Major in Biology - Organismal Biology and Ecology Concentration

Completion of this concentration provides background for advanced studies in botany, zoology, conservation biology or ecology, and/or career opportunities in environmental education, in government environmental regulatory agencies and in the private sector. Students completing this concentration are encouraged to take both BIOL 205 and BIOL 207. Those students taking BIOL 208 are required to complete an additional elective. Students taking this concentration have the option of choosing to complete a track in either Botany or Zoology, but selection of a track is not required. Students in this concentration are strongly encouraged to participate in a research experience or as an intern (e.g., BIOL 491, BIOL 493 or BIOL 499). They should consult with their advisers regarding these opportunities.

Specific requirements for the Organismal Biology and Ecology concentration are listed under Requirements and outlined in the suggested Four-Year Plan of Study.

The Biology major requires a minimum of 11 courses within the biological sciences with a range of 36 to 50 units, depending upon the concentration and configuration of electives selected. A typical student will complete a minimum of 38 to 40 units in biology. Four courses are required and seven elective courses are selected from within the department to complete a concentration. In addition, six to seven ancillary courses (24–30 units) must be completed in the disciplines of chemistry, mathematics and physics. The program must be completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher in all course work.

Selection of appropriate electives allows students to fulfill the requirements of any of four areas of concentration: Cell and Molecular Biology, Functional Biology of Animals, Organismal Biology and Ecology, or Secondary Education. Completion of one of these concentrations is required for a major in Biology. Students are strongly encouraged to plan their programs in consultation with an adviser who is a member of the biology faculty.

Foundation Courses (13 Units)
BIOL 201INTRODUCTION TO CELL BIOLOGY AND GENETICS4
BIOL 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
BIOL 204EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER PLANNING FOR THE BIOLOGIST1
BIOL 309GENETICS4
Breadth Courses (10-20 Units)
The following are required for all Biology majors unless indicated differently within the concentration
Select one of the following:3-8
BIODIVERSITY
GENERAL BOTANY
and GENERAL ZOOLOGY
Select one of the following:4
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND CONSERVATION
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Select one of the following:3-8
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Ancillary Courses (24-30 Units)
The following courses are required for all Biology majors unless indicated differently within the concentration
Chemistry13-18
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
ESSENTIALS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
Physics8
Select one of the following:
GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED
and GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED
GENERAL PHYSICS I CALCULUS-BASED
and GENERAL PHYSICS II CALCULUS-BASED
Mathematics 13-4
Select one of the following:
CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS
ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS
CALCULUS I
BEHAVIORAL STATISTICS
Total Units47-63
1

Because material covered in Basic Mathematics for the Sciences (MATH 115) is a prerequisite for chemistry and physics students who have not completed high school trigonometry and two years of high school algebra in good standing should take MATH 115 in addition to one of the options listed above.

Chemistry I and II should be taken during the freshman year, Organic Chemistry I and II during the sophomore year and Physics as soon as possible.

Concentrations

Biology majors are required to complete one of four concentrations in biology by selecting a minimum of seven courses from among groups of electives within each concentration. One of these electives may be from outside the concentration.

Within each concentration, options exist for fulfilling each of three areas of breadth and for fulfilling concentration electives. Each student is strongly encouraged to consult with a biology faculty adviser in selecting electives to satisfy his/her program of study in the concentration and to match the program of study with career objectives.

No more than 3 units combined from BIOL 491 and BIOL 499 may count toward the Biology major. None of these courses may count toward the minor in Biology.

The following courses may not be used to fulfill Biology elective requirements:

BIOL 100HUMANISTIC BOTANY3
BIOL 103HUMAN BIOLOGY3
BIOL 105ENVIRONMENTAL BIOL3
BIOL 120
120L
PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY [LECTURE]
and PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY [LAB]
4
BIOL 215ESSENTIALS OF MICROBIOLOGY4
BIOL 301FIELD AND NATURAL SCIENCE3
BIOL 303LIFE SCIENCES3
BIOL 313BIOLOGY OF AGING3
BIOL 321BIOLOGY OF WOMEN3
BIOL 322BIOTECH & SOCIETY3
BIOL 323GENES,EVOL,MORAL3
BIOL 327DANGEROUS DISEASES3
BIOL 381WRITING IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES3
BIOL 481DIR READ:BIOL1-3
BIOL 490INDEPENDENT RESEARCH1-3
BIOL 493INTERNSHIP IN BIOLOGY3
BIOL 494TRAVEL STUDY1-3
Total Units47-53

Before enrolling in any 300- or 400-level elective course, Biology majors are required to complete a minimum of 8 units in lower-level biology courses with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher and to have an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher. Students who do not meet the above requirements may not be allowed to enroll in upper-level electives. Also, note that for those Biology electives listing BIOL 205 and/or BIOL 207 as prerequisites that BIOL 208 is an acceptable substitute.

The Department of Biological Sciences makes every effort to offer elective courses in a systematic fashion. However, it assumes no responsibility for cases in which unforeseen scheduling conflicts, course cancellations or staffing changes prevent students from taking a particular elective course during their residence at Towson University.

Organismal Biology and Ecology Concentration

Foundation Courses (13 Units)
BIOL 201INTRODUCTION TO CELL BIOLOGY AND GENETICS4
BIOL 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
BIOL 204EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER PLANNING FOR THE BIOLOGIST1
BIOL 309GENETICS4
Breadth Courses (10-20 Units)
Select one of the following:3-8
GENERAL BOTANY
and GENERAL ZOOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY 1
Select one of the following:4
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND CONSERVATION
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Select BIOL 221 and BIOL 222 OR BIOL 325 OR BIOL 436:3-8
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LAB]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LAB]
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Elective Courses
Principles of Ecology Elective (4 Units)
Select one of the following:4
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
GENERAL ECOLOGY
LIMNOLOGY
PLANT ECOLOGY
Diversity Elective (3-4 Units)
Select one of the following:3-4
HUMANS, SCIENCE AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
MARINE BIOLOGY
INVERT ZOOLOGY
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
EVOLUTION
VASCULAR PLANT TAXONOMY
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
TROPICAL ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
TROPICAL FIELD ECOLOGY
WETLAND ECOLOGY
FISH BIOLOGY
ORNITHOLOGY
MAMMALOGY
ENTOMOLOGY
HERPETOLOGY
Organismal Elective (3-4 Units)
Select one elective from the list of Principles of Ecology or Diversity Electives above3-4
or
ELECTIVE IN INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
Ancillary Courses (25-30 Units)
Chemistry and physics as required for Biology major, including one of the following:25-30
ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS
BEHAVIORAL STATISTICS
Recommended Courses
CALCULUS I
CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS
SEMINAR IN ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, CONSERVATION AND BEHAVIOR
Total Units58-75
1

If BIOL 208 was selected, an additional elective must be selected from among the list of Principles of Ecology or Diversity Electives.

Suggested Four-Year Plan 

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 2014BIOL 2024
MATH 115, 119, 211, or 27313CHEM 131
131L (or CHEM 132/132L if CHEM 131/131L were taken in previous term)
4
TSEM 102 or ENGL 1023ENGL 102 or TSEM 1023
Core (can take CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L if taking a calculus course)3Core course or a Statistics course (MATH 237 (4) or PSYC 212 (4))3-4
Core (should be taken if not taking CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L)3 
 16 14-15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 20421BIOL 2054
BIOL 2074PHYS 21134
BIOL 3094Core3
CHEM 132
132L (if not taken in Year 1)
4Elective for the concentration or a Core course3-4
Core3 
 16 14-15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 325 or 4054BIOL 325 (if not yet taken) or an Elective4
PHYS 2124BIOL 484 (recommended)51
Core3CHEM 330 or 331 (or Elective (3-4))45
Elective (no more than 3 courses should have labs or recitation sections)4Elective4
Students should meet with their advisers to discuss REU programs, internships, etc., for next summerCore3
 15 17
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
Elective (CHEM 332 if CHEM 331 was taken)4Elective (Consider BIOL 484, if not yet taken) and take elective, Core and other courses required to complete the degree; no more than three courses with labs or recitation sections))4
Elective4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
Core (Core and other courses required to complete the degree; no more than three courses with labs or recitation sections)3Core3
 15 15
Total Units 122-124
1

MATH 115 if Math Placement Scores suggest this course: Students scoring 16 or below on the Basic Algebra Test and/or 10 or below on the Calculus Readiness Test should take Math 115.

2

A key assignment in BIOL 204 is completion of your own Degree Completion Plan.

3

PHYS 241 and 242 can be substituted for PHYS 211 and 212 if Calculus prerequisites are met (requires Math 273 and 274).

4

CHEM 331 & CHEM 332 may be be required for graduate programs. Such choices should always be discussed with your adviser.

5

Contact the instructor regarding format and expectations

NOTE:

Unit range totals are listed for options on a term-by-term basis. If you take the minimum number of units each semester, you may not have the minimum 120 units needed to graduate. You must review your overall progress toward your degree every term when you meet with your adviser.

1. Explain the core concepts and principles of Biology.
2. Demonstrate the scientific method through the use of hypothesis testing in the design and implementation of an experiment.
3. Utilize scientific methodologies from the biological sciences in the evaluation of issues in society.
4. Apply appropriate critical-thinking/problem-solving skills in biological sciences.
5. Communicate both verbally and in writing in discipline specific contexts.
6. Identify fundamental similarities and differences among various fields of study within the Biological Sciences.