2013 - 2014
Undergraduate Catalogue


Office: Donnelly Science Center, Room 247

Telephone: 410-617-2642

Fax: 410-617-5682

Website: www.loyola.edu/academic/biology


Chair: David B. Rivers, Professor

Professors: Henry C. Butcher IV (emeritus); Charles R. Graham, Jr. (emeritus); Donald A. Keefer (emeritus); David B. Rivers

Associate Professors: Rebecca S. Brogan; Elissa Miller Derrickson; Kim C. Derrickson; Bernadette M. Roche; Andrew J. Schoeffield

Assistant Professors: Theresa M. Geiman; Armina A. Kazi; Lisa Z. Scheifele; Christopher Thompson; Maren E. Veatch-Blohm

Affiliate Faculty: Andrew L. Adams; Alfredo J. Herrara; Bradley H. Levin

The Biology Department is an active, student-centered department that focuses on excellence in teaching and undergraduate research. The Major in Biology is designed to provide the depth, scope, and skills necessary for admission to graduate and professional schools or for the job market. The biology degree requirements include a minimum of 10 courses in the biology department, as well as courses from chemistry, physics, and mathematics and statistics.

The three introductory biology courses required for the major provide a foundation to each of the three major areas of biology: cell and molecular biology, structure and function of organisms, and ecology and evolutionary biology. The upper-level curriculum allows students flexibility to explore the subdisciplines of biology in greater depth. In the upper-level curriculum, courses generally consist of a classroom component with associated laboratory and/or seminar experiences.

The discipline of biology is experiential in nature, which means that students are active participants in their own education. Students are required to take one advanced course in each of the three major areas of biology. These advanced courses include laboratory components in which students learn how to think and write like scientists while designing and executing an experiment. They also learn how to work cooperatively as contributing members of a team and develop a greater sense of academic community.

The general biology curriculum is flexible in the major's requirements for upper-division courses. This flexibility allows students to individualize their curriculum to suit their academic and career goals. Loyola's biology curriculum helps to prepare students as academicians, for their professional career after Loyola, and as lifelong learners.

The Biology Department emphasizes the following objectives:

The fostering of supportive student-faculty relationships. Students engage in a caring and open student-faculty relationship in which they view faculty as both models and mentors. Students understand the inevitability of making mistakes during the process of growing from student to biologist.

The preparation of students for life after Loyola as members of the job market or for studies in graduate or professional schools. Through a flexible curriculum, students make appropriate connections between their coursework, the world around them, and their personal strengths and convictions.

Through the nurturing mentorship and flexible curriculum, the department attempts to produce broadly-trained biologists ready for a wide range of careers by emphasizing the learning aims below.


The Biology Department has developed the following learning aims for the biology major:

  • Students will master the current factual content of different subdisciplines within biology, such as molecular/cellular, organismal, and population biology.
  • Students will develop techniques to organize the large quantities of new scientific information into a meaningful framework.
  • Students will understand the scientific process and be able to conduct research, including how to read, understand, and critically evaluate primary literature articles; how to ask scientific questions; how to design experiments testing hypotheses; and how to analyze, display, and interpret data using statistical and graphical software packages.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats, including verbal, written, and symbolic (mathematical) channels. This will require that they write papers in appropriate scientific formats; discuss scientific experiments in a group; present results verbally and in poster formats; and use computer and graphical models to explain and explore biological phenomenon.
  • Students will be able to articulate the ethical issues surrounding the practice and direction of biological research.
  • Students will become active and engaged citizens who take active leadership and service roles in the larger community, particularly when issues arise related to their biological training.


Requirements for a major and an example of a typical program of courses are as follows:

Biology: BL118/BL119, BL121/BL126, BL201/BL202, seven upper-level biology electives (see Elective Restrictions below)
Mathematics: MA251 or MA252 or ST210 or ST265
Physics: PH101, PH102

Bachelor of Science

Freshman Year

Fall Term

    BL118 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology*
    BL119 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab* (1 credit)
    CH101 General Chemistry I*
    CH105 General Chemistry Lab I* (1 credit)
    WR100 Effective Writing**
    Language Core
    Social Science Core

Spring Term

    BL121 Organismal Biology*
    BL126 Organismal Biology Lab* (1 credit)
    CH102 General Chemistry II*
    CH106 General Chemistry Lab II* (1 credit)
    HS101 Europe and the World Since 1500**
    Language Core or
    Social Science Core

Sophomore Year

Fall Term

    BL201 Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity*/**
    BL202 Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity Lab* (2 credits)
    CH301 Organic Chemistry I*
    CH307 Organic Chemistry Lab I* (1 credit)
    EN101 Understanding Literature
    PL201 Foundations of Philosophy or
    TH201 Introduction to Theology
    Fine Arts Core

Spring Term

    CH302 Organic Chemistry II*
    CH308 Organic Chemistry Lab II* (1 credit)
    PL200-Level Philosophical Perspectives Course or
    Theology Core
    English Core
    Biology Elective*/**
    Nondepartmental Elective

Junior Year

Fall Term

    MA251 Calculus I*† or
    MA252 Calculus II or
    ST210 Introduction to Statistics or
    ST265 Biostatistics
    PH101 Introductory Physics I with Lab*
    PL201 Introduction to Philosophy or
    TH201 Introduction to Theology
    Biology Elective*
    Nondepartmental Elective

Spring Term

    PH102 Introductory Physics II with Lab*
    PL200-Level Philosophical Perspectives Course or
    Theology Core
    History Core
    Biology Elective*
    Nondepartmental Elective

Senior Year

Fall Term

    Ethics Core
    Biology Elective*
    Biology Elective*

Spring Term

    Biology Elective*
    Biology Elective*

* Required for major.

** Terms may be interchanged.

† One math course is required for the biology major. A second math course may be required for medical, graduate, and other professional schools. A nondepartmental elective is used for this purpose.

  1. Biology majors must successfully complete BL118/BL119, BL121/BL126, and BL201/BL202 before starting their junior year.
  2. The math requirement (MA251 or MA252 or ST210 or ST265) may be taken anytime. Most students choose the sophomore or junior years. Students who plan to take General rather than Introductory Physics should arrange to take Calculus I and II during their freshman or sophomore year.
  3. Courses from BL100-118, BL120, BL121, and BL201 may be elected in partial fulfillment of the natural science core requirement for the nonnatural science major.
  4. If a student decides to withdraw from either the lecture or laboratory component of corequisite courses, then the student must withdraw from the corresponding lecture or laboratory course as well. Likewise, if a student fails either the lecture or laboratory component of corequisite courses, both courses must be retaken with passing grades to receive credit within the biology major. A student will not receive credit for completing the lecture or laboratory-only either at Loyola or another institution, unless the department chair gives prior written permission.
  5. To count in the biology major or an associated interdisciplinary major with biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BL206/BL207) and Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BL208/BL209) must be taken at Loyola or a consortium school.
  6. Students interested in studying abroad will find many programs available to both biology and interdisciplinary biology majors. Students are encouraged to visit the Office of International Programs early in their careers to plan a course of study for Loyola and the host institution. Students should also consult their academic advisor.
  7. Honors students who complete the functional anatomy course while studying abroad in Glasgow, Scotland may not take Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (BL105), Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BL206/BL207), Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BL208/BL209), or Vertebrate Morphology (BL260) at Loyola.
  8. Students must complete the diversity core requirement through a designated diversity core, major, or elective course (see Diversity Core Requirement under Curriculum and Policies).

Elective Restrictions

Students take seven upper-level biology electives. Of the seven biology electives, students must take at least one course from each of three categories described below, and these three courses must be taken within the Biology Department at Loyola. At least four of the seven courses must be taken at the 300-level or higher (BL300-499). Only one semester of research or internship may count toward the seven biology electives. Additional research or internship biology courses may be taken as free electives. Students should consult their faculty advisor before selecting their electives.

Category A: Cellular/Molecular Biology

    BL302 Cell Ultrastructure (inactive)
    BL322 Synthetic Biology with Lab
    BL341 Molecular Genetics with Lab
    BL401 Endocrinology
    BL403 Neurobiology with Lab
    BL405 Neurobiology
    BL410 Developmental Biology with Lab
    BL420 Histology
    BL424 Cancer Biology with Seminar
    BL426 Cell Biology
    BL431 Biochemistry I
    BL432 Biochemistry II
    BL444 Stem Cell Biology with Lab
    BL461 Immunology with Lab

Category B: Organismal Biology

    BL206 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    BL208 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    BL210 Introduction to Human Nutrition
    BL260 Vertebrate Morphology with Lab
    BL280 General Genetics with Lab
    BL281 General Genetics
    BL308 Parasitology (inactive)
    BL310 Botany with Lab
    BL316 Comparative Physiology with Lab
    BL332 Microbiology
    BL361 Plant Physiology with Lab
    BL449 Integrative Human Physiology with Lab
    BL452 General and Human Physiology with Lab

Category C: Population Biology

    BL222 Aquatic Biology
    BL230 Avian Biology with Lab
    BL241 Invertebrate Zoology with Lab
    BL250 General Entomology with Lab
    BL270 Ecology with Lab
    BL299 Exploring Ecosystems: Special Topics
    BL305 Plant Ecology with Lab
    BL346 Plant-Animal Interactions
    BL350 Biology of Mammals with Lab
    BL351 Forensic Entomology with Lab
    BL390 Conservation Biology
    BL435 Evolution with Seminar
    BL436 Evolution
    BL454 Animal Behavior


The boundary separating biology and chemistry has blurred in recent years as chemical principles are increasingly used to characterize biological processes. Jointly offered by the Biology and Chemistry Departments, this interdisciplinary major provides students with a thorough understanding of the life sciences from a molecular point of view. The curriculum offers students excellent preparation for careers in medicine and other health-related professions, as well as for careers in science related areas such as the biotechnology industry. It is also an excellent foundation for graduate studies in biochemistry, molecular, or cell biology.

Students should declare this major by the end of their freshman year. A summary of the major requirements can be found under Chemistry.


Jointly offered by the Biology and Psychology Departments, this interdisciplinary major provides students with an opportunity to explore the underpinnings of the life sciences and human behavior. This curriculum provides excellent preparation for careers in medicine and other health-related fields, as well as careers in science and psychology-related areas. It is also an excellent foundation for graduate studies in the life sciences (e.g., neurobiology, physiology, microbiology), the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience, and various programs in psychology (e.g., clinical, neuropsychology, health). Students should declare this major by the end of their freshman year.

Requirements for the biology/psychology interdisciplinary major include:


Interdisciplinary majors allow students to combine interests in two different disciplines. This enables students to individualize their curriculum and helps to prepare them for our interdisciplinary world. Disciplines combined with biology in this way include communication, computer science, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, sociology, and writing. It is possible, however, to combine biology with many other disciplines. The general biology requirements for an interdisciplinary major (unless specified by targeted programs) are as follows:

  • BL118/BL119, BL121/BL126, BL201/BL202
  • Three biology electives (200-level or higher)
  • Two biology electives (300-level or higher)
  • Two courses from CH, CS, MA/ST, or PH



Students interested in prehealth programs can take this minor along with a nonscience major and thereby satisfy the necessary course requirements for most health professional schools. Students are encouraged to meet with the prehealth professions coordinator before electing a nonscience major as preparation for a health-related career. Students should also consult with the prehealth professions coordinator about the math requirement, as it varies for health professional schools.

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