Majors & Minors in Biology

Requirements for the Major in Biology

The major is organized around the hierarchical structure of living organisms within an overarching theme of the evolution of living things. Students are required to take three introductory courses dealing with cell form and function, the form and function of organisms, and the ways in which populations of organisms interact with each other and their environment; more advanced coursework is completed by selecting courses from cellular and molecular, organismal, and population focused courses. Major requirements also include research intensive courses and a senior seminar...

The course selections for the major reflect those sub-disciplines and approaches to biology. The major requires completion of a minimum of 37 credits in biology, with the following provisions:

Completion of three foundation courses

BIOL 151 Cell and Molecular Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 152 The Biology of Organisms (4 credits)
BIOL 251 Ecology and Evolution of Organisms (4 credits)

Seminar

BIOL 493 (1 credit)

Completion of at least 24 credits in Biology at the 300 level or above. One course from each of the following organizational levels (Note: courses listed in multiple categories can only be counted in one of the categories):

Cellular-Molecular—a study of cell structure and molecular-controlled functions

BIOL 331 Immunology (4 credits)
BIOL 343 Microbiology (4 credits)
BIOL 380 Cell Physiology (4 credits)
BIOL 381 Molecular Genetics (4 credits)
BIOL 404 Developmental Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 407 Animal Histology (4 credits)

Organismal—a study of the organism, the congruence of form and function, and the maintenance of its internal environment.

BIOL 300 A/B Human Physiology and Anatomy (4 credits each)
BIOL 345 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 Credits)
BIOL 360 Herpetology (4 credits)
BIOL 386 Entomology (4 credits)
BIOL 428 Animal Physiology (4 credits)
BIOL 473 The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution and Taxonomy (4 credits)

Populations—a study of the interaction of organisms with each other, with the external environment, and the changes that occur through time.

BIOL 351 Principles of Ecology (4 credits)
BIOL 365 Behavioral Ecology (4 credits)
BIOL 379 Conservation Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 384 Marine Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 445 Evolutionary Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 473 The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution and Taxonomy (4 credits)
BIOL 485 Advanced Field Studies (4 credits)

Completion of eight units from the following list of designated Research Intensive courses:

BIOL 331 Immunology 4 credits
BIOL 343 Microbiology 4 credits
BIOL 345 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 credits)
BIOL 351 Principles of Ecology (4 credits)
BIOL 365 Behavioral Ecology (4 credits)
BIOL 379 Conservation Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 380 Cell Physiology (4 credits)
BIOL 381 Molecular Genetics (4 credits)
BIOL 404 Developmental Biology (4 credits)
BIOL 428 Animal Physiology (4 credits)
BIOL 473 The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution, Taxonomy (4 credits)
BIOL 485 Advanced Field Studies (variable credits)
BIOL 496 Undergraduate Research (variable credits)

Completion of CHEM 110 A/B and one year of college mathematics.

For majors seriously considering graduate or professional schools, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Calculus are imperative (these courses are required by many graduate and professional schools).

Requirements for the Minor in Biology

Twelve credits of core courses, BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 251, and at least two additional courses at the 300-level or above.

The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Official degree requirements can be found in the Whittier College Catalog.