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Department of Biology

Mission Statement

Special Requirements

Career Opportunities

Degree and Major Requirements

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

Biotechnology
Dual Degree Programs


Dr. Louise M. Temple, Head

Phone: (540) 568-6649
E-mail: templelm@jmu.edu
Web site: www.jmu.edu/biology

Dr. Dean Cocking, Undergraduate Coordinator

E-mail: cockinwd@jmu.edu

Professors
D. Brakke, J. Dendinger, N. Garrison, R. Harris, I. Knight, J. Monroe, M. Renfroe, B. Wiggins, D. Wubah, G. Wyngaard

Associate Professors
S. Babcock, C. Cleland, J. Clevinger, D. Cocking, J. Herrick, J. Kastendiek, S. Keffer, C. Lantz, C. Murphy, C. Rose, K. Slekar, L. Temple

Assistant Professors
J. Daniel, M. Gabriele, S. Halsell, C. Hurney, D. Jaynes, C. McMullen, A. Pesce, T. Rife, K. Seifert, K. Simon, R. Smetanka, J. Wubah, R. Wunderlich



Mission Statement

The Department of Biology holds as its primary core value a commitment to providing superlative teaching for students. To accomplish this mission, we will create an environment for learning that will include 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.


Career Opportunities and Advanced Fields of Study

The programs of study offered by the Accounting Program provide an educational experience intended to prepare students for a variety of careers in the accounting, financial, auditing, consulting and information systems fields. Some of the job titles held by graduates of our program include the following:

  • Anthropology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Biodiversity
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology 1
  • Botany
  • Clinical Laboratory Sciences 1
  • Dentistry
  • Ecology and Environmental Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Forensic Science
  • Forestry 1
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Graduate School in the Biological Sciences
  • Immunology
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Microscopy
  • Neurobiology
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physiology
  • Research Assistant
  • Scientific Writing
  • Secondary Education
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Virology
  • Zoology

1 See additional information regarding these affiliate programs on Pages 256-257.

Students interested in pursuing any of the career opportunities mentioned above should contact the Biology office at (540) 568-6225. An appropriate adviser will be assigned for mentoring and course selection purposes.


Co-curricular Activities and Organizations  

Biology majors participate in activities such as

  • Weekly departmental seminars
  • Tri-Beta, a national biology society
  • Pre-health career clubs
  • EARTH, an environmental action club
  • Summer research opportunities
  • Summer courses at biological field stations
  • Internships with various organizations
  • Aiding in teaching and research as student assistants
  • Presenting papers at meetings
  • Volunteering at Rockingham Memorial Hospital and with the rescue squad

Special Requirements

To be used as prerequisites for biology courses, grades of “C- ” or higher should be earned in the following: GSCI 103, BIO 114, BIO 120, BIO 124, BIO 130, BIO 214, BIO 224, CHEM 131, CHEM 131L, CHEM 132 and CHEM 132L. A maximum of 4 hours of lower division biology elective credit applicable toward the major or minor may be transferred as BIO 200. Upper division biology credits applicable toward the major or minor are transferred as specific courses or as BIO 325, Topics in Biology or BIO 426, Advanced Topics in Biology. Credits not applicable toward the major or minor, but applicable toward the 120 hour degree requirement, are transferred as BIO 000. A maximum of 8 credit hours of freshman (100) level BIO courses may be applied to the biology major or minor requirements.


Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Biology

The department offers a four-year B.S. degree program for a major in biology and for a major in biology qualifying for the Secondary Collegiate Professional License. Requirements for the B.A. degree can be met by adding the completion of an intermediate level foreign language and three credit hours in philosophy.
Biology majors must complete 40 credit hours of biology courses including 20 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level. Specific requirements include four core courses (BIO 114, BIO 124, BIO 214 and BIO 224), at least three upper-division laboratory courses and one course from a list of courses with an emphasis on organismal diversity. In addition, biology majors must complete a set of cognate courses in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics that are listed below. Students are encouraged to participate in independent research with a faculty mentor. Credits earned doing research will count toward the Biology major but some restrictions apply.
When requested, senior biology majors are expected to participate in program assessment test activities as a graduation requirement. Assessment information helps the department modify the curriculum to meet student needs.

Degree Requirements

Required courses

Credit Hours

General Education1

41-44

Quantitative requirement (In addition to General Education)

3

Scientific Literacy requirement (In addition to General Education)

3-4

Major requirements (listed below) and electives

70-74


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Credit Hours

BIO 114. Organisms

4

BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution

4

BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology

4

BIO 224. Genetics and Development

4

Cognate Requirements

 

The following five groups of support courses are required for the biology major. Consult with your academic adviser about which courses are appropriate.

1) Complete all of the following
CHEM 131. General Chemistry I
CHEM 131L. General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 132. General Chemistry II
CHEM 132L. General Chemistry Laboratory

8
3
1
3
1

2) Complete all of the following:
CHEM 341. Organic Chemistry Lecture I
CHEM 342. Organic Chemistry Lecture II
CHEM 346L. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

8
3
3
2

Note: Chemistry beyond the minimum requirement, especially biochemistry, is recommended in many areas of biology. Consult with your adviser about which courses are appropriate.

3) Choose one of the following sets of courses
MATH 231. Calculus with Functions I
MATH 232. Calculus with Functions II
OR
MATH 235. Calculus I

4-8
4
4

4

Note: Mathematics beyond the minimum requirement is desirable in many areas of biology. Consult with your adviser about which courses are appropriate.

4) Choose one of the following courses:
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
OR
MATH 285. Data Analysis
OR
MATH 318. Introduction to Probability and Statistics

3-4
3

4

4

Note: Statistics beyond the minimum requirement is desirable in many areas of biology. Consult with your adviser about which courses are appropriate.

5) Choose one of the following sets of courses:
PHYS 125. Principles of Physics with Biological Applications I
PHYS 126. Principles of Physics with Biological Applications II
OR
PHYS 140-140L. College Physics I with Laboratory
PHYS 150-150L. College Physics II with Laboratory

8
4
4

4
4

Upper-level Biology Course Requirements

Students in the Biology major must complete at least 20 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level. One course must be from a group of courses on organismal diversity. Three courses must have a laboratory component. Independent research (BIO 495, 497 and 499) will not count for this laboratory course requirement.

1) Choose at least one course from the following list of organismal diversity courses:
BIO 305. Ornithology
BIO 310. General Entomology
BIO 320. Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
BIO 340. Morphology and Anatomy of Vascular Plants
BIO 380. General Microbiology
BIO 386. Field Botany
BIO 470. Morphology of Nonvascular Plants
BIO 486. Systematics of Vascular Plants
2) Choose at least three courses from the following list of laboratory courses:
BIO 305. Ornithology
BIO 310. General Entomology
BIO 316. Principles of Animal Development
BIO 320. Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
BIO 340. Morphology and Anatomy of Vascular Plants
BIO 365. Laboratory in Human Uses of Plants (must be taken with BIO 364)
BIO 370. Animal Physiology
BIO 380. General Microbiology
BIO 386. Field Botany
BIO 410. Advanced Human Anatomy
BIO 420. Medical Parasitology
BIO 443. Immunology Laboratory (must be taken with BIO 442)
BIO 445. Neurobiology
BIO 451. Ecological Systems
BIO 452. Population Ecology
BIO 455. Plant Physiology
BIO 458. Comparative Animal Physiology
BIO 459. Freshwater Ecology
BIO 460. Plant Cell and Tissue Culture
BIO 470. Morphology of Nonvascular Plants
BIO 480. Advanced Molecular Biology
BIO 482. Human Histology
BIO 486. Systematics of Vascular Plants
BIO 490. Biomechanics

Topics in Biology (BIO 325/326) and Special Topics in Biology (BIO 426/427) may fulfill one of the laboratory course or organismal course requirements. Please consult the instructor.

Elective Biology Courses

Additional Biology courses must be selected to complete the 40 credit-hour program. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their career interests with an adviser who can help select courses best suited to their needs. Students are encouraged to participate in independent research with a faculty mentor.
A maximum of 8 credits of BIO 494, 495, 496, 497, 499, and ISCI 450 can be counted toward the Biology major.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First semester Freshman Biology majors are encouraged to start with a 14-15 hour course load. This will generally include a biology course (4 credit hours), CHEM 131 and CHEM 131L, and/or a math course plus General Education. The workload will then be increased in the second semester based on the level of first semester success.

First Year

Credit Hours

BIO 114. Organisms 1

4

BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution

4

CHEM 131-132. General Chemistry Lectures 1

6

CHEM 131L-132L. General Chemistry Laboratories

2

Mathematics courses 1

4-8

GenEd: Cluster One

9-12


 

29-33

1Fulfill GenEd: Cluster Three (Package D: Basic Science and Mathematics)

 

Second Year

Credit Hours

BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology

4

BIO 224. Genetics and Development

4

CHEM 341-342. Organic Chemistry Lecture

6

CHEM 346L. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Mathematics course

3-4

GenEd: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

12


 

31-32


Third Year

Credit Hours

Upper-level Biology laboratory courses

8

Biology elective

3-4

Physics courses

8

GenEd: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

7

Electives

6


 

32-33

 

Fourth Year

Credit Hours

Upper-level Biology laboratory course

4

Biology electives

9

GenEd: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

3

Electives

15


 

31

Bachelor of Science in Biology - Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology)

Contact the Biology Department at (540) 568-6225
This option leads to a B.S. degree in biology and is offered cooperatively with JMU-affiliated schools of clinical laboratory science (medical technology) approved by the Council of Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. The degree is conferred by JMU upon successful completion of the following three-year program at the university and one calendar-year clinical program at an affiliated school of clinical laboratory science (medical technology). Upon completion of the clinical year, students are eligible for national examinations given by the Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the National Certification Agency.
Students interested in a major in biology with a concentration in clinical laboratory science should consult the biology department office or the clinical laboratory science adviser. These advisers include the following individuals:

James Madison University

Contact the Biology Department at (540) 568-6225
Dr. Mark L. Gabriele, Clinical Laboratory Sciences Adviser

Augusta Medical Center

Wayne P. Jessee, M.D., medical director
Bernadette Bekken, M.T. (ASCP), program director

The Fairfax Hospital

C. Barrie Cook, M.D., medical director
Amy Shoemaker, M.T., (ASCP), program director

Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Samuel F. Vance, M.D., medical director
Janet Hiler, B.S., M.T. (ASCP), program director

Rockingham Memorial Hospital

Warren D. Bannister, M.D., medical director
Susan Lawton, M.T. (ASCP), program director

Completion of this degree and concentration in four years requires precise progression through the three pre-clinical years of the program. Since it is highly recommended that first year students do not exceed 14-15 credit hours during their first semester, it may be necessary to complete some GenEd requirements during a summer session.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year

Credit Hours

BIO 114. Organisms 1

4

BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution

4

CHEM 131-132. General Chemistry Lectures 1

6

CHEM 131L-132L. General Chemistry Laboratories

2

Mathematics courses 1

4-8

GenEd: Cluster One

9-12


 

32-33

1 Fulfill GenEd: Cluster Three (Package D: Basic Science and Mathematics)

 

Second Year

Credit Hours

BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology

4

BIO 224. Genetics and Development

4

CHEM 341-342. Organic Chemistry Lecture

6

CHEM 346L. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Mathematics course

3-4

GenEd: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

15


 

34-35

Third Year

Credit Hours

BIO 290. Human Anatomy

4

BIO 370. Vertebrate Physiology

4

BIO 380. General Microbiology

4

BIO 442. Immunology

3

BIO 300/400. Upper Division BIO Elective

3-4

Physics courses

8

GenEd: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

8


 

33-34

The remainder of the program includes 32 credit hours in a calendar-year residence at a hospital-based clinical site, with transfer credits accepted according to JMU and clinical program affiliation agreements. Upper division courses taken during the clinical year (Hematology, Clinical Microbiology and Immunohematology) serve to complete the 40 credit hour undergraduate requirement for a major in biology, as well as the 20 credit hour upper division requirement. It is imperative that students meet with their Clinical Laboratory Science adviser to ensure transfer of this credit taken during the fourth year. A total of 132 hours must be earned for the B.S. degree in biology with a clinical laboratory science concentration. Additional suggested, but not required, courses are BIO/CHEM 361, Biochemistry I, and BIO 480, Advanced Molecular Biology.


Biotechnology

In cooperation with the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, the Department of Biology offers a four-year, interdisciplinary B.S. degree program for a major in biotechnology.
Biotechnology majors must complete 47-53 credit hours of science foundation courses, 17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core courses, and 15 credit hours of concentration courses including a capstone experience. With the advice and approval of a concentration adviser, each student selects the courses for his or her concentration area. Three broad areas of concentrations are suggested to serve a spectrum of student needs and desires. A research concentration would prepare students for graduate school or entry into a research laboratory. An industry concentration would prepare students for entry into the biotechnology industry. A custom concentration can be assembled for a specialized area of study such as bioinformatics, genomics, or agricultural biotechnology.

Major and Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology

Degree Requirements

Credit Hours

General Education1

41

Quantitative requirement 2

3

Scientific Literacy requirement 2

3-4

Major requirements (listed below) and electives

76


 

123

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to General Education.

Major Requirements

Science Foundation Courses

Credit Hours

Complete all of the following:

 

BIO 114. Organisms
BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution
BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology
CHEM 131. General Chemistry I
CHEM 131L. General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 132. General Chemistry II
CHEM 132L. General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 341. Organic Chemistry Lecture I
CHEM 342. Organic Chemistry Lecture II
CHEM 346L. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

4
4
4
3
1
3
1
3
3
2

Choose one of the following sets of courses:
MATH 231. Calculus with Functions I 4
MATH 232. Calculus with Functions II 4
OR
MATH 235 Calculus I


4
4

4

Choose one of the following courses:
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
MATH 285. Data Analysis


3
4

Choose one of the following sets of courses:
PHYS 125. Principles of Physics with Biological Applications I 4
PHYS 126. Principles of Physics with Biological Applications II 4
OR
PHYS 140-140L. College of Physics I with Laboratory 4
PHYS 150-150L. College of Physics II with Laboratory 4


4
4

4
4


 

Biotechnology Transition and Core Courses

Credit Hours

Complete all of the following:

 

BIO 260. Biotechnology Seminar
ISAT 305. Biotechnology Lab
CHEM/BIO 361. Biochemistry I
CHEM 366L. Biochemistry Lab
BIO 480. Advanced Molecular Biology
ISAT 451. Biotechnology in Industry and Agriculture

1
1
3
2
4
3

Complete all of the following:

 

BIO 325. Topics in Biology: Social and Ethical Issues in Biotechnology
ISAT 456. Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Biotechnology


3
3

Biotechnology Area Concentration

Students must complete 12 credit hours of courses in one of the Biotechnology Concentrations Areas listed below.

Research Concentration: Preparation for graduate school research program or employment n research laboratory.
Industry Concentration: Preparation for entry-level positions in the biotechnology industry.
Custom Concentration: Specialized in specific areas of biotechnology, including bioinformatics, genomics and agricultural biotechnology.

Upon declaration of the major, each student will be assigned a concentration adviser. The student and the adviser will define the specific courses taken to fulfill the concentration requirement. The student will choose upper division (300-level or higher) BIO, ISAT, CHEM, PHYS, or MATH courses, but other appropriate course offerings from other academic units may be substituted with the approval of the concentration adviser. Students are encouraged to include academic credit for research and/or internship experience.

Capstone Experience

To meet the requirement for a capstone experience, students must complete three credit hours of one of the following:

ISAT 493. Senior Thesis
BIO/ISAT 499. Honors Research

Three credit hours of BIO 497. Biological Research may be substituted to meet the capstone requirement, provided that the experience includes a presentation or paper as a requirement for completing the BIO 497 experience.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First semester, freshmen Biotechnology majors are encouraged to start with a 14-15 hour course load. This will generally include a biology course (4 credit hours), CHEM 131 and CHEM 131L, and/or a math course, plus General Education. The workload will be increased in the second semester based on the level of success during the first semester.

First Year

Credit Hours

BIO 114. Organisms 1

4

BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution

4

CHEM 131 and CHEM 131L. General Chemistry I 1

4

CHEM 132 and CHEM 132L. General Chemistry II

4

Quantitative course1

4-8

General Education: Cluster One

9


 

29-33

1 Fulfill General Education: Cluster Three (Package D: Basic Science and Mathematics).

 

Second Year

Credit Hours

BIO 260. Biotechnology Seminar

1

ISAT 305. Biotechnology Lab

1

BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology

4

BIO 224. Genetics and Development

4

CHEM 341-342. Organic Chemistry Lecture

6

CHEM 346L. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

3-4

Quantitative course

3-4

General Education: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

9


 

30-31


Third Year

Credit Hours

CHEM/BIO 361 and CHEM 366L. Biochemistry Lab

5

BIO 480. Advanced Molecular Biology

4

Concentration Electives

4

Physics courses

8

General Education: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

7

Electives

4


 

29-33

 

Fourth Year

Credit Hours

BIO 325. Topics or ISAT 456. Social and Ethical Issues

3

ISAT 451. Biotechnology in Industry

3

Concentration Electives

8

Capstone Course

3

General Education: from Clusters Two, Four, and Five

6

Electives

6


 

29


Dual Degree Programs

Forestry

Dr. Kevin Simon, James Madison University Liaison,
(540) 568-6204 or simonks@jmu.edu

This dual degree program makes it possible for the student to earn a B.S. degree in biology from James Madison University and a Master of Forestry degree from Virginia Tech in five years. During the first three years at JMU, the student must complete 96 credit hours, all JMU general education requirements, the biology core requirements, BIO 455 and five additional hours in biology. Also, the student must take the cognate courses for biology majors in chemistry, mathematics and physics, courses in business (ACTG 241, ECON 201 and GECON 200) and a course in geology (GEOL 110). During the fourth year of study the student will take further courses (at least 30 hours) at Virginia Tech for credit toward the B.S. in biology from JMU. A total of 38 semester hours of biology and biology-related courses (taken at JMU and Virginia Tech) will be required for the JMU B.S. in biology, which will be conferred after the fourth year of study. If the student's academic record is satisfactory, then they will be admitted into the graduate program of the Department of Forestry at Virginia Tech, where they will spend approximately three semesters (12 months) taking additional forestry and forestry-related courses to obtain the degree of Master of Forestry. To apply for the dual degree program, the student must have the permission of the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. Information about the program can be obtained from the Department of Biology. Students are encouraged to inquire as early as possible in their undergraduate careers.

Minor Requirements

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor

See the interdisciplinary units - the interdisciplinary biochemistry and molecular biology minor.

Biology Minor

Students choosing to minor in biology must complete a program of at least 20 credit hours including:

 

Credit Hours

BIO 114. Organisms

4

BIO 124. Ecology and Evolution

4

BIO 220. Cell Biology
or BIO 214. Cell and Molecular Biology

3-4

Biology electives

8-9


 

20

Credit by Examination

When evidence of sufficient background or preparation is presented, the Department of Biology offers credit by examination in most of its courses at the discretion of the course instructor or coordinator. Students seeking such credit should make arrangements with the course instructor or coordinator and obtain approval of the department head.

Teaching Licensure

Biology majors need courses in physics and geology as well as inorganic and organic chemistry for many science education positions. It is necessary to be admitted to the teacher education program prior to enrolling in professional education courses. See information beginning on Page 193 for teacher education admission and retention policies and procedures as well as education course requirements for each licensure program. The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is required in addition to undergraduate course work.

 

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