental science, and conservation biology. They also may choose to further their education in graduate school.

The ecology concentration is designed for students interested in focusing on organismal level of biological organization and above (communities and ecosystems). Course choices include microbiology, botany, ornithology and vertebrate zoology, as well as various ecology selections. The concentration also includes training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a tool used by ecologists in fields such as conservation, consulting, and research. Graduates from this program are well qualified for careers in ecology, environmental sciences, and conservation.

The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core curriculum) required for the major: 78. *All students must take at least three field labs. A grade of C- or higher is required for all courses listed below.

All of the following are required:
     BIO 105, 106 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology
     BIO 201 Genetics
     BIO 217 Evolution
     BIO 331 Ecological Principles

Organismal Biology courses: Choose at least 10 credits from the following:
     BIO 205 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
     BIO 231 Botany*
     BIO 281, 282 Microbiology and Laboratory
     BIO 291 Ornithology*
     BIO 335 Entomology*
     BIO 351 Invertebrate Zoology
     BIO 353 Vertebrate Zoology*
     BIO 361, 362 Parasitology and Laboratory
     BIO 381 Plant Physiology
     BIO 405, 406 Animal Behavior and Laboratory*

Ecology courses: Choose at least 10 credits from the following
     BIO 332 Field Ecology*
     BIO 337 Marine Ecology*
     BIO 383 Plant Ecology*
     BIO 403, 404 Comparative Animal Physiology and Laboratory
     BIO 415, 416 Microbial Ecology and Laboratory*

Additional required courses:

Geography-Anthropology (3 credit hours)
     GEO 108 Introduction to ArcGIS

Chemistry (16 credit hours)
     CHY 113, 114, 115, 116 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Laboratory
     CHY 251, 252, 253 Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I

Physics (10 credit hours)
     PHY 111, 114, 112, 116 Elements of Physics I and II and Laboratory
     or PHY 121, 114, 123, 116 General Physics I and II and Laboratory

Mathematics (8 credit hours)
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences

Recommended Course Sequence

Because the biology curriculum includes many support courses (chemistry, physics, math) that need to be taken in addition to biology courses, the Department offers a suggested plan of study, shown below. There is no guarantee that every course listed will be offered when the student wants the course. Students should consult their academic advisors regularly as well as the Tentative Schedule of Biology courses listed on the Department of Biological Sciences website to establish a graduate planner appropriate to your individual needs.

Ecology Degree Plan
Year 1 Credits
Fall semester  
     BIO 105 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology 3
     BIO 106 Laboratory Biology 1.5
     CHY 113 Principles of Chemistry I 4
     CHY 114 Laboratory Techniques I 1
     ENG 100 College Writing 3
     EYE 1XX Entry Year Experience 3
   
Spring semester  
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology 4.5
     CHY 115 Principles of Chemistry II 3
     CHY 116 Laboratory Techniques II 1
     MAT 152 Calculus A 4
     Core curriculum course 3
   
Year 2  
Fall semester  
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology 3
     BIO 201 Genetics 3
     CHY 251 Organic Chemistry I 3
     CHY 252 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences 4
   
Spring semester  
     BIO 217 Evolution 3
     CHY 253 Organic Chemistry II 3
     GEO 108 Introduction to ArcGIS 3
     Core curriculum course 3
     Core curriculum course 3
   
Year 3  
Fall semester  
     PHY XXX Elements of Physics I or General Physics I 4
     PHY 114 Introductory Physics Laboratory I 1
     BIO 331 Ecological Principles 3
     BIO XXX Ecology or organismal biology course requirement variable
     Core curriculum course 3
   
Spring semester  
     BIO XXX biology or organismal course requirement variable
     PHY XXX Elements of Physics II or General Physics II 4
     PHY 116 Introductory Physics Laboratory II 1
     Core curriculum course 3
     Core curriculum course 3
   
Year 4  
Fall semester  
     BIO XXX biology or organismal course requirement variable
     Core curriculum course 3
     Core curriculum course 3
   
Spring semester  
     BIO XXX ecology or organismal course requirement variable
     Core curriculum course 3
     BIO Capstone course 3
   

Note: Total credits must add up to 120, with a minimum of 78 credits required for the ecology specialization. Suggested schedule is based on 8 semesters (4 years) with approximately 15 credits per semester. Needing to meet the English or Math proficiency requirements in your first year will alter and possibly lengthen your coursework beyond 4 years. Summer courses can reduce course load during the academic year.