Biology

The biology major aims to deepen students’ appreciation for the life sciences and to increase their concern for living things and their environment in addition to helping them develop the intellectual competence and the technical skills necessary in their chosen careers.

After completing the biology requirements, students will, for example, be able to: employ the scientific method to summarize scientific information into coherent and logical conclusions; recognize basic laboratory and field instrumentation equipment; and use computers to present scientific information.

Career Opportunities

Medical, teaching, research, industry, museums, park and wildlife management, environmental education, conservation, correlation with health sciences, and many other fields.

 

 

 

 

Major

BI 125Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I 13
BI 125LBiostatistics and Scientific Investigation I 11.5
BI 126Found of Biology & Scientific Inquiry II 14.5
BI 127Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry III 14.5
BI 303Genetics4.5
BI 310Ecology4.5
Any three upper division courses 29
CH 111General Chemistry I4.5
CH 112General Chemistry II4.5
CH 211Organic Chemistry I4.5
MA 135Basic Statistics 33
Select one of the following: 3-4
Pre-Calculus
Mathematics Modeling
Calculus I
Total Hours51-52

1

If students earn a C or above (C- does not count), then they do not need to take a statistics course for this major.

2

One of which may be CH 302 Biochemistry and at least two major electives courses must be lab courses.

3

Or with permission, PS 325 Statistics For Behavioral Sciences.

To research and improve the program, all entering and graduating majors are periodically required to take an anonymous assessment examination based upon general biological knowledge. This exam will only be used to assess major strengths, goals, and weaknesses. Results of this exam will not appear on students’ records, nor will the results be used to determine academic progress. An attitudinal survey also will be taken by first-year and senior students.

Academic Requirements

A grade of C or above (C- does not count) in all required courses for the major and the minor. A grade of C or above (C- does not count) is also required in all prerequisite courses for majors and minors before enrolling in required biology, chemistry, and math courses. A cumulative GPA of 2.25 is required in all major and minor courses.

Students planning to pursue teacher education should follow the program guidelines within the education section of this Catalog and contact an advisor in the education division for assistance.

Biology Minor

BI 125Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I 13
BI 125LBiostatistics and Scientific Investigation I 11.5
BI 126Found of Biology & Scientific Inquiry II 14.5
BI 127Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry III 14.5
Any two upper division courses, one of which must be a laboratory course6
CH 111General Chemistry I4.5
CH 112General Chemistry II4.5
MA 135Basic Statistics 23
Total Hours31.5

1

If students earn a C or above (C- does not count), then they do not need to take a statistics course for this major.

2

Or with permission, PS 325 Statistics For Behavioral Sciences

Students are expected to take all core program course work at Mount Mercy unless they transfer in having already fulfilled a given course or have a major conflict that would hinder obtaining the degree.

Returning students who have interrupted their education at Mount Mercy and who re-enter will be held to all the requirements printed in this Catalog at the time of re-entry.

Pre-Professional Programs in Biology

Mount Mercy also offers several Pre-professional Tracks through the biology program.
     Students interested in pre-professional programs should notify the Chair of the pre-professional program, early, during the fall semester of the decision year.

Pre-Medicine

Pre-medical and pre-dental students should pursue a biology major and a chemistry minor with two courses in physics. Suggested biology electives are:

BI 273Human Anatomy4.5
BI 274Human Physiology3
BI 274LHuman Physiology Laboratory1.5
BI 315General Microbiology4.5
BI 327Histology4.5
BI 370Cell and Molecular Biology5
Additional suggested courses:
MA 164Calculus I4
PS 124Developmental Psychology3
Total Hours30

Pre-Physician Assistant

Students pursuing admission to physician assistant programs should follow a similar program to the pre-medical students (above), but they should take MA 142 Mathematics Modeling as their mathematics, and more courses in psychology. Some programs require PS 306 Abnormal Psychology. Most physician assistant programs require a BS degree.

Pre-Physical Therapy

Most physical therapy programs require a BS degree, which our biology major satisfies. Courses needed include:

BI 273Human Anatomy4.5
BI 274Human Physiology3
BI 274LHuman Physiology Laboratory1.5
BI 327Histology4.5
Two courses in college physics6
An additional psychology class3
Total Hours22.5

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Admission requirements for occupational therapy programs differ depending on whether the degree sought is graduate or undergraduate. Graduate programs require a BS degree, preferably with a major in biology, but other majors are also a possibility. Students wishing to pursue a graduate degree in occupational therapy should carefully plan a four-year course of study with their advisor that is based upon programs to which they will apply. Most occupational therapy programs require a BS degree.

Molecular and Cellular Biology/Forensic Science

Beyond the courses required for the biology major, suggested electives include:

BI 315General Microbiology4.5
BI 370Cell and Molecular Biology5
CH 302Biochemistry5
A Chemistry minor3
Two courses in college physics6
Total Hours23.5


Courses

BI 110 Natural World Domain Lab: 1 semester hour

A laboratory that fulfills the requirement of the Natural World domain for transfer students who have taken a non-laboratory based non-major course before transferring into Mount Mercy. This course is only offered to this group of students. (Offered winter term on a temporary basis as long as needed).

BI 123 Biology Of Human Concern: 4 semester hours

For non-science majors. Study of the broad general principles of biology and of current environmental and ethical problems arising as our knowledge and technological competencies increase. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour lab per week. (Cannot be taken by Biology majors after successful completion of BI 143 Principles of Biology). Fulfills requirement of Natural World Domain for non-major students.

BI 125 Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I: 3 semester hours

An introduction to the unifying principles of modern biology with an emphasis on introductions to the interrelationships of cell physiology and anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, evolution, and development. No prerequisites. Three hous of lecture per week. Biology majors/minors, medical laboratory science majors, outdoor conservation majors and education majors must concurrently enroll in the BI 125 lab. Fulfills requirement of Natural World Domain when taken with the BI 125 lab.

BI 125L Biostatistics and Scientific Investigation I: 1.5 semester hour

A laboratory course designed to reinforce BI 125 through experimentation, data analysis, inquiry, discussion of readings, and communication. The course will include fundamentals of interpretation of scientific writing, introduction to scientific writing, and the foundations of statistical analysis. Students enrolled in BI 125 are not required to take BI 125L, but students enrolled in the laboratory must take BI 125 concurrently or get permission of the instructor to enroll. (Offered each fall semester).

BI 126 Found of Biology & Scientific Inquiry II: 4.5 semester hours

A laboratory course designed to reinforce BI 125 that focuses on additional topics in inheritance, population genetics, speciation and classification, introduction to ecosystems, and evolution of prokaryotes, protistans, and fungi. Additional topics in statistics and scientific communication will also be integral to the course. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and BI 125L. Three hours lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

BI 127 Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry III: 4.5 semester hours

The evolution of plants and animals will be surveyed focusing on physiologial and anatomical adaptations. Additional topics in statistics and scientific communication will also be integral to the course. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and the BI 125 lab (C- does not count). Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

BI 150 Basic Microbiology: 4.5 semester hours

Introduction to the study of microorganisms, with special emphasis on medically important bacteria, viruses, and fungi; includes practical applications for control of pathogens, epidemiology and diagnosis, mechanisms of infection and host resistance. Weekly 3 hours lecture and 3 hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BI 143, not for major/minor credit in biology or medical technology and may not substitute for BI 315. fulfills requirement of Natural World Domain for nursing majors.

BI 210 Biology And Human Culture: 3 semester hours

The course will explore the interaction between culture, evolution, and biology from a variety of perspectives in a seminar format. The customs of different cultures are often deterimed by and /or affected by biological factors. These will be studied from a proximate and ultimate (evolutionary) standpoint in a comparison of both non-Western and Western culture to better understand and appreciate different cultural practices and beliefs, how they evolved, and what implications they have for the world. Students also will investigate a custom of their choice to ascertain the biological and cultural origins and significance of the custom. This course will not count for major/minor biology credit. Prereqisites: One course selected from a core curriculum writing courses, sophomore standing. Fulfills requirement of Global Awareness Domain.

BI 225 Global Environmental Issues: 4.5 semester hours

This course examines the human impacts on the global environment in a lecture, discussion and applied approach. Current research will be studied on the causes and effects of environmental change and environmental conservation. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 125 or BI 123 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week.

BI 242 Iowa Natural History: 4.5 semester hours

A survey of the natural history of Iowa focusing on geological forces, plant communities, and animal communities, and the impact of early humans, the first European settlers and present residents. The lab will focus on identification of skills. Weekend field trips will be an important component of the course. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 125, BI 146 or BI 127, or permission of instructor. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week.

BI 243 Immunology: 3 semester hours

This course introduces students to the major basic concepts operating in the functioning of the immune system and the immunopathologies that arise due to the hyperfunction, hypofunction, or malfunction of this system. Major topics to be covered include non-specific immunity, specific immunity (cellular and humoral) hypersensitivities, immunologic deficiencies, tolerance, enhancement, immunogenetics, autoimmunity, cancer immunology, and transplantation. This introductory course gives students a basic understanding of the system as well as some basic concepts and terminology on which to build further knowledge in this area. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and BI 144 or BI 126; or BI 125 and BI 150.

BI 260 Professional Development for the Sciences: 1 semester hour

A seminar course designed to prepare future graduate and professional school science majors during early in their junior year. Students will learn about different career choices, how to prepare for standardized exams, the timing of application, interview skill, post-graduate admissions expectations, cover letters, and how to develop a resume to present.

BI 273 Human Anatomy: 4.5 semester hours

A lecture and laboratory course designed to give basic information for understanding normal structure and development of the human body. A regional approach to anatomy is used, complimented with dissection and examination of preserved human cadavers, practical applications, and discussions of basic concepts. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week, plus 45 hours of supervised dissection per term. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 125 for Biology majors, and a D- or better for other majors.

BI 274 Human Physiology: 3 semester hours

A lecture course designed to introduce students to the physiological stystems of the human body. Emphasis is given to the interactive nature of these systems that result in normal physiological function. The medical implication of abnormalities and failure of these systems is also briefly covered. Three hours of lecture per week. A non-required option is BI 274, Basic Human Physiology Lab in which Biology majors may concurrently enroll. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 125 for Biology and Medical Technology major, and a grade of D- or better for other majors.

BI 274L Human Physiology Laboratory: 1.5 semester hour

A laboratory course designed to provide demonstrations, experiments, and discussion to reinforce and supplement BI 274. Biology majors, especially those who intend to pursue medically-oriented programs, graduate programs, or education should take this laboratory concurrently with BI 274. Students enrolled in BI 274 are not required to take the laboratory, but students enrolled in the laboratory must take BI 274 concurrently or get permission from the instructor to enroll. One three-hour laboratory a week. (Offered each spring semester).

BI 303 Genetics: 4.5 semester hours

An exploration of the three main branches of heredity: transmission (classical), molecular, and population genetics. Transmission genetics examines how genes and genetic traits are passed from generation to generation. Molecular genetics probes the structure, function, and regulation of genes, while population genetics investigates through mathematical models and the distrubution and behavior of genes in populations. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. Prerequisites: A grade of a C or better in BI 125 and BI 144 or BI 126, or BI 125 and BI 146 or BI 127.

BI 305 Evolution: 3 semester hours

Analysis of the theory of evolution, evidences of organic evolution provided by the various subdisciplines of biology and its mechanism and results. Three hours per week. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 143 and BI 144; or BI 143 and BI 146 or permission of instructor.

BI 310 Ecology: 4.5 semester hours

A study of the relationships of organisms to each other and to their environment from an evolutionary perspective. Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems will be studied form the perspective of the individual, the population, and the community. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 144/BI 126 or BI 146/BI 127 or permission of the instructor. Statistics is recommended as is senior status.

BI 315 General Microbiology: 4.5 semester hours

This course studies the major fields of microbiology with an emphasis on bacteria and viruses. Topics include bacterial cell structure, metabolism, genetics, ecology and pathogenesis. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 125, BI 144 or BI 126, CH 111, and CH 112.

BI 327 Histology: 4.5 semester hours

An intensive study of the embryologic origin, the development and the structure and function of the tissues of the human body. Lecture three hours per week, lab three hours per week. Prerequisties: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and BI 144 or BI 126.

BI 332 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy & Embryology: 5 semester hours

Phylogenetic study of the structure and function of the vertebrate animals. Lecture three hours per week. Two two-hour labs per week. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and BI 144 or BI 126.

BI 355 Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics: 3 semester hours

A course to introduce fundamentals of exercise physiology and biomechanics. Topics explored include: application of basic physiology knowledge to athletc training and exercise, review of nutrition for athletes, and concepts of physics as they relate to movement. This course will not count for major or minor biology credit. Prerequisites: PH 151, BI 274 or permission of instrucor. Recommend BI 273 and either a course in Evolution or a basic background.

BI 357 Animal Behavior: 4.5 semester hours

A comparative study of the evolution of animal behavior centering on the principles and mechanisms of behavior. Three hours lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in BI 125 and BI 144/BI 126, or PS 101 or permission of instructor.

BI 370 Cell and Molecular Biology: 5 semester hours

This course studies the cell structure and functions common to all eukaryotic organisms including: metabolism, organelle activity, gene expression, cell growth and division, and cell communication. The laboratory component will include learning to use various equipment and protocols scientists use to manipulate and visualize DNA, RNA, and protein in and from cells for research experiemtns. Three hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisties: A grade of a C or better in BI 125 and BI 127 or permission of instructor.

BI 405 Directed Readings in Biology: 3 semester hours

A course initiated by a student, a group of students, or an instructor based upon a topic of interest or a special need. The course will involve readings on the topic, discussion, and projects based upon the topic. Library research and internet research may also be a component along with written summaries of research and/or projects. Under ordinary cirucumstances this course cannot be used as one of the required electives for the biology major or minor. Prereqisties: Junior or Senior status, grades of C or better in appropriate background courses, and permission of instructor.

BI 440 Biology Internship: 3 semester hours

Directed educational experiences in employment situations under joint sponsorship by a faculty member and an employer. This course cannot be used as one of the three upper division electives.

BI 445 Independent Study: 3 semester hours

Readings and/or research. Course to be designed by the student in consultation with the instructor on a subject of special interest to the student. This course cannot be used as one of the three upper division electives.

BI 450 Independent Research: 3 semester hours

Independent research conducted at Mount Mercy or another recognized institution or research facility. Students will be responsible for collection, analysis, and presentation of original data. Presentation will be in both oral and written format, with the oral portion to be given at a recognized state or national scientific meeting. This course cannot be used as one of the three upper division electives.