• Biology

    The Biology program provides students with a broad knowledge in the biological sciences through a core curriculum and upper-level courses in specialized areas of study. A hands-on approach for teaching laboratory techniques and field work is emphasized. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to develop effective communication skills and an awareness of the societal and global implications of biology. Both a major and minor in Biology are offered and, as part of the Biology major, students may choose to concentrate in Nuclear Medicine Technology or Bioinformatics. In addition, the prerequisites necessary to meet the requirements of WSU's pre-medical, -dental, and -veterinary program as well as the accelerated pharmacy program with MCPHS University can be completed through the Biology major. Undergraduate biology students who have demonstrated academic excellence and an interest in biological research may participate in the Honors in Biology program. The Chi lota Chapter of the national biological honor society, Beta Beta Beta provides recognition to outstanding students majoring in Biology and Biotechnology.

    Requirements for a Major in Biology
    Required Biology courses: 38 credits

    • BI 140 Introduction to Organismal Biology
    • BI 141 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
    • BI 200 Human Biology
    • BI 202 Principles of Ecology
    • BI 203 Genetics
    • BI 204 Microbiology
    • BI 404 Biology Senior Seminar
    • 3 Upper Division Electives (300 or 400 level lab courses)

    Ancillary Requirements: 28-34 credits

    • MA 150
    • MA 180 or Higher
    • CH 120 & CH 121 General Chemistry I and II
    • CH 201 & CH 202 Organic Chemistry I and II
    • PY 221 & PY 222 General Physics I and II or
    • PY 241 & PY 242 Physics I and II

    (Students who also complete CH 203 and CH 204 will earn a chemistry minor)

    Upper division Biology electives
    Cellular/Molecular Biology Organismal Biology

    • BI 324 Endocrinology BI 304 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
    • BI 371 Molecular Biology BI 306 Developmental Biology
    • BI 372 Immunology BI 313 Histology
    • BI 375 Virology BI 315 Neurosciences
    • BI 410 Biochemistry BI 321 Comparative Physiology
    • BI 399 Biochemical Regulatory BI 340 Plant Sciences
    • Mechanism BI 341 Mycology
    • BI 398 Cancer Biology BI 342 Plant Physiology
    • BT 375 Tissue Culture BI 360 Animal Behavior
    • BT 376 Biotechnology
    • BT 378 Bioinformatics

    Population and Environmental Biology

    • BI 301 Invertebrate Zoology
    • BI 302 Entomology
    • BI 303 Parasitology
    • BI 331 Marine Biology
    • BI 333 Vertebrate Natural History of Ectotherms
    • BI 334 Wildlife Investigative Techniques
    • BI 344 Soil Biology
    • BI 352 Symbiosis and Evolution
    • BI 380 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
      (Note: Pre-med and Graduate school candidates should also take CH 203 & CH 204
    • Organic Chemistry laboratory in addition to CH 201 and CH 202)

    A minimum of three upper division laboratory courses (BI 300- or BI 400-level) are to be selected from three categories of Biology electives. No more than two courses from a single group can count toward major requirements. The courses should be selected with the advice and consent of the faculty advisor. A grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained in biology courses and in the ancillary science and mathematics courses. Students considering graduate and professional work should take, as a recommended minimum, calculus and introduction to computer science.

    Honors Program in Biology
    The Honors Program in Biology is designated as a distinction bestowed on those outstanding undergraduate Biology majors who have demonstrated distinct competence in overall biology course work and who have completed an independent research project of substantial merit. This program offers motivated students the opportunity to develop research and communication skills in preparation for graduate school or a professional career.

    Requirements for the Honors Program in Biology
    All courses required for the major in Biology, plus:

    • BI 205 Research Methods and Experimental Design (2 credits)
    • BI 402 Independent Study in Biology (3-5 credits)*
    • Written thesis describing original research

    *"Commendation in Biology" requires 3 credits of BI 402 Independent Study in Biology and a minimum 3.0 GPA in biology courses. "Honors in Biology" requires 5 credits of BI 402 Independent Study in Biology and a minimum of 3.5 GPA in biology courses.

    For more information and specific program requirements, contact Dr. Randall Tracy in the
    Department of Biology.

    Requirements for a Minor in Biology

    • BI 140 Introduction to Organismal Biology
    • BI 141 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology

    Four additional 200-level or higher Biology or Biotechnology laboratory courses.

    Requirements for a Major in Biology, Concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology: 48 credits
    Worcester State University offers, in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT), administered by a program advisory committee and accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

    Nuclear medicine is a study of techniques developed in hospitals, particularly in radiology, pathology and internal medicine departments. These techniques are used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Students interested in being considered candidates for admission to the program should contact either the program coordinator or the nominating committee as early in their college career as possible. The program is limited to a relatively small number of students.

    Prerequisites for the program include successful completion of:

    • BI 161 & BI 162 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • CH 120 & CH 121 General Chemistry I and II
    • PY 221 & PY 222 General Physics I and II or
    • PY 241 & PY 242 Physics I, II

    Math Requirement
    Two math courses based on Accuplacer scores and Departmental Major Requirements
    selected as a minimum from these four courses:

    • MA 180 Introduction to Functions
    • MA 190 Precalculus
    • MA 200 Calculus I
    • MA 201 Calculus II

    Note: MA 150 Statistics is not acceptable. Higher level math courses that require Calculus as a prerequisite are acceptable. MA 150 Statistics must be completed for the Biology Major. Candidates must visit the Medical School Nuclear Medicine Department and file intent to enroll forms with the Worcester State University Nuclear Medicine Technology coordinator prior to being considered a candidate for the program.

    Technical specialty courses of the NMT Program are:

    • Introduction and Hospital Orientation (no credit)
    • BI 252 Radiation Biology
    • BI/PY 451 & BI/PY 452 Nuclear Instrumentation I and II
    • BI 461, BI 462, BI 463, & BI 464 NMT Clinical Practicum I, II, III and IV
    • BI/CH 453 Radiopharmaceuticals
    • BI/CH 465 & BI/CH 466 Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology I and II

    Students majoring in Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry or Natural Science may pursue the Concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

    Major in Biology, Concentration in Bioinformatics
    The purpose of this interdisciplinary concentration is to prepare students to enter the computer-intensive fields of bioinformatics, computational biology, computational chemistry, and molecular modeling including genomics and proteomics. With the ever increasing number of fully sequenced genomes, including the human genome, databases such as GenBank and EMBL have grown at such a rate that storing, organizing, indexing, and ultimately mining the data have become key to answering biological questions. Questions of gene expression have led to computational biology, the process of analyzing genomic sequences and to the field of proteomics, the understanding of protein structure and function. The information obtained by computational biology and computational chemistry is used
    in the design of new drugs to treat a variety of diseases. Major drug and biotechnology companies are seeking people trained in bioinformatics.

    In addition to the requirements for the Major in Biology:

    • BT 378 Bioinformatics*  (4)
    • CS 101 Basics of Computer Science (3)
    • CS 140 Introduction to Programming (4)
    • CS 242 Data Structures (3)
    • CS 282 UNIX Systems Programming  (3)
    • CS 265 Database Applications (3)

    *BT 378 Bioinformatics fulfills an upper division Cellular/Molecular Biology elective. (requires BI 141 or BI 203 as a prerequisite)

    Requirements for a Major in Biology and to meet the prerequisites for the Accelerated Pharmacy Program with MCPHS University
    All of the courses listed for a major in biology plus:

    • CH 203 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
    • CH 204 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II