Jun 15, 2024  
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 [Archived Catalog]

Biology (BS)

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Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences
Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
Minor Offered: Biology 


The undergraduate Biology Program is designed to stimulate and challenge students to develop skills in concept learning, to understand the strategies of investigation, to communicate ideas, and to accept responsibilities of scientific leadership. The program integrates advising, curriculum, research, and service experiences in order to fully develop the potential of each student. Graduates of this program have a comprehensive and deep understanding of the basic laws, principles, and current theories of biology from the cellular to the ecosystem level. Students are prepared for entry into graduate or professional schools as well as for positions in the private sector which require a liberal arts education and leadership skills. Because the Biology Program is structured to foster critical thinking, reading, and communications skills at the highest levels, students are encouraged to develop a set of personal goals and identify strategies for obtaining these goals. For example, a student may set a goal of participating in undergraduate research. Actions to meet this goal include planning with a faculty mentor and other students, writing a proposal, gathering data, analysis of data, and presenting results. By encouraging students to set goals, the faculty hopes to enhance the leadership quality of biology majors.

In addition to the required courses for all biology majors, a student may individualize their program in several ways. For example, the student may elect to participate in a Departmental Honors program as described below; complete some courses which would apply toward the MS degree at Truman; or, individualize a program by selecting electives in biology that would increase depth of knowledge in one or more areas in biology. Many biology majors participate in research with Truman faculty. Conducting research while an undergraduate reinforces goals of the capstone experience of our Senior Seminar (BIOL 545). Truman’s accelerated MS degree in Biology allows a student to continue a research investigation begun as an undergraduate.

In addition to classes offered at Truman, there are several cooperative programs affiliated with Biology. Students interested in medical technology may complete clinical classes at one of several medical technology schools in Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa. The Biology Program is also affiliated with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where marine biology courses may be taken during the summer at the Laboratory with credit awarded by Truman. Truman is affiliated with the Reis Biological Station located near Steelville, Missouri. The site is available for study of Ozark habitats. Summer classes are offered with credit that can be transferred to Truman.

Biology majors at Truman may be eligible to participate in the University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine Bryant Scholars Pre-admission Program. Two sophomores annually are selected from Truman to interview for early acceptance to the medical school. Qualified sophomores may apply for early acceptance to the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) through the Pre-Osteopathic Scholars Program. Interested students should discuss these opportunities with their advisors. Finally, some courses completed at medical, veterinary, and other professional schools may be credited toward a Bachelor’s degree in biology at Truman.

Biology majors should plan their schedules after discussion with an academic advisor. Class work includes Liberal Studies Program requirements, biology core courses, biology electives, and biology support courses as follows. 


The student must declare her/his intent to complete the requirements listed below no later than two semesters prior to their date of graduation. A brief form is available from the Biology Convener.

Upon graduation, the student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or greater, or score at the 75th percentile or greater on the MFAT.

The student must design and conduct an original research project in consultation with a Truman Biology faculty member. If the research is conducted off of the Truman campus (e.g., at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) or a summer program), the consulting Truman Biology faculty member must be involved from the outset.

The student must complete a written manuscript that is of publishable quality and in journal style. The manuscript must be approved by a committee of at least three Truman Biology faculty.

The student must present a 20 minute seminar on the research at a regular Biology discipline weekly seminar. See your academic advisor or the Biology Convener for specific details.

Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 34-58 Credit Hours

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credit Hours

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 8 Credit Hours

NOTE: CHEM 333 may be substituted for CHEM 330 and CHEM 332.

Major Requirements:

The Biology BS Major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

NOTE: BIOL 107, 108, and 200 should be taken prior to all other Biology courses.

Part I: Required Support: 30 Credit Hours

Part II: Major Requirements: 22 Credit Hours

Biology Major Electives: 15 Credit Hours

Select a minimum of 15 hours of BIOL courses (see BIOL course descriptions for exceptions). CHEM 421 Biochemistry may be used as a Biology Elective.

Electives to Total: 124 Credit Hours

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