Why study biology and natural resources at CMU?
The biology-related programs provide students with a strong background to prepare them for future careers or graduate study in biology. Consider some key features distinguishing these programs:
- Advanced facilities, including research laboratories, an animal room, a computer laboratory, electron microscopes, and a greenhouse
- The only university in Michigan and one of two in the Midwest that operates an island research station - the CMU Biological Research Station on Beaver Island located in northern Lake Michigan
- Fieldwork opportunities at Neithercut Woodland, located just miles north of CMU's campus
- CMU is the only university in the nation with a bachelor's degree option in microscopy
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, for all occupations through the year 2014:
- Employment of biological scientists is projected to grow 9 to 17 percent.
- Recent budget increases at the National Institutes of Health have led to large increases in federal research and development expenditures.
- New industrial applications of biotechnology, such as changing how companies make ethanol for transportation fuel, also will spur demand for biological scientists.
Graduates of the biology-related programs at CMU will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.
- Biological Researcher
- Cell Biologist
- Elementary or High School Teacher
- Forestry Technician
- Soil Scientist
- University or College Professor
- Wildlife Biologist
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Biology Major: Natural Resources Option
Natural Resources option is for students who plan to enter an area of natural resource management, wildlife biology, nature interpretation, or museum science.
Total: 53-58 semester hours
Concepts of Biology
Fundamental concepts of biology including the chemical basis of life, cell structure and function, molecular and transmission genetics, evolution and ecology. Satisfies University Program Group II laboratory requirement (University Program Group II-A). May be applied towards fulfilling the requirements of any Biology major or minor. Students may only earn credit in one of the following: BIO 101, BIO 105, or BIO 110. Recommended: High school chemistry or CHM 120 and 127 or 131 or 161.
Study of the structure, function, physiology, evolution, diversity and ecology of plants. Prerequisite: BIO 110.
The biology of microorganisms: bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, algae, and protozoa. Prerequisite: BIO 110.
A general survey of the animal kingdom with emphasis on phylogeny, taxonomy, structure, physiology, and ecology of type examples of the major phyla. Prerequisite: BIO 110.
The principles of heredity dealing with the location, transmission, structure and function of genes and the results of modern genetic techniques. Prerequisites: BIO 208; One of BIO 101, 105, 110.
Study of the relationships between organisms and their environment. Prerequisites: One of: BIO 101, 105, 110. Recommended: BIO 203 or 218.
Required Courses I
Conservation of Natural Resources
Ecological approaches to issues of global environmental sustainability, with emphasis on preservation of natural resources such as soil, water, forests and wildlife. (University Program Group II-A)
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
The study of plant function including processes such as photosynthesis, water movement, growth and development, and plant response to environmental stress. Prerequisites: BIO 203; CHM 120, 127 or 132 or 161.
The functioning of the mammalian body and its component parts, with an emphasis on human systems. Prerequisites: 45 credits completed; BIO 208; One of: CHM 132, 161, 342.
Other Requirements I
Select one of the following options:
Other Requirements II
Select one of the following:
Survey of Physical Science
Introduction to the nature of the physical universe, the concepts and methods of physical science, and the history of scientific ideas. Developed through lectures and demonstrations. (University Program Group II-B)
College Physics I
Mechanics, heat, kinetic theory, and sound. The mathematics used is algebra and trigonometry. The sequences PHY 130-131, PHY 170-171 satisfy minimum requirements for medical and dental schools. Recommended: MTH 106. (University Program Group II-B)
Other Requirements III
Select one of the following:
Note: If BIO 500 is selected, it may count toward the 42 hours required in BIO.
An introduction to biological statistics; emphasis on concepts of descriptive statistics and central tendency, inferential statistics, one-way ANOVA and correlation/linear regression. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or twelve (12) hours of biology. Recommended MTH 130.
Elementary Statistical Analysis
An introduction to statistical analysis. Topics will include descriptive statistics, probability, sampling distributions, statistical inference, and regression. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses: STA 282, STA 382, STA 392. Prerequisite: MTH 130 or 132 or 133.
Biology electives to be selected in consultation with a biology advisor. It is recommended that at least one class be taken at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island or another field station.