Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, B.S.


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The Biology major is designed to provide foundational knowledge across large scale (organism, population, ecosystem) and small scale (molecular and cellular) systems with the opportunity to specialize in a concentration (Cell and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, or Ecology and Conservation Biology). Students develop an understanding of the scientific method through integrated laboratory and student-designed research projects.  These inquiry-based activities develop our students’ technical, written and oral communication, critical thinking, quantitative, and problem-solving skills. The program prepares students for success in diverse careers including technical careers in the molecular, microbiology, and ecological fields, medical-based careers, and advanced study in professional or graduate school.

Biology Research Series:

An authentic research experience is a key part of the Biology program’s mission.  All Biology majors participate in a research experience with the guidance of faculty mentors.  In either the third or fourth year, students enroll in two consecutive courses (Fall and Spring).  Biology Inquiry I (BIO 392 ) and Biology Inquiry II (BIO 393 ) are designed to engage students in one of several on-going, cutting edge research projects.  Students will work collaboratively to hone skills in experimental design, technical skills in the laboratory and field, and data analysis and interpretation.  Additionally, students communicate the results of their research using oral, visual, and written formats to a variety of audiences.  Biology students develop a deeper understanding of the scientific process and the confidence and skills to be successful in their future careers paths.

Biology Concentrations:

Students may tailor their curriculum to achieve specific academic goals by declaring a concentration. The Department of Biological Sciences offers three concentrations (see list below) within Biology to allow students to develop a greater depth of knowledge in specific areas to prepare them for specific career paths.

Biotechnology: This concentration is designed for students that are interested in developing a greater understanding of the tools and techniques used in biomedical and health based industries. Courses within this concentration provide students “hands-on” and “real-world” experience with these applications and techniques.  Students that are interested in careers in pharmaceuticals, biotech industry, and science/technical writing may want to consider this concentration.

Cell and Molecular Biology: This concentration is designed for students who are interested in developing a greater understanding of the cellular and molecular aspect of biology ranging from microbes to animals. Courses within this concentration provide a student with application-based experiences and knowledge of how genetic information works to create and control cellular actions and the interactions with an organism. Students that are interested in careers in biomedical research, forensics, bioinformatics, or graduate or professional programs in molecular biology may want to consider this concentration.

Ecology and Conservation: This concentration is designed for students who are interested in developing a greater understanding of the distribution and abundance of organisms, the relationships among organisms and the abiotic environment, and applying ecological principles to conserve biological diversity and generate solutions for environmental problems. Courses within this concentration provide interdisciplinary knowledge and hands-on experience in techniques and data analysis necessary to tackle contemporary challenges. Students that are interested in careers in ecological research, environmental consulting and planning, natural resource management and restoration, environmental education, or graduate or professional programs in ecological fields may want to consider this concentration.

Biology, B.S. Learning Outcomes  

Degree Requirements

Institutional Degree Requirements  

Program-Specific Degree Requirements: To be eligible for graduation, students majoring in Biology must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all Biology major course requirements. Students transferring into Biology must complete at least four Biology courses at York College to graduate as a Biology major. Acceptable courses are determined by the major advisor and the Department Chair.

General Education Requirement


First Year Seminar


Foundations Requirements


Communication course:


Advanced Communication course:


Quantitative Fluency course:


Choose 3 credits of the following Global Citizenship courses or students have the option to complete this requirement by successfully completing 6 credits of the same foreign language:


Disciplinary Perspectives Requirement


Choose 3 credits of the following Arts courses:


Choose 3 credits of the following Social and Behavioral Sciences courses:


Natural and Physical Sciences course:


  • Satisfied by major (BIO 142 ) 4 credit hours

Constellation Requirement


The Constellation requirement is met when a student completes four courses from a minimum of three disciplines within the Constellation requirements. Students who transfer in 60 credits or more at the time of admission to the college will be waived from the Constellation requirement, except for Education majors. The waiver applies to the requirement for graduation but does not waive the credits to graduate; students need to meet the overall bachelor’s degree credit requirement.

Required Courses


Note:


Many graduate programs in biological science and most medical-related post-baccalaureate programs require both Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. Check the requirements of those institutions and programs.

Biology Electives


If a student is not choosing a concentration, then the student should complete 16 credits from the following:

Biotechnology Concentration


Students must complete 16 credits from the following:

Cellular and Molecular Concentration


Students must complete 16 credits from the following:

Ecology and Conservation Concentration


Students must complete 16 credits from the following:

General Elective Courses


Students must complete 16 to 20 credits of free elective courses.

Suggested Course Sequence


Freshman Year


Fall Semester (14-15 credits)


Spring Semester (15 credits)


Sophomore Year


Fall Semester (14 credits)


Spring Semester (14 credits)


Junior Year


Fall Semester (16-17 credits)


Spring Semester (17 credits)


Senior Year


Fall Semester (14 credits)


  • Biology elective OR Elective course 4 credit hours
  • Biology elective OR Elective course 4 credit hours
  • Constellation course 3 credit hours
  • Constellation course 3 credit hours

Spring Semester (14-16 credits)


  • Biology elective OR Elective course 4 credit hours
  • Biology elective OR Elective course 4 credit hours
  • Constellation course OR Elective course 3 credit hours
  • Elective courses 3-5 credit hours

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