Biology Overview & Goals

Biology provides rewarding learning experiences and entry into a meaningful career for today’s science student. Careers in this field have a beneficial societal impact and are intellectually interesting and financially rewarding. Study in this area can lead to jobs in medicine, biomedical research, healthcare administration, education, business, government policy, law, forestry, wildlife and fisheries, zoo management, conservation, and sustainability.

You are carefully guided by Bethany professors as you transition from a beginning scholar to a successful candidate for a meaningful job or entry position in a competitive biomedical or graduate program. Bethany classes are small and dynamic with hopes to encourage involvement and individuality.

Your educational journey continues outside the classroom through involvement with the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, campus hiking trails, and greenhouse. All majors have the opportunity to proctor labs or assist professors in biomolecular research as a student worker. Experiences such as teaching laboratories, completing field work in streams and forests adjacent to campus, earning prestigious summer internships, and participating in senior research projects and a capstone comprehensive exam, will prepare you for your next step following graduation.

Biology (Major)

Botany (Minor)

Environmental Biology (Minor)

Zoology (Minor)

Medical and Health Professions (Pre-Professional Program)
At Bethany College, students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions have a variety of majors to choose from. With the liberal arts education, students can choose any major as long as they complete the admission requirements necessary for admission in to the health profession graduate program of interest. These students are also provided the opportunity to participate in the Pre-Health Professions Club on campus, which allows them to visit local graduate programs, volunteer for American Red Cross Blood Drives on campus, and directly interact with various speakers from the health profession fields.

Other benefits include shadowing opportunities, practice for various graduate admission entrance exams, and medical mission work. Pre-Health graduates from Bethany College tend to choose careers in the following health professions: Allopathic Medical School, Osteopathic Medical School, Pharmacy School, Physical Therapy School, Occupational Therapy School, Medical Research Graduate Programs, Physician Assistant School, Public Health Graduate Programs, Athletic Training Graduate School, and Nursing School.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional Program)

Careers in Biology

Research and Development
Basic
Applied
Quality Control
Administration
Grant Writing

Healthcare
Medicine
Dentistry
Optometry
Podiatry
Pharmacy
Veterinary Medicine
Occupational & Physical Therapy
Medical Technology
Nuclear Medicine
Public Health

Biomedical Sciences
Biophysics
Biochemistry
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Genetics
Immunology
Pathology
Pharmacology
Physiology
Virology

Organismal/Ecological Biology
Botany
Ecology:

  • Behavioral, community, ecosystem, evolutionary, population biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Entomology
  • Marine Biology
  • Genetics

Microbiology:

  • Bacteria, algae, fungi, molds, yeasts, viruses, protozoa
  • Taxonomy
  • Zoology

Biotechnology
Medicine
Agriculture
Food Science
Biological Engineering
Bioremediation
Environmental Protection/Regulation

Bioinformatics
Algorithm and Statistical Techniques
Data Analysis and Interpretation
Information Management
Organization and Retrieval

Education
Teaching: Elementary, Secondary, Post-Secondary, Non-classroom Education

Communication
Technical Writing
Editing
Illustrating
Photography
Public Relations

Legislation/Law
Lobbying
Regulatory Affairs
Science Policy
Patent Law
Environmental Law
Nonprofit or Public Interest
Mediation

Business/Industry
Technical and Pharmaceutical Sales
Management
Consulting
Marketing

Some areas of specialization:
Healthcare: clinical research (i.e., virology, immunology, enzymology), medical devices, and equipment
Pharmacology: drug properties, interactions, application, and development
Environmental: testing, air, water, and waste management, regulation
Agricultural: crop production, herbicide/pesticide development and application, bio-remediation
Food science: preservation, nutrition
Cosmeceutical: development and application
Forensic: toxicology, DNA analysis, scientific instrumentation

Other Professional Opportunities
Sales/Marketing
Technical Writing
Scientific Journalism
Scientific Illustration
Regulatory Affairs
Administration/Management
Scientific/Technical Recruiting
Intellectual Property/Patent Law
Bioinformatics

Pre-Health graduates from Bethany College tend to choose careers in the following health professions: Allopathic Medical School, Osteopathic Medical School, Pharmacy School, Physical Therapy School, Occupational Therapy School, Medical Research Graduate Programs, Physician Assistant School, Public Health Graduate Programs, Athletic Training Graduate School, and Nursing School.

Cara Halldin“The sciences coursework at Bethany was integral to preparing me to earn a higher degree in the field of biology. However, more importantly, the liberal arts background that I received at Bethany has had the largest impact on the trajectory of my career.

For example, my job now, and every job I’ve had up to this point has required me to work with people from a spectrum of disciplines. Specifically, courses I took to fulfill degree requirements outside of the biology department at Bethany, like sociology, human development, and a variety of psychology courses, have helped me to understand how to relate to people from all different backgrounds.

The campus community seemed so close-knit and inviting, and it felt like the faculty were really interested in ensuring the students not only succeeded in their studies, but also stepped outside their comfort zones to experience new areas of study and thought.”

Dr. Cara Halldin, Biology ’06
Lieutenant Commander
Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Faculty

William T. Hicks
Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Oregon State University
M.S., Miami University, Ohio
B.S., Bloomsburg University
304.829.7642
whicks@bethanywv.edu

John T. Burns
Professor of Biology; Chair
Ph.D. Vertebrate Zoology & Physiology, 1977: Louisiana State University
M.S. Vertebrate Zoology, 1968: Louisiana State University
B. A. Zoology and Botany, 1965: Wabash College
304.829.7637
jburns@bethanywv.edu

Gregory A. Polsinelli
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Ph.D. Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, 2003-2008
B.S. Biochemistry (cum laude), Virginia Tech, 1998-2002
304.829.7629
gpolsinelli@bethanywv.edu

Anna Edlund
Associate Professor of Biology
Postdoctorate,  University of Chicago
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Swarthmore College
484.894.6454
aedlund@bethanywv.edu

Requirements

All students majoring in Biology must complete a minimum of 44 credits in courses in Biology including BIOL 100, 108, 180, 290, 308, 378, 379, 477, 478, 490, and those listed below. All students majoring in Biology must also complete PHYS 201, 202; CHEM 101, 102, 211, and 212.

A semester of calculus and statistics is highly recommended. Students with a special interest in botany should elect BIOL 338 as the course from BIOL 300, 338, 440 and BIOL 442; BIOL 102, 228, and 326 are strongly recommended.

Biology Track Requirements: BIOL 326; two courses from BIOL 341, 343, 351, 425; one course from BIOL 300, 338, 440, or 442.

Biochemistry Track Requirements: BIOL 320, 341 or 343, 351, 352; 8 credits of calculus.

Biology Education (Grades 9-12) Track Requirements: BIOL 168, 169, 221, 310, 326, 341, 343; GENS 480. The following courses must be completed prior to student teaching: BIOL 100, 108, 168, 169, 180, 290, 308; GENS 480. In addition, one of the following courses must be taken to fulfill the Liberal Arts Core requirement in Mathematics: MATH 105, 201, 202, 281. Only Biology majors who have completed all courses in the track and the courses in the Professional Education Requirements described in the Education section of this Catalogue and on the department’s website or in the resource area in the College’s courseware solution will be recommended for certification to teach Biology in secondary school.

BIOL 100, 108 or 110, plus eight credits from BIOL 102, 228, 326, 338.

BIOL 100, 108, either 221 or 326, 228, 231.

BIOL 100, 180, 308, and four credits from 425, 440, or 442.

Programs for advanced degrees in medical fields such as dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and podiatry, as well as physician assistant and other health science fields require applicants to have a broad foundation in the sciences, mathematics, and English. Students are required to show competency in both inorganic and organic chemistry, biology and general physics, usually completing a two semester sequence, and many programs are now requiring or strongly recommending biochemistry. Students will also be expected to perform satisfactorily on a qualifying exams such as the DAT, GRE, MCAT, OAT, or PCAT.

Students interested in health related professions should plan to take Chemistry 101-102 and Biology 100 during their first year. Mathematics 201 is highly recommended during the first year. Chemistry 211-212 should be taken in the second year, and Physics 201-202 taken no later than the third year. Pre-professional students in the health sciences should consult early in their first year with the chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee.

EQUI 100, 101, 104, 202, 302 or 401, 490 ; BIOL 100, 108 or 180, 168, 169, 280, 290, 343; CHEM 101, 102, 211, 212, 351, 352; MATH 201, 281; PHYS 201, 202

Course Descriptions

BIOL 100 Modern Concepts in Life Science   4 credits
This course is an introduction to modern concepts of cell biology, metabolism, photosynthesis, nutrition, reproduction, heredity, evolution, behavior, and ecology, emphasizing the process of acquiring biological knowledge. Consideration is given to social and ethical implications of biological issues.

BIOL 102 Horticultural Science   3 credits
This course is an examination of the scientific concepts on which horticulture is based. Emphasis is placed on the study of the plant, the basis of all horticulture activities. The subject of hydroponics is considered, and plants are grown hydroponically in the green house.

BIOL 105 Introduction to Animal Science   1 credit
This course is an introduction to the handling and management of animal species, with an emphasis on large animals. Largely lab-based, topics include the wide variety of management and husbandry techniques, including working safely around large animals, health management, and basic records management.

BIOL 107 Human Biology   4 credits
The study of Human Biology including elements of cell biology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology, disease, immunity, evolution, ecology, and the impact of humans on the enviroment. Not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 108 Botany   4 credits
This course provides a comprehensive overview of plants, including diversity, evolution, anatomy, physiology, and ecology with an emphasis on experimentation and scientific writing.

BIOL 110 Plants, People, and Environment   4 credits
This course is a study of plant life, including the evolution of the various groups of plants, and an introduction to the morphology and anatomy of vascular plants, plant genetics, and the functional life processes of plants. Some economic and ecological problems such as world climate change are also examined.

BIOL 115 Biology of Women   3 credits
A study of human biology, anatomy, and physiology with an emphasis on the biology of women and their gender-based health and wellness issues.

BIOL 168 Introduction to Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology I   3 credits
This course is a study of mammalian anatomy as exemplified in the cat. Included are discussion and study of the following: the functioning of cells and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, sensory, and endocrine systems; lab study of the anatomy of the cat; human physiology. Not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 169 Introduction to Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology II   3 credits
This course is a study of mammalian anatomy as exemplified in the cat. Included are discussion and study of the following: the functioning of the cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems; lab study of the anatomy of the cat; human physiology. Not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 180 Invertebrate Zoology   4 credits
This course is a structural, functional, and evolutionary study of the major invertebrate phyla.

BIOL 205 Emergency Medical Training   3 credits
This course studies medical, communication, and transportation records and report instructions as required for certification by the West Virginia Department of Health for emergency medical technicians. (Red Cross advanced first aid certificates may be earned by those passing the examination.)

BIOL 221 Introduction to Environmental Science   3 credits
This course is a study of processes of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere, and of the human impact on the environment. Included are the consideration of ethical problems related to the environment and a review of environmental laws and government agencies.

BIOL 228 Field Botany   2 credits
This course is an introduction to the taxonomy of vascular plants, with emphasis on the local flora and on the techniques of herbarium science.

BIOL 231 Ornithology   3 credits
This course is a study of the anatomy, behavior, and identification of birds.

BIOL 250 Biological Rhythms   2 credits
This course is a study of circadian and other rhythms in living organisms including humans. Emphasized are the physiological and behavioral aspects of rhythms.

BIOL 251 Endocrinology   3 credits
This course is a study of various endocrine glands and their hormonal regulations of diverse physiological functions in health and disease.

BIOL 280 Animal Nutrition   3 credits
This course is a study of the nutritional and feeding requirements of domesticated species. Topics discussed include comparative physiology of the digestive systems of domesticated animals, nutrient categories, basic ration formulation, including uses of concentrates, nutrient supplementation, and forages.

BIOL 290 General Genetics   4 credits
This course is a synthesis of basic genetic principles and modern molecular theory.

BIOL 291 Animal Genetics and Breeding   3 credits
This course is a study of the application of genetic and breeding principles to production of domesticated species. Genetic and environmental bases of variation and methods in quantitative genetics are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of selection and mating systems and planned breeding programs.

BIOL 300 Immunology   4 credits
This course provides an overview of the immune system, including its activation, effector mechanisms and regulation, and examines the impact of the immune system on areas such as infection, organ transplantation, cancer, and auto-immune disease.

BIOL 308 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy   4 credits
This course compares the anatomy of representative forms of vertebrates and includes laboratory study of the comparative anatomy of the shark, other lower vertebrates, and the cat.

BIOL 310 Evolution   2 credits
This course is an examination of evidence for the theories of evolution with special attention to the modern synthesis of genetic and ecological factors. Also considered are the implications of evolution for religious thought. Prerequisite: An elementary course in Biology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 320 Physical Chemistry I with Biological Applications 4 credits
This course is an introduction to the nature of thermodynamics and kinetics including equilibrium and rate transport processes. The focus is on applications of physical concepts to systems, especially those of biochemical and biological interest. Studies of chemical and phase equilibria are investigated thoroughly, and kinetic processes including Michaelis-Menton kinetics as well as transition state theory complete the course. (This course may be taken for credit as CHEM 320.) Prerequisites: CHEM 212 and MATH 202 or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 326 Ecology   3 credits
This course is a study of the general principles of ecology of microorganisms, plants, and animals. Special emphasis is on field study of several communities.

BIOL 338 Plant Anatomy and Physiology   3 credits
This course is an examination of morphology and anatomy of the vascular plants and a study of the fundamental life processes of plants: growth; reproduction; irritability; metabolism; and hormonal control.

BIOL 341 Cell Biology   4 credits
This course is an introduction to the structure and physiology of the eukaryotic cell.

BIOL 343 Microbiology   4 credits
This course is a study of morphology and physiology of microorganisms, principles of lab technique, and cultural characteristics and environmental influences on microbial growth.

BIOL 351 Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I   4 credits
This course is an introduction to the structural organization and chemical composition of cells and to fundamental chemical processes carried on inside organelles. Included are enzymatic action, transport across biological membranes, and basic metabolic pathways as they relate to cell structure. The laboratory focuses on current techniques for the isolation and analysis of basic biomolecules and on some practical applications of enzymology. (This course may be taken for credit as CHEM 351.) Prerequisites: CHEM 211, 212.

BIOL 352 Molecular Biology and Biochemistry II   4 credits
This course is an introduction to the biosynthesis of biomolecules, gene expression and control, and recombinant DNA technology. The laboratory focuses on current techniques for probing biochemical reactions and for isolating and engineering DNA. (This course may be taken for credit as CHEM 352.) Prerequisites: BIOL 351 or CHEM 351.

BIOL 378 Junior Seminar I   1 credit
This course studies theory and practice of selected methods in biological instrumentation, research, and evaluation of data. Special emphasis is on those methods not covered in other courses in the department and on methods helpful for the completion of the senior project.

BIOL 379 Junior Seminar II   1 credit
Students prepare a proposal for senior project research.

BIOL 425 Animal Physiology   4 credits
This course is a study of the structure and functions of the human body and of the mechanism of bodily movements, responses, reactions, and various physiological states.

BIOL 440 Histology   4 credits
This course is a study of animal tissues.

BIOL 442 Embryology   4 credits
This course is a study of the ontogenetic development of selected embryos. Primary emphasis is on the vertebrates.

BIOL 477 Senior Seminar I   1 credit
This course is an introduction to the literature of the biological sciences, including both research papers and review articles, and to the basics of scientific writing.

BIOL 478 Senior Seminar I   1 credit
This course emphasizes polishing the skills useful to the student who is in the process of finishing the written portion of the senior project. When possible, the student makes an oral presentation of the senior project and completes a paper or reviews an article for publication.

BIOL 487-488 Independent Study   2-4 credits

BIOL 490 Senior Project   2-3 credits
The senior project is begun in the second semester of the junior year and completed in the spring semester of the senior year. It generally is a research project developed with a faculty member.