Undergraduate

Graduate School Ready

82% of our Biology graduates have been accepted into medical, dental, physician assistant and veterinarian schools.

Cancer Research Conducted by Graduate

James McCann '10, '11 talks about his career at a biotech firm and his internship opportunities through St. Edward's.

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Science Students Win Business Competition

Biology major Jana Soares ’15 and Biochemistry major Katharina Weber ’15 won second place and a $1,000 cash prize in the St. Edward’s 2013 Business Plan Competition. Their proposed business venture, Forget-Me-Not, is a smartphone medical app for those who require frequent monitoring of medical vital signs. 

Innovative Labs Refine Research Skills

The Chair of Biology at St. Edward’s, Lisa Goering, talks about the valuable skills and techniques science students learn in our research labs and how they apply them to their careers.

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Biology

The Biology program at St. Edward’s offers BA and BS degrees that prepare you for a wide range of career options. Enter medical or other health professional schools. Become a teacher. Or do graduate study in exciting fields such as molecular, developmental, cellular and organismic biology and ecology.

We emphasize experiential learning. You’ll enroll in research courses and have the opportunity to join a student-faculty research group with the goal of producing and presenting professional-level work.

Students benefit from spacious, open-lab environments in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for innovative and collaborative research. St. Edward’s is among the best-equipped small-college natural science programs in the country.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Overview:

As a BA in Biology major, you’ll explore the processes that maintain life, as well as the events that disrupt it. You have a strong background in the natural sciences. Now you’re ready for an in-depth study of biology that takes you from the level of genes, through cells and organ systems, to populations of living organisms.

The BA in Biology is primarily designed for students interested in teaching at the secondary school level. Graduates may also work as wildlife biologists, physician assistants, science writers, environmental biologists, biomedical sales representatives or laboratory technicians. Advanced degrees are required for the health professions, greater research opportunities and college-level teaching positions.

Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and program events — allows you to learn more about options for careers and graduate work.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics

• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective

• Science in Depth

IV. CORE COURSES (30 CREDIT HOURS):
• General Biology: Cells, Genetics and Organ Systems, Lab
• General Biology: Organisms and Populations, Lab
• Human Anatomy and Physiology I
• Human Anatomy and Physiology II
• Molecular Biology
• Microbiology, Lab
• Population Biology and Ecology, Lab
• Evolution
Electives
Choose two courses from the following:
• Human Genetics
• Virology
• Immunology
• Animal Behavior
• Advanced Topics in Biology
• Developmental Biology
• Medical Terminology
• Cell Biology
• Neuroscience
• Independent Study
• Research
• Internship in Biology

V. SUPPORTING REQUIRED COURSES (30 CREDIT HOURS):
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Analytical Chemistry, Lab
• Organic Chemistry I, Lab
• Calculus I, Lab
• Applied Statistics
• Mechanics and Waves, Lab
• Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, Lab
• History and Philosophy of Science

VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Overview:

As a BS in Biology major, you’ll explore the processes that maintain life, as well as the events that disrupt it. You have a strong background in the natural sciences. Now you’re ready for an in-depth study of biology that takes you from the level of genes, through cells and organ systems, to populations of living organisms.

The BS in Biology offers two tracks:

  • Health Professions Track – prepares students to enter health professional schools for medical, dental, nursing or veterinary degrees.
  • Graduate School Track – prepares students for further education at the graduate level leading to careers outside the health professions. You might study molecular biology, cellular biology, developmental biology, microbiology, neurobiology, zoology, botany, ecology or other fields.

Your area of study could lead you to become an environmental or wildlife biologist, a biological consultant, or a research scientist in academia, industry or a government agency. You may also teach at a university, manage clinical trials, or work for government agencies (such as USDA, NIH, EPA, DOE) at the local, state or federal levels.

Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and program events — allows you to learn more about options for careers and graduate work.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics

• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. CORE COURSES (76 CREDIT HOURS):
Health Professions Track
Biology Required Courses
• General Biology: Cells, Genetics and Organ Systems, Lab
• General Biology: Organisms and Populations, Lab
• Molecular Biology
• Physiology, Lab
• Cell Biology
• Microbiology, Lab
• Evolution
Electives
Choose four courses of the following:
• Human Anatomy, Lab
• Entomology
• Plant Biology, Lab
• Vertebrate Biology
• Epidemiology
• Human Genetics
• Virology
• Immunology
• Animal Behavior
• Advanced Topics in Biology
• Developmental Biology
• Medical Terminology
• Population Biology and Ecology, Lab
• Neuroscience
• Independent Study
• Internship in Biology
• Research

Supporting Required Courses (37 Hours):
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Analytical Chemistry, Lab
• Organic Chemistry I, Lab
• Organic Chemistry II, Lab
• Biochemistry I
• Calculus I, Lab
• Applied Statistics
• Mechanics and Waves, Lab
• Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, Lab
• History and Philosophy of Science

Graduate School Track
The Graduate School Track is designed to give you a strong background in biology as well as research experience to prepare you for continuing your studies in graduate school.

Biology Required Courses
• General Biology: Cells, Genetics and Organ Systems, Lab
• General Biology: Organisms and Populations, Lab
• Molecular Biology
• Physiology, Lab
• Cell Biology
• Microbiology, Lab
• Population Biology and Ecology, Lab
• Evolution
• Research
Electives
Choose four courses of the following:
• Human Anatomy, Lab
• Entomology
• Plant Biology, Lab
• Vertebrate Biology
• Epidemiology
• Human Genetics
• Virology
• Immunology
• Animal Behavior
• Advanced Topics in Biology
• Developmental Biology
• Medical Terminology
• Neuroscience
• Independent Study
• Research
• Internship in Biology

Supporting Required Courses (33 Hours):
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Analytical Chemistry, Lab
• Organic Chemistry I, Lab
• Biochemistry I
• Calculus I, Lab
• Applied Statistics
• Mechanics and Waves, Lab
• Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, Lab
• History and Philosophy of Science

V. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VI. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.

Internships

All biology majors at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to complete internships each year with top businesses and nonprofits — locally, across the country and abroad. Internships allow you to learn new skills, explore your passions, and collaborate and network with professionals. An internship experience is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage in the business world and for graduate school.

Our students have gained on-the-job training at organizations and agencies like these:

  • Harvard Forest
  • Lower Colorado River Authority (LRCA)
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Monsanto
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • USDA – Agricultural Research Service
  • USDA – Forest Service
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

Research

With grant funding from sources such as the W.M. Keck Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Science Foundation, biology majors at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to do in-depth, hands-on research in the laboratory and/or the field in close collaboration with a faculty member. Engaging in professional-level research — typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities — will sharpen your résumé, build your confidence and skills, and prepare you for graduate studies and your career.

Our students publish and present their work — and win awards — at local, regional and national conferences, including these:

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Entomological Society of America
  • Society for Developmental Biology
  • Texas Academy of Science

Students also present at St. Edward’s University events:

  • Honors Thesis Symposium
  • McNair Scholars Conference
  • Senior Seminar Symposium in the School of Natural Sciences
  • Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)
     

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