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CATALOG • 2009-2010

Biology – Major/Minor

For information, contact Dr. John Cigliano.

The biology major is offered within a challenging, comprehensive liberal arts education, with state-of-the art laboratories and facilities and a very active program of undergraduate research. The same is true for all other majors within the department of biological sciences: biodiversity and conservation biology, genetic engineering, neuroscience, nuclear medicine technology and biology/secondary education, as well as the department’s minor in biology. The department also provides pre-professional education for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other allied health fields. All coursework and laboratories emphasize the development of skills in reading, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating assumptions along with development in technical writing and oral presentations. In terms of research, all first-year students actively participate in a professor’s ongoing research program, as do all interested seniors. Highly motivated students commonly participate in research during their sophomore and junior years at Cedar Crest College. Graduates with biology majors go on to advanced study, to professional programs, and to research positions in universities and pharmaceutical firms. Biologists work in agriculture and medical professions, in schools, hospitals, clinics, the government and zoos, and as naturalists, science writers, medical illustrators, and forensic scientists.

Thesis Option

All students, particularly those who are interested in attending graduate school or obtaining a research-based job following graduation, are highly encouraged to participate in independent research, which may culminate in a thesis. The thesis option begins during the student’s junior year as part of Junior Colloquium(BIO350). As part of their capstone project, all students who select a major from the Department of Biological Sciences are required to develop a research proposal to investigate an original research question. This experience allows the students to go beyond the basic course information, select a problem that interests them, and apply what they have learned in their coursework to a novel situation.  As part of the thesis option, students will spend a minimum of two semesters working with a faculty member to conduct the research outlined in their proposal. They will then develop a written thesis detailing their project and present their final project to the department in the form of a seminar talk or poster. The title of a student’s thesis will appear on her transcript if she completes two semesters (4 credits) of Independent Research (BIO353) and one semester (1 credit) of Senior Thesis and Presentation (BIO354) with grades of C- or better.

Grade Requirements

For the most recent and complete and departmental policies, refer to the Biological Sciences website. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 and a minimum average in the major of 2.000 is required for the major and minor in Biology. A grade of C- or better is needed for all courses that fulfill the departmental requirements. Courses transferred in for all majors must be taken less than ten years ago. Students may not declare multiple majors in any combination of: Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Genetic Engineering, or Neuroscience. Students majoring in the Biological Sciences may not minor in Biology. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in prerequisite courses before proceeding to subsequent courses.

Requirements for the Biology Major (B.S. / B.A.*)

BIO 121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
BIO122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
(Students with Advanced Placement credit for BIO121 and/or 122
are required to take the BIO121 and 122 Labs.)
BIO235 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics 4 credits
BIO236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits

Students who have previously taken BIO 222, 231, or 234 should consult their advisors or the department website to determine the courses needed to complete the major.


BIO 350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO355 Science, Ethics, and Society 2 credits
CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits
CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
CHE 205 Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
CHE 206 Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits
PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits
One year of mathematics at the appropriate level 6 credits

Plus choose one organismal course from the following:
BIO 207 Botany 4 credits
BIO227 Microbiology 4 credits
BIO251, 252, 253, 256 or 259
Hawk Mountain Courses (totaling at least 4 credits) 4 credits
BIO 328 Marine Ecology & Conservation (must take with lab) 4 credits

Plus four 200- or 300- level BIO or BIO cross-listed elective courses:
Two electives must be 4-credit lab courses (a 3-credit course plus a mini-lab, or 4 credits of Hawk Mountain Courses, or a 3-credit course plus a 1 or 2 credit Hawk Mountain Course, may count as a 4-credit elective). The other two electives may be 3-credit non-lab courses. CHE 307, CHE 308 and CHE 348 are allowable electives.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete at least the following at Cedar Crest College:
BIO 350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO355 Science, Ethics and Society 2 credits
Two four-credit upper level biology electives 8 credits

*The B.A. Biology major requires only two electives, both of which must be 4-credit lab courses,  as described above.  PHY 101 and 102 are not required for the B.A. in Biology.

Requirements for the Biology Minor

BIO 121 BIO121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
BIO122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
(Students with Advanced Placement credit for BIO121 and/or 122 are required to take the BIO121 and 122 Labs.)
BIO235 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics 4 credits
BIO236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
Students who have previously taken BIO 231 or 234 should consult their advisors or the department web page to determine the courses needed to complete the minor.
BIO Elective upper level BIO courses 4 credits
(CHE 307, 308 and 348 are allowable electives)

For transfer students planning to minor in Biology, 12 of these credits must be from Cedar Crest College.



Requirements for the Biology/Secondary Education Co-Major

Any student who meets the College admission requirements for biology and education will be accepted into theprogram. In order to be admitted to the professional term, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.000. A cumulative GPA of 3.000 is required for certification. In addition, the student must fulfill all requirements of the education and biology programs.
1) BIO 307 (Biodiversity and Conservation Biology) must be taken as one of the four electives required for the Biology major.
2) GSC 103 [Earth Science III: Astronomy] or GSC 104 [Earth Science IV: Historical Geology] is required for the co-major.