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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 complete five core courses in their first two years 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.

Use the tabs on this page to learn more about the curriculum, opportunities and resources. Information for prospective students can be found on the Biology home page.

Biology, B.S.

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

Required courses:

At least 37 credit hours in biology, to include a minimum of 27 at or above the 200-level and at least 7.5 at the 300-level. Biochemistry courses BCM 365 and BCM 465 and the neuroscience course NSC 300 may be used to fulfill these requirements.

  • BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    4.00 credit hours

    The first in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    High school biology and chemistry.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    3.75 credit hours

    Genetic analysis and applications of genetics to the understanding of cellular processes and evolution. Investigation of classical, molecular and population genetics, including mechanisms of inheritance, DNA structure and function, chromosomes and genetic mapping, genotyping and genomic analysis, mutation, gene regulation and an introduction to population genetics and genetic mechanisms in evolution. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in Drosophila genetics, gene cloning, human genotyping and Drosophila evolution.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 152 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    3.75 credit hours

    Structure and function of cells and applications to physiological systems of plants and animals. Topics include cell membranes, enzymes, energy metabolism, cell movement and cell communication and their roles in nerve and muscle function, photosynthesis, vascular transport, digestion, excretion and other systems. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in protein and enzyme function, metabolism and signal transduction.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 251 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    3.75 credit hours

    Interactions among diverse communities of living organisms and between organisms and their environment. Emphasis on regional natural history. Laboratory required, investigation of ecological problems including field observations, laboratory experiments and computer modeling.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 252.

    Schedule Of Classes

One 400-level capstone course:

  • BIO 405 - Animal Behavior

    BIO 405 - Animal Behavior

    4.00 credit hours

    Behavioral mechanisms of animals as they interact with their environment, including topics such as development of behavior, learning and motivation, communication, mating systems, sexual reproduction, aggression, orientation and navigation and habitat selection. Examines physiological, evolutionary and ecological aspects of behavior with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics of animal research. Laboratory required: independent animal behavior project. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 302 or BIO 310.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 416 - Environmental Biology

    BIO 416 - Environmental Biology

    3.75 credit hours

    Investigation of the effects of human activities on biological resources and ecosystem structure and function, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discusses, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics and politics of ecological research, sustainability and human impacts on the environment. Laboratory required: independent project exposing students to some of the most important field methods and analytical techniques used to examine human impacts. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 301 or BIO 350.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 430 - Developmental Genetics

    BIO 430 - Developmental Genetics

    3.75 credit hours

    Analysis of genetic mechanisms of animal development. Consideration of the genetic establishment and regulation of developmental pathways, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics of animal and stem-cell research and the clash of values in the political arena. Laboratory required: independent project investigating the effects of specific developmental genes. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 330 or BIO 360.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 440 - Infectious Disease

    BIO 440 - Infectious Disease

    3.75 credit hours

    Biology of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi and the mechanisms by which they cause disease, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Epidemiological modeling of disease spread and the role of public-health intervention will be important topics, as will the immune response to disease. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on human-subject research and clinical trials. Laboratory required: independent project dealing with the spread and prevention of infection. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 340.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BCM 465 - Advanced Biochemistry

    BCM 465 - Advanced Biochemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    Current topics in biochemistry are studied, allowing students to synthesize previous biology, chemistry and general education coursework. Ethical considerations in scientific research and recent primary literature are discussed. Laboratory required. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of BCM 365, BIO 340 or BIO 360.

    Schedule Of Classes

Research Experience:

Students must take at least one course which incorporates a research experience (BIO 405, BIO 416, BIO 430, BIO 440 or BCM 465) or an independent research experience, such as summer research on- or off-campus. Subsequently, the student presents the results of the research experience to biology faculty and peers at a seminar. The required seminar, BIO 475, is taken over three terms (not necessarily consecutive). At the beginning of the sequence, the student is an observer and questioner. During the term in which the student enrolls to make his/her seminar presentation, a total of one credit hour is awarded for the entire sequence.

Required Support Courses for the B.S. Degree:

Introductory and Analytical Chemistry:

  • CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    3.75 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems, such as simple organic compounds, synthetic polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, bonding energies, hybridization, acid/base chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, steroechemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One year of high school chemistry; two years of high school algebra or MTH 095.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles within the context of the environmental issues of fuel and energy, water treatment and acid rain. Major chemical topics include gas laws, thermochemistry, redox, electrochemistry, aqueous reactions and solubility, equilibria, acid/base and buffers.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 141.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    3.75 credit hours

    Quantitative analysis including theory and techniques for gravimetric, volumetric and spectrophotometric methods. Two laboratory sessions per week. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Organic Chemistry:

  • CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    2.75 credit hours

    Survey of the various classes of carbon compounds, emphasizing molecular structure, stereochemistry and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Techniques for isolating and purifying organic compounds are learned in the laboratory. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 and CHM 220.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    2.75 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 220, emphasizing the chemistry of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing functional groups and alcohols. The synthesis and chemical transformations of organic molecules is studied in more depth. Laboratory work focuses on synthetic techniques as well as physical and spectroscopic methods for molecular structure determination. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 or CHM 216 and CHM 221

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 220.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 221, with emphasis on the synthetic transformations of carbonyl containing functional groups, nitrogen containing compounds, biomolecules and pericyclic reactions. Laboratory work involves an 8–9 week research project, poster presentation and formal written report. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 216 and CHM 222.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 221.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • -or-

  • CHM 215 - Organic Chemistry I

    CHM 215 - Organic Chemistry I

    4.00 credit hours

    Survey of the various classes of carbon compounds, with emphasis upon molecular structure, stereochemistry and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Techniques for isolating and purifying organic compounds are learned in the laboratory. Laboratory required. Only offered in Summer. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 and CHM 220 or CHM 221.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 216 - Organic Chemistry II

    CHM 216 - Organic Chemistry II

    4.00 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 215. This course builds on previously learned concepts to further explore the mechanisms of organic reactions. The emphasis shifts from physical organic to synthetic organic chemistry. Laboratory required. Only offered in Summer. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 216 and CHM 221 or CHM 222.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 215.

    Schedule Of Classes

Mathematics and Statistics:

  • MTH 152 - Calculus II

    MTH 152 - Calculus II

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of Calculus I with emphasis on integration and its applications. Required for the B.S. degree in any department.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MTH 342 - Probability and Statistics II -or-

    MTH 342 - Probability and Statistics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of MTH 341 to include continuous distributions, central limit theorem, estimations, hypothesis testing and applications.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 341.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSY 250 - Statistics

    PSY 250 - Statistics

    3.00 credit hours

    A course stressing the methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing and "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS 241/ECN 241 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 118 or higher.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 902

    Schedule Of Classes

Physics:

  • PHY 141 - Physics I

    PHY 141 - Physics I

    3.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of introductory physics courses. The study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation laws for energy and linear momentum. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142, and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141/MTH 151 or concurrent enrollment.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 142 - Physics II

    PHY 142 - Physics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 141. Static equilibrium, rotational motion, conservation of angular momentum, oscillatory and wave motion, sound, geometric and physical optics. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. May not take PHY 142 after PHY 116.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 141 or PHY 115; MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based) -or-

    PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Introduction to electrical circuits. Other topics include fluid mechanics, heat, temperature, phases transitions and radioactive decay. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)

    PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)

    3.75 credit hours

    A continuation of the PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Coulombs law, the electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, DC electrical circuits, radioactive decay. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142 and MTH 152.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • -or-

  • PHY 115 - College Physics I

    PHY 115 - College Physics I

    4.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of two algebra‐based physics courses. Topics include the study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation of energy principle, rotational motion, oscillations, waves and sound. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C). May not take PHY 115 after PHY 141 or PHY 142.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 121 and MTH 122; or high school algebra and trigonometry.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 116 - College Physics II

    PHY 116 - College Physics II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a sequence of two algebra-based physics courses. Topics include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, electricity and magnetism, geometric and wave optics. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 115.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • *Pre-health students should take PHY 143A 

Other:

Transfer students must take at least 11 credit hours in Biology at North Central College, and at least 7.5 of the 11 must be at the 200-level or higher.

Typical Course Sequence

During the first two years there are many logical plans for course work from which the student might select depending on individual interests and goals. More detailed plan options are available on the Biology website. The following chart summarizes a general recommended sequence.

  FALL WINTER SPRING
FIRST YEAR:
  • MTH (appropriate level)
  • BIO 151 and/or
  • CHM 141 
  • MTH
  • BIO 152 or
  • CHM 141 or CHM 142 
  • MTH if needed
  • BIO 152 and/or
  • CHM 142 
SECOND YEAR:
  • BIO 251 
  • CHM 141 or PHY 141 
     
  • BIO 252 
  • CHM 221 or PHY 142 
     
  • BIO 253 
  • CHM 222  or
    PHY 143A/PHY 143C 

 

Biology, B.A.

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

Required courses:

At least 34 credit hours in biology, to include at least 7.5 at the 300-level. Biochemistry courses BCM 365 and BCM 465 and the neuroscience course NSC 300 may be used to fulfill these requirements.

  • BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    4.00 credit hours

    The first in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    High school biology and chemistry.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    3.75 credit hours

    Genetic analysis and applications of genetics to the understanding of cellular processes and evolution. Investigation of classical, molecular and population genetics, including mechanisms of inheritance, DNA structure and function, chromosomes and genetic mapping, genotyping and genomic analysis, mutation, gene regulation and an introduction to population genetics and genetic mechanisms in evolution. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in Drosophila genetics, gene cloning, human genotyping and Drosophila evolution.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 152 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    3.75 credit hours

    Structure and function of cells and applications to physiological systems of plants and animals. Topics include cell membranes, enzymes, energy metabolism, cell movement and cell communication and their roles in nerve and muscle function, photosynthesis, vascular transport, digestion, excretion and other systems. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in protein and enzyme function, metabolism and signal transduction.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 251 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    3.75 credit hours

    Interactions among diverse communities of living organisms and between organisms and their environment. Emphasis on regional natural history. Laboratory required, investigation of ecological problems including field observations, laboratory experiments and computer modeling.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 252.

    Schedule Of Classes

One 400-level capstone course:

  • BIO 405 - Animal Behavior

    BIO 405 - Animal Behavior

    4.00 credit hours

    Behavioral mechanisms of animals as they interact with their environment, including topics such as development of behavior, learning and motivation, communication, mating systems, sexual reproduction, aggression, orientation and navigation and habitat selection. Examines physiological, evolutionary and ecological aspects of behavior with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics of animal research. Laboratory required: independent animal behavior project. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 302 or BIO 310.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 416 - Environmental Biology

    BIO 416 - Environmental Biology

    3.75 credit hours

    Investigation of the effects of human activities on biological resources and ecosystem structure and function, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discusses, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics and politics of ecological research, sustainability and human impacts on the environment. Laboratory required: independent project exposing students to some of the most important field methods and analytical techniques used to examine human impacts. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 301 or BIO 350.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 430 - Developmental Genetics

    BIO 430 - Developmental Genetics

    3.75 credit hours

    Analysis of genetic mechanisms of animal development. Consideration of the genetic establishment and regulation of developmental pathways, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on the ethics of animal and stem-cell research and the clash of values in the political arena. Laboratory required: independent project investigating the effects of specific developmental genes. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 330 or BIO 360.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 440 - Infectious Disease

    BIO 440 - Infectious Disease

    3.75 credit hours

    Biology of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi and the mechanisms by which they cause disease, with extensive use of the primary scientific literature. Epidemiological modeling of disease spread and the role of public-health intervention will be important topics, as will the immune response to disease. Issues in research ethics and scientific leadership are discussed, including core values of science, ethical standards of conduct and peer review as well as a focus on human-subject research and clinical trials. Laboratory required: independent project dealing with the spread and prevention of infection. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 340.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BCM 465 - Advanced Biochemistry

    BCM 465 - Advanced Biochemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    Current topics in biochemistry are studied, allowing students to synthesize previous biology, chemistry and general education coursework. Ethical considerations in scientific research and recent primary literature are discussed. Laboratory required. Research course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of BCM 365, BIO 340 or BIO 360.

    Schedule Of Classes

Research Experience:

Students must take at least one course which incorporates a research experience (BIO 405, BIO 416, BIO 430, BIO 440 or BCM 465) or an independent research experience, such as summer research on- or off-campus. Subsequently, the student presents the results of the research experience to biology faculty and peers at a seminar. The required seminar, BIO 475, is taken over three terms (not necessarily consecutive). At the beginning of the sequence, the student is an observer and questioner. During the term in which the student enrolls to make his/her seminar presentation, a total of one credit hour is awarded for the entire sequence.

Required Support Courses for the B.A. Degree:

Chemistry:

  • CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    3.75 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems, such as simple organic compounds, synthetic polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, bonding energies, hybridization, acid/base chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, steroechemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One year of high school chemistry; two years of high school algebra or MTH 095.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles within the context of the environmental issues of fuel and energy, water treatment and acid rain. Major chemical topics include gas laws, thermochemistry, redox, electrochemistry, aqueous reactions and solubility, equilibria, acid/base and buffers.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 141.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Mathematics and Statistics:

One of the following:

  • MTH 141 - Integrated Calculus II: Calculus of Derivatives

    MTH 141 - Integrated Calculus II: Calculus of Derivatives

    3.00 credit hours

    An integrated calculus course which combines the study of exponential, logarithmic and inverse trigonometric functions with a formal development of the derivative. Students may not receive credit for MTH 141 and any of the following: MTH 122, MTH 130 or MTH 151.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 140.

    Core

    Mathematics.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • (or a higher-level mathematics course)

  • PSY 250 - Statistics

    PSY 250 - Statistics

    3.00 credit hours

    A course stressing the methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing and "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS 241/ECN 241 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 118 or higher.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 902

    Schedule Of Classes

Recommended electives:

  • CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    2.75 credit hours

    Survey of the various classes of carbon compounds, emphasizing molecular structure, stereochemistry and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Techniques for isolating and purifying organic compounds are learned in the laboratory. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 and CHM 220.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    2.75 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 220, emphasizing the chemistry of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing functional groups and alcohols. The synthesis and chemical transformations of organic molecules is studied in more depth. Laboratory work focuses on synthetic techniques as well as physical and spectroscopic methods for molecular structure determination. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 or CHM 216 and CHM 221

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 220.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 221, with emphasis on the synthetic transformations of carbonyl containing functional groups, nitrogen containing compounds, biomolecules and pericyclic reactions. Laboratory work involves an 8–9 week research project, poster presentation and formal written report. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 216 and CHM 222.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 221.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MTH 152 - Calculus II

    MTH 152 - Calculus II

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of Calculus I with emphasis on integration and its applications. Required for the B.S. degree in any department.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 141 - Physics I

    PHY 141 - Physics I

    3.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of introductory physics courses. The study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation laws for energy and linear momentum. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142, and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141/MTH 151 or concurrent enrollment.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 142 - Physics II

    PHY 142 - Physics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 141. Static equilibrium, rotational motion, conservation of angular momentum, oscillatory and wave motion, sound, geometric and physical optics. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. May not take PHY 142 after PHY 116.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 141 or PHY 115; MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based) -or-

    PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Introduction to electrical circuits. Other topics include fluid mechanics, heat, temperature, phases transitions and radioactive decay. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)

    PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)

    3.75 credit hours

    A continuation of the PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Coulombs law, the electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, DC electrical circuits, radioactive decay. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142 and MTH 152.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • -or-

  • PHY 115 - College Physics I

    PHY 115 - College Physics I

    4.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of two algebra‐based physics courses. Topics include the study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation of energy principle, rotational motion, oscillations, waves and sound. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C). May not take PHY 115 after PHY 141 or PHY 142.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 121 and MTH 122; or high school algebra and trigonometry.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 116 - College Physics II

    PHY 116 - College Physics II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a sequence of two algebra-based physics courses. Topics include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, electricity and magnetism, geometric and wave optics. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 115.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSY 250 - Statistics -or-

    PSY 250 - Statistics

    3.00 credit hours

    A course stressing the methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing and "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS 241/ECN 241 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 118 or higher.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 902

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MTH 342 - Probability and Statistics II

    MTH 342 - Probability and Statistics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of MTH 341 to include continuous distributions, central limit theorem, estimations, hypothesis testing and applications.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 341.

    Schedule Of Classes

Licensure for Secondary Education in Science:

Licensure for secondary education in science requires a degree in Biology, Chemistry or Physics as well as a supplemental major in Secondary Education. The B.A. degree in Biology or Chemistry is recommended for education students; in Physics, education students should choose the B.S. Teaching Track. A student will need over 120 total credit hours to complete this degree, although licensure requirements in anatomy, astronomy and geology may be met by successful completion of an exam, reducing the total number of credit hours required. Consult the Education Department Handbook for all licensure requirements.

Other:

Transfer students must take at least 11 credit hours in Biology at North Central College, and at least 7.5 of the 11 must be at the 200-level or higher.

Typical Course Sequence

During the first two years there are many logical plans for course work from which the student might select depending on individual interests and goals. More detailed plan options are available on the Biology website. The following chart summarizes a general recommended sequence.

  FALL WINTER SPRING
FIRST YEAR:
  • MTH (appropriate level)
  • BIO 151 and/or
  • CHM 141 
  • MTH
  • BIO 152 or
  • CHM 141 or CHM 142 
  • MTH if needed
  • BIO 152 and/or
  • CHM 142 
SECOND YEAR:
  • BIO 251 
  • CHM 141 or PHY 141 
     
  • BIO 252 
  • CHM 221 or PHY 142 
     
  • BIO 253 
  • CHM 222  or
    PHY 143A/PHY 143C 

 

Biology Minor

A minor in biology provides an opportunity to gain conceptual understanding and practical experience across a broad range of biological ideas through a structured sequence of courses. It is particularly appropriate for students planning to work in disciplines that interface with biology, such as mathematical modeling of biological processes, biological psychology, biomedical policy or ethics, biological (physical) anthropology, management in the pharmaceutical industry and many others. Students preparing for health-science careers but choosing a major outside the life sciences may also be interested in a biology minor.

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

Required courses:

  • BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    BIO 151 - Biological Investigations I

    4.00 credit hours

    The first in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    High school biology and chemistry.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    BIO 251 - Genes and Evolution

    3.75 credit hours

    Genetic analysis and applications of genetics to the understanding of cellular processes and evolution. Investigation of classical, molecular and population genetics, including mechanisms of inheritance, DNA structure and function, chromosomes and genetic mapping, genotyping and genomic analysis, mutation, gene regulation and an introduction to population genetics and genetic mechanisms in evolution. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in Drosophila genetics, gene cloning, human genotyping and Drosophila evolution.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 152 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    BIO 252 - Cells and Systems

    3.75 credit hours

    Structure and function of cells and applications to physiological systems of plants and animals. Topics include cell membranes, enzymes, energy metabolism, cell movement and cell communication and their roles in nerve and muscle function, photosynthesis, vascular transport, digestion, excretion and other systems. Laboratory required, includes investigative projects in protein and enzyme function, metabolism and signal transduction.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 251 and CHM 141.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    BIO 253 - Ecology and Environment

    3.75 credit hours

    Interactions among diverse communities of living organisms and between organisms and their environment. Emphasis on regional natural history. Laboratory required, investigation of ecological problems including field observations, laboratory experiments and computer modeling.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 252.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    3.75 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems, such as simple organic compounds, synthetic polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, bonding energies, hybridization, acid/base chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, steroechemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One year of high school chemistry; two years of high school algebra or MTH 095.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Note:

At least one 300-level course in an appropriate specialty area is recommended for students planning to pursue biology-related career areas.

Patti Engel

Half-Time Assistant Professor of Biology
BIO
630-637-5189
Steve D. Johnston

Roger and Nadeane Hruby Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences; Professor of Biology
BIO
5188
Chandreyee Mitra

Assistant Professor of Biology; Coordinator of Environmental Studies
BIO
630-637-5198
Gregory Ruthig

Associate Professor of Biology
BIO
5186
Jennifer Sallee

Assistant Professor of Biology; Interim Director of Undergraduate Research
BIO
630-637-5183
Jonathan Visick

Professor of Biology; Chair of Biology
BIO
630-637-5185
Joanna Weremijewicz

Assistant Professor of Biology
BIO
630-637-5380
John Zenchak

Professor of Biology
BIO
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 our research page for information on getting involved with faculty in research. Summer research information and applications are available now!
  • 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. More information about study abroad in biology here.
  • 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

Some of our previous content is not compatible with the College's new Web site. We are working on restoring some of these key sites. Meantime, please send us your specific comments or requests.

 


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