Oct 21, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

Science Building 330 ~ 260-481-6305

Elliott Blumenthal, Chair and Professor, Lead Advisor
Jordan Marshall, Graduate Director
Dami Oke, Advisor
Bruce Kingsbury, Director, Environmental Resource Center
Dar Bender, Secretary
Colleen Krohn, Secretary

The study of Biology helps you prepare for careers in research, teaching, industry, government, medicine, medical technology, and other health-related fields.  More than half of all graduates earning a bachelor’s of science degree in Biology from PFW continue on to pursue graduate degrees or professional certifications.  Biology is one of the most interdisciplinary of all the sciences.  In addition to biology, it requires a broad background in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This background enables the biologist to study the evolution of life; manifestations of life from the level of viruses, bacteria, and individual cells to the structure and function of organisms; and interactions of living organisms with each other and their environment.

The Department of Biology has extensive facilities for its research programs, and the faculty represent many specialties within biology.  Interested students can participate in research projects or in other forms of scholarly activity with individual faculty members (see Special Assignments in Biology under Options in Biology, below) or earn a Research Certificate in Biology.  Check with the Department of Biology to learn about related programs such as medical technology and the minor in biology.

For details on pursuing a second major in secondary education to teach Biology in middle school/high school, see the School of Education Secondary Education  section in this catalog.

See Program Descriptions   in this catalog for more information on the Biology programs:

  • Bachelor of Science degree
  • Concentrations in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Genetics, Cellular, & Molecular Biology; and Microbiology & Immunology
  • Second major in teaching secondary education Biology
  • Research Certificate in Biology
  • Minor

Special Regulation for Biology Majors

  • Time Limit:  All biology courses applied toward graduation must be completed within 10 years from the time the first biology course was completed.

Preprofessional Study

Those seeking careers in dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, forestry and agriculture should consult with their preprofessional advisor before deciding what specific elective courses in biology to take.  Detailed and early planning is necessary.

Special Assignments

Students who qualify may elect to do an independent project supervised by a faculty member. With the permission of the faculty member and the department chair, the student can enroll in BIOL 19500,  BIOL 29500 or BIOL 59500.  The student must work closely with the faculty member to design and complete the project.  Credits earned in these courses cannot be used to satisfy A/B-elective requirements, and a maximum of 6 such credits can be used toward graduation as general elective credits.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

The co-op program is designed to provide employment experience in an area of your academic interest while you are still enrolled in school. A co-op experience may be repeated. You may earn up to 2 elective credits toward your degree.

Departmental Honors Degree in Biology

You may earn an honors degree in biology by achieving an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher and a biology GPA of 3.50 or higher, conducting a two-semester (6-credit) research project, preparing a senior thesis based on the research project, and giving an oral presentation of the thesis research. The senior thesis committee must be established one semester before graduation.