The Department of Biology offers major programs in biology and marine biology leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree; a minor in biology; courses and programs applicable to pre-professional curricula in the medical and related health fields; basic coursework applicable to the general education component for all degree programs; and the subject field for secondary education teachers of biology offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences. The department has a prominent role in the program of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium.
The professional biology option of the biology major is designed for students who wish to prepare for positions in biology through graduate study or through research and technical areas at the baccalaureate level. This option prescribes a minor in chemistry and ancillary coursework in computer science, mathematics, and physics.
The general biology option is designed for students who wish to prepare for fields requiring a general background in biology or to follow preprofessional curricula for which general preparation in biology is required or recommended. This option requires ancillary coursework in chemistry, computer science, and mathematics. A minor in chemistry is recommended.
The environmental biology option is designed for students who wish to prepare for positions requiring a general background in biology, with ancillary work in computer science, chemistry, earth science, and mathematics; a student must also choose a block of courses from either geography or earth science. This option should prepare the student for positions in natural resource utilization, environmental research, and environmental education; or for graduate work in environmental biology. No minor field is required in this option; however, a minor field may be added by taking more than the minimum hours required for the degree. Students should obtain departmental advisement early in the program.
The cellular and molecular biology option is designed for students who wish to prepare for positions in biotechnology, biochemistry or medical research at the entry level or to pursue graduate study in these fields. This option prescribes ancillary coursework in chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics. A minor in chemistry and additional prescribed coursework in biology are required.
The marine biology major is designed for students who wish to prepare for positions in the area of marine or aquatic biology or who plan graduate study in these fields. The standard courses for the major are offered on the university campus, with the specialized courses being taken through the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium (MESC) Sea Laboratory at Dauphin Island near Mobile, Alabama. Students interested in this major should consult early with the chair of the department concerning courses, prerequisites, special arrangements, and costs. Requirements include a prescribed minor in chemistry and ancillary coursework in computer science, mathematics, and physics.
In all major programs in biology the electives are determined through advisement, and students are encouraged to take additional hours beyond the minimum major requirements in the field.
Students with majors in biology, marine biology, or biology as a teaching field for education certification are required to take exit examinations for graduation. All courses may require field trips.