You may choose from three degree programs in the biology department at E&H: the bachelor of arts degree, the bachelor of science degree, and teacher preparation.
The B.A. degree program acquaints you with the biological sciences and prepares you for jobs in research, industry, conservation or health-related areas.
The B.S. degree program educates you in the biological sciences with a focus on independent undergraduate research, as well as a heavier emphasis on supporting coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics. This sequence is especially appropriate for students planning to continue their education in graduate school or other professional schools.
The Teacher Preparation Program encompasses course requirements similar to those needed for the B.A. degree and also incorporates specific courses necessary for certification to teach biology and related subjects in Virginia and reciprocal states.
Planning a Course of Study
Students work closely with their departmental advisor to plan a program that meets their interests and goals, while building a strong, well-rounded foundation in biological science.
You will begin your studies with introductory courses in general biology, then progress to advanced courses in topics such as genetics, plant taxonomy, microbiology, ecology, developmental biology, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology.
A minor in chemistry complements the biology degree, particularly the B.S. degree. A minor in geography or environmental studies may be recommended for either the B.A. or the B.S.degree.
Recent grants for state-of-the-art equipment allow us to offer a molecular biology course focusing on protein chemistry and recombinant DNA techniques. Other facets of student investigations are aided by microcomputers, DNA sequencers, a CO2 incubator, portable tissue culture hoods, growth chambers, a photosynthesis monitoring system, a greenhouse and an herbarium.
The Biology Department employs approximately 15 work-study students each year for a variety of responsibilities, all of which are educational experiences. The Biological Honor Society (Beta Beta Beta) makes contributions to research and to the community. The Pre-Health Professions Club brings in numerous speakers each year and travels to other schools to learn about their graduate programs.
Alternative courses are recommended for some upper-class students. A variety of practica for pre-health professions students are coordinated with numerous area health care professionals. In addition, a wide variety of internship opportunities are available for upper-level biology students. In past years, our students have interned at Southwest Consolidated Laboratories, the Virginia State Water Control Board, the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation, and the Virginia State Health Department. Students have ample opportunity to engage in original research. Past projects have examined the molecular biology of pathogenic fungi, the effects of viral disease on arthropod populations, and the effects of land use patterns on fecal coliform loads in regional rivers. The field biology course features an intensive learning adventure in Costa Rica.
Most of our students pursue their graduate or medical degrees at such notable institutions as the University of Virginia, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, and Johns Hopkins University. Others attend veterinary school, dental school, or law school. Still others enter teaching or public health careers. Some of our recent graduates include:
- Adam Coe, ’06, Eastern Virginia Medical School.
- January Haile, ’04, graduate school, biochemistry, Virginia Tech.
- Paul Holland, ’04, Ph.D. program, biochemistry, Wake Forest University.
- Lindsay McKnight, ’04, medical school, East Tennessee State University.
- Amanda Haga, ’04, pharmacy school, Medical College of Virginia.
- Stacie Woolard, ’04, Ph.D. program in immunology, East Tennessee State University.
- Cathy Kelton, ’03, graduate school, microbiology, Texas A&M.
- Caryn Louise Wachenfeld, ’03, Knoxville Zoo, Knoxville, Tenn.
- Jamie Wallen, ’03, Ph.D. program, biochemistry, Wake Forest University.
- Jeffrey Blackwell, ’02, graduate school, molecular biology, University of Virginia.
- Jenny L. Bridgeman, ’02, chemist, King Pharmaceuticals, Bristol, Tenn.
- Jeanetta Walters, ’02, medical school, Vanderbilt University.
- Mandy Allen, ’01, teacher, Patrick Henry High School, Glade Spring, Va.
- Clayton E. Davis, ’01, dentistry/orthodontics, J. Eric Renye, D.D.S., P.C., Kingsport, Tenn.
- Cerissa Francisco, ’01, graduate school, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.
- Matthew Jessee, ’01, physician, specialist, Boothe Chropractic Clinic, Wise, Va.
Some earlier successful graduates include:
- Ann Sluder, ’81, research biochemist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Ph.D., Duke University.
- Karl Kranz, ’77, general curator, The Philadelphia Zoological Garden. M.S., George Mason University.
- William B. Looney, ’44, cancer research specialist, University of Virginia. Ph.D., Cambridge University; M.D., Medical College of Virginia.