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Biology Major (B.S.) Course of Study

The biology major in the Bachelor of Science degree program is designed for students who need breadth and depth of understanding in the field of biology as well as related natural and mathematical sciences. Many graduates of this major further their education with post-graduate degrees in research or health- related professions, but the biology major in the BS program also provides qualifications for many entry- level biology positions. While this major prepares students for more specialized careers in and related to the biological sciences, each student should consult with faculty members in the biology department to decide his/her best academic plan while at Drury.


The Bachelor of Science Biology major requires a minimum of 59 credit hours.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.
Co-requisites must be taken during the same semester.

Required (40 hrs.) 

BIOL 172: Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite or Co-Requisite: DAY-CHEM 115 or CHEM 208 or CHEM 238. CCPS-BIOL 102.
This course examines the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins. The molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation will be emphasized. In addition, regulation of these processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in biology or related disciplines.

BIOL 181: Genetics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Day-BIOL 172. CCPS-Co-requisite: BIOL 181-L. This course will apply the knowledge acquired in BIOL 172 to the inheritance patterns of genetic traits between individuals and within populations. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 182: Evolution
2 credit hours

Prerequisite or Co-requisite: DAY- BIOL 181. CCPS-BIOL 172. An introduction to the principles of evolutionary biology, including the history, processes and patterns of evolution as well as systematic biology.

BIOL 200: Ecology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite or Co-requisite: BIOL 182.
An introduction to ecological principles, emphasizing processes and patterns within the six sub disciplines of ecology. The laboratory will integrate common field methods with experimental design and data analysis. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 225: Biostatistics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172. An introduction to biostatistical concepts and methods commonly encountered in biology. The course will cover basic descriptive statistics as well as experimental design and techniques for testing hypotheses (e.g., analysis of variance/covariance, regression analysis, and nonparametric statistics). Three lecture or laboratory hours.

BIOL 351: Junior Seminar I
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. This course provides biology majors with information on pre? and post?graduate opportunities, prepares them for graduate studies related to biology by developing a resume and statement of purpose, and gives them experience speaking publicly on biological topics using appropriate technology. S/U Grading.

BIOL 352: Junior Seminar II
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 351. Using the scientific literature and in consultation with a faculty mentor, students will develop a proposal for an independent research project in the biological sciences and publicly present the proposal to their peers.

BIOL 494: Senior Seminar II
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 483 or 484. Students present the results of their Senior Seminar I project to faculty and peers in a public forum.

Choose one (3 hrs.): 

BIOL 483: Senior Seminar I: Practicum
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 200. Students complete an off?campus work experience in a professional field of interest and write a literature review on a biological topic related to the profession in consultation with a faculty mentor. A minimum of 135 hours must be completed during the off-campus experience.

BIOL 484: Senior Seminar I: Research
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 200. Students complete an original field, laboratory, database, or literature research project in consultation with a faculty mentor.

Choose one (4 hrs.): 

BIOL 307: Botany
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: Day-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201. Introduction to the photosynthetic way of life in algae and plants. This course will consider plant structural and functional adaptations related to water retention and distribution, gas exchange, light absorption and energy conversion, anti-gravitational support, reproduction and dispersal; followed by a comparative study of the main plant groups from algae to flowering plants, emphasizing structural diversity and evolutionary trends. The laboratory exercises will present an introduction to plant (and algae) cells, tissues and organs through comparative anatomy and morphology analyses.

BIOL 309: General Zoology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201.
A survey of major animal phyla including protozoans with an emphasis on comparative structure and function, taxonomy, fundamental life processes and ecological interactions. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 310: Field and Systematic Botany
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201.
A taxonomical survey of flowering plants. This course will discuss history, theories and methods of classification, identification, nomenclature and description of plants, followed by taxonomical characteristics of the main plant families. Laboratory exercises and field trips will focus on the use of taxonomic keys, construction of floral diagrams and formulas, identification and recognition of local flora, preparation of field data records and herbarium specimens.

BIOL 313: Advanced Microbiology
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: Day-BIOL 181 and CHEM 238. CCPS BIOL 181 and CHEM 107.
This course will examine the unique physiology of the Archaea and Procaryotae and their roles in ecology and human disease. Techniques for identification of these organisms also will be studied. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 373: Herpetology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 200. An introduction to the biology, ecology and evolution of amphibians and non?avian reptiles. The morphology, taxonomy and biogeography of Missouri species within these groups will be emphasized in the laboratory with day, evening and possibly weekend field trips required.

Choose 16 hrs.: 

BIOL 301: Advanced Evolutionary Biology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 182. A study of organic evolution, its processes at a variety of scales, and its relationship to society. Primary topics include the history of evolutionary thought, population genetics, mechanisms of speciation, phylogeny and evolution of development.

BIOL 306: Medical Botany
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 200Survey of plants which have medicinal value. Emphasis on the importance of botanical products in modern medicine.

BIOL 307: Botany
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: Day-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201. Introduction to the photosynthetic way of life in algae and plants. This course will consider plant structural and functional adaptations related to water retention and distribution, gas exchange, light absorption and energy conversion, anti-gravitational support, reproduction and dispersal; followed by a comparative study of the main plant groups from algae to flowering plants, emphasizing structural diversity and evolutionary trends. The laboratory exercises will present an introduction to plant (and algae) cells, tissues and organs through comparative anatomy and morphology analyses.

BIOL 308: Immunology
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: DAY-BIOL 181 and CHEM 238. CCPS-BIOL 102, BIOL 172, and CHEM 107.
A study of the immune response and its relationship to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. Topics include immune systems, immunopathology and antibodies.

BIOL 309: General Zoology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201.
A survey of major animal phyla including protozoans with an emphasis on comparative structure and function, taxonomy, fundamental life processes and ecological interactions. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 310: Field and Systematic Botany
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201.
A taxonomical survey of flowering plants. This course will discuss history, theories and methods of classification, identification, nomenclature and description of plants, followed by taxonomical characteristics of the main plant families. Laboratory exercises and field trips will focus on the use of taxonomic keys, construction of floral diagrams and formulas, identification and recognition of local flora, preparation of field data records and herbarium specimens.

BIOL 312: Advanced Ecology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 200. CCPS-BIOL 201. A study of ecological principles, focusing on a modern understanding of ecological systems, patterns and processes. The laboratory will include common field techniques and emphasize experimental design and data analysis.

BIOL 313: Advanced Microbiology
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: Day-BIOL 181 and CHEM 238. CCPS BIOL 181 and CHEM 107.
This course will examine the unique physiology of the Archaea and Procaryotae and their roles in ecology and human disease. Techniques for identification of these organisms also will be studied. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 316: Comparative Anatomy
5 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 182. A critical study of the structural/functional relationships of organs and systems of the vertebrates. Taxonomy, evolutionary relationships and morphological adaptations of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals will be emphasized. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 317: Vertebrate Embryology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 182. A comparative study of the biochemical and cellular mechanisms associated with the morphological development of vertebrates. Embryological development of the frog, chick and human will be emphasized. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 320: Vertebrate Physiology
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: BIOL 181 and CHEM 238.
General cellular physiology and the functioning of tissues and organ systems in the vertebrate classes, including human beings. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 321: Comprehensive Human Anatomy
5 credit hours

Prerequisites: BIOL 181 and CHEM 238. A comprehensive study of the structural/functional relationships of organs and organ systems of humans. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 322: Advanced Genetics
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: DAY-BIOL 181, CHEM 238, and Junior Status. CCPS-BIOL 201 and CHEM 107. A study of the molecular basis of gene expression and the mechanisms by which genetic material is inherited. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 324: Cellular and Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. It is recommended that students have completed CHEM 336 and CHEM 315 in order to be successful in this course. Advanced molecular mechanisms of gene expression and control. Methods of genetic engineering and production of transgenic organisms. Lecture.

BIOL 325: Epidemiology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. A study of epidemiological theory and practice. The distribution of health related problems in a population and the application of this theory to control health problems will be examined. Areas included in this study will be measures of disease occurrences, causal effects and statistical analysis of these events.

BIOL 333: Histology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. An in?depth look at the microscopic structure of the vertebrate body. Study of cells, tissues and organs will provide an understanding of the complex nature of the relationship between form and function in vertebrates. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 334: Developmental Biology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181 and Junior Status. A study of the stages and mechanisms of embryonic development in animals. Both classic experimental embryology and the genetic and molecular regulation of invertebrate and vertebrate animal development will be covered. The course will provide a comparative investigation of both morphology and molecular mechanisms while highlighting the similarities and differences between nematodes, insects, and vertebrates.

BIOL 337: Introduction to Virology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY- BIOL 181. CCPS-BIOL 201. An introduction to how viruses replicate and cause disease. Survey of major groups of animal viruses is included. Course offered only in summer and online.

BIOL 373: Herpetology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 200. An introduction to the biology, ecology and evolution of amphibians and non?avian reptiles. The morphology, taxonomy and biogeography of Missouri species within these groups will be emphasized in the laboratory with day, evening and possibly weekend field trips required.

BIOL 378: Advanced Human Physiology I
5 credit hours

Prerequisites: BIOL 181 and CHEM 315 or BIOL 181 and CHEM 312. The first section of this course deals with cell signaling mechanisms, such as c?AMP and G?proteins, as well as receptor functions. The section deals with electrophysiology and the function of the nervous muscular system, and the general physiology of the cardiovascular system. Subjects will be covered through reading from text and journal articles, lecture presentation and laboratory projects.

BIOL 379: Advanced Human Physiology II
5 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 378. This course will allow students to acquire an in-depth understanding of the organ system functions of the human body, to include: respiratory system, digestive system, renal physiology, immune system, endocrine system, and reproductive systems. The material will be covered through readings from text and journal articles, lecture presentations, and laboratory projects.

Other Required Courses (19-23 hrs.):

CHEM 238: Inorganic Chemistry
3 credit hours

A fundamental course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, nomenclature of inorganic compounds, fundamentals of inorganic complexes and an introduction to the chemistry of main group elements.

CHEM 238-L: Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

A fundamental laboratory course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include the preparation of inorganic complexes, resolution of chiral transition metal compounds, ion conductivity and a preparation of a main group inorganic compound.

MATH 231: Calculus I
4 credit hours

 It is strongly recommended that students have completed two years of high school algebra and one semester of high school trigonometry in order to be successful in this course. A study of the fundamental principles of analytic geometry and calculus with an emphasis on differentiation.

PHYS 211: General Physics I
4 credit hours

Co-requisite:  MATH 231. The principles of Newtonian mechanics including motion, energy, and force. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format — integrated laboratory and lecture — emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Offered fall semester.

Either

CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry Reactions
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238. This lecture course studies the chemistry of all major organic functional groups in one semester. Topics include nomenclature, stereochemistry and some mechanisms and theory. Emphasis is placed on the reactions and their application in synthesis.

CHEM 312-L: Organic Chemistry Reactions Lab
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238-LThis laboratory course develops organic lab skills and techniques through organic reaction experiments and characterization of organic compounds using NMR and IR spectroscopy and instrumentation.

or

CHEM 315: Organic Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238This lecture course is an in-depth study of organic functional group chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, aromatics and alcohols. Topics include nomenclature, stereochemistry, mechanisms, and theory.

CHEM 315-L: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238-LThis laboratory course introduces the organic lab skills and techniques with extensive hands?on experience and organic application of spectroscopy and instrumentation.

CHEM 415: Advanced Organic Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 315This lecture course continues in-depth study of organic functional group chemistry of carbonyl containing compounds and amines. Topics include spectroscopy, mechanisms, theory and an introduction to biochemistry and metabolic pathways.

CHEM 415-L: Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

Prerequisite:  CHEM 315-L or CHEM 312-L.  
A laboratory course that continues development of organic lab skills and techniques. Topics covered will include multi-step synthesis, open- ended projects involving experimental design and an introduction to enzyme catalysis and stereochemical control.

Choose one (3 hrs.): 

PHIL 216: What is Knowledge?
3 credit hours

Every discipline (whether the sciences, humanities or social sciences) makes claims to knowledge that practitioners in those disciplines take seriously. Consequently, any serious practitioner of a discipline must ask: “How does my discipline define knowledge and so make claims about what is true? What are the limits, strengths and weaknesses of such methods of knowing?” Clearly, not all claims to knowledge are equally worthy of our assent, so it is crucial that a practitioner of any field be able to investigate these questions. Armed with such an understanding of knowledge, a practitioner of any field is given the tools to be more critical of the claims of his/her own field and those of others. Given these concerns and questions, in this foundational course we will survey the various origins and sources of knowledge, the different ways in which knowledge could be justified, the limits and possibilities of those various approaches and the ways in which skepticism about knowledge can be generated as well as avoided when different methods of knowledge are employed.

PHIL 277: Philosophy of Science
3 credit hours

Our world is embedded within a powerful narrative that sees science as the epistemic path towards understanding what reality is and how it behaves, providing science with a tremendous amount of authority and power in modern discourse (cultural, scientific, and interpersonal). Is this power and authority legitimate? In this course we will analyze science philosophically, questioning the assumptions underlying the scientific method, asking whether science is objective or value neutral, and asking whether science makes historical progress, or whether science can ever reveal anything to us about the true nature of reality itself.