About the Department
The Biology Department at James Madison University is located in The Bioscience Building (pictured), which is located on the East campus, between the Rose Library and the Physics/Chemistry Building and close to other university facilities. We currently serve ~1,000 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate students. The department offers a wide variety of courses for biology and biotechnology majors, general education, and pre-health profession majors. Our 4-semester core curriculum was developed using National Science Foundation funding.
Many faculty are supported in their research by external or internal funds. Both individual and shared research spaces are located near faculty offices, and most classes and labs are taught in The Bioscience Building.
About the Bioscience Building
The Bioscience building was completed in May 2012 and was purpose-built to house the Biology Department, Pre-professional Health programs and the College of Science and Mathematics Deans' offices. The building is aiming for silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for green building design and its major theme is "Biology on Display". This is exemplified in the choice of natural materials in many of the furnishings, biological materials embedded in decorative elements of the building and the stunning DNA mural visible on all three floors of the main atrium. Also contributing to this theme is the use of glass throughout the building, which not only allows natural light to reach all rooms, but provides glimpses of biological research and teaching in action as one walks through the hallways. The building is full of dynamic spaces, carefully designed to foster collaboration and learning for students and faculty alike. More about the mural.
The Department of Biology holds as its primary core values providing a superlative educational experience for students; actively involving faculty and students in scholarly pursuits as the ultimate expression of teaching and learning; and serving the department, college, university, and greater academic and non-academic communities in support of our teaching and scholarship missions.
We value an environment for learning that includes opportunities for undergraduate research; a broadly-based academic program; a supportive, diverse, and collaborative faculty; an understanding of the process of science; and a recognition of the importance of community outreach and involvement.
1. To provide a superlative educational experience, we
- Offer undergraduate and graduate curricula that engage students in both the process of science and the discipline of biology. (Our 4-course undergraduate core curriculum is a distinctive feature of the Department.)
- Build foundations for future activities including graduate studies, careers in biological sciences, professional fields (such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science), and teaching at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
- Increase participation of under-represented groups in science and the workforce.
- Foster development of scholarship and communication skills.
- Serve as mentors, role models, and sources of knowledge.
2. To actively involve faculty and students in scholarly pursuits as the ultimate expression of teaching and learning, we
- Encourage and provide ample opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a variety of scholarly activities and to conduct original research directly with faculty mentors in their areas of expertise. (An emphasis on undergraduate research is a distinctive feature of the Department.)
- Support opportunities for faculty and students to disseminate the results of their scholarly activities and to interact with professionals at meetings and conferences.
3. To serve the Department, College, University, and greater academic and non-academic communities in support of our teaching and scholarship missions, we
- Encourage service as a valued component of fostering academic and professional development.
- Provide effective academic and career advising for students interested in biology.
- Recognize and reward student excellence.
- Strive to instill a service ethic in our students through service learning.