• The structure, function, and evolution of organisms, concentrating on their interrelationships, development, and genetics as well as characteristics of plants and habits of animals

You should consider the Abbey’s Biology degree program if you

  • have strong science and math skills
  • enjoy lab work
  • have a desire to understand the structure and function of living organisms

    Our rigorous Biology program will challenge and prepare you:

  • Study Biology in a department with an outstanding record of acceptance into medical, veterinary medical, and graduate schools.
  • Build practical experience with in-depth labs and excellent internship opportunities.

Students pursuing a Biology bachelor’s degree at Belmont Abbey College are strongly encouraged to pursue summer internship and research opportunities to broaden their base of knowledge and experience.

With a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Belmont Abbey College, you will be able to pursue a variety of opportunities, including:

  • medical school
  • veterinary school
  • dental school
  • teaching biology
  • medical illustration
  • environmental protection
  • forensic medicine

An accredited B.A. or B.S. in biology from Belmont Abbey College demonstrates the ability to craft oral and written presentations backed by rigorous in-class study. Here we will help you cultivate the skills necessary to enter into graduate and professional programs or the workplace.

The Abbey Difference:

“Fitness for the world”
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. 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.

Scientific grounding in ethical issues
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, so that to participate in the debate and to make informed decisions, students must first understand the underlying science.

McCleodS 682x1024 Biology

Dr. Mike McLeod – I am a broadly trained biologist with specific research interests in population and biochemical genetics and physiological ecology. I am a board registered cytotechnologist who has worked in hospital labs, play the bagpipes, an amateur historian of World War II in the Pacific, a sometimes thespian, a father and husband. I came to Belmont Abbey because I love teaching and working with undergraduate students. The Abbey has afforded me an environment where I can pursue my research interests when time permits as well as my other varied interests and continue to learn about subjects that fascinate me.

Highlights of your experience:

Biology is the study of life, and this course, usually taken in the spring of the freshman year, surveys the grand diversity of living organisms. This course provides insights into the evolutionary relationships between different organisms.
All organisms on Earth are made of cells. This course looks at the structure of cells, and of the mechanisms that underlie this basic structure of all living things. The Cell Biology course looks at the evolutionary relationships evidenced by the universality of cells and their internal structures and functions.
It is hard to think of any area of modern biology that does not require an understanding of the structure and functions of DNA. Our Genetics course explores how the bases in DNA produce the many characteristics of living organisms and their evolutionary relationships. Genetics is used today for everything from designing new medical treatments to doing a census of animals living in an area.
Animals have common ways to maintain body function and respond to stress in both the internal and external environment. This commonality of function is the focus of the course and speaks to the evolutionary relatedness of animals.

Biology Resources:

The Biology Department maintains the Tau Upsilon Chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honorary Society. Students who meet the criteria are inducted in a ceremony each year. Tri-Beta, as it is known, sponsors speakers, a road clean-up twice a year as part of the adopt a highway program, and other activities. The Department has a small scholarship fund from which it offers some support to outstanding Biology juniors and seniors. Those students also serve as undergraduate laboratory assistants in the general biology labs.

Program Requirements

(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

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 or BI 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 Concentration
B.S., Lincoln Memorial University
M.A., East Tennessee State University
Ph.D., Miami University (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