Academics1 Biology

 

  • how organisms live and reproduce with focus on the identification, origins, history, function, as well as characteristics of plants and habits of animals
  •  join a long line of Biology Majors with an excellent record of acceptance into graduate or medical schools
  • want to explore how living systems work
  • are strong in science and math
  • enjoy lab work
  • want to understand the created order
  • medical, dental, and graduate school
  • food and drug research and development
  • forensic medicine
  • environmental protection
  • research and teaching
  • business

Department Mission:

The Biology Department educates students in the discipline within the context of the Benedictine Liberal Arts tradition. In doing so, we understand biology as the study of life and life processes. The Biology Department believes that, in this modern world, knowledge of biological principles is necessary for every educated person. Such knowledge constitutes a vital part of that liberal learning whose goal, as John Henry Newman noted, is “fitness for the world.” We aim for the study of Biology to help students assess the many issues that face today’s world, enabling them to become responsible citizens and to promote the common good.

“Abbey Biology graduates have an excellent record of acceptance to medical and graduate schools.”

Departmental Goals:

In Ex Corde Ecclesiae, John Paul II states, “a Catholic University is distinguished by its free search for the whole truth about nature, man, and God.” In biology, because of the limitations of the tools of science, we concentrate on the first two, the natural world and humans and our place in the realm of nature. It is the nature of biology to observe the fundamental symmetry of nature and the patterns and tempo in the evolution of organisms. In this way, biologists and scientists in general seek to understand the diversity, commonalities, and evolution of the natural world, and to appreciate the importance of assuming stewardship and preservation of the biological diversity of life.

The department provides students with an appreciation of the organization, evolution, and interrelationships of organisms, understanding of the techniques, goals, and limits of science as a process, and valuable laboratory experience. We hope this study will help students become good citizens who can effectively participate in society. Increasingly, the ethical questions that society is debating are rooted in science. To participate in the debate and to make informed decisions, students have to understand the underlying science. The department offers foundation courses for non-majors, the B. S. and B. A. degrees in biology, and the option of a concentration in environmental science. The Biology Department has the following goals for biology majors:

  1. To understand the methods of science
  2. To understand the basic theories in each biological discipline taught in the department
  3. To be able to search biological literature effectively
  4. To understand the fundamental principles of biology
  5. To be able to communicate their knowledge of biology effectively

Biology majors develop the ability to make oral and written presentations, and cultivate the skills necessary to enter into graduate and professional programs as well as the workplace. Biology students are considered partners in the learning process and are expected to demonstrate cooperation with faculty in their progression through the departmental curriculum.

(This option is available for traditional students only.) To be eligible for acceptance into the B.A. or B.S. degree program, the student must have completed BI 101, BI 201, and BI 231, and must have earned a numerical average of at least a “70″ or better in all three (3) courses. Students must have at least a “C” average in all of their biology courses to graduate with a degree in Biology. Students transferring more than 13 credit hours to Belmont Abbey College are not required to take the First-Year Symposium. In addition to the other Core Curriculum requirements, the following are specific core requirements:

  • BI 101 – General Biology
  • MA 151 – College Algebra
  • PY 201 – Physics I

Major requirements:

  • BI 201 – Cell Biology
  • BI 215 – Research Methods in Biology
  • BI 231 – Organismal Diversity
  • BI 300 – Genetics
  • BI 310 – Animal Physiology or BI  361 - Human Physiology
  • BI 407 and 408 – Coordinating Seminars I, II
  • CH 105 and 106 – General Chemistry I, II
  • MA 208 – Statistics

Other courses:

  • 300-400 level biology electives (excluding internships, if taken)
  • General elective hours

Credits earned through internships are not counted toward the major. They are counted as elective hours toward graduation and are graded on a pass/fail basis.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

(This option is available for traditional students only.) To be eligible for acceptance into the B.S. degree program, the student must have completed BI 101, BI 201, and BI 231, and earned a numerical average of “70” or better in all three courses. Students must have a “C” average in all of their Biology courses to graduate with a degree in biology. In addition to the other Core Curriculum requirements, the following are specific core requirements:

  • BI 101 – General Biology (required)
  • MA 151 – College Algebra (required)
  • PY 201 – Physics I (required)

Major requirements:

  • BI 201 – Cell Biology
  • BI 215 – Research Methods in Biology
  • BI 231 – Organismal Diversity
  • BI 300 – Genetics
  • BI 310 – Animal Physiology or BI 361 – Human Physiology
  • BI 407 and BI 408 – Coordinating Seminars I and II
  • CH 105 and CH 106 – General Chemistry I and II
  • CH 221 and 222 – Organic Chemistry I and II
  • MA 208 – Statistics
  • PY 102 – Physics II

Electives:

  • 300-400 level biology electives (excluding internships, if taken)
  • General elective hours

Credits earned through internships are not counted toward the major. They are counted as elective hours toward graduation and are graded on a pass/fail basis.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Students who desire to complete one of the concentrations within the biology major must take all of the required pre-requisite courses for a B.S. or a B.A. in biology. Courses listed within each concentration are to be taken as the 16 hours of biology electives (see above) to complete the degree. Courses with an “*” are required for the specific concentrations.

Minor requirements:

  • Fifteen (15) credits of biology at the 200-level or above.

The preponderance of the hours must be taken at Belmont Abbey College.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Students selecting this concentration will not be required to take BI 310 or BI 361. They must take the other biology, chemistry, math, and physics courses required for the B.S. or B.A. in biology and should select from the courses listed below. Courses marked with an * are required.

  • BI 305 – Field Biology
  • BI 306 – Entomology
  • BI 308 – Microbiology
  • BI 311 – Taxonomy of Vascular Plants
  • BI 326* – Plant Ecology IUBI 403* Ecology
  • EV 300* – Environmental Science
  • EV 350* – Environmental Issues
  • EV 498* – Directed Study in Environmental Science

The preponderance of the hours for the concentration in Environmental Science must be taken at Belmont Abbey College.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Faculty

Dr. Mike McLeod – Chair and Professor of the Biology Department and Coordinator of the Environmental Studies Department
B.S., Lincoln Memorial University
M.A., East Tennessee State University
Ph.D., University of Miami (of Ohio)

Dr. Elizabeth Baker – Professor of Biology
B.A., George Washington University
M.S., University of Michigan
Ph.D., University of Virginia

Dr. Jennifer Ellington – Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S., Siena College
M.S., University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Ph.D., Wake Forest University

Dr. Sheila Reilly – Professor of Biology
B.S., Grove City College
Ph.D., State University of New York-Stony Brook

Dr. Robert Tompkins – Associate Professor of Biology
A.A.S., Rutledge College
B.S., Guilford College
M.S., North Carolina State University
Ph.D., Clemson University