Apr 14, 2024  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology/Mathematics, BS

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Combined major offered by the Department of Biology, College of Sciences and Technology and the Department of Mathematics, College of Sciences and Technology.

110-111 credits

Introduction/What is the Study of Biology?

Biology is the study of living things, an academic endeavor with a basic research focus on seeking answers to questions rather than on applying biological knowledge to solve problems. As scientists, biologists have two prime motivations: (1) intellectual curiosity about biological systems, and (2) the philosophy that creating and disseminating reliable knowledge has intrinsic worth. Thus, we intend for our intensive academic program to stimulate our students’ curiosity and appetite for life-long learning about biology.

The biology curriculum provides an effective combination of knowledge in areas that students can apply to many careers. The supporting courses for the Biology major in math, physics, and chemistry, along with the biology core curriculum at the 200-level and 300-level, plus one 400-level course in evolution, fulfill the goals of a liberal arts education. In 400-level courses students not only pursue interests more specifically, but begin to integrate and apply knowledge, and develop the skills and abilities to pursue careers of their choosing.

“Mathematics reveals hidden patterns that help us understand the world around us. Now much more than arithmetic and geometry, mathematics today is a diverse discipline that deals with data, measurements, and observations from science; with inference, deduction, and proof; and with mathematical models of natural phenomena, of human behavior, and of social systems.

As a practical matter, Mathematics is a science of pattern and order. Its domain is not molecules or cells, but numbers, chance, form, algorithms, and change. As a science of abstract objects, Mathematics relies on logic rather than on observation as its standard of truth, yet employs observation, simulation, and even experimentation as means of discovering truth.” -From Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education (c) 1989 National Academy of Sciences.

Why Consider a Biology/Mathematics Major? 

Do you want to know all about the life that you see, hear, touch, taste and smell and how this affects us? Do you want to work outside in the field or in a laboratory? Are you enthusiastic, intelligent, open-minded, and precise? Are you willing to work hard and challenge yourself intellectually? Consider a biology/mathematics major!


 Contact Information

Biology Department Chair
Joann Otto
Biology 315

Biology Major Information Program Coordinator
Maren Brinson
Biology 315

Mathematics Department Chair
Tjalling Ypma
Bond Hall 202A

Mathematics Department
Bond Hall 202

 Sample Careers

Populations Researcher | Biostatistian | Research Analyst | Bioinformatics Scientist

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs. Phase I students are students who have declared their intent to major in biology and are in the process of completing the introductory biology (BIOL 204, 205, 206) and general chemistry (CHEM 121, 122, 123) series. Admission to Phase II is based on academic performance in the introductory courses. Students must achieve an average grade of 2.9 or higher in their introductory biology and general chemistry courses before they can advance to Phase II and begin taking upper-division coursework.

Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400-level biology courses.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major courses.


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