BIOLOGY

Expand Your Knowledge and Research the Possibilities as a Biology Major

Follow your passion to the cutting edge of science and research as a biology major at Loras. Your experience will be unlike that provided by any other private institution in the Midwest. Choose from a major in biology or biological research while customizing your specialty. Gain hands-on experience using a DNA sequencer, collecting samples out in the field, and conducting your own research projects. You’ll expand your knowledge and professional network in one of the biology program’s J-Term classes in Florida, Texas, or Costa Rica.

Learn about the Biology Program

Student Experience

The biology degree at Loras will provide you with an understanding of fundamental concepts as well as specialized knowledge in the study of life on earth. You’ll be ready to tackle exciting challenges in areas like health science, education, and conservation – or expand your expertise in graduate or medical school.

Earn substantial experience in the field prior to college graduation with an internship in your area of interest. Examples of recent internships include placements with:

  • SeaWorld College Experience
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network at Cornell University
  • Willowbrook Wildlife Foundation, Glen Ellyn, IL

Student Learning Outcomes

 

Student Learning Outcomes – Biology
1. Articulate scientific results and interpretation effectively in an oral presentation.
2. Write effectively to communicate scientific information.
3. Design valid and appropriate experiments to answer biological questions.
4. Accurately interpret and analyze biological data and statistics.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the botany of plants.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of rules of genetic inheritance.
7. Describe important molecules and pathways that allow cells to function in tissues.
8. Apply ecological and evolutionary theory to current ecological problems.
9. Compare normal physiological body functions with diseased body functions.

 

Curriculum

The Bachelor of Biology degree program offers majors in both biology and biological research. An optional specialization in biology for secondary teaching is also available. The curriculum contains a mixture of applied learning and research opportunities starting in your first semester.

View Highlighted Courses

Human Genetics
This course will help students understand the importance and impact of genetics in their lives. Topics will include genetic testing and prenatal diagnosis, genetic engineering, use of DNA evidence in the courts, and eugenics. Labs will include use of PCR and Gel electrophoresis in DNA fingerprinting, genetic engineering and testing for genetically modified foods.

Animal Behavior
This is a seminar course designed to explore current topics in the area of animal behavior in the context of evolutionary theory. Topics may include mate choice, parental care, group formation, or habitat selection, with emphasis on birds and mammals. Students will learn to read and critically evaluate articles from the primary literature, and will be responsible for leading class discussion on a topic of their choice.

Human Exercise: Measurements & Limits
Students will be working in groups to pose questions about human exercise, predict their outcome, measure the body’s response to exercise with various equipment and then interpret its meaning and application from the experimental output. Thus, students will be immersed in the scientific method, learning to do science and applying it to everyday exercise.

Science of Food & Cooking
This is an in-depth study course that will immerse students in a close examination of the science behind the food they eat and the methods used to prepare it. Scientific topics explored may include botany of seeds and edible plants, the chemistry of cooking at high and low temperatures, protein structure and function in yogurt production, the chemical activity of different leavening agents in cake-baking, the science of bacterial contamination and food safety, among many others. A primary learning technique will be independent student-led kitchen research projects outside of class. Students must have reliable access to a kitchen, basic cooking and baking equipment, and transportation to a grocery store for supplies, which must be purchased separately from the course fee.

Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Cancer
This in-depth study course will address one of these major diseases each week. Students will generate questions about each disease and learn answers via research, visits to treatment centers and dialogue with researchers, doctors, caregivers, insurance experts, patient advocates and government officials. The course will be an investigative inquiry-driven attempt to get the latest information on three of the biggest health challenges that face every American today. Teams of students will try to understand and present both sides of controversial issues related to these diseases. Second-term first-year students only.

Course requirements for teacher licensure in Biological Science, Grades 7-12:
State of Iowa endorsement for the teaching major follows the basic course requirements of the biology major but with the following core differences: BIO-489 will be fulfilled by EDU-490 with the additional requirements that students present their thesis in BIO¬-489 and write a thesis approved by their biology advisor. It is also recommended that students complete BIO-220 and PHI-349. For professional education courses, refer to the appropriate section listed under Teacher Education.

View All Biology and Biology Research Course Offerings PDF

Major Requirements

Biology majors will complete the following requirements in order to graduate.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Biology major (B.S.)

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.BIO-115: Principles of Biology I 4
2 L.BIO-116: Principles of Biology II 4
3 L.BIO-240: Plant Biology 4
4 L.BIO-250: Genetics 4
5 L.BIO-279: Experimental Design and Biostatistics-AH 3
6 L.BIO-330: Evolutionary Ecology 4
7 L.BIO-410: Cell and Molecular Biology 4
8 L.BIO-389: Junior Seminar 1
9 L.BIO-489: Senior Seminar 1
10 L.BIO-420: Vertebrate Physiology 4
11 L.BIO-488: Senior Seminar Portfolio-PJ 2
12 Elective: Any additional L.BIO course except for 400 or 401 3 to 4
13 L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 14
14 L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II 4
14 L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry 4
15 L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 16
16 L.PHY-210: Elements of Physics I-QR 4
16 L.PHY-223: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I-QR 5
16 L.PHY-230: Modern Physics 3
53 to 56 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Biology

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.BIO-115: Principles of Biology I 4
2 L.BIO-116: Principles of Biology II 4
3 Elective: L.BIO-220 or higher (LBIO-279 highly recommended) 3 to 4
4 Elective: L.BIO-220 or higher 3 to 4
5 Elective: L.BIO-220 or higher 4
18 to 20 total required credits

Are you interested in Research?  Learn more about Our Biology Research Major.

Course requirements for teacher licensure in Biological Science, Grades 7-12:
State of Iowa endorsement for the teaching major follows the basic course requirements of the biology major but with the following core differences: Course number BIO.489 will be fulfilled by course BIO.490 with the additional requirements that students present their thesis in BIO.489 and write a thesis approved by their biology advisor. It is also recommended that students complete BIO-220 and PHI-349. For professional education courses, refer to the appropriate section listed under Teacher Education in the Undergradate Bulletin.

Career Opportunities

What can you do with a Biology degree?
As a biology major, you will be prepared for a variety of interesting careers in the field of biology and research. Here are some examples of fields our alumni have entered:

  • Medical school and other health professions [Learn More]
  • Government agencies (wildlife, fisheries, habitat management)
  • Research and development
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Museum education/ management

Frequently Asked Questions: Athletic Training 3+2

How long will it take me to earn my degree?

Most students earn their undergraduate degrees in 4 years or less. If you have questions about transferring any previously earned credits or degrees, please see our Transfer Student information.

How much is tuition?

Loras is consistently ranked as one of the best universities for return on investment. See our Tuition and Fees.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. The majority of Loras students receive financial aid. Learn more about our Financial Aid & Tuition and Fees.

I would like to go to medical school. Will I still be able to participate in athletics and/or be involved in student life?

Yes. Many of the student-athletes and student leaders on campus lead Supplemental Instruction sessions (SI) and are also in the Honors Program.

Will I have research opportunities my first year in the program?

Yes. Students may join a faculty research lab as early as their first year. Faculty enjoy mentoring students and helping them find on- and off-campus research opportunities.

Meet Our Professors

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences Chair
Associate Professor of Biology
563.588.7956 | Kate.Cooper@loras.edu
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Thomas Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7767 | Thomas.Davis@loras.edu
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Fred Schnee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
563.588.7247 | Fred.Schnee@loras.edu
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David Shealer, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7678 | David.Shealer@loras.edu
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Aditi Sinha, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
563.588.7231 | aditi.Sinha@loras.edu
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