Mission Statement

The PLU Department of Biology offers all students enrolled in our classes an academically stimulating and rigorous introduction to the scientific study of life. We hope to cultivate in our students a life-long interest in the discovery and prepare them for vocation or graduate study. In all of our students, we seek to instill an appreciation for the diversity of life, a sense of wonder and curiosity about life and life processes, and an understanding of the scientific method used to satisfy that curiosity. We strive to offer a contemporary curriculum that reflects the breadth of the discipline, includes a multiplicity of investigative approaches, and emphasizes experiential learning. We value a learning environment that encourages student-faculty collaboration and allows both students and faculty to achieve their full potential as scientists, independent thinkers, and responsible citizens of the world.

  1. To train competent scientists who are able to conduct independent research, gain employment in a research setting, or gain admission into Ph.D. programs.
  2. To develop an understanding of the diversity and continuity of life and the integrative nature of biological understanding.
  3. To prepare students to gain admission into professional programs (medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, etc.).
  4. To produce graduates who are able to effectively communicate orally and in writing generally and with their scientific peers.
  5. To produce graduates who are quantitatively capable.
  6. To help students develop a sense of vocational purpose that allows them to utilize their education in productive and rewarding ways.
  7. To produce globally aware scientists.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the following key biological concepts:
    a. The diversity of life evolved from a common ancestor over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.
    b. Structure and function are related at all levels of organization.
    c. The growth and behavior of organisms are regulated through the expression of genetic information in context.
    d. Biological systems are governed by the laws of thermodynamics and chemical transformation pathways.
    e. Living systems are interconnected and interacting.
  2. Students will apply the process of science to ask and answer questions both collaboratively and independently.
  3. Students will use quantitative and qualitative data to draw reasonable conclusions based on evidentiary support.
  4. Students will apply biological concepts to topical issues concerning society and the environment.
  5. Students will communicate effectively in written and oral forms.
  6. Students will apply knowledge and/or skills from other disciplines to the study of biology.
  7. Students will become aware of the range of careers and vocations available to biologists.