Biology Major - Undergraduate Degree Program | Briar Cliff University

Biology Program

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science
Program(s) Offered: Major, Minor, Teaching Endorsement

Group and team-based learning approaches are taken in the majority of courses offered in the Biology program. These highly interactive classes mean students will apply fundamental concepts and develop skills required for successful careers in Biological and Biomedical/Health sciences.

You can do just about anything with a biology degree. Apply to medical, dental, physical therapy and veterinary school; or go on to study fields such as genetics, forensic science and physiology. Not interested in graduate school? Land a job immediately in everything from quality control and research development to conservation and park management.

Or, you can begin a fulfilling career in teaching!

Learn in state-of-the-art labs.

The Biology curriculum design scaffolds courses and culminates in upper-level research-based courses taught by experts. This exposes students to cutting-edge approaches such as viral manipulation of neurocircuitry in addiction research and cellular/molecular approaches to immunomodulation. 

At Briar Cliff, you'll get hands-on experience inside one of the region′s only educational cadaver laboratories, or study living organisms inside a revamped molecular biology workshop with advanced equipment that is unparalleled by any institution our size. 

Explore the prairie.

The nation′s largest urban tallgrass prairie sits literally in Briar Cliff's own backyard. What better place to study biology than a 150-acre classroom?

See the world.

Embark on an annual, week-long trip to South Dakota’s Black Hills, or join other travel opportunities that have included the West Texas desert, Southern California chaparral, the Kansas prairies, Ozark forests, Hawaiian islands and the Costa Rican jungle. 

Interested in research?

Develop invaluable research skills in the analysis of original neuronal tract tracing; in immunohistochemistry and gene expression towards understanding how perturbations in brain circuitry facilitates maladaptive behaviors such as drug addiction; in the analysis of the effects of prairie turnip extracts on anti-microbial and anti-inflammation using molecular biological tools. You'll work side-by-side with faculty members, in their respective fields. The practical experience is a great résumé booster, especially for graduate school!

Become a STEM Scholar.

Major in a science at Briar Cliff, and you might be eligible to become a STEM Pathways Scholar — a scholarship opportunity worth thousands of dollars!

Biology Program Courses

BIOL 151 - General Biology I

This course is an introduction to cellular biology. Topics covered include the scientific method, structure and function of cell, genetics and molecules of life. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 152 - General Biology II

This course in an introduction to organismal biology. Topics covered include the scientific method, ecology, evolution and the diversity of life forms. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 212 - General Botany

A survey course of organisms traditionally treated as plants. Topics will also include a review of structure and function of vascular plants, physiological processes characterized by plants, and the importance of plants in everyday life. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 213 - Invertebrate Zoology

A survey of representative phyla of the invertebrates, organisms which consist of at least 90 percent of the earth's fauna. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 22IS - Scientific Writing and Research

This course examines the various components of scientific primary sources as well as how each section is written. Students will demonstrate the use of basic computer skills: database search strategies, spreadsheets, presentation software, word processing and use of e-mail. Students will demonstrate scientific analytical and communication skills through writing assignments and an oral presentation. Read more »

BIOL 339 - Principles of Microbiology

An in-depth study of microorganisms, including ultra structure, growth characteristics, metabolism and genetics. Read more »

BIOL 58IS - Senior Seminar

Contemporary biological issues will be the focus of this capstone course required of all senior biology majors. The discussion format will require students to integrate prior knowledge and experiences. All students will take a standardized exam at the end of the course. Open only to seniors. Read more »

CHEM 111 - Principles of Chemistry I

A presentation of the basic principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermochemistry, atomic and molecular properties, and properties of gases, liquids and solids. Read more »

CHEM 111L - Principles of Chemistry Laboratory I

An introduction to experimental chemical methods of synthesis and characterization by quantitative and qualitative procedures. Experiments will include investigations of stoichiometry, gas properties and calorimetry. Read more »

CHEM 112 - Principles of Chemistry II

A utilization of the basic principles of chemistry learned in CHEM 111 in complex chemical systems. Included are solution properties, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium and descriptive inorganic chemistry. Read more »

CHEM 112L - Principles of Chemistry Laboratory II

An introduction of experimental chemical methods of synthesis and characterization by quantitative and qualitative procedures. Experiments will include investigations of acids and bases, redox reactions, equilibrium and kinetics. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

 Most biology lab courses include a lab fee for supplies, which is billed at the time of registration.

 For additional requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.

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