B.A. in Biological Science
Use scientific methods to understand and predict natural phenomena in the world around us.
Two paths exist to study biology at the University of Mississippi. Choose between the Bachelor of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science. The B.A. degree allows students more compatibility with other areas of study while the B.S. degree requires additional mathematics and science courses, and provides more in-depth training in biology. Biology majors take the introductory sequence, biology core courses in genetics, ecology, and physiology, and advanced biology electives.
Biology majors achieve an understanding of living systems and develop the ability to design and conduct experiments, operate sophisticated instruments, interpret data, and think critically. Thanks to diverse courses and a variety of habitats in north Mississippi, University of Mississippi biology majors have ample opportunities for both laboratory and local field studies, including a 740-acre field station, a national forest, and flood-control reservoirs.
A liberal arts education prepares students to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers in biology include health, education, research and development, conservation organization, business, government, environmental law, urban planning, science or technical writer.
Students can participate in mentored scientific research and work in the laboratory with a faculty member. Adventurous students can explore diverse environments through research and study courses throughout the U.S. South, Grand Canyon, the California coast, Hawaii, and the Caribbean.
B.A. in Biological Science Faculty
The University of Mississippi's Department of Biology includes faculty members whose areas of specialization include cell & molecular biology, ecology, biodiversity & evolution, and behavior & neuroscience.
A major in biological science for the B.A. degree requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of biology credit including 24 at the 300 level or above. This requirement includes introductory courses (Bisc 160, 161, 162, 163 for 8 credit hours); biology core courses for 12 credit hours: ecology (Bisc 322), genetics (Bisc 336), and physiology (Bisc 330 or Bisc 438 or Bisc 516); biology electives for 12 credit hours minimum); and the major field achievement test (Bisc 498, which must be taken as a senior) (0 hours). Seminars and nonmajors courses do not satisfy the biology electives requirement. Chem 105, 115, 106, and 116 are required, and chemistry is a recommended minor. Biology majors may choose to specialize by using their biology electives to add one optional emphasis, which requires a minimum of three courses from the approved list for the emphasis. The same course may not satisfy the biology core courses and an emphasis area. Students who complete relevant special topics, travel course, or research course will consult with the department prior to enrollment in the course to determine if it fulfills a course for an emphasis area.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science program is the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Wilson (2018) investigated the effects of a vaccine, Coccivac D2, on commercial chicken farms for his honors thesis. He traveled many miles each day to collect fecal samples and spent hours in the lab counting oocysts under a microscope. He mapped Eimeria cycling within houses using the vaccine to determine modifications to protocol that could improve production. The trends discovered in the data he collected and analyzed led to changes within the production practices of a major corporation, benefiting the company, farmers, and consumers. Wilson's career goal is to become a doctor and work in a community where he can make a difference.
Why study biology at UM?
"The education you receive from this department is top tier and is reflected by the high acceptance rates of students to professional schools. The research climate is one of the primary factors that encouraged me to attend. The walls of Shoemaker are covered with published works from professors and students alike. All in all, I was extremely pleased with the care I was shown and the education I received from the department."
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