The Biology Major

Students majoring in Biology at Hiram College participate in a curriculum that culminates in the APEX capstone experience.  APEX is defined as "the highest point" and our curriculum is designed to provide each student with the foundation and depth necessary to advance to the highest levels of any career path they pursue, whether they begin with graduate education, professional school, or a first job.  The curriculum does this by ensuring a broad background in biology as well as allowing the student significant flexibility and choice as he or she matures within the discipline.  All students practice problem solving, critical thinking, and the scientific method within a dynamic, challenging, and supportive scholarly environment.

Students who are interested in the life sciences and have yet to declare a major may consider Biology or one of its closely related programs.

Required of All Biology Majors

  • BIOL 15100 Introductory Biology I
  • BIOL 15200 Introductory Biology II
  • BIOL 23000 Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOL/EVST 27800 Ecology
  • BIOL 36500 Genetics
  • BIOL 48110 Apprenticeship Experience (APEX 2 cr. hr.)
  • CHEM 12000 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 12100 General Chemistry II
  • 1 quantitative course (choose from MATH 10800 MATH 19800 PHYS 11300 PHYS 21300 or BIOL 21500)

Elective Tracks in Biology:  Coursework recommended for each track is listed below. Note that students may opt to modify and redesign their own areas of expertise or take alternate courses to fulfill requirements within a track with the advice and consent of their Biology Department adviser.

Organismal Biology: Complete 3 courses from the following list including at least one plant course & one zoology course:

  • BIOL 21300 Systematics of Non-vascular Plants w/ Lab
  • BIOL 22300 Vertebrate Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 31300 Plant Anatomy w/ Lab
  • BIOL 31400 Systematics of Vascular Plants w/ Lab (reactivate old number)
  • BIOL 32000 Invertebrate Zoology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 32800 Animal Behavior w/ Lab
  • BIOL 33200 Plant Physiology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 33800 Microbiology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 38000 Ornithology
  • BIOL 38000 Herpetology

Ecology and Evolution: Complete Evolution (BIOL 33500) and two additional courses from the following list:

  • BIOL 21300 Systematics of Non-vascular Plants w/ Lab
  • BIOL 22300 Vertebrate Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 30000 Field Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 31000 Fisheries Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 31500 Systematics of Vascular Plants w/ Lab
  • BIOL 32000 Invertebrate Zoology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 32800 Animal Behavior w/ Lab
  • BIOL 34200 Marine Ecology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 34500 Forest Ecology Methods w/ Lab
  • BIOL 34300 Conservation Biology w/ Lab

Genes, Genomes and Cells: Complete 3 courses from the following list:

  • NEUR 22700 Introduction to Neuroscience
  • BIOL 28000 Topics in Medical Research
  • BIOL 33000 Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • BIOL 33800 Microbiology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 34000 Developmental Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 37800 Immunology
  • BIOL 41500 Advanced Molecular
  • Biology w/ Lab INTD 38800 Bioinformatics

Bio-Innovation: Complete Science & the Entrepreneur (ENTR 10100) and two Biology electives at the 30000 level or higher chosen in consultation with a Biology Department adviser. Students in this track are highly encouraged to pursue an Entrepreneurship Minor.

Pre-Medical or Pre-Veterinary*: Students in the pre-medical/pre-veterinary track shall take Basic Biochemistry** (BCHM 36600) and two courses from the following list to complete the Biology major:

  • BIOL 223000 Vertebrate Biology w/ Lab
  • NEUR 22700 Introduction to Neuroscience w/ Lab
  • BIOL 32600 Animal Physiology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 33800 Microbiology w/ Lab
  • BIOL 37800 Immunology
  • BIOL 38000 Cancer Biology
  • BIOL 32100 Parasitology

*Note: Students interested in a career in human or veterinary medicine who major in Biology may be required to take multiple additional correlative courses outside the Biology major if they wish to be competitive in their application to med or vet school. These correlatives are set by the med or vet schools and are not required to complete the Biology major at Hiram College. These correlatives may include Physics 11300/11400 or Physics 21300/21400 as well as Psychology 10100 and Sociology/Anthropology 10500. Students should meet with their Biology Department adviser early in their college career to ensure they are on track to graduate from Hiram with all the necessary pre-requisites for the med or vet schools of their choice.

**Note: Chemistry 22000 and 32000 are pre-requisites for BCHM 36600 and also requirements for all students applying to med or vet school. 

Biomedical Engineering (as part of Engineering 3+2 program with CWRU or WUSTL)***: Students are required to complete MATH 19800, 19900, 20000, & 24300, CHEM 22000, PHYS 21300 & 21400, CPSC 17000 or 17200, Animal Physiology (BIOL 32600) and one course from the following list:

  • BIOL 22300 Vertebrate Biology w/ Lab
  • NEUR 22700 Introduction to Neuroscience w/ Lab

***Note: Students can substitute the Human Anatomy and Physiology sequence (BIOL 13100 & 13300) for the Introductory Biology sequence (BIOL 15100 & 15200). One BIOL elective and the APEX capstone are waived. Students interested in the Biomedical Engineering option should talk with Laura VanWormer, Professor of Physics, as early as possible to make sure that they can complete the Hiram College portion of the 3+2 program on time.

Requirements for Honors in Biology: To be a candidate for honors in the APEX program in biology, a student must satisfy the College requirements for honors and must initiate and complete a high quality apprenticeship (APEX). The student must conduct himself/herself in a professional manner from inception to culmination of the apprenticeship experience.

Phi Beta Kappa

To receive the honor of induction into the Hiram College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a Biology major must complete the major (any track is acceptable), maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher, take and pass a foreign language through 20200 course, and take and pass a mathematics course at or above 19800 level.

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Department Courses

  • Introductory Biology I
  • Introductory Biology II
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Animal Physiology
  • Evolution
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomes of the World