Course Work Recommendations for Graduate School Programs
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
Suggested courses for preparation in molecular biology and genetics:
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 374, BIO 388, and depending on personal interest: BIO 380, BIO 381, BIO 382
CHE 107, CH41/251, CHE 255, CHE 258
MCS 121, MCS 122, MCS 142
PHY 120 and PHY 170 or PHY 122 and PHY 172 with lab (PHY 121 and PHY 171)
In addition, many programs use physical chemistry as a way of identifying particularly talented and serious students, although with a strong academic record (A/B's), it isn't necessary for admission. Some programs may ask you to take physical chemistry or other missing courses viewed as deficiencies after admission. For additional information, contact Dr. Colleen Jacks.
Suggested courses for preparation in cell biology:
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 373, BIO 374, BIO 380, BIO 381, BIO 386, BIO 388, BIO 391
CHE 107, CHE 141/251, CHE 255, CHE 258, CHE 360, PHY 120 and PHY 170 or PHY 200 and PHY 220
MCS 140 or MCS 142, MCS 121
For additional information, contact Drs. John Lammert or Colleen Jacks
Suggested courses for preparation in developmental biology:
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BI48, BIO 374, BIO 380, BIO 382, BIO 386, BIO 388, BIO 391
CHE 107, CHE 141/251, CHE 255 recommended
PHY 120, PHY 170
MCS 140 or MCS 142
For more information, see Drs. Margaret Bloch Qazi or Colleen Jacks.
Recommended coursework in preparation for graduate work in plant physiology includes not only the plant-oriented courses within Biology but also a number of courses from other departments beyond those required as a minimum for a Biology major. The actual recommendations within Biology will vary depending on whether or not you are more interested in cellular physiology and biochemistry, versus whole-plant physiology or physiological ecology.
Suggested core courses for preparation in plant physiology:
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BI48, BIO 374, BIO 378
CHE 107, CHE 141/251
MCS 121, MCS 122, MCS 140 or MCS 142
Additional courses for cellular/biochemical plant physiology BIO 373, CHE 255, CHE 360
Additional courses for whole-plant, physiology or physiological ecology BIO 370, BIO 377
See Dr. Cindy Johnson for more information.
Ecology is a broad discipline that requires both breadth and specialized depth to prepare students for satisfying degree work in the better graduate programs.
Suggested core courses for preparation in ecology:
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 370, BIO 374
CHE 107, CHE 141/251
PHY 120, PHY 170
MCS 121, MCS 122; MCS 140 or MCS 142
Additional courses for plant ecology: BIO 371, BIO 377, BIO 378
Additional courses for animal ecology:
BIO 242 and BIO 372 (if emphasizing vertebrates), BIO 241 and BIO 376 (if emphasizing invertebrates), BIO 386, (if interested in animal physiology/function).
Additional courses for microbial ecology: BIO 373, BIO 380
For additional information, contact Drs. Pamela Kittelson, or Jon Grinnell.
The breadth of the fields in applied ecology is large and expanding. For purposes of this handbook, recommendations will be made for (1) traditional conservation and resource management; (2) environmental studies with a scientific emphasis; (3) environmental studies with an emphasis on human ecology. Since the foci of these areas can be very different, separate core coursework is given for each area. Students may also choose an Environmental Studies minor (see college catalog) to supplement a departmental major. These requirements are recommended for both graduate school and employment after graduation, but the student should consult with the advisor in this area to ensure proper courses are taken for the student's area of interest.
---RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 370, BIO 374, BIO 378 or BIO 386, BIO 385, and BIO 242 and BIO 372 (if emphasizing vertebrates), BIO 241 and BIO 376 (if emphasizing invertebrates), BIO 386 (if interested in animal physiology / function).
Mathematics through Calculus, Chemistry through 1 semester of Organic Chemistry
Additional coursework should be done in Economics/Management, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, or Political Science, depending on the area of expertise, since resource management careers in both private and public sectors will usually involve political, economic, social, and psychological factors. For further information, contact Dr. Margaret Bloch Qazi (invertebrate) or Dr. Jon Grinnell (vertebrate)
--- ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES WITH A BIOLOGY EMPHASIS
Students interested in environmental issues may want to consider a major in environmental studies. An environmental studies degree is best for students interested in policy, education, history, literature or other aspects of environmental issues (other than biology). Students interested in ecology, conservation, evolution, genetics, and behavior (biologically related issues) should obtain a degree in biology with a possible second degree in environmental studies. The latter combination will prepare you for a career in research or management of biological resources
Students interested in such fields should consult with biology or environmental studies faculty early in their Gustavus career. For more information, see Drs. Cindy Johnson, Pamela Kittelson, Margaret Bloch Qazi or Jon Grinnell.
--- HUMAN ECOLOGY
Human ecology is a relatively new but extremely important integrative discipline. It is more than ecology, more than sociology and anthropology, more than any one department alone. In many ways, human ecology represents an archetypal liberal arts major, since it by definition draws multiple links among the diverse realms of human experience in the natural world. You will not find many jobs advertised as "Wanted: Human Ecologist...", but the ability to understand and communicate across multiple disciplines will be valued increasingly as 20th century humans continue to alter the planet.
This area probably requires an individualized distributive major. The structure of such a major should be to include solid coursework in the studies of both humans and nature. Given the breadth of background needed, it would be difficult to justify a full departmental major. There is a large pool of courses that a student can choose from, depending on personal interest. Courses can be chosen from such departments as chemistry, economics/management, geography, geology, history, foreign languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology/anthropology.
For more information, contact Drs. Margaret Bloch Qazi or Pamela Kittelson.
FIELD STUDIES--WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
Chemistry (preferably through organic), calculus, and life science physics are courses expected to be taken for both employment and graduate school in field-oriented programs. Statistics, computer knowledge, and a course in scientific writing are appropriate also. Serious consideration must be given to obtaining a Master's degree and this requires a good background in undergraduate science. Persons expecting to go into field-oriented jobs would take organismal and field type courses that are of particular interest to them in their junior and senior years. Undergraduate research participation and/or internships (January or summer) with resource agencies are extremely valuable and helpful in getting into good graduate programs. For more information, contact Drs. Jon Grinnell or Margaret Bloch Qazi.
MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY
Preparation for employment in these fields:
Several years ago an article appeared in The American Biology Teacher that reported on employment prospects for biology majors. Prospective employers in industry, government, and research companies were polled for desired skills and qualifications. Individuals with academic skills in microbiology and laboratory biology had an advantage for being hired. About one-third wanted academic preparation in immunology. The three most important qualifications considered by employers when they hire are relevant work experience, communication skills, and grade point average. Typically employers who responded to the survey, hired to fill positions in applied laboratory work and research.
BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 373, BIO 374, BIO 380, BIO 381, BIO 388
CHE 107, CH41/251, CHE 255, CHE 360
In addition to these courses, you should have 1 year of physics + lab and 1 or more courses in math, and have good writing skills, be able to use a computer for word processing and for data analysis, and be able to carry out statistical analyses. The clue is to learn as many laboratory techniques as you can. The biology department now has much of the equipment that you will encounter while you are working in a laboratory. Cell culture experience is a real plus. People with baccalaureate degrees who know how to maintain cell cultures are highly employable.
Employers who are looking for people who have a baccalaureate degree in biology and with experience in microbiological/immunological techniques fill positions in research labs that are part of a university, at a research institute, in many industries (food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical) or in quality control (food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, biotechnology) or as a public health specialist. Pharmaceutical companies also now prefer that their sales representatives have completed a biology major with a strong molecular and cellular component.
Preparation for Graduate School:
Having completed a research project under the supervision of a faculty member or at another school during the summer is a real bonus. This research need not be in some area of microbiology or immunology, just have some research experience. You will spend many hours in a lab carrying out your dissertation research so learn early about the joys and frustrations of research.
Expect to take the general GRE test. Some graduate programs also request that you take either the biology GRE test or the biochemistry, cell and molecular biology GRE test. To be considered for the better graduate programs, you need to have a minimum composite of 1800 on the three subscores from the general GRE test. Particularly predictive of success in a graduate program are analytical scores that are at least in the upper 600's.
For more information, contact Dr. John Lammert.
Suggested courses for preparation in physiology:
BIO 101, BIO 116, BIO 102, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 374, BIO 378, BIO 386, BIO 391
CHE 107, CHE 141/251, CHE 258, CHE 370, CHE 371, CHE 255 recommended, CHE 360 recommended
PHY 200, PHY 220, PHY 230
MCS 121, MCS 122, MCS 142
For more information, contact Dr. Michael Ferragamo