See also the molecular biology/biochemistry and environmental science majors. Teacher certification is available in life sciences for grades 5-12.

Major in biology

42-46 credit hours

  • Biol 115, Ecology and Evolution 4
  • Biol 120, Cell Biology and Genetics 4
  • Biol 130, Organismal Biology 4
  • Biol 331, Junior Research Seminar 2
  • Biol 409, Internship (or alternate) 0-3
  • Biol 410, Biology Senior Seminar 1
  • Elective laboratory course4
    Biol 203, Human Anatomy & Physiology
    Biol 300, Microbial Biology
    Biol 302, Developmental Biology
    Biol 303, Vertebrate Physiology
    Biol 311, Advanced Molecular Genetics
    Biol 341, Advanced Cell Biology
  • Elective field biology course4
    Biol 200, General Zoology
    Biol 201, Botany
    Biol 304, Marine Biology
    Biol 308, General Entomology
    Biol 324, Advanced Field Ecology
    Biol 345, Forest Resources
    Biol 350, Ornithology
  • Additional biology elective course from lists above4
  • Chem 111-112, General Chemistry 8
  • Chem 303, Intro to Organic Chemistry 4
  • Quantitative course (one of the following)3-4
    Math 360, Biomathematics (3)
    Psyc 380, Statistics in Research (3)

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in biology will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of core biological principles spanning all levels of hierarchy (cells to ecosystems).
  2. Provide examples of the fundamental role that evolutionary principles have in structuring biological systems from the cell to ecosystems.
  3. Design and implement experiments through developing research questions, designing research methods, and interpreting and analyzing data using statistical techniques.
  4. Use strong oral and writing skills to communicate scientific concepts.
  5. Articulate how faith and/or worldview informs personal bioethical attitudes and behaviors.
  6. Reflect on the systems-level connections between core biological principles.
  7. Demonstrate safety and competence in implementing basic biology laboratory and field skills: taxonomic identification, quantitative measurement, sterile technique, microscopy and slide use, and good experimental design.

Planning and advising notes

Students expecting to major in biology may take General Chemistry, Chem 111-112, in the second year, but students majoring in molecular biology/biochemistry must take it in the first year.

Teacher education in life sciences is available for grades 5-12. Courses needed within or in addition to biology major requirements are: Biol 201, Biol 207, Biol 208, Biol 300, Biol 303, Biol 311, and Phys 203. Also 32 credits of education courses, including a semester of student teaching. The first education class, Educ 201, should be taken in May term of the first year, if possible.

The informatics major has a cognate area available in biology, applying computer software and programming skills to the field of biology.

Planning guide

First year Goshen Core
Biol 115, Ecology & Evolution (fall)
Biol 120, Cell Biology & Genetics (spring)
Biol 130, Organismal Biology (spring)
Second year Goshen Core
Chem 111-112, General Chemistry
Quantitative course
Biology electives
SST (spring or summer)
Third year Goshen Core
Chem 303, Intro to Organic Chemistry
Biology electives
Biol 331, Junior Research Seminar
SST (if not in second year)
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Balance of major
Biol 409, Internship
Biol 410, Biology Senior Seminar