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Department of Biological Sciences

BA in Biology | BS in Biology | *BS in Biomedical Science | Minors in Biology, Environmental Science, and Conservation Biology | Course Descriptions


Chair: Chad Hargrave   (936) 294-1538    

Faculty: Sibyl R. Bucheli, Madhu Choudhary, Jerry L. Cook, Tamara J. Cook, James R. DeShaw , Anne R. Gaillard, Chad W. Hargrave, James Harper, Joan E. N. Hudson, Patrick J. Lewis, William I. Lutterschmidt, Aaron M. Lynne, Diane L. H. Neudorf, John Pascarella, Todd P. Primm, Christopher P. Randle, Joni Seeling, Monte L. Thies, Jack Turner, Justin K. Williams, and Jeff Wozniak

Website: http://www.shsu.edu/academics/biological-sciences/

Mission

The Department of Biological Sciences is dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and scientific discovery in the life sciences through innovative teaching and research programs. The department strives to instill in its students the philosophy of lifelong scholarship, producing scientifically literate members of society who have the knowledge to contribute and compete in a rapidly changing world.

Academic Programs

Biology, the study of living things, is an exciting and dynamic field that offers many areas of focus. Students may choose to study how life functions at the molecular, cellular, organismal, or ecological levels. The biological sciences provide opportunities to study viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals and to investigate the biochemical, physiological, morphological, anatomical, behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary processes that make each organism unique.

Highlights

The Department of Biological Sciences is located in the Lee Drain Building, which houses facilities including teaching and research laboratories, the Warner Herbarium, Sam Houston State University Arthropod Collection, Sam Houston State Vertebrate Museum and Texas Bird Sound Library, an animal rearing facility, greenhouse, outdoor aviary, and scanning electron microscopy, molecular, microbiology, flow cytometry, and morphology laboratories. The department operates the Center for Biological Field Studies, a 250 acre field station within 5 miles of campus that is dedicated to biological and environmental research and teaching.

Student Organizations

  • Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is an undergraduate national Biological Honor society. The organization was founded in 1922 and the Delta Tau chapter at SHSU was chartered in 1965. TriBeta is dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of the biological sciences and encouraging/supporting undergraduate student scientific research. TriBeta membership requires: (1) a declared major in Biology, Environmental Science or related biological field, (2) completion of two biology courses (associate member) and one 300 or 400 course (regular member) with BIO GPA of 3.0, and (3) an overall SHSU GPA of 2.75. Membership invitations are sent to eligible students each fall and spring semester. Dr. Anne R. Gaillard serves as faculty advisor to TriBeta.
  • Sam Houston Association of Medical Oriented Students (SHAMOS) membership is available to any student interested in pursuing a career in the medical or allied health field. Activities include fundraisers, community service projects, blood drives with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, and canned food drives. SHAMOS sponsors an outside speaker program to inform students of the opportunities and benefits of the various disciplines of the medical arts (e.g., general and specialist dentistry, general and specialist medicine, occupational therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, forensic pathology, and EMS). Dr. Madhu Choudhary and Dr. Aaron M. Lynne serve as faculty advisors to SHAMOS.

Internships and Undergraduate Research

The Department of Biological Sciences believes that "hands on" experiences, through either internships or faculty directed undergraduate research projects, are an important complement to a student's formal coursework. Moreover, undergraduate research experience is critical for students applying to graduate programs or professional schools. We therefore strongly encourage Biology students to consider participating in an undergraduate research project. Students seeking information regarding internships and/or undergraduate research experiences should contact the Department Chair Dr. Chad Hargrave.  Individual faculty members may be contacted for details regarding their research programs and independent research possibilities.

Scholarships

Academic scholarships are available from both the Department of Biological Sciences and the University to support student studies.

The Department of Biological Sciences scholarships include:

  • Biology & Environmental Science Academic Scholarship
  • Claude McLeod Academic Scholarship
  • Emma Normand Academic Scholarship
  • Everett Wilson Biology Endowment
  • Harold F. Foerster Scholarship Endowment
  • James D. Long Biology Endowment
  • James Patrick Weber Environmental Science Award
  • Patrick Neil O'Bryant Academic Scholarship
  • Roy Turner Scholarship Endowment
  • S.R. Warner Academic Scholarship
  • William (Bill) R. Brinkley Scholarship Endowment
  • Wilson-Warner Endowed Scholarship in the Biological Sciences

Departmental scholarship information may be obtained by writing to Scholarships, Department of Biological Sciences, Box 2116, SHSU, Huntsville, Texas 77341-2116 or by visiting www.shsu.edu/~bio_www/scholarships.html. Information on University scholarships may be obtained at Office of Academic Scholarships or telephone (936) 294-1672.

Program Specific Requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology are required to complete a Major Field Achievement Test (MFAT) in Biology to be eligible for graduation. The Department of Biological Sciences administers the MFAT once during the Spring semester at no cost to the student. A student is eligible to take the MFAT upon completion of all required biology credits or during the semester immediately prior to graduation (August graduates must take the examination during the Spring semester immediately prior to graduation). The student, with written permission from the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, may substitute another national or state examination (MCAT, DAT, OAT, TExES) in place of the MFAT; however, the student is responsible for the examination costs. The exam score, although part of the student's record, has no effect on the student's GPA.

Curriculum

Major in Biology: All students majoring in Biology will develop competence in the fundamental principles of biology and will gain experience in botany, zoology, cellular biology, microbiology, genetics, and ecology. Students take an active role in creating a degree plan that best meets their interests and their career goals. Most students pursue careers in terrestrial ecology, animal physiology, animal behavior, medical professions, biotechnology, or teacher education. Students interested in forensic science combine an extensive background in biology with substantial coursework in chemistry and criminal justice to prepare them for work with state and federal agencies.

Required Courses for the Major
The biology major may choose from two degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. All majors must complete the following core courses:

BIOL 1411, BIOL 1413, BIOL 2440, BIOL 3409, BIOL 3450, BIOL 3470, BIOL 4361, BIOL 4110, and BIOL 4111 (29 hrs.).

Students may choose their area of specialization contingent upon completion of the required core courses.

Note: SHSU no longer offers BIO 138/118 and BIO 139/119. However, the department will permit students who successfully completed the BIO 138/118 and BIO 139/119 sequence at another institution to substitute these courses for BIOL 1411 and BIOL 1413, respectively.

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Biology

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Notes
1 Advanced Biology Electives should be selected according to specific areas of study as determined by the student and their academic advisor. . Students who take BIOL 3380, BIOL 4394, or BIOL 4095 are allowed to apply only one of these courses to their Advanced Biology Electives requirement.
2 Recommended minor is Chemistry or Mathematics.
3 Students should use the elective and/or minor hours to meet the 42-advanced hour requirement for graduation.
4 This total reflects MATH 1314 satisfying Component Area II, BIOL 1411 and BIOL 1413 satisfying Component Area III, and Foreign Languages 2303 satisfying part (3 hours) of Component Area IV.
Bachelor of Arts - Major in Biology
SHSU Course Number Hours Recommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Life and Physical Science) 8 Courses for Science Majors
Component Area IV (Language, Philosophy, and Culture) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area V (Creative Arts) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VI (U.S. History) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VII (Political Science/Government) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VIII (Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area IX (Component Area Option) 4 Sophomore
Degree Specific Requirements
MATH 1314 3 Sophomore
MATH 3379 or STAT 3379 or BIOL 4374 3 Sophomore
CHEM 1411 4 Freshman
CHEM 1412 4 Freshman
Foreign Languages 1401 and 1402 (must be from same group) 8
Foreign Languages 2303 and 2304 (must be from same group) 6
Major Core
BIOL 1411 4 Freshman
BIOL 1413 4 Freshman
BIOL 2440 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3450 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3409 4 Junior/Senior
BIOL 3470 4 Junior/Senior
BIOL 4110 1 Senior
BIOL 4111 1 Senior
BIOL 4361 3 Junior/Senior
Major
Advanced BIOL electives1 (Select four 3000-4000 level courses.) 12-16 Junior/Senior
Minor (required)
Select any minor2 18
Advanced General Electives3
Any advanced (3000-4000 level) courses from any department needed to meet 120 hour and SHSU advanced hour requirements 5-8  
Total Hours 1204

Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Notes
1 Students who are not Chemistry minors may substitute CHEM 2425 for one of these advanced BIOL electives. Students who take BIOL 3380, BIOL 4394, or BIOL 4095 are allowed to apply only one of these courses to their Advanced Biology Electives requirement.
2 Students choosing CHEM as their minor cannot substitute CHEM 2425 for an advanced BIOL elective.
3 Students should use the elective and/or minor hours to meet the 42-advanced hour requirement for graduation.
4 This total reflects MATH 1420 satisfying Component Area II, and BIOL 1411 and BIOL 1413 satisfying Component Area III.
Bachelor of Science - Major in Biology
SHSU Course Number Hours Recommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Life and Physical Science) 8 Courses for Science Majors
Component Area IV (Language, Philosophy, and Culture) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area V (Creative Arts) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VI (U.S. History) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VII (Political Science/Government) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VIII (Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area IX (Component Area Option) 4 Sophomore
Degree Specific Requirements
MATH 1420 4 Sophomore
MATH 1430 or MATH 3379 or STAT 3379 3-4 Sophomore
CHEM 1411 4 Freshman
CHEM 1412 4 Freshman
CHEM 2423 4 Sophomore
PHYS 1401 4 Junior
PHYS 1402 4 Junior
Major Core
BIOL 1411 4 Freshman
BIOL 1413 4 Freshman
BIOL 2440 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3450 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3409 4 Junior/Senior
BIOL 3470 4 Junior/Senior
BIOL 4110 1 Senior
BIOL 4111 1 Senior
BIOL 4361 3 Junior/Senior
Major
BIOL advanced electives (Select five 3000-4000 level courses.)1 15-20 Junior/Senior
Minor (required)
Recommended minor is CHEM2 or MATH 10  
Advanced General Electives3
Any advanced 3000-4000 level courses from any department needed to meet 120 hour and SHSU advanced hour requirements 8  
Total Hours 120-1264 

 


Bachelor of Science, Major in Biomedical Science

Major in Biomedical Sciences: The Biomedical Sciences degree offered by the Department of Biological Sciences provides a robust, yet flexible curriculum with an emphasis on studying the biological basis of health and disease.  It is designed to thoroughly prepare students for entrance into medical, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant, and other professional schools, as well as graduate study in the biomedical sciences and employment as a laboratory research assistant.  No minor is required for this degree.

Required Courses for the Major
Biomedical Sciences majors must complete the following courses:
BIOL 1411, BIOL 1413, BIOL 2440, BIOL 3450, BIOL 3470, BIOL 4361, CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, CHEM 2323, CHEM 2123, CHEM 2325, CHEM 2125, CHEM 3438, PHYS 1301, PHYS 1101, PHYS 1302, PHYS 1102, MATH 1420 and either MATH 1430, MATH 3379, or BIOL 4374 (58-59 hrs.).  Seven biomedical sciences elective course are also required (21-28 hrs.).

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Notes
* No more than two of these courses may be applied toward the Biomedical Sciences degree.  Students should consult with an academic advisor in the Biological Sciences early in their degree program regarding appropriate choices for their electives.
1 This total reflects MATH 1420 satisfying Component Area II and one hour of Component Area IX, and BIOL 1411 and BIOL 1413 satisfying Component Area III.
Bachelor of Science, Major in Biomedical Sciences
SHSU Course Number Hours Recommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Life and Physical Science) 8 Courses for Science Majors
Component Area IV (Language, Philosophy, and Culture) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area V (Creative Arts) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VI (U.S. History) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VII (Political Science/Government) 6 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area VIII (Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3 Fresh/Soph/Junior
Component Area IX (Component Area Option) 4 Sophomore
Degree Specific Requirements
MATH 1420 4 Sophomore
MATH 1430 or MATH 3379 or STAT 3379 3-4 Sophomore
CHEM 1411 4 Freshman
CHEM 1412 4 Freshman
CHEM 2323 3 Sophomore
CHEM 2123 1 Sophomore
CHEM 2325 3 Sophomore
CHEM 2125 1 Sophomore
CHEM 3438 4 Junior
PHYS 1301 3 Junior
PHYS 1101 1 Junior
PHYS 1302 3 Junior
PHYS 1102 1 Junior
Major Core
BIOL 1411 4 Freshman
BIOL 1413 4 Freshman
BIOL 2440 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3450 4 Sophomore
BIOL 3470 4 Junior/Senior
BIOL 4361 3 Junior/Senior
Major Electives
Biomedical sciences electives (Select seven of the following courses: AGRI 3373, BIOL 3409, BIOL 3420, BIOL 3440, BIOL 3460, BIOL 3480, BIOL 3490, BIOL 4410, BIOL 4350, BIOL 4360, BIOL 4380, BIOL 4460, BIOL 4480, BIOL 4490, BIOL 4493, BIOL 4095, CHEM 2401, CHEM 3339, COMS 2382*, ENGL 3330*, HLTH 2372*, PSYC 3331*, PSYC 3374*)
21-28 Junior/Senior
Total Hours 120-1281 

Teacher Certification in the Life Sciences

Biology & Biomedical Sciences Majors
Students may receive teacher certification in the Life Sciences for grades 8-12 by pairing a major in Biology (BS only as outlined above) with a Secondary Teacher Certification from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Students pursuing this degree combination should include BIOL 3492 as one of their advanced biology electives.

For students seeking a Secondary Teacher Certification in the Life Sciences, no grade below C in the science coursework in BIOL is accepted. The required education courses are: CIES 3384, CIES 3374, CIES 4364, CIES 4377, CIES 4394, CIES 4396, CIES 4397, and READ 4320.

Curriculum

Bachelor of Science

Minor in Biology 1

Students seeking a minor in biology are required to complete CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, BIOL 1411, BIOL 1413, and two additional courses chosen from BIOL 3409, BIOL 3450, BIOL 3470 or BIOL 4361.

Minor in Environmental Science

A minor in Environmental Science is available. Students in the minor are required to take BIOL 1401, BIOL 2420 or BIOL 3470, ENVR 3305, BIOL 3430, BIOL 4430; CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, and CHEM 2401.

Minor in Conservation Biology1

A minor in Wildlife Ecology (WECO) is also available. Students in the minor are required to take CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, BIOL 1411, BIOL 1413, BIOL 3461, BIOL 3409, BIOL 3364, and one course chosen from BIOL 4430, BIOL 4330, or BIOL 4470

This minor is most commonly paried with the Interdisciplinary Agriculture--Animal Science major, although not restricted to that.  Note: Students who major in Biology can take the Wildlife Ecology minor from the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Notes:
1 These minors are not available to students majoring in Biology.


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