2019-2020 Catalog 
    
    Mar 31, 2020  
2019-2020 Catalog

Biology Major


Major Requirements


The major in biology requires a minimum of 15 courses, distributed as follows:

4. Mathematics (1 course)


Calculus should be taken before physics.

5. Electives (6 courses)


Six advanced courses in biology (numbered 100 and above), including at least 3 courses with labs. These elective courses should be selected in consultation with a Keck Science faculty member, and may be chosen so as to obtain depth in one area of biology (e.g. cellular/molecular, organismal, or population-level), or breadth across all areas.

6. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)


Biology majors must complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in biology.

Senior Thesis in Science


The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

Science majors have the following senior thesis options. Refer to the major requirements above for major-specific senior thesis requirements.

1-Semester Library Thesis without Lab (1 course, 1 credit)


Students interested in a 1-semester library thesis without lab complete an extensive library research thesis in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year, chosen from:

Note:


The Senior Thesis Research Project course (188L) or the Summer Research Project course (189L) may  not be counted as elective courses in the major.

Special Options for Majors


Dual Majors


The dual major in biology requires a minimum of 13 courses, distributed as follows:

4. Mathematics (1 course)


Calculus should be taken before physics.

5. Electives (4 courses)


Four (4) advanced courses in biology (numbered 100 and above), including at least 2 courses with labs. These elective courses should be selected in consultation with a Keck Science faculty member, and may be chosen so as to obtain depth in one area of biology (e.g. cellular/molecular, organismal, or population-level), or breadth across all areas.

6. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)


Dual majors in biology must complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in biology.
 

Honors in Biology


To be eligible for departmental honors in a science major, students must:

  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 10.5 in courses in the major;
  • Complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research, by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department, by presenting the work in a cogent fashion, and by engaging in the departmental seminar program.

Study Abroad for Science Majors


The Keck Science Department supports study abroad for science majors, however majors need to be aware that spending a semester off-campus requires careful advanced planning and program selection. Science majors interested in study abroad should discuss their interest with their major advisors as soon as possible.

General Education Requirements for Science Majors


General Education Requirement in Science

Every CMC student must complete one (1) laboratory science course offered by the Keck Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium. This requirement must by satisfied by the end of the 2nd year at CMC.

General Education Requirements in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

For students with science majors, general education requirements in the social sciences and humanities must be met by courses outside of a student’s major field(s). Students in most science majors, including this major, must take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities for a total of 5 courses. 

Science majors with a dual or double major in either the humanities or the social sciences will be required to take an additional general education course in those categories.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes of the Biology Program


Learning Goals of the Biology Program


The biology discipline of the Keck Science Department aims to provide students with skills and knowledge to prepare them as citizens to effectively engage and evaluate biological science issues and innovations in the wider world, and to prepare them as leaders in research, biotechnology, and health-related career fields.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Biology Program


In addition to the Keck Science overall learning outcomes, the Biology major also has the following outcomes.

We see the following specific student learning goals as critical to achieving the learning goals above.

  1. Understanding foundational scientific principles and findings in a student’s major field;
  2. Develop critical thinking and analytical skills by developing specific hypotheses and designing controlled experiments to test these hypotheses.
  3. Read, understand and critique original research articles.