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School of Arts and Sciences | Biology

Biology Alumna Anna Grinberg '01 from Ursuline College on Vimeo.



The Biology Department offers a variety of curricular opportunities to meet varied student interests. A student may select from several tracks within the Biology major, each of which has a slightly different occupational focus. In addition, a student in any major may opt to pursue a professional course of study, a Biology minor, or, in the case of education students, a major in Life Science education or a concentration in science for middle childhood students. Regardless of the option chosen, the curriculum for each student ensures exposure to the discipline of biology as a whole and provides an effective and relatively comprehensive education in a student's area of interest.

Aims and Objectives
Through course work, research and teaching, biology students achieve a multidimensional level of biological literacy.

Biology Track Fact Sheet

Biotechnology Fact Sheet

Life Science Track Fact Sheet

Course Requirements

All fields of study leading to the Biology major consist of two curricular components - fundamentals and specialization. The fundamentals provide the learner with the basic terminology, concepts and perspectives necessary for further work in biology; upon completion of these prerequisites, the learner may then advance into the specialized track of her/his choice. The courses in the standard fundamentals sequence include: BI 200 & 200L, BI 205 & 205L. Students transferring into biology may find a second entry into some tracks more appropriate; this entry can be gained through the following alternate fundamentals sequence: BI 205 & 205L, BI 206 & 206L, BI 214 & 214L, BI 215 & 215L, and LL 185 as necessary.

Biology: Professional Course of Study
The Professional course of study in biology prepares the graduate for entry into post-baccalaureate professional programs such as medical or dental school. This course of study also prepares the graduate interested in pursuing a research career in the biological sciences for entry into graduate school. The requirements for entry into this course of study include the standard fundamentals sequence plus CH 105 & 105L and 106 & 106L and MA 120 or above. Biology courses required for completion include: BI 325 & 325L; 430 & 430L; 435 & 435L. A learner in the Professional course of study also participates in a capstone seminar (BI 451), a research project (BI 452, 461 or 475), program evaluations, and service learning in biology. Other courses required for completion are CH 221 & 221L, 222 & 222L, 422 & 422L; PY 201 & 201L and 202 & 202L; and six credits at or above MA 120.

Biology Course of Study
The Biology course of study prepares the graduate both for immediate entry-level employment and for graduate work in a variety of specialized biology disciplines. The requirements for entry into this course of study include the standard fundamentals sequence plus CH 105 & 105L and 106 & 106L and MA 120 or above. Biology courses required for completion include: BI 325 & 325L; 430 & 430L; 435 & 435L and 8 biology elective credits at or above the 300 level. A learner in this track also participates in a capstone seminar (BI 451), program evaluations including the Major Field Test, and service learning in biology (BI 400). Three additional hours of approved microcomputer/mathematics are required to complete this concentration. Additional course work recommended for the learner who anticipates either attending graduate or medical school or entering technological fields includes CH 221 & 221L, 222 & 222L, 422 & 422L; PY 201 & 201L and 202 & 202L; and MA 121 & 122.

Biotechnology Courses of Study
The Biotechnology program at Ursuline College is a joint program between Ursuline and Lakeland Community College. It benefits students in the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology by combining hands-on technical experiences gained at Lakeland with the philosophical and traditional four-year experience gained at Ursuline. Biology majors gain extensive experience in utilizing key laboratory equipment and apparatus such as fluorescence microscopy, laminar flow cabinets for microbiological culturing, and biofermenters, at Lakeland; in addition, PCR, DNA restriction digests and other biotechniques will be used at Ursuline. This program was designed with members of the biotechnology industry in the Cleveland area who have requested that their employees have a Bachelor's degree. Academic internships and/or co-op opportunities are also associated with this program.

Applied Science/Bioscience Technology

The requirements for entry into this field of study include an Associate of Applied Sciences in Bioscience Technology from Lakeland Community College. Upon matriculation to Ursuline, the requirements include Stages II and III of the Ursuline Studies Program along with BI 333, 333L; 4 Biology electives (only 1 at the 200 level) and 2 general electives chosen with the approval of the biotechnology faculty advisor.

Biotechnology Course of Study
The requirements for this major include the standard fundamental sequence plus CH 105, 105L, 106, 106L; MA 212; BI 333, 333L, 451, 462 and Biology electives along with the requirements for the Bioscience Technology certification from Lakeland Community College. Some of the entry-level courses in this certification program may be taken at Ursuline, including courses taken via distance learning.

Life Science Course of Study
The Life Science course of study enables a student to graduate with two majors-one in biology and another that is not in a natural/physical science. This allows the graduate to pursue a variety of blended career opportunities. Clinical therapists (art, psychology), science writers (English), science illustrators (art), and environmental policy makers (business, public relations) exemplify careers that may utilize an awareness of the natural world and the process of science in conjunction with another discipline. Entry requirements into this course of study include either fundamentals sequence plus CH 103 & 103L and 104 & 104L and MA 119 or above. The specialization component of this course of study enables a learner to choose one course within each of the following hierarchic levels of biology:

- as an environmental course, either BI 111 & 111L or BI 325 & 325L

- as an organismal course, either BI 313 & 313L, BI 320 & 320L, BI 380 or a designated organismal physiology course (BI 488)

- as a cellular biology course, either BI 333 & 333L, BI 430 & 430L or BI 435 & 435L

- as a global biology course, either BI 451 or BI 475. Additionally, the student must complete 34 elective credits in biology at or above the 300 level, 3 additional hours of approved mathematics/microcomputers, program evaluations and service learning in biology.

Podiatry
Through an accelerated program with the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM), Ursuline juniors who have concentrated in Biology and completed the Ursuline Studies requirements may make application for admission to  the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. Students admitted to the OCPM in this manner will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ursuline College after successful completion of their first year of study at OCPM. With three additional years of study at the OCPM, students may qualify to receive the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Any student applying to OCPM from Ursuline College must have completed at least 90 semester hours, completed  the Ursuline Studies requirements, and have finished her/his junior year. Courses in Biology, Chemistry, Math and Physics are required as the science prerequisites to qualify for admission to OCPM. Contact OCPM for specific course requirements and application procedures.

Biology Minor

A Biology minor consisting of 23 biology credits is available as a supplement to a student's primary area of interest. As a scientific discipline, biology both incorporates and makes genuine contributions to many other disciplines. Students majoring in other areas may find a declared minor in biology highly relevant, stimulating and profitable. Upon completion of a fundamentals sequence, the biology minor may wholly reflect the student's interests or concentrate in such areas as allied health, environmental science, natural history or biotechnology.

Biology Departmental Honors
Graduation with biology departmental honors is available.  Students must be biology majors; biology minors are not eligible.  Students must have a strong academic background and training in the area(s) needed to complete their honors work.  The nature of the preparation will vary with the research, but adequate preparation must be demonstrated in relevant areas both within and outside of biology (e.g., in statistics or chemistry).  To earn department's honors, students must have a cumulative GPA in their biology courses of at least 3.00, submit a Departmental Honors Application to the chair of the Biology Department, and successfully complete BI 452 A&B or BI 453 A&B.  Students may not use the same work credited for another course for
BI 452 A&B or BI 453 A&B.


Course Descriptions

BI 111
Human Environment (3)
A semester-long exploration of the interrelatedness of our modern life style with the natural world. Consideration is given to basic ecological principles, the availability and conservation of natural resources, the impact of human beings on the quality of their environment, and socioeconomic and political determinants of environmental policies. Not recommended for Biology majors. Ursuline Studies Stage I Science satellite.

BI 111L
Laboratory for Human Environment (1)
An introduction to methods and techniques involved in ecological investigations. Focus is on aquatic and terrestrial environments, population growth, energy transfers, and biotic and abiotic cycles. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 111.

BI 130
Human Biology: Birth through Aging (3)
A one-semester survey course for students having limited exposure to previous academic science courses. The structure and function of the principle organ systems and the means by which these body systems change with age are emphasized; many physiological concepts are explored in more detail through hands-on laboratory exercises. The concept of homeostasis and the effects of development and aging on the ability to maintain homeostasis are unifying themes of this course; thus, common pathologies as well as the impact of the environment and of heredity on the quality of life are interjected as topics as time permits. Ursuline Studies Stage I Science satellite.

BI 130L
Laboratory for Human Biology: Birth through Aging (1)
Physiological concepts of the principle organ systems and the means by which these body systems change with age are explored in more detail through hands-on laboratory exercises. Pre- or corequisite: BI 130.

BI 200
Introductory Biology - Biodiversity, Form, Function, and Ecology (3)
This course provides an introduction to modern biology including biological classification, survey pf biological diversity and evolutionary relationships, anatomy and physiology of plants and animals, and principles of ecology.  This course is part of the standard fundamental sequence: REQUIRED FOR ALL BIOLOGY MAJORS.  Ursuline Studies Stage I Science satellite.

BI 200L
Laboratory for Introductory Biology - Biodiversity, Form, Function, and Ecology (1)
The laboratory is comprised of selected exercises designed to reinforce concepts covered in BI 200, including hands on activities, which afford students the opportunity to master basic biological principles, skills, and equipment used in experimental inquiry, design, analysis, and reporting.  Pre- or co-requisite: BI 200.  This course is part of the standard fundamental sequence: REQUIRED FOR ALL BIOLOGY MAJORS.  Ursuline Studies Stage I Science satellite.

BI 205
Introductory Biology - Cells, Genetics, Energy Transfer, and Evolution (3)
This course provides an introduction to modern biology including the basic principles of molecular and cell biology, energy transfer and metabolism, cellular reproduction, genetics, and mechanisms of evolution and the origin of life. Recommended: 1 semester of college chemistry.  This course is part of the standard fundamental sequence: REQUIRED FOR ALL BIOLOGY MAJORS.

BI 205L

Laboratory for Introductory Biology - Cells, Genetics, Energy Transfer, and Evolution (1)
The laboratory is comprised of selected exercises designed to reinforce concepts covered in BI 205, including hands on activities, which afford students the opportunity to master basic biological principles, skills, and equipment used in experimental inquiry, design, analysis, and reporting.  Pre- or co-requisite: BI 205. This course is part of the standard fundamental sequence: REQUIRED FOR ALL BIOLOGY MAJORS.

BI 206
Principles of Plant Biology (3)
A survey of the Kingdom Plantae and representative members of the Kingdoms Protista and Fungi. Topics include taxonomy, anatomy, morphology, and physiology of plants with a detailed study of their cells, tissues, organs, life cycles and uses. Prerequisite: BI 205

BI 206L
Laboratory for Principles of Plant Biology (1)
Exploration of anatomy, morphology, and physiology of higher plants with taxonomic treatment of selected algae, fungi, bryophytes, and vascular plants. Prerequisite: BI 205L or equivalent. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 206.

BI 207
Principles of Animal Biology (3)
Principles and concepts of animal biology based on comparison of structures and functions of the principal invertebrate and vertebrate types. Ursuline Studies Stage I Science satellite.

BI 207L
Laboratory of Principles of Animal Biology (1)
Study of the structures of representative animals from unicellular organisms through vertebrates, including their development and interrelationships. Correlations of organ structure with functional aspects are considered. Focus of course is on the invertebrate organisms. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 207.

BI 214
Anatomy and Physiology I (3)
A study of human anatomy and physiology for students preparing for an allied health profession. Integration of structure and function in the light of homeostasis is emphasized. A systems approach is utilized, with the focus on normal physiology and an introduction to pathology. Systems addressed in the first semester include skeletal, muscle, nervous and endocrine. Recommended: high school biology and chemistry.

BI 214L
Laboratory for Anatomy and Physiology I (1)
A study of the structure of the human body using a variety of tools including tissue slides, human skeletons, models, and the optional dissection of various organs of sheep, pig or cow. Integration is accomplished via a systems approach with physiology using computer simulation. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 214.

BI 215
Anatomy and Physiology II (3)
A study of human anatomy and physiology for students preparing for an allied health profession. Integration of structure and function in the light of homeostasis is emphasized. A systems approach is utilized, with the focus on normal physiology and an introduction to pathology. In the second semester, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems are addressed. Prerequisite: BI 214.

BI 215L
Laboratory for Anatomy and Physiology Lab II (1)
A study of the structure of the human body using a variety of tools including tissue slides, human skeletons, models, and the optional dissection of various organs of sheep, pig or cow. Integration is accomplished via a systems approach with physiology using computer simulation. Prerequisite: BI 214L. Pre- or corequisite: BI 215.

BI 232
Clinical Microbiology (3)
A study of the fundamental physical, chemical and biological characteristics of microorganisms. A variety of pathogens, the infectious process, and the means by which the human body resists disease are considered. Recommended: 1 year of college chemistry and either BI 214-215 or BI 205.

BI 232L
Laboratory for Clinical Microbiology (1)
Application of basic techniques for culturing, staining and identifying selected microbial forms. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 232.

BI 288
Special Topics in Biology (1-4)
A study of designated or selected topics designed to serve special needs and interests not included in regularly scheduled courses. Offered as needed.

BI 300
Introduction to Medical Terminology (1)
This course is designed to acquaint the student with terminology relating to basic anatomy and physiology of body systems. The language of medicine, medical abbreviations, definition of medical terms, and an appreciation of the logical method found in medical terminology are covered. Course format consists of programmed self-instruction and testing by the instructor.

BI 313
Field Biology (2)
Systematics and identification of flora and fauna of Northeast Ohio. Topics rotate each semester among ornithology, local flora, entomology, invertebrate zoology, mycology or mammalogy. See the course schedule for specific semester offering. Co-requisite: BI 313L.

BI 313L
Laboratory in Field Biology (2)
Study organisms will be located, observed, and identified in their native habitat. Organisms may be collected. Appropriate clothing for varied weather conditions is necessary for field trips. Co-requisite: BI 313.

Prerequisites for ALL courses at or above BI 320:
(1) sequence of biology fundamental courses (BI 200/L, BI 205/L); (2) 1-2 semesters CH; and (3) 3 credits of MAT/MIS as required.

BI 320
Developmental Biology (2)
Interactions among cells which result in the development of multicellular organisms are examined. Major topics include germ cells and fertilization, cellular mechanisms of development, and differentiated cells and the maintenance of tissues. Although aspects of plant and invertebrate development are considered, vertebrates are the focus of this course. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 320L
Laboratory for Developmental Biology (2)
This laboratory component focuses on the means by which the body plans and organs of representative organisms develop from fertilized eggs. May include stained slides, living and preserved materials, models and computer simulations. Experimental investigations will be conducted as feasible. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 320.

BI 325
Ecology (2)
An introduction to the basic concepts of ecology with emphasis on the complex interrelationships of living organisms with each other and with the nonliving environment. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS, MAT 131 or MAT 212 recommended.

BI 325L
Laboratory for Ecology (2)
The focus is on techniques of physical, chemical, and biological analysis of various ecosystems. The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are stressed. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 325.

BI 333
Environmental Microbiology (3)
A general study of the morphology and physiology of microorganisms. Basic techniques peculiar to the handling of these special organisms are considered. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 333L
Laboratory for Environmental Microbiology (1)
Although the emphasis is on bacteria in this course, fungi, algae and viruses are also included in the various investigations. Topics include sterile technique, biochemical and physiological reactions, and chemical diagnostic tests. Antibiotics, antiseptics and immunological tests are included as feasible. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 333.

BI 380
Advanced Physiology and Immunology (3)
An inquiry into the nature of the immune response at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels. Principles relating to clinical immunology, immunologic reactions, and the function and the evolution of the immune system are discussed in terms of underlying experimental studies. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 400
Service Learning (1)
See Service Learning (page 43). Contact department chair for requirements.

BI 430
Cell Biology (3)
The fine structure and molecular organization of eukaryotic cells, including their relationship to the environment, are examined. Major topics include cellular evolution, basic genetic mechanisms, metabolism, signaling, division and growth. Aberrations in these processes resulting in malignancies are considered. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH;

BI 430L
Laboratory for Cell Biology (1)
Selected exercises introduce basic laboratory techniques of cellular biology. Investigations examine cell structure via microscopy and centrifugation, membrane phenomena, cell metabolism and motility, the cell cycle and signaling. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 430.

BI 435
Genetics (3)
Although basic mechanisms of Mendelian genetics are reviewed, the focus of this course is molecular genetics. The origin of nucleic acids, DNA replication, RNA transcription, and the process of translation are studied in some detail. Regulation of gene expression and the function of non-structural DNA sequences are also considered. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence and CH 106; MAT 131 recommended.

BI 435L
Laboratory in Genetics (1)
An introduction to methods and techniques of investigating genetic principles, including Mendelian inheritance, molecular genetics and population genetics. Organisms used in the laboratory are representative of those used in research settings. Pre- or co-requisite: BI 435.

BI 451
Departmental Seminar (3)
Readings and discussions focus on one or more of the universal biological principles. Biological concepts from previous course work are integrated using an evolutionary perspective. Pre-requisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS; and senior standing.

BI 452
BI 452A -Experimental Project I (1) and BI 452B -Experimental Project II (2)
Each student writes a research proposal based on readings in the scientific literature during one semester (BI 452A). The research experience is encapsulated in both a final paper and a presentation open to the College community (BI 452B). Prerequisites: senior standing and departmental approval.

BI 453
BI 453A -Senior Thesis I (1) and BI 453B -Senior Thesis II (2)
Each student reads primary research articles within an area of interest, suggests a biology-based topic for a research proposal, and writes the general background for a formal peer-review proposal in scientific format during one semester (BI 453A). All remaining aspects of the formal peer-review proposal are completed in scientific format and a presentation open to the College community is given during the second semester (BI 453B). Prerequisites: senior standing and departmental approval.

BI 461, 462
Independent Study (1-3, 1-3)
Study of a particular topic in biology. Approval of department chair is required. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 475
Academic Internship (1-3)
An off-campus learning experience to provide the student with the opportunity to relate academic and educational goals to learning experiences and situations beyond the limits of the classroom. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 488
Special Topics in Biology (1-4)
A study of designated or selected topics designed to serve special needs and interests not included in regularly scheduled courses. Prerequisites: biology fundamental sequence; 1-2 semesters CH; 3 credits of MAT/MIS.

BI 199, 299, 399, 499
External Learning Assessment (credit varies)
Measurable and verifiable learning which has occurred outside of the traditional classroom. Numerical designation indicated level of proficiency in the topic. Courses for which there is an exact Ursuline College equivalent are listed by the appropriate numerical designation. "PL" is listed before all course titles for which credit is granted through external learning assessment.