Feb 22, 2019  
2017-2018 Scripps Catalog 

Biology Major

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Please refer to the Science  section of this catalog.

Biology entails the study of the entire process of life from its beginning, through its development, reproduction, and to its cessation and decay. Many of the new developments and discoveries in this dynamic field are the result of interdisciplinary cooperation between biologists, chemists, physicists, and computer scientists. These researchers have added considerably to our understanding of the basic principles and mechanisms of living systems at cellular, molecular, organismic, population, and ecological levels.

Career opportunities for those who major in biology are numerous. Besides being one of the traditional preparatory fields for those pursuing careers as health care professionals, biology is an excellent choice of major for those interested in secondary education or in the burgeoning genetic engineering industry. And, of course, the areas of academic and industrial research are open to those who pursue a PhD in the discipline.

Requirements for the Major

A major in Biology requires a minimum of 14-16* courses distributed according to the outline presented below. Students wishing to continue their education in biology-related graduate or professional school programs may need to supplement this basic curriculum with additional course work in science. Department faculty should be consulted for advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Suggested programs are available.

Requirements for the biology major include:

NOTE: Introductory Biology, Chemistry, and Physics may be substituted by both semesters of the AISS course (AISS001ALKS  AISS001BLKS  AISS002ALKS  AISS002BLKS ).

NOTE: *For dual majors in Biology, a student can drop two upper-division courses (one with lab and one without lab).

Honors Requirements (All Tracks)

To be considered for departmental honors in one of the science majors, a student must:

  • Achieve a minimum grade point average of 11.0 (A-) in courses in the major.  
  • Achieve a minimum grade of A- on the thesis.
  • Complete a one- or two-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research and by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department.
  • Present an oral progress report at the end of the first semester of a two-semester thesis and a poster at the conclusion of either a one- or two-semester thesis in which the student clearly explains the rationale for the project and the conclusions drawn, engages the listener, and knowledgeably answers questions.
  • Attend at least six scientific seminars during the semester (each semester for a two-semester thesis) and submit a brief and clear summary of each.

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