- Twenty credits of Biology core: BIO-121, 202, 203, 204, 290 and 490.
- Electives in either General Studies or one of the following areas of concentration:
- General Studies:
- Eight credits of the following electives: BIO-302, 307, 308, 315, 361, 385, or 430.
- Eight credits of additional upper level BIO electives which may include Spring Term and/or independent study credits.
- Pre-Medicine/Health: BIO-205, 226 or 307, 301, 308, and 330.
- Pre-Veterinary Medicine: BIO-301, 305, 307, 308, and 361.
- Cell and Molecular: BIO-226 or 307, 301, 308, 330, and 430.
- Ecology and Evolution: BIO-302, 305, 306, 360, and 361.
- General Studies:
- Completion of the MFAT examination.
Thirty-six credits from the Department which must include the following:
- Twenty credits of BIO core: BIO-121, 202, 203, 204, 290, and 490.
- Four credits of BIO-302.
- Twelve credits of upper level BIO electives.
- Completion of MFAT examination.
Potential Biology majors should note that many career opportunities for biologists, including graduate and professional programs, require two terms each of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Therefore, Biology majors are encouraged to complete CHM-115, 223, 224 and 230; PHY-112 and 113 or PHY-121 and 122; and MTH-112 and 113, 116, or 121 and 122. Additional courses may be required for specific graduate/professional schools; majors should check prospective program websites for specific admission requirements.
Students are also encouraged to complete a primary research experience either through independent study or a summer internship at Alma College or another institution. For those students considering graduate school and/or a career in research, multiple experiences are highly recommended.
Twenty-four credits which must include BIO-121, 202, 203; and 12 credits of upper level BIO electives.
Teaching Minor Requirements
Twenty-four credits which must include BIO-121, 202, 203, 204, 290, 302, and 490.
Four credits from BIO, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Natural Sciences — Life Sciences.
- BIO101.Biology for Non-Majors4Study of living organisms, biological processes and classification. Current topics in biology are emphasized. For the non-major. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO121.General Cell Biology4Study of basic biological processes, mostly at the cellular level, including the chemical basis of life, cellular structure and function, heredity, reproduction and the genetic basis of evolution. Required for BIO, BCM, BTC, and IPHS majors. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO125M.Molecular Techniques4First-year or Sophomore StandingIntroduction to basic molecular biology laboratory techniques. Prepares students for upper level courses and summer research internships in the molecular sciences. Spring Term only. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO180.Biological Topics4Lecture, laboratory and/or field experiences of special relevance to biology. Recent topics have included animal behavior, recombinant gene techniques, microbial ecology and cell culture. May be taken more than once for credit. May include a course fee.
- BIO*202.General Botany4An introduction to the study of plant life, from algae through flowering plants, and fungi. Plants will be studied in relation to the environment and human activities. Morphology, ecology, and evolution will be stressed with some identification and collection of local flora. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*203.General Zoology4This course examines the diversity of the animal kingdom. Animals will be studied in an evolutionary context, emphasizing morphology, life history, ecology and behavior. The laboratory will include dissections and demonstrations that allow students to appreciate the physical differences across the major phyla. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*204.Genetics4BIO-121 and Sophomore StandingThe mechanics of inheritance at the molecular and cellular levels and the relationship of this phenomenon to gene action, organismal development, population changes and evolution. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*205.Human Embryology4BIO-121Development of the organism from its beginning to the establishment of the basic body plan and organ systems. Live embryos and developmental morphology of vertebrates. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*206.Forest Vegetation4BIO-202 or PermissionStudents will learn morphological features that characterize wood plant species, the use of those features for recognition and identification of woody plants, scientific and standard common names of those species, and the diversity of woody plants and their associated communities across North America. Laboratory.
- BIO*226.Human Physiology II4BIO-121 and IPH-225Study of physiological functions of the human body and the relationship of systems to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Includes applications of physiological principles to practical issues in medicine and physical performance. Laboratory. Course fee. (Cross-listed with IPH-226)
- BIO*280.Topics in Biology2BIO-121 or PermissionBiological topics selected by the instructor. May be taken more than once for credit.
- BIO*290.Sophomore Seminar2BIO-121, BIO-202, or BIO-203 or PermissionDesigned to show students how to plan and prepare a portfolio for their senior capstone presentation. Library skills, basic statistics and experimental design will be emphasized. Course fee.
- BIO*299.Biology Independent Study1-4PermissionAn opportunity for exceptional freshmen and sophomores to work directly with faculty on a research project. Typically, students help gather data and participate in the analysis of data. Introduction to the research process. Course fee.
- BIO*301.Cell Biology4Study of the fine structure of eucaryotic and procaryotic cells, the chemical composition and organization of cells, and the particular organization and function of cell organelles and structural components. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*302.Ecology4Sophomore Standing or PermissionInvestigation of population, community and ecosystem structure, dynamics and energetics. Laboratory and field studies. Course fee.
- BIO*305.Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy4BIO-203Explores the use of homology and cladistics to recover phylogenies and to understand the evolution of anatomical features of vertebrates. The function, form, and biodiversity of chordates with emphasis on vertebrates are discussed. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*306.Forest Ecology4Take BIO-202 or PermissionEcological interactions crucial to understanding forest ecosystems. This class will be taught by using the flipped classroom teaching method which will involve active learning techniques. Students will be responsible for a significant amount of preparation outside of class and active learning projects during class. Laboratory and field studies, with one Saturday field trip with a focus on acquiring field techniques and mastering quantitative skills. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*307.General Physiology4Sophomore Standing or PermissionStudy of the function of various animal organ systems, especially the ways in which they interact to maintain homeostasis of the individual. Most examples are from mammalian systems. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*308.Microbiology4Junior or Senior Standing or PermissionSurvey of the bacteria, viruses and other protists emphasizing their structure, physiology, systematics, ecology and genetics. Focuses on microbes important to humans including disease and the immune response. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*309.Aquatic Biology4BIO-121 or PermissionThe physical, chemical and biological factors that affect fresh water organisms. Comparison of streams, rivers and lake habitats of Michigan. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*315.Behavioral Ecology (Field Studies)4PermissionField studies of groups of organisms in habitats ordinarily not accessible during the Fall or Winter term. A recent topic has been marine invertebrates of Jamaica. Spring Term only. May be elected more than once for credit. Course fee.
- BIO*319.Toxicology4BIO-121 and CHM-230The science and art of toxicology has ancient origins, such as our use of venoms for hunting and plant extracts for assassinations. Modern toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of xenobiotics, a general term applied to any chemical which is foreign to the organism under investigation. This field is covered in four units: general principles, system responses, toxic agents, and environmental toxicology. In addition to one or two daily lectures, students participate in an investigative laboratory using the approaches of chemical analysis, cell culture, and organismal response. Course fee.
- BIO*320.Medical Botany4BIO-121 and CHM-223Study of the contribution of plants to modern medicine. Topics include the botany, anthropology, chemistry, and pharmacology of plant derived drugs. Cross-listed with BTC-320. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*330.Immunology4BIO-204Examination of the immune system and its role in disease. Emphasizes current research articles and experimental procedures. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*333.Cancer Biology4BIO-204Basic concepts and principles of tumor evolution and behavior including an introduction to oncogenes, tumor-suppressors and genome-maintenance genes, carcinogens, and their roles in cancer initiation and progression, and a detailed look into several of the more common types of malignancies.
- BIO*344.Human Dissection2BIO-226 or 307 or PermissionGross anatomy and dissection of the human body. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*360.Evolution4BIO-121Study of evolution as it applies to aspects of the biological sciences. Topics include history, mechanisms of evolution and population genetics. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*361.Animal Behavior4BIO-120 or 203 or PermissionAnimal behavior is examined from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Topics include reproduction, habitat selection, foraging and fighting behaviors. Laboratory. Course fee.
- BIO*380.Topics in Biology2-4BIO-121 or Permission (additional prerequisites vary with topic)Lecture, laboratory and/or field experiences of special relevance to biology. Recent topics have included animal behavior, recombinant gene techniques, microbial ecology and cell culture. May be taken more than once for credit. Course fee.
- BIO*380HM.Field- Ecology North of Temperate Forest4Field-based, problem-solving course where students introduced to conceptual and practical research approaches in community-level plant ecology through a variety of field studies on plants, their herbivores, pathogens, and mutualists. Research projects will be on similar theme, co-designed by student and instructor and conducted at Alma Ecological Station. Field trips to diverse upland and wetland forests throughout Michigan, guest lectures, and field demonstrations by Michigan forest land-managers included in course.
- BIO*385.Biology Practicum2-4BIO-121 and PermissionBiological knowledge is applied to an outside working situation. Pass/fail only.
- BIO*387.Diagnostic Histopathology4Take BIO-121Normal cytologic structure of major tissue types in various species will be studied. Abonormal changes will be identified and studied, and pathophysiologic causes of these abnormalities discussed. Cytologic changes will be related to gross anatomical appearance and abnormalities that would be evident on disgnostic imaging modalities. Students will gain understanding of the symptoms created in the patient by the diseased tissue and which diseases/disorders must therefore be considered. Lab will develop skills utilized in histological preparation and examination of normal and diseased tissue.
- BIO*399.Biology Independent Study1-4PermissionAn opportunity for exceptional first-year and sophomore students to work directly with faculty on a research project. Typically, students help gather data and participate in the analysis of data. Introduction to the research process. Course fee.
- BIO*430.Molecular Genetics4BIO-204 and BCM-321, or PermissionStudy of the transmission of information at the molecular level and the techniques used in gene analysis. Topics include gene structure and function, gene expression, genetic mobility, genomics, transgenics and recombinant DNA methodology. Laboratory. Course fee. (Cross-listed with BCM 430.)
- BIO*490.Senior Capstone Seminar2Senior StandingStudents choose a topic of interest, or one related to prior research experiences, and express their work in written form and present their work in a public forum. Completion of the Major Field Test for Biology is required for completion of the course. Course fee.
- BIO*499.Biology Independent Study1-4PermissionIndividual study of a particular subject in biology of an experimental or analytical nature. It may be a synthetic library analysis at the junior or senior level. Course fee.
- BIO*500.Senior Thesis4PermissionIndependent laboratory research of an original problem culminating in a thesis. Course fee.