Undergraduate Major Concentrations

The Department of Biology offers the opportunity for a student to receive one of several concentrations that will allow students to concentrate or specialize in various areas that will better prepare them for their post graduate careers. Specifically, the department offers concentrations in cell and molecular biology – preprofessional, ecology and evolutional biology, high school teaching, and medical technology. The requirements for each concentration are described below.

Cell and Molecular Biology-Preprofessional Concentration

In addition to the requirements described above for the biology major, to receive the cell and molecular biology-preprofessional concentration, students must have a GPA ≥ 3.2 in the biology major. Moreover, students must take three additional courses from the list below, or two additional courses from the list below plus 3 hours of research at the level of BIO 485. Finally, students must complete a year-long cell and molecular biology research project. To complete the year-long research requirement, students will take 6 research hours, 3 hours of BIO 385 and 3 hours of BIO 485. Prior to graduation, the Biology Department’s Curriculum committee will review the completed research project to ensure that the students have conducted research appropriate for the concentration. Students in the cell and molecular biology-preprofessional concentration will also be required to have second semester of Organic Chemistry (CHM 256 and 257).

For the concentration students must choose three courses from the following list or two courses from the list and research. The courses used for the concentration cannot have been used to fulfill the requirements for the major.

BIO 312, 314, 361, 375, 381, 382, 384, 406, 464, 468, 502, 503, 506, 509, 525, 564, 568

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration

In addition to the requirements described above for the biology major, to receive the ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB) concentration, students must have a GPA ≥ 3.2 in the biology major. Moreover, students must take three additional courses from the following list of courses, or two additional courses from the following list and three hours of research at the level of BIO 485. Finally, students must complete a year-long EEB related research project. To complete the year-long research requirement, students will take 6 research hours, 3 hours of BIO 385 and 3 hours of BIO 485 or 6 hours of BIO 485. Prior to graduation, the biology department’s curriculum committee will review the completed research project to ensure that the students have conducted research appropriate for the concentration.

For the concentration students must choose three courses from the following list or two courses from the list and research. The courses used for the concentration cannot have been used to fulfill the requirements for the major.

BIO 302, 323, 324, 334, 419, 420, 440, 450, 460, 463, 501, 502, 510, 519, 520, 530, 540, 550, 561, 563, 565

Environmental Science Biology Concentration

The interdepartmental program in environmental science is sponsored jointly by the departments of biology, chemistry and physics.  The objectives of the program are to provide the student with the necessary background for a professional career in the area of environmental science or entrance into a graduate program.

High School Teaching Concentration

In addition to the requirements described above for the biology major, to receive the high school teaching concentration, the students would complete the degree requirements shown above for the biology major then complete the additional hours of education courses required (39 hours) by the Department of Teacher Education, in compliance with the State of Illinois high school teaching licensure requirements. To be licensed in the state of Illinois, students must complete the requirements of a high school teaching license. These requirements are provided under the Department of Teacher Education (High School Education). See Gainful Employment data.

Medical Technology Concentration

In addition to the requirements described above for the biology major, to receive the medical technology concentration a minimum of 12 hours must be taken; in order to be eligible for entrance to any post-graduate medical technology program, students must take Introduction to Medical Technology (BIO/CHM 141, 1hour), Organic Chemistry (CHM 256 and 257, 4 hours), Immunology (3 hours or 4 hours with laboratory), Physiology (BIO 381 or BIO 384 – 3 or 4 hours depending on whether the student takes a course with laboratory), and Microbiology (4 hours, must be taken with laboratory to meet Medical Technology Program requirements). The courses used for the concentration cannot have been used to fulfill the requirements for the major. Students with a biology degree with a medical technology concentration are eligible to apply to any medical technology/medical laboratory science clinical program in the country. Note that the biology/chemistry departments also offer a Medical Laboratory Science major for those students who want an accelerated path to licensure in Medical Laboratory Science.