Biology Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outline the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

For further information about this major, contact the Biology Coordinator (Dr. Preston Garcia): Preston.Garcia@Castleton.edu

A comprehensive program in biology that prepares students for admission into graduate schools, admission into professional schools, a career in biology, or a career in secondary education. The program includes a capstone research project and presentation requirement that integrates students' knowledge across the biological and physical sciences and demonstrates their quantitative, intellectual, and communication skills.

Students completing the Bachelor of Science in Biology will demonstrate:

Knowledge and Understanding of Biological Concepts

  • Ability to define and explain the boundaries, foundational theoretical constructs, and practices in the major subdivisions of biology: Evolution and Diversity of Life, Ecology, Organismal Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Genetics.
  • Fluency in the use of tools, technologies, and methods in the laboratory and natural environment.
  • Ability to construct a summative project or paper that draws on current research, scholarship, and/or techniques in the field of biology.

Intellectual Skills

  • Ability to make systematic observations, construct hypotheses, and make predictions, design and experiment, interpret data, and form conclusions based on the data.
  • Ability to locate, comprehend, assess, and apply the scholarly work of scientists according to accepted practices.
  • Ability to communicate scientific information, both orally and in writing, according to accepted practices in the field of biology.
  • Ability to use appropriate mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate and interpret biological data.
  • Ability to integrate the physical sciences (chemistry and physics) with biology.

Civic Learning

  • A clear understanding of the issues and involvement of biology in modern society.

Complete the following courses (50 cr):

Code Course Credits

BIO 1121

Biology I

(grade of C or higher required)

A comprehensive introduction to biology focused on the molecular, cellular, and organismal level. The course provides an introduction to all areas of biology.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: One year of high school biology and chemistry.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

BIO 1122

Biology II

(grade of C or higher required)

A continuation of BIO 1121 Biology I, with particular emphasis on organisms, ecosystems, and evolution.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: Completion of BIO 1121 and CHE 1051 or CHE 1041 with grades of "C" or better.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring

4

BIO 2010

Cell and Molecular Biology

(grade of C or higher required)

This course provides science majors with the fundamentals of cell and molecular biology. Students study the basics of molecular biology, the flow of genetic information through the cell, its structure, function, metabolism, and regulation. The lab portion of the course will focus on mastery of standard cell and molecular biology techniques while exploring course concepts. This course is intended for science majors and minors only and will not satisfy the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding frame of reference.

Lecture and Lab

Prerequisite: Completion of BIO 1121 and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 with a "C" or better.

Fee Lab fee $50

Spring

4

BIO 2125

Fundamentals of Microbiology

A study of the cellular structure and function of microorganisms, principally bacteria. The physiology, genetics, and interactions of bacteria with higher forms of life and the environment will be covered. The required laboratory will provide students with an understanding and practical knowledge of aseptic techniques and other common microbiology methods.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 and BIO 1122 , or BIO 2011 and BIO 2012.

Fee Lab fee $50

Every Semester

4

BIO 3060

Ecology

OR BIO 3065 - Plant Ecology 4 cr

A study of the interrelationships between plants, animals, microorganisms and their abiotic environment. Problems in experimental design and ecological analysis will be explored. Some Saturday field trips are planned. Field trips to primitive areas are required.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121, BIO 1122, and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 with grades of "C" or higher.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

BIO 3070

Genetics

A survey of the major fields of genetics with a focus on modern molecular genetics and genetic technologies. A weekly discussion and exploration period examines problem-solving strategies and hand-on applications of modern genetic technologies.

Prerequisite: BIO 2010 (may be taken concurrently) or BIO 2125, and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051.

Spring

4

BIO 4030

Evolution

This course is a survey of evolutionary processes with an emphasis on natural selection. The class provides a background that allows students to understand the origin and maintenance of biodiversity and to be able to apply abstract evolutionary concepts to a wide range of organisms. This course will cover current theory in evolution as well as the history of the evolutionary concept and its impacts on society. The discussion period focuses on interesting and important readings in evolutionary biology.

Prerequisite: 'C' or better in BIO 1121, BIO 1122, BIO 3070 and BIO 3060 or BIO 3065.

Fall

4

CHE 1051

Chemistry I

(grade of C or higher required)

An in-depth study of the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics include modern atomic theory and structure of atoms, solution chemistry, nature of chemical bond, stoichiometry, gas laws, thermochemistry and molecular geometry. This course is designed for biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental science majors, as well as motivated students in the health related fields. To succeed in this course, an understanding of applied algebra is mandatory.

Restrictions Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Geology majors only.

Prerequisite: MAT 1020 or MAT 1221 or MAT 1320 or equivalent placement.

Fee Fee $50

Fall

4

CHE 1052

Chemistry II

(grade of C or higher required)

This course is a continuation of CHE 1051 . Topics of study include intermolecular forces, properties of solutions, the chemistry of solids, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, metal chemistry, and electrochemistry. This course is designed for biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental science majors or other students that will pursue higher-level courses in chemistry.

Restrictions Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology majors only.

Prerequisite: CHE 1051 or CHE 1041

Fee Fee $50

Spring

4

CHE 2111

Organic Chemistry I

An introduction to the chemistry of organic compounds. Emphasis is on organic functional groups and their chemical properties, nomenclature and molecular structure. The laboratory introduces students to basic organic laboratory techniques of synthesis, purification and characterization. Lecture (3 hrs.) and lab (4 hrs). Students are strongly recommended to take Organic Problem Solving I (CHE 2113) together with this course.

Prerequisite: CHE 1042 or CHE 1052 with a grade of C or better.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

MAT 2036

Biostatistics

This course introduces statistical concepts and analytical methods as applied to data encountered in ecological, environmental, and biomedical sciences. It emphasizes the basic concepts of experimental design, quantitative analysis of data, and statistical inferences. Topics include probability theory and distributions; population parameters and their sample estimates; descriptive statistics for central tendency and dispersion; hypothesis testing and confidence intervals for means, variances, and proportions; the chi-square statistic; categorical data analysis; linear correlation and regression model; analysis of variance; and nonparametric methods. The course provides students a foundation to evaluate information critically to support research objectives and product claims and a better understanding of statistical design of experimental trials for biological products/devices.

Restrictions Students will be required to have a scientific calculator.

Prerequisite: Minimum math placement of MAT 1320 or MAT 2021 .

4

PHY 1051

General Physics I

OR PHY 2110 - Physics I 4 cr

An introduction to the concepts and theories of physics. Topics include forces, motion and energy. A weekly laboratory section explores concepts and the role of experimentation in science. May not be taken for credit if credit has been received for PHY 2110 or equivalent.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific & Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

SCI 1230

Pathways to Science

Pathways to Science is a broad spectrum science course that explores a wide variety of science topics in many different areas of science. Throughout this course students will learn skills needed to succeed in science. The course is geared toward first year and sophomore level students by aiming to provide a solid base of science terminology and principles. Pathways to Science is an introduction in how to succeed in science, how to initiate a research project, and how to get through the first two years of a science program. Students will identify future goals, career objectives, and put together a plan for graduation.

Restrictions Biology, Ecological Studies, Environmental Science, and Geology majors.

Pass/No pass only.

Spring

1

SCI 2100

Science Colloquium

Note: MAT 1531 - Calculus I is recommended for students planning application to graduate school.

Visiting scientists, department faculty, Castleton students, and scientists in the workforce will give presentations about current scientific research and careers in science. Students are given an opportunity to interact with the invited speakers and strengthen their personal scientific network. This science research seminar is open to any Natural Sciences major or minor (BIO, CHE, EXS, GEY, HLT, ENV) and is meant to introduce students to a wide range of current research areas and potential careers in science. This course is repeatable for credit.

Pass/No pass only.

Prerequisite: Students enrolled in a major or minor offered by the Natural Sciences Department or permission of the instructor.

Fall

1

And complete 12 additional BIO credits at the 3000 level or higher

The 12 credits cannot include internships, independent studies, or teaching assistantships.

No more than 3 credits of BIO 4930 - Research Project will be counted toward the 12 credits of upper-level elective credits.

(Credits required for the major: 62 cr)

Note on research

To perform the significant research activity necessary to complete the capstone project, students may elect to enroll in:

  • 3-6 credits of BIO 4930 - Research Project under the supervision of a Castleton Biology faculty member,
  • OR 3-6 credits of BIO 4810 - Internship in Biology,
  • OR a summer undergraduate research experience at another institution (e.g. NSF REU).

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.

Pharmacy Degree (CU/ACPHS 3+4)

This major participates in the 3+4 program with Albany School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, in which highly-focused students can earn a Bachelor's degree in just three years at CU and a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) in four years at ACPHS.

For details, see the Pharmacy Degree page.