Biology

Professors: C. H. Wideman, J. R. Johansen, J. L. Lissemore, C. A. Sheil, C. D. Anthony, M. P. Martin, R. E. Drenovsky (Chair); Associate Professors: E. E. Johnson, R. A. Saporito; Assistant Professors: P. J. Vanderzalm, J. I. Watling; Postdoctoral Fellow: L. K. Tuominen

Major Programs

Biology encompasses the study of all organisms, and our curriculum provides students a solid foundation in: 1) cellular and molecular biology; 2) organismal biology; and 3) evolutionary biology, ecology, and biodiversity.

Through course work and mentored student research, faculty emphasize the importance of evolution in biological phenomena, the role of environment in biological interactions, and ethical behavior in scientific endeavors. These experiences: 1) promote strong critical thinking and analytical skills; 2) provide hands-on experience in biological techniques; and 3) stimulate creative scientific thought.

The academic programs in biology prepare students for graduate and professional school, as well as for careers in the public and private sectors. Mentoring through academic advising, research, and internships prepares our students for future scholarship in addition to social and civic involvement.

The Biology major is intended for students seeking careers that require a strong background in biology and chemistry, including health professions (such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, public health, and veterinary medicine), teaching, research, and other professions. This major also prepares students for graduate programs in biology and related disciplines such as organismal and evolutionary biology, ecology, developmental biology, physiology, and neuroscience.

The Environmental Science major is intended for students seeking careers in environmental and ecological fields, including environmental consulting, government, parks and recreation, teaching, research, environmental law, and other areas requiring strength in environmental science. This major also prepares students for graduate programs in ecology and environmental science.

The Cell and Molecular Biology major is intended for students seeking careers in medicine, biomedical research, biotechnology, pharmacy, healthcare, teaching, and other professions requiring a strong foundation in cellular and molecular processes. This major also prepares students for graduate study in fields such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry.

All three majors require specific courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other subjects. Students should be aware that some post-baccalaureate degree programs require physics for admission and should discuss course options with their advisors before making course decisions.

Major Declaration: Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.5 in BL 155-160 to be considered for formal acceptance into the Biology or Environmental Science majors, or a minimum GPA of 2.5 in BL 155-158 and BL 213 for formal acceptance into the Cell and Molecular Biology major. Early acceptance to the Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Environmental Science majors will be considered if a student has earned a GPA of 3.0 in BL 155-158.

Grade Policy for students in all biology majors:

  1. A grade of C- or higher must be earned in courses required for each major or minor. A grade lower than C- requires that the course be repeated. In the case of an elective course for a major or minor in which a grade below C- was earned, the student may petition to take an alternative course. Effective with the fall 2011 semester, this policy applies to all students in biology major and minor courses, whether they have declared or not yet declared a biology major or minor. Courses in which a grade lower than a C- was earned prior to fall 2011 do not have to be retaken.
  2. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 must be earned in courses required for each major or minor.
  3. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 must be earned in support courses required for each major. This policy applies to first-year and transfer students matriculating to John Carroll University in fall 2011 or later.

Major and Minor Requirements

Note: Students may earn a degree in only one of the majors listed here. Double and triple majors in biology are not permitted. A maximum of 3 credits of BL 295, 398 and BL 399 combined will be accepted for any of the biology majors. To receive a Bachelor of Science in biology, transfer students must complete a minimum of 17 credit hours in the Department of Biology at John Carroll University. To receive a minor in biology, students must complete a minimum of 13 credit hours in the Department of Biology at John Carroll University.

Comprehensive Examination: Students in all biology majors are required to pass the Major Field test (MFT) in Biology within 12 months prior to their anticipated graduation date.