Biology Biology Biology Biology Biology

College of Arts & Sciences

Biology

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Department of Biology
30 N. Brainard St., Naperville, IL 60540

(630) 637-5185

Biology's inquiry-based, research-rich curriculum builds skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing, presentation and problem-solving as well as content knowledge.

Biology students begin with a research-based course (BIOL 195) in their very first semester, learning through an authentic research project dealing with West Nile virus. They then complete four core courses in the next three semesters to build a broad and deep foundation, then tailor their advanced courses to their interests and career goals. A capstone course completes the curriculum with the study of current research; discussion leadership, ethics and values; and an independent project. All Biology students gain research experience (in the capstone course, by doing a research project in collaboration with a faculty member and/or through an off-campus summer program) and present their work in a public seminar.

The tabs on this page give some basic information about our program; see the Biology Department page for more detail on the curriculum, research, off-campus courses, opportunities, and resources.

Biology, Biological Sciences Track, B.S.

The B.S. degree in Biology provides a comprehensive foundation for students with interests in any area of the biological sciences, including key support courses from chemistry, physics and mathematics. This degree is appropriate for students planning for careers at the bachelor's level as well as those preparing for graduate or professional study after graduation. All B.S. students complete a common core, then select upper-division courses that match their specific interests and career plans. Research experience is built into the program for all students, as is the development of skills in scientific writing and presentation.

Students can choose from two tracks (and can switch between the tracks if their interests change). The Biological Science track is appropriate for those preparing for research careers, graduate school or employment in any area of biology, while the Biomedical Science track is appropriate for students preparing for medical, dental or veterinary programs after graduation. Students preparing for secondary education, for careers that combine biology with another area, or for the allied health fields may wish to consider a B.A. program.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Biology.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Capstone

One of the following:

Research Experience

Students must complete a research experience which is presented in BIOL 490 - Seminar; students take the zero-credit BIOL 290 - Seminar twice as participants before presenting. The research experience could be any of the following:

  • Complete a capstone research course (BIOL 410, BIOL 450 or BCHM 465)
  • Complete an on- or off-campus summer research program
  • Complete an independent research project with a faculty member
  • Complete a research-based internship or other project approved by the department chair

Biological Science Track Courses

Advanced Electives

Three of the following:

Required Support Courses

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

Physics Sequence

One of the following sequences:

Non-Calculus
Calculus-Based

Biology, Biomedical Science Track, B.S.

The B.S. degree in Biology provides a comprehensive foundation for students with interests in any area of the biological sciences, including key support courses from chemistry, physics and mathematics. This degree is appropriate for students planning for careers at the bachelor's level as well as those preparing for graduate or professional study after graduation. All B.S. students complete a common core, then select upper-division courses that match their specific interests and career plans. Research experience is built into the program for all students, as is the development of skills in scientific writing and presentation.

Students can choose from two tracks (and can switch between the tracks if their interests change). The Biological Science track is appropriate for those preparing for research careers, graduate school or employment in any area of biology, while the Biomedical Science track is appropriate for students preparing for medical, dental or veterinary programs after graduation. Students preparing for secondary education, for careers that combine biology with another area, or for the allied health fields may wish to consider a B.A. program.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Capstone

One of the following:

Research Experience

Students must complete a research experience which is presented in BIOL 490 - Seminar; students take the zero-credit BIOL 290 - Seminar twice as participants before presenting. The research experience could be any of the following:

  • Complete a capstone research course (BIOL 410, BIOL 450 or BCHM 465)
  • Complete an on- or off-campus summer research program
  • Complete an independent research project with a faculty member
  • Complete a research-based internship or other project approved by the department chair

Biomedical Science Track Courses

Anatomy and Physiology

Advanced Electives

Two of the following:

Required Support Courses

Support Elective

One of the following:

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

Physics Sequence

One of the following sequences:

Non-Calculus
Calculus-Based

Biology, Biology Professions Track, B.A.

The B.A. degree in Biology provides the same comprehensive core, research experience and capstone as the B.S. degree, but its two tracks are tailored to be compatible with a second major (Biology Professions track) or with the requirements of professional schools in such allied health areas as nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, pharmacy, or optometry (Health Professions track). Students choosing the Biology Professions track need an additional major in a complementary area such as environmental studies, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, computer science, business, etc. Students seeking a degree in Secondary Education can complete a second major in Biology by choosing this track. Students planning to continue to graduate programs in the biological sciences or to medical, dental or veterinary programs should consider the B.S. degree in Biology instead.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Biology.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Capstone

One of the following:

Research Experience

Students must complete a research experience which is presented in BIOL 490 - Seminar; students take the zero-credit BIOL 290 - Seminar twice as participants before presenting. The research experience could be any of the following:

  • Complete a capstone research course (BIOL 410, BIOL 450 or BCHM 465)
  • Complete an on- or off-campus summer research program
  • Complete an independent research project with a faculty member
  • Complete a research-based internship or other project approved by the department chair

Biology Professions Track Courses

Two of the following:

Support Courses

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Second Major

Biology Professions majors must complete a second major in an area outside Biology. Note: Students seeking licensure for secondary education must complete the Secondary Education major.

Biology, Health Professions Track, B.A.

The B.A. degree in Biology provides the same comprehensive core, research experience and capstone as the B.S. degree, but its two tracks are tailored to be compatible with a second major (Biology Professions track) or with the requirements of professional schools in such allied health areas as nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, pharmacy, or optometry (Health Professions track). Students choosing the Biology Professions track need an additional major in a complementary area such as environmental studies, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, computer science, business, etc. Students seeking a degree in Secondary Education can complete a second major in Biology by choosing this track. Students planning to continue to graduate programs in the biological sciences or to medical, dental or veterinary programs should consider the B.S. degree in Biology instead.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Biology.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Capstone

One of the following:

Research Experience

Students must complete a research experience which is presented in BIOL 490 - Seminar; students take the zero-credit BIOL 290 - Seminar twice as participants before presenting. The research experience could be any of the following:

  • Complete a capstone research course (BIOL 410, BIOL 450 or BCHM 465)
  • Complete an on- or off-campus summer research program
  • Complete an independent research project with a faculty member
  • Complete a research-based internship or other project approved by the department chair

Health Professions Track Courses

Anatomy and Physiology
Advanced Electives

Two of the following:

Support Courses
Chemistry or Physics Sequence

One of the following sequences (which best matches requirements of student's intended professional program):

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

One of the following:

Biology Minor

The Biology minor provides a comprehensive introduction to Biology, including the same common core courses taken by B.A. or B.S. students and the opportunity to choose an advanced elective in the student's area of interest. The Biology minor would complement a major in areas where biological science interfaces with other fields, such as mathematics, computer science, environmental studies, neuroscience, psychology, or management.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Biology.

Minor Requirements

At least 24 credits, including:

One of the following:

Steve D. Johnston

Roger and Nadeane Hruby Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences; Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5188
Chandreyee Mitra

Assistant Professor of Biology; Coordinator of Environmental Studies
Biology
+1 630 637 5198
Gregory Ruthig

Associate Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5186
Jennifer Sallee

Associate Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5183
Jonathan Visick

Professor of Biology; Chairperson, Department of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5185
Joanna Weremijewicz

Assistant Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5380
John Zenchak

Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5182
Additional faculty and staff:
Emeritus faculty:
  • Thomas Williams
  • Terry Marsh
  • Wesley Steig

 

  • Research is how new knowledge is generated and a key part of any biologist's education. All biology majors complete a research project, either as part of a capstone course or in collaboration with faculty. See the Biology Department page for more information on getting involved with faculty in research or the undergraduate research page for summer research information and applications.
  • Student organizations related to biology include βββ (biology honor society), PHO (pre-health), Green Scene (environmental club), WAVES (women in science) and SMACS (chemistry)
  • Students can take courses offered by the Morton Arboretum and Shedd Aquarium (see Biology's Opportunities wiki) as well as courses at Benedictine University for no additional tuition cost.
  • Students can gain experience as lab assistants,  preceptors or peer tutors
  • Field biology course offerings have included trips to Costa Rica, the Grand Canyon and Africa
  • Biology courses are offered at several of our study abroad partner schools, and NCC faculty have taught field courses in Costa Rica and Africa.
  • Our pre-health advisor provides support for students preparing for medical, dental or veterinary medicine as well as allied-health fields
  • Students can present research at our annual Rall Symposium, receive conference funding to travel to a regional or national conference
  • See the Opportunities wiki for information about off-campus research, scholarships, graduate schools and other programs

 


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