Nov 26, 2021  
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.A.

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Meledath Govindan    
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
Christopher Cratsley (Biology) Steven Fiedler (Chemistry) Dennis Awasabisah (Chemistry)
Meledath Govindan (Chemistry) Lisa Grimm (Biology) Emma Downs (Chemistry)
Michael Nosek (Biology)  
Ronald Krieser (Biology) Elizabeth Kilpatrick (Biology)
Christopher Picone (Biology)  
Mathangi Krishnamurthy (Chemistry) Eric Williams (Biology)
  John Ludlam (Biology)  
  Aisling O’Connor (Chemistry)  
  Erin Rehrig (Biology)  
  Sean Rollins (Biology)  
  Billy Samulak (Chemistry)  
  Daniel Welsh (Biology)  

The Biology program at Fitchburg State University emphasizes basic scientific principles while challenging students. The Department of Biology and Chemistry has a rich history of producing successful graduates who have gone on to work in the vibrant biotechnology and life sciences industry, environmental and field biology workforce, various health professions, and teaching. 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.

Objectives of the B.A. Degree in Biology

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology is a broad-based biology degree that would be appropriate for students who wish to use biological knowledge in pursuit of a career that does not require a detailed knowledge of organic chemistry and physics. Examples of such careers are: laboratory technician, teacher, science writer, scientific illustrator, technical sales representative, and editors or editorial assistants in the publishing industry. This degree would also help students fulfill the requirements for admission to certain health professions, such as Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Public Health, Post-baccalaureate Nursing and Chiropractic - additional specific coursework may be required in some cases. Pre-medical and pre-dental students, and those who want to pursue graduate studies in biology would be advised to pursue the B.S. in Biology, but they could also use this degree by tailoring their curriculum to meet the specific requirements of medical or graduate schools.

Requirements for the B.A. Degree in Biology

The Biology requirement includes four core courses and six biology electives at the 2000 level or above including a capstone elective. The core biology courses include hands-on laboratory work that provides opportunity for students to 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 by the Major

Additional Requirements

Biology B.A. majors also take six electives at or above BIOL 2000 including a capstone course for a total of minimum 20 credits. One of the BIOL electives could be replaced with the two-semester sequence in Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 1200 , BIOL 1300 ). Independent study, directed study or internship may 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.

Biology majors must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in General Biology I and General Chemistry I.  If a grade below 2.0 is earned in either course, that course must be repeated before enrolling in any subsequent BIOL or CHEM classes. Biology majors are also limited to two attempts for each of General Biology I and General Chemistry I.  If Biology majors earn <2.0 or a W in a second attempt, they must find another major that more closely matches their skills and interests.

Capstone Course

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.

The capstone course must be taken at Fitchburg State. A course that transfers as an equivalent course will not fulfill this requirement. Currently, the following courses are designated as capstone courses:

Required Courses in Related Sciences

In addition to BIOL courses, Bachelor of Arts students are required to take courses in related sciences and two courses in mathematics at or above MATH 1300  

  • 4 cr. *
  • 4 cr.
  • 4 cr.
  • 4 cr.
  • MATH Elective 3 or 4 cr.**

  • Any physics course from the approved list (currently PHYS 1100, 2300, and 2600)

  • One GEOG course 3 cr.

  • * General Chemistry I requires the successful completion of the AAF Math Placement test or the Algebraic Preparation course (MATH 0500) prior to enrollment.

    ** Either Applied Statistics or Calculus I is recommended as the second math course.

  • Note: Many of the biology and chemistry courses have specific minimum grade requirements for prerequisite courses.

LA&S Requirements

  • 3 cr.
  • 3 cr.
  • Foreign language proficiency at the intermediate level. This is typically met by successfully taking four courses (12 cr.) of a single foreign language.

  • LA&S electives 21 cr.

  • Up to 18 cr. free electives to meet the 120-credit minimum University requirement for a Bachelor’s degree.

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