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Biology Major (B.S.)

Our mission is to prepare graduates for careers in the life sciences or related fields. 

Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to think scientifically and develop an appreciation of the natural world.

The B.S. in Biology provides a broad foundation in the biological sciences, from microbiology to organismal biology to ecology and global systems. Through elective options, students tailor their degree to specific professional interests and goals, including but not limited to: medical research, healthcare, education, communications, wildlife management, conservation, public service, environmental law, and academic science. As part of their program of study, students complete an independent capstone research project under the direct guidance of biology faculty. Students of sufficiently high academic standing who wish to pursue competitive careers in academia, medicine, or industry are encouraged to consider the honors track (described below).

All students completing the biology major will meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Acquire a foundation of knowledge that includes the historical development of biological thought, cell theory, biogenesis, homeostasis, gene theory, and ecology. Evolution is stressed throughout the curriculum.

  • Learn biology by doing biology. Students will acquire a basic set of laboratory skills. Also, throughout the curriculum, students will be given opportunities to perform independent research projects. Majors will learn to access and critique the primary literature, identify problems, design and implement appropriate procedures using technological tools, work independently or collaboratively, evaluate alternative solutions, and present the results of their work while using the language of the discipline.

  • Explain the limitations of science and properly place biology among the sciences. Apply scientific thought processes to broader intellectual and social issues.

The candidate for the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology must complete the Avila core requirements (minimum 41 credit hours) as well as the following courses: 

Biology Courses

BI 111
General Biology: Cells and Genes
BI 112
General Biology: Ecology and Evolution
BI 311
Animal Form, Function, and Development
BI 313
Plant Form and Function
BI 318
BI 392
Introduction to Research
BI 492 or BI 493
Biology Literature Research OR Biology Lab Research
BI 499
Colloquium and Seminar

In addition to the above courses, students are required to take 16 hours of biology electives, with at least 9 of those hours at or above the 300 level.

View Course Descriptions

Chemistry, Math, and Technology Requirements

CH 135
General Chemistry I
CH 137
General Chemistry II
MA 120 or MA 125 or MA 241
College Algebra OR Pre-Calculus OR Calculus
CS 110 or CS 210
Ethics in Technology OR Navigating the Digital Society

In addition to the above science requirements, biology majors are required to take at least two of the following Foundational Science Electives: MA 155, PH 117, PH 231, CH 216, CH 217. Students must earn a minimum of “C” for all required courses within the major.

Biology Major Total Credit Hours:    60 minimum

I specifically came back to Avila for my teaching certification and master’s in education for Secondary Science based on my experience as an undergrad. The classes were small and a lot of one-on-one help was available. That also provided opportunities to develop relationships with the professors and other students.

The Biology Department allows for a more in-depth and hands-on experience because of the interest and focus of the instructors. With trip and classroom activities supplementing the labs and lectures, the Avila biology experience was well rounded – and fun.

Annie Blackman '04

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Academics > Schools & Colleges > College of Science & Health > Biology > Biology Degrees >

Biology Major (B.S.)

Our mission is to prepare graduates for careers in the life sciences or related fields. 

The Avila Promise

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