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Undergraduate Catalog 2013

Biological Sciences

Faculty

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Chair

Philip J. Farabaugh

Professors

Charles J. Bieberich
Thomas Cronin
Lasse Lindahl
Kevin Omland
Phyllis R. Robinson
Suzanne O. Rosenberg
Phillip S. Sokolove
Richard E. Wolf, Jr.

Associate Professors

Rachel Brewster
Mauricio M. Bustos
David M. Eisenmann
Jeffery W. Leips
Weihong Lin
Hua Lu
Tamra Mendelson
Stephen M. Miller
Harold J. Schreier

Assistant Professors

Ivan Erill
Jeffrey Gardner
Maricel Kann
Weihong Lin
Bernard Lohr
Michelle Starz-Gaiano

Senior Research Scientist

Janice Zengel

Senior Lecturers

Steven Caruso
Esther Fleischmann
Julia B. Wolf

Lecturers/Instructors

Lark Claassen
Susan Gdovin
Reagan Lake
Sarah Leupen
Cynthia Wagner
Karen Whitworth

Professor Emeritus

Daphne Blumberg
Brian Bradley
Robert Burchard
Nessly C. Craig
Frank Hanson
Paul Lovett
Thomas F. Roth

Associate Professor Emeritus

Richard Gethmann
John Kloetzel
Michael C. O'Neill
Austin Platt

Sr. Lecturer Emeritus

Bryan MacKay
James W. Sandoz

Courses in this program are listed under BIOL.

The Department of Biological Sciences at UMBC offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees that provide an innovative, comprehensive overview of current knowledge, thought and research in the fast-moving, exciting fields of 21st century biological science.  Students pursuing the Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S. degrees take a required core of courses that is complemented by a series of laboratories and supplemented with a variety of electives in areas representing the scholarly interests of our diverse faculty. In addition to learning in the classroom, students also have the opportunity to engage in independent research in the lab, the field, the library or off-campus, working one-on-one with a faculty mentor.  Students in both programs encounter talented and dedicated faculty and staff, an emphasis on the individual needs of students, up-to-date research facilities and the nurturing environment that are the hallmarks of UMBC’s Department of Biological Sciences.

The Department of Biological Sciences Web site is biology.umbc.edu. Students should always visit this site to check for the most current course information, major requirements, forms, seminars, research opportunities and other important announcements.  In addition, students can follow events and announcements from the department at our UMBC group - my.umbc.edu/groups/biol.

Students’ career objectives help guide them in choosing their course of study in Biological Sciences.  Our Bachelor of Arts curriculum is designed for students who want to pursue a career in a health-related profession (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine) or those interested in training in an allied health field (dental hygiene, medical and research technology, nursing, pharmacy or physical therapy). The B.A. is also appropriate for students wanting to combine another area of study—such as education, environmental studies, law, art, or science writing —with a solid background in biology.  Our Bachelor of Science curriculum is most appropriate for students planning to pursue graduate study in biological, biomedical or health-related sciences, or who wish to gain employment in a technical or laboratory research setting.

In addition to the Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S. major programs (BIOL), the Department offers a degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BINF), and participates in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major (BIOC), which are both described elsewhere in the catalog. 

The Department also offers a Biological Sciences minor that provides a thorough understanding of the essential features of modern biological science, and which is appropriate to combine with an in depth major program in some other academic discipline.  Students seeking to combine studies in other disciplines with a specialized focus on certain areas of biological science can pursue UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program as an alternative route.  

Finally, the Department offers a number of courses designed for students pursuing a career in allied health fields (nursing, physical therapy, etc), and also offers courses of cultural value as part of a liberal education intended for non-science majors.

Major Programs

NOTE: students who started at UMBC before 2010 may be pursuing an older version of the BIOL B.S., BIOL B.A. or BIOL minor degree program that had different requirements than those described here.  A full description of these ‘legacy’ degree programs can be found on the Department’s web site.

 

Course requirements for the BIOL B.A. degree (55 – 57 credits):

Biology Core (18 credits)

BIOL 141   Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms

BIOL 142   Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution

BIOL 302   Molecular and General Genetics

BIOL 303   Cell Biology

BIOL 300L Experimental Biology Laboratory

 

Biology Electives (9-10 credits)

Elective 1 – Choose one

BIOL 275  Microbiology

BIOL 251 and BIOL 252 Human Anatomy and Physiology (must take both)

BIOL 304  Plant Biology

BIOL 305  Comparative Animal Physiology

BIOL 313  Introduction to Bioinformatics

BIOL 430  Biological Chemistry

BIOL 442  Developmental Biology

Any BIOL 4XX course (except BIOL 495, 497H, 499 or lab courses)

GES 406   Aquatic Ecology

GES 408   Field Ecology

GES 413   Seminar in Biogeography

 

Elective 2 – Choose one

Any qualifying BIOL 4XX course (except BIOL 442, 495, 497, 499 or lab courses)

 

Lab Elective – Choose one

Any BIOL 3XXL laboratory course (except BIOL 300L)

 

Chemistry (13 credits)

CHEM 101   Principles of Chemistry I

CHEM 102   Principles of Chemistry II

CHEM 102L Introductory Chemistry Lab I

CHEM 351   Organic Chemistry I

 

Physics (8 credits)

Physics 111  Basic Physics I (or PHYS 121)

Physics 112  Basic Physics II (or PHYS 122)

 

Mathematics (7-8 credits)

MATH 151  Calculus & Analytical Geometry or MATH 155 Elementary Calculus

STAT 350   Statistics with Applications in BioSci or STAT 355 Intro Probability and Statistics for Scientists/Engineers

 

BIOL B.A. additional notes:

Students must earn a “C” or better in all major courses and course prerequisites. At least half of the required BIOL courses and electives for the B.A. degree (four of eight) must be completed in residence at UMBC.

BIOL B.A. majors receive 23 – 27 Upper Level Credits (3XX/4XX) that may be applied to the University requirement of 45 Upper Level credits for graduation, and 55 – 57 credits toward the 120 total credits needed for graduation.

Students may substitute PHYS121 for PHYS111, and PHYS122 for PHYS112, but should note that PHYS121/122 may not satisfy some professional school admission requirements.

Students who are BIOC (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) majors who wish to also pursue a BIOL B.A. degree may use Core BIOL, CHEM, MATH and PHYS courses from the BIOC major towards the BIOL B.A. degree, but MUST take separate electives for the two degrees. Please note, the university requires students taking two different Bachelor’s degrees (B.A. and B.S.) to take a total of 150 credits.

Under exceptional circumstances, the Department may waive or alter a BIOL major requirement. Students seeking to petition for a waiver must consult with their academic adviser, then may submit a ‘Petition for Waiver/Substitution of Program Requirements’ form, found on the Department web site.

 

Course requirements for the BIOL B.S. degree (69 – 77 credits):

Biology Core (18 credits)

BIOL 141   Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms

BIOL 142   Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution

BIOL 302   Molecular and General Genetics

BIOL 303   Cell Biology

BIOL 300L Experimental Biology Laboratory

 

Biology Electives (17-24 credits)

one Column A elective

one Column B elective

one Column A or B elective

one Column B  BIOL4XX course elective

two Upper Level Laboratory course electives (any BIOL 3XXL course except BIOL 300L)

 

Column A electives

BIOL 275 Microbiology

BIOL 304 Plant Biology

BIOL 305 Comparative Animal Physiology

BIOL 313 Introduction to Bioinformatics

BIOL 430 Biological Chemistry

BIOL 442 Developmental Biology

 

Column B electives

Any BIOL 4XX course (except BIOL 430, 442, 495, 497, 499, 499L or any lab course)

CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry II and CHEM 352L Organic Chemistry Lab II (must take both)

GES 406 Aquatic Ecology

GES 408 Field Ecology

GES 413 Seminar in Biogeography

 

Chemistry (15 credits)

CHEM 101 Principles of Chemistry I

CHEM 102 Principles of Chemistry II

CHEM 102L Introductory Chemistry Lab I

CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry I

CHEM 351L Organic Chemistry Lab I

 

Physics (8 credits)

Physics 111 Basic Physics I (or PHYS 121)

Physics 112 Basic Physics II (or PHYS 122)

 

Mathematics & Statistics (11-12 credits)

MATH 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

STAT 350 Statistics with Applications

one MATH/STAT/CMSC elective

 

MATH/STAT/CMSC electives

MATH 152 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II

MATH 221 Introduction to Linear Algebra

STAT 414 Environmental Statistics

STAT 420 Statistics for Bioinformatics

STAT 454 Applied Statistics

CMSC 104 Problem Solving and Computer Programming

CMSC 201 Computer Science I for Majors

 

BIOL B.S. additional notes:

Students must earn a “C” or better in all major courses and course prerequisites.  At least half of the required BIOL courses and electives for the BIOL B.S. degree (six of eleven) must be completed in residence at UMBC. The ‘Column B BIOL 4XX elective’ course must be taken at UMBC.

BIOL B.S. majors receive 33 – 43 Upper Level Credits (3XX/4XX) that may be applied to the University requirement of 45 Upper Level credits for graduation, and 69 – 77 credits toward the 120 total credits needed for graduation.

Students may substitute PHYS121 for PHYS111, and PHYS122 for PHYS112, but should note that PHYS121/122 may not satisfy some professional school admission requirements.

Students can substitute CHEM 352 and CHEM 352L together (must take both) for one Column B course.

Students who are BIOC (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) majors who wish to also pursue a BIOL B.S. degree may use Core BIOL, CHEM, MATH and PHYS courses from the BIOC major towards the BIOL B.S. degree, but MUST take separate electives for the two degrees.

Under exceptional circumstances, the Department may waive or alter a BIOL major requirement. Students seeking to petition for a waiver must consult with their academic adviser, then may submit a ‘Petition for Waiver/Substitution of Program Requirements’ form, found on the Department web site.

Biologically-relevant 4XX level courses from other departments may be acceptable as a ‘Column B’ elective for the BIOL BS degree.  Prior approval from the Biological Sciences Department Undergraduate Committee is required, using the Petition/Waiver form indicated above.  Such courses may not substitute for the BIOL 4XX course requirement (all majors must complete at least one BIOL 4XX course for column B).

 

Course requirements for the BIOL Minor (18 – 20 credits):

Biology Core (18 - 20 credits)

BIOL 141   Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms

BIOL 142   Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution

BIOL 302   Molecular and General Genetics

BIOL 303   Cell Biology

BIOL Elective (any BIOL 3XX or 4XX Lab or Lecture course except BIOL 495, 497 or 499)

 

BIOL Minor additional notes:

Students must earn a “C” or better in all BIOL courses and course prerequisites for the minor. At least half of the required BIOL courses and electives for the minor (three of five) must be completed in residence at UMBC.

The BIOL minor may NOT be taken with a major in Biological Sciences (BIOL B.A. or B.S.), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BIOC), or Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BINF) because of complete overlap in requirements. At least two of the courses used for BIOL minor requirements must not be used in the fulfillment of the coursework of another major, minor or certificate.

Under exceptional circumstances, the Department may waive or alter a BIOL minor requirement. Students seeking to petition for a waiver must consult with their academic adviser, then may submit a ‘Petition for Waiver/Substitution of Program Requirements’ form, found on the Department web site.

 

Academic Advising

First-time students with first-year standing and some upper-class students will be advised by the department's full-time academic advisors. After this, students will be assigned to one of the full-time faculty for advising. Students must see their advisors during the pre-registration period before they can register for classes in each subsequent semester.  Academic progress is monitored through graduation. Additional advising is available for pre-allied health students in the UMBC Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising, and for pre-professional students in the Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Advising Office located in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS).  These career-specific advising offices supplement, but do not replace the academic major advisors.

 

Honors Program

After satisfying certain requirements, students may become eligible for Departmental Honors in Research.  This program, in addition to the regular B.S. or B.A. requirements, includes the following nine credits of coursework:

BIOL 499 Independent Research (two semesters for a minimum total of 4 credits)

BIOL 497H Honors Capstone (3 credits, one semester)

Biological sciences majors who have completed the following requirements will be eligible to apply for Departmental Honors in Research. The following courses, or acceptable equivalents thereof, will have been completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.25: BIOL 141, 142, 302, 303, 300L, 497H, CHEM 101, 102, 102L, 351, MATH 151/155, STAT 350 (or MATH 152), PHYS 111 (or 121) and PHYS 112 (or 122). Additionally, the student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and 3.25 overall.

Eligible students should apply to the Departmental Honors Committee. Forms are available on the Department web site.

 

M.S. in Applied Molecular Biology

Students interested in the one year master’s degree program in Applied Molecular Biology (AMB) will be considered for admission to the program on a competitive basis. Students can use up to two courses from their undergraduate degree and, in so doing, save money and reduce their graduate course work. Students should consult with the director of the Applied Molecular Biology Program for advisement as to which courses will be appropriate for both degrees. Application for admission should be submitted in the final semester of the senior year. For more information, see http://biology.umbc.edu/grad/graduate-programs/apmb/.

 

Research Opportunities

Talented undergraduates committed to performing quality independent research are encouraged to apply for a variety of biological research opportunities offered by UMBC’s outstanding faculty. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, student research assistants may work on their own projects or help their mentors with important research. These unique, intensive experiences allow students to sharpen their critical thinking skills, learn how to write and read scientific papers, and expand their scientific understanding of biological concepts. Undergraduate lab experience increasingly is becoming a prerequisite for science-based employment or acceptance to graduate, professional or medical school.  Students should consult the Department web site or contact individual faculty members for information on possible independent research opportunities.

 

Biological Sciences Tutorial Center

Biological Sciences students are invited to use the facilities in the Biology Tutorial Center, located in room 011 of the Biological Sciences building. The tutorial center has fourteen computer workstations to access online information and two open tables for students to study in groups. Tutors are available for all Biology core courses, free of charge. A list of courses and available tutors can be found on the whiteboard in the center. For more information, see Dr. Gdovin in BS011. Center hours are from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

 

Student Organizations:  Biology Council of Majors (BioCOM)

All biological sciences, bioinformatics and computational biology, and biochemistry and molecular biology majors are welcome to join the Biology Council of Majors (BioCOM). This very active student organization strives to "promote the achievement of the professional ambitions of its members and to serve as a means of social contact among them." Please visit the website for up to date information about meeting times, locations, and events: http://umbcbiocom.webs.com/.  Other student-run clubs for those pursuing a variety of health-related professions also exist on campus.