Graduate and Undergraduate Catalog
Year 2006 - 2007
Bachelor of Science, Master of Science,
Faculty James Bonacum, Gary Butler, Nada Chang, Michael
Lemke, Amy McEuen, Lucia Vazquez
Associated Faculty Harshavardhan Bapat, Keenan Dungey, Gary
Trammell, James Veselenak
Emeritus Faculty Ann M. Larson
Adjunct Faculty Stewart Jacobson
Contact: (217) 206-6630
The bachelor of science degree is designed to build a strong
foundation in the skills and content of modern biology, improve
students' learning skills, and aid students in applying
problem‑solving skills to scientific and public issues. It is the
first professional degree in the discipline and prepares students
for careers in biological sciences and/or further training,
including Ph.D. programs and professional schools. The degree offers
a balanced biology curriculum and a research experience centered
around faculty research interests in molecular, cellular, and
A central emphasis of the biology program is mastery of
scientific skills and knowledge. Scientific facilities available to
students include a new, well-equipped building with research
laboratories. Both undergraduate and graduate students use these
facilities under the supervision of faculty.
The foundational B.S. and the more-specialized M.S. curricula
prepare biology students for many career options, including
technicians, scientific sales representatives, project managers in
life science and allied health professions, and teachers at the
secondary, community college, and university levels. Recent biology
graduates have successfully continued their careers in research,
medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
THE BACHELOR'S DEGREE
Students entering the program must have completed eight to ten
semester hours in general chemistry with laboratory, five to eight
semester hours of biology courses (including general biology with
laboratory), and college algebra. Before graduation, a student must
complete one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory, which
may be taken before or after the student has entered the biology
program. During the two years at UIS, up to 12 semester hours of
approved lower‑division courses may be transferred from an
accredited institution of higher education to make up deficiencies.
Students should consult a program faculty member before initial
registration. If this is not possible, students must contact a
program representative at registration. During the first semester at
UIS, the program will assist the student in selecting an adviser
from among the biology faculty.
The student should prepare a plan to ensure that all requirements
are being met. The program recommends that students take the general
seminar, organismal botany, and organic chemistry in the fall of
their junior year. Students are expected to complete organic
chemistry before taking cell biology. Cell biology and comparative
vertebrate biology are usually taken in the spring of the junior
year. In the fall of the senior year, students typically take
ecology and microbiology. Genetics is used as the capstone course.
It is assumed that students will have completed most of the required
biology sequence before enrolling in this course.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of
UIS requirements in the areas of liberal studies colloquia, public
affairs colloquia, and applied study. At least four hours in each of
at least two of these areas must be completed.
BIO 301 General Seminar (sophomore or junior year) 3 Hrs.
CHE 322 Laboratory Techniques (suggested fall junior year)1 Hr.
BIO 311 Cell Biology (suggested spring, senior year) 4 Hrs.
BIO 345 & 346 General Microbiology/Lab
(suggested fall, senior year) 4 Hrs.
BIO 351 Organismal Botany (suggested fall, junior year) 4 Hrs.
BIO 361 Comparative Vertebrate Biology (suggested spring,
junior year) 4 Hrs.
BIO 371 Principles of Ecology (suggested fall, senior year) 4 Hrs.
BIO 381 Genetics (suggested spring, senior year) 4 Hrs.
Biology elective (suggested senior year) 4 Hrs.
Total Biology 32 Hrs.
Other Possible Requirements
CHE 367 Fundamental Organic Reactions (suggested fall,
sophomore or junior year) 3 Hrs.
CHE 368 Experimental Organic Chemistry (suggested fall,
sophomore or junior year) 1 Hr.
One semester of organic chemistry is a prerequisite for some
biology core courses. Transfer students with credit equivalent to
CHE 367 and 368 can substitute general electives.
*General Electives 12‑16 Hrs.
Total 16 Hrs.
UIS Requirements 12 Hrs.
Total 60 Hrs.
*Pre-professional students and students planning to go to
graduate school should take a year of physics with laboratory.
The biology program assesses all students for communication skills
and for knowledge of biology. This assessment begins when students
enter UIS and continues until graduation. Assessment tools include a
written evaluation and the development of a portfolio of laboratory
reports and papers. The written evaluation is given both at the
beginning of a student's study at UIS and just before graduation.
This assessment is intended to help students in their academic
planning and to help the program in curriculum development.
Assessment in the major and in general education skills is
included in BIO 301 General Seminar, a required course for all
biology majors that uses the learning skills assessment scores to
assist the student in developing specific learning skills in
biology. Students in general seminar must earn at least a C to
receive credit. Those performing below this level are required to
complete a learning skills development program.
Students can gain practical professional experience by participating
in an applied study term. Placements have included state agencies
such as the Illinois State Museum, Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, SIU School of
Medicine, and Lincoln Memorial Gardens. Students may also conduct
research with biology faculty members for their AST.
Undergraduate Honors in Biology
Biology majors with a GPA greater than 3.25 and one semester
residency at UIS may elect to participate in the biology honors
option. In addition to biology program and UIS requirements, honors
students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25, successfully complete
BIO 302 Honors Seminar, BIO 402 Biometrics, BIO 400 Undergraduate
Research (4 hours), and present their findings in a formal paper and
public seminar. Students must apply for participation in the honors
program to the program convener and obtain the approval of their
faculty research adviser before beginning the program.
A minor in biology is designed for students who wish to increase
their knowledge of biology, increase their biological literacy, and
acquire a foundation in biological sciences and critical thinking.
Students may plan a broad‑based minor, containing courses from each
of the major organizational divisions of living things: cells,
organisms, and communities. The minor may also focus on a particular
aspect of biology such as botany, ecology, or physiology.
To earn a minor in biology, students must complete a minimum of
24 hours in biology, of which at least eight hours must be
upper‑division courses taken at the University of Illinois at
Springfield. Electives should be selected in consultation with a
biology faculty member. Some upper‑division courses have particular
prerequisites other than general biology. The faculty adviser will
ensure that each student is properly prepared.
Two semesters of general biology with laboratory or its
equivalent 8 Hrs.
Elective Courses 16 Hrs.
(A minimum of eight hours in biology must be taken at UIS)
Total 24 Hrs.
THE MASTER'S DEGREE
Applicants are expected to have completed any two of the
following courses (or their equivalent) with a grade of C or better:
Cell Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, and any two of the following
courses (or their equivalent) with a grade of C or better: Botany,
Vertebrate Biology, Ecology. They are also expected to have a GPA
of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale and to submit a letter of application that
discusses academic and vocational goals, as well as GRE scores in
both the general and biological sciences. Conditional admission may
be granted to students who have not completed their GRE examinations
or who have deficiencies in their academic backgrounds.
Accepted students will be assigned to an initial academic adviser
who may change as a research focus is decided. Before the completion
of 10 hours of program‑approved course work, each student must
develop a thesis proposal and convene an advisory committee with the
assistance of a faculty adviser. See the Biology Graduate Student
Handbook for additional information and procedures for the M.S.
A maximum of eight credit hours of C grades are applicable to
the degree, provided they are balanced by eight hours of A. However,
C grades will not be accepted for required courses, and C grades
taken in program‑approved elective courses must be balanced by A
grades in program‑approved courses only. Master's candidates are
expected to maintain a B average, and those students who fall below
that level may lose their candidacy.
BIO 402 Biometrics (or equivalent) 4 Hrs.
BIO 502 Biological Research and Policy I 2 Hrs.
BIO 503 Biological Research and Policy II 2 Hrs.
BIO 551 Advanced Cell Biology and Molecular Biology 4 Hrs.
BIO 571 Advanced Ecology and Evolution 4 Hrs.
Total 16 Hrs.
BIO 585 Master's Thesis 8 Hrs.
Biology approved electives 12 Hrs.
Total 36 Hrs.
BIO 575 Master's Project 4 Hrs.
Biology approved electives 16 Hrs.
Total 36 Hrs.
BIO 502 and 503 must be taken within the first 10 hours of
graduate work, and BIO 402 must be completed before the project or
thesis proposal is approved.
The closure activity is an oral presentation -- open to faculty,
students, and guests -- of the written master's project or thesis.
Each thesis/project begins with a proposal approved by the student's
master's committee, who will determine if the project/thesis meets
the standards of the profession. Students must enroll for either
four hours of credit for the master's project (BIO 575) or eight
hours of credit for the master's thesis (BIO 585); however, the
total may be accrued in increments of one hour for the project and
two hours for the thesis. Campus policy requires that students be
enrolled in at least one semester hour of closure exercise credit
for each semester after they have begun their graduate closure
exercises until the exercise is completed. For biology students,
this means that if the project is not completed by the end of four
credit hours of continuing enrollment in BIO 575, students must
register in BIO 576 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) in all
subsequent semesters until the project is complete. Likewise, if the
thesis is not completed by the time eight hours in BIO 585 is
accrued in continuing enrollment, the student must enroll in BIO 586
(zero credit hours, one billable hour) each semester until the
thesis is complete. Additional information and procedures for
completing the master's closure exercise are available in the
Biology Graduate Student Handbook in the program office.