May 23, 2018  
Fitchburg State University 2015-16 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2015-16 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Sciences Concentration, Biology, B.S.

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Meledath Govindan
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
George Babich (Biology) Ronald Krieser (Biology) Emma Downs (Chemistry)
Meledath Govindan (Chemistry) Aisling O’Connor (Chemistry) Steven Fiedler (Chemistry)
Michael Nosek (Biology) Christopher Picone (Biology) Lisa Grimm (Biology)
  Thomas Schoenfeld (Biology) Natalie Karagodsky (Biology)
    Elizabeth Kilpatrick (Biology)
    Mathangi Krishnamurthy (Chemistry)
    John Ludlam (Biology)
    Erin Rehrig (Biology)
    Sean Rollins (Biology)
    Billy Samulak (Biology)
    Daniel Welsh (Biology)

Objectives for the Program in Biology

Fitchburg State University offers a biology program that emphasizes basic scientific principles while challenging students.  The Department of Biology and Chemistry has a rich history of producing successful graduates in secondary education, biotechnology, environmental biology and health sciences.  Our faculty foster a supportive teaching and learning environment, offer individual attention to students, and provide numerous undergraduate and graduate research opportunities.  The Biology and Chemistry Club sponsors social events to encourage interaction between students and faculty.  The department also offers courses in laboratory science for other majors.

Requirements for the Major in Biology

All Biology majors are required to take four core courses and six advanced BIOL electives (>2000) including a Capstone course, for a total of 36 credits.

The core biology courses include student laboratory work so that students develop the skills of scientific inquiry. Students develop scientific literacy through reading, writing, testing hypotheses, and quantitative analysis. Core courses also integrate computer literacy through lab activities.

Core courses required in the Biology major

Additional Requirements

Biology majors also take six advanced electives at or above BIOL 2000. Independent study, directed study or internship may each count as one advanced BIOL elective in a student’s program of study. Courses with a separate lecture and lab registration count as a single elective: the lab portion of a course does not constitute a distinct biology elective.

One of the six electives must be a designated Capstone course. Students in the Capstone course conduct a research project to demonstrate their skills in research design and analysis. The Capstone course also meets the  University’s Listening and Speaking and Junior/Senior Writing requirement.

Capstone course options

Capstone courses must be taken at Fitchburg State: courses that transfer as the equivalent course will not fulfill this requirement. Independent studies (BIOL 4903 ) require approval by the departmental curriculum committee in order to fulfill the Capstone requirement.

Required courses in related sciences

In addition to BIOL courses, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) students are required to take courses in related sciences and two courses in mathematics at or above MATH 1300 . Bachelor of Arts students are required to have foreign language proficiency at the Intermediate level.


These requirements are slightly modified for the Bachelor of Science in Biology/Environmental Science.

BS in Biology/Health Sciences

The B.S. in Biology/Health Sciences is an appropriate concentration for students interested in continuing their education in health professional programs, such as allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry,  veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatric medicine, chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, nutrition, physician’s assistant, pharmacy, and physical therapy. This is not an appropriate pre-major for transfer into the University’s B.S. Nursing program and does not include the pre-requisite courses for the Nursing program.

The concentration includes all of the requirements of the Biology major. Among the six BIOL electives, students must take a biochemistry course (BIOL 3030  or BIOL 3450 ), and a microbiology course is strongly recommended. Students should choose the remaining electives based on their intended career path and are strongly encouraged to consult the pre-requisites for the particular professional degree program at the institution to which they intend to apply. The University’s pre-health advisor is available as a resource to students in this concentration.

Required courses

In addition to the four core courses and six advanced BIOL electives including the Capstone, students with the concentration in Health Sciences must also take:

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