Catalog 2012-2013

Biology

253.535.7561
www.plu.edu/biology
biology@plu.edu

To learn biology is more than to learn facts: it is to learn how to ask and answer questions, how to develop strategies that might be employed to obtain answers, and how to recognize and evaluate the answers that emerge. The department is, therefore, dedicated to encouraging students to learn science in the only way that it can be effectively made a part of their thinking: to independently question it, probe it, try it out, experiment with it, and experience it.

Each major completes a two-course core sequence in introductory biology, followed by a semester of genetics. Upper-division courses in the biology program are designed so that students can continue to develop both breadth and depth of understanding of biology, expanding on the logical framework that core courses provide; breadth of knowledge and conceptual understanding are required for investigating biological questions and the application of knowledge in practical ways. The breath of study allows students to integrate their knowledge from various sub-disciplines and understand different methodological approaches. At the same time, the curriculum provides room for students to pursue their special interests in depth. Therefore, biology graduates are prepared for a wide range of opportunities after graduation.

The upper-division courses are grouped by major conceptual ideas as such ideas are applied at the different levels of biological organization (cell, organism, population)—in sequence of scale from small to large. Important questions in biology span the range of these levels of organization. Emphasis is on understanding biological relationships within and between plants and animals.

The major requirements also stress the balance of importance of both plant and animal life, including use of selected plants and animals as model organisms. The curriculum offers opportunity for students to discover similarities and differences of structure, function, and relationships within and between plants and animals.

Faculty members are also committed to helping students investigate career opportunities and pursue careers that most clearly match their interests and abilities. Students are invited to use departmental facilities for independent study and are encouraged to participate in ongoing faculty research.


BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE MAJOR

For either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, the student must take our introductory core sequence (BIOL 225 and 226) and a semester of Genetics (BIOL 330). Completion of the two-course introductory core with grades of C- or higher is required before upper-division biology courses can be taken. Furthermore, BIOL 330 must be completed within five semesters of starting the introductory core series. To ensure breadth of study in biology, students must complete at least one upper-division course in each of the three categories below. In addition, at least one upper-division course must be taken that is botanical in nature and one that is zoological in nature. The two upper-division courses that satisfy the botanical and zoological requirements could also fulfill corresponding distribution requirements. Each of the courses taken for the biology major including the required supporting courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher and the cumulative GPA must be at least 2.00. Courses not designed for biology majors (BIOL 111, 116, 201, 205, 206) ordinarily cannot be used to satisfy major requirements. Independent study (BIOL 491) and internship (BIOL 495) may be used for no more than a total of four of the upper- division biology hours required for the B.S. degree, and for no more than a total of two of the upper-division biology hours required for the B.A. degree. Students who plan to apply biology credits earned at other institutions toward a PLU degree with a biology major should be aware that at least 14 hours in biology, numbered 300 or higher and including BIOL 499A and B, must be earned in residence at PLU. Each student must consult with a biology advisor to discuss selection of electives appropriate for educational and career goals. Basic requirements under each plan for the major are listed below.

BACHELOR OF ARTS
34 semester hours in Biology

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330, 499A, and 499B
    • Plus: 20 additional upper-division biology hours that satisfy the following requirements:
      • Cellular and Molecular Biology (One course): BIOL 341, 342, 442, 444, 445 or 448
      • Organism Structure and Function (One course): BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, or 453
      • Ecology and Evolution (One course): BIOL 362, 366, 367, 368, 369, 461, or 462
  • At least one upper-division course must be botanical in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 356, 358, and 462
  • At least one upper-division course must be zoological in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 362, and 453
  • Required supporting courses: CHEM 115 and MATH 140
  • Recommended supporting courses: PHYS 125 (with 135 Lab) and PHYS 126 (with 136 Lab)

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
42 semester hours in Biology

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330, 499A, and 499B
    • Plus: 28 additional upper-division biology hours that satisfy the following requirements:
      • Cellular and Molecular Biology (One course): BIOL 341, 342, 442, 444, 445 or 448
      • Organism Structure and Function (One course): BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, or 453
      • Ecology and Evolution (One course): BIOL 362, 366, 367, 368, 369, 461, or 462
  • At least one upper-division course must be botanical in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 356, 358, and 462
  • At least one upper-division course must be zoological in nature. Courses satisfying this requirement are: BIOL 352, 353, 354, 355, 362, and 453
  • For the B.S. degree only, CHEM 403 may count as an upper- division biology course with approval of the department chair. The use of CHEM 403 for the B.S. degree cannot be used to satisfy any of the distribution requirements listed above.
  • Required supporting courses:
    • CHEM 115 and 116, 331 (with 333 Lab)
    • MATH 151
    • PHYS 125 (with 135 Lab) or PHYS 153 (with 163 Lab)
    • PHYS 126 (with 136 Lab) or PHYS 154 (with 164 Lab)

BIOLOGY SECONDARY EDUCATION

Students planning to be certified to teach biology in high school should plan to complete a B.A. or B.S. in biology. Upper-division biology course selection should be made in consultation with a biology advisor. See the Department of Instructional Development and Leadership section of the catalog for biology courses required for certification.

MINOR
20 semester hours including:

  • BIOL 225, 226
  • 12 semester hours elective coursework in biology (minimum 4 hours upper division required)*

*No more than one 100-level course can be applied to the minor; this course must be taken prior to enrolling in BIOL 225.

At least 8 semester hours for the minor must be earned in courses taken at PLU. For those students applying only 8 semester hours of PLU biology credit toward the minor, those hours cannot include independent study (BIOL 491) or internship (BIOL 495).


Course Offerings by Semester/Term

Fall Semester: 201, 205, 225, 226, 330, 354, 358, 362, 444, 445, 453, 461, 491, 495, 499A, 499B

January Term: 111, 116, 356, 357, 366 (alternate years), 491, 495, 499A

Spring Semester: 111, 206, 225, 226, 330, 341, 342, 352, 355 (alternate years), 367 (alternate years), 387, 442, 448, 462, 491, 495, 499A, 499B