This department supervises the following degree programs:
Students majoring in biology must complete a a total of 120 credit hours for graduation, including a minimum of 39 hours taken from this department. Requirements for the B.S. in Biology are as follows:
Students majoring in biology for the B.S. degree may gain a specialization in ecology and environmental biology by completing a minimum of 39 semester hours from this department. Requirements for this specialization are as follows:
Students majoring in cell and molecular biology must complete a total of 120 credit hours for graduation, including a minimum of 39 hours taken from this department. Requirements for the B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology are as follows:
Students majoring in microbiology must complete a total of 120 credit hours for graduation, including a minimum of 39 hours taken from this department. Requirements for the B.S. in Microbiology are as follows:
Students majoring in zoology must complete a total of 120 credit hours for graduation, including a minimum of 39 hours taken from this department. Requirements for the B.S. in Zoology are as follows
Departmental Requirements. Two semesters of organic chemistry are required of all majors within this department. Students are urged to take organic chemistry during their second year of study, and those whose area of interest requires a strong background in chemistry should complete a chemistry minor.
Biology and zoology majors and students in the ecology and environmental biology specialization must take either MATH 1451 (calculus) or MATH 2300 (statistics). Cell and molecular biology majors must take one semester of calculus (MATH 1451). Microbiology majors must take either MATH 1451, 2300, or AAEC 3401.
Students majoring in biology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, or zoology must complete PHYS 1403 and 1404 or PHYS 1408 and 2401. Students majoring in biology with a specialization in ecology and environmental biology may substitute another course for the second physics class with advisor's permission.
Substitutions may be permitted for the majors and adjuncts with departmental authorization.
Writing Intensive Courses. Six hours of coursework taken in this department for use toward the major must be writing intensive (BIOL 1403, 1404, 3405, 3410, 3416, 4101, 4305, 4307, 4320; BOT 3404: MBIO 4303; ZOOL 4409, 4410, 4421).
Courses with a grade of D cannot be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for a major or minor (including adjunct requirements and minors from other departments) in any program in this department.
Minors. Students majoring in biology or zoology may minor in any other field (major and minor may not be in the same field). Other recommended minors, subject to approval by the department, are in such areas as chemistry, geosciences, physics, mathematics, animal science, environmental crop and soil science, and natural resources management. A chemistry minor is required of cell and molecular biology and microbiology majors.
Students from other departments may minor in biology. Students wishing to minor in biology must complete 18 hours in biological sciences (includes courses with BIOL, BOT, MBIO, and ZOOL prefixes). Either BIOL 1401 and 1402 or BIOL 1403 and 1404 must account for 8 of these hours; another 6 hours must come from junior- and senior-level courses. Only 1 hour of research credit (BIOL 4100) may be used to fulfill the minor requirement. The minor advisor in biological sciences should be consulted no later than the beginning of the junior year.
Research Opportunities. The department encourages undergraduate students to work with professors in research laboratories and projects to obtain first-hand information about research in the life sciences. Opportunities are available in many fields, including systematics and evolutionary biology, ecology and environmental biology, cell and molecular biology, and several areas of biotechnology. These research programs have been well received in the past and have proved beneficial to both students and faculty. Students who have been involved in the research projects have received competitive grants; presented papers at scientific meetings; authored papers published in scientific journals; and progressed to become successful medical doctors, college professors, etc. Students should contact faculty members with whom they will conduct research prior to advisement. Information describing research interests of the faculty are available from advisors or on the departmental website at www.biol.ttu.edu. No more than 6 hours of undergraduate research credit may be counted toward any major in the department.
Departmental Residency Requirement. At least 10 hours of upper-division biological sciences courses for all majors in
this department and at least 6 hours of upper-division biological
sciences courses for biology minors must be taken at Texas Tech.
Teacher Education. Students who complete a major in biology and satisfy other requirements for the B.S. degree, including 18 hours of professional educational courses, will be qualified to teach high school biology in the public schools of Texas. The following courses meet both the major and the certification requirements in life science:
Students may also satisfy the requirements for the teaching of high school biology under the multidisciplinary science major, with an emphasis in biology. This major is administered by the College of Education.
Either BIOL 1401 and 1402 or BIOL 1403 and 1404 will satisfy the laboratory science requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. BIOL 1403 and 1404 (or courses with Texas Common Course Numbers BIOL 1406 and 1407) are required for all majors in the department. Students can test out of BIOL 1403 and 1404 by taking the AP biology test in high school and achieving a score of five (5). Alternatively, students can test out of BIOL 1403 and/or 1404 by passing departmentally administered tests (see course coordinator). Students can test out of BIOL 1401 and 1402 by taking the AP biology test in high school and achieving a score of at least three (3). Alternatively, students can test out of BIOL 1401 and 1402 by taking the CLEP-S test administered by Academic Testing Services, but advanced placement scores for BIOL 1401 and 1402 will not be accepted as credit toward major requirements in the department.
Those students planning to become high school teachers should minor in secondary education. They will be required to take EDSE 4000 for their student teaching experience. The university is implementing a new teacher education program that includes a full year of student teaching (two semesters of the senior year) for students beginning their teacher education program in spring 2013 or later. Please see a College of Education advisor to complete a certification plan.
The Department of Biological Sciences offers four master's degrees and two doctorates. The Ph.D. in Zoology will be consolidated in 2018 with the Ph.D. in Biology.
The department has no general requirement of a foreign language. However, it may be necessary for a student to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language in certain programs, if such is necessary for research purposes. The student's advisory committee will make recommendations concerning language options, statistics, and basic work in other sciences.
The 36-hour non-thesis option may be elected by students working toward the M.S. degrees
in biology, microbiology, and zoology. However, those students who expect to work
beyond the M.S. degree and toward the Ph.D. degree are strongly encouraged to choose
the 30-hour thesis option.
The Master of Science and doctoral programs include specializations in the areas of animal physiology, ecology, evolution and systematic biology, microbiology, plant physiology, plant biotechnology, and quantitative biology.
Once admitted to a master's or doctoral degree program, the student may be required by his or her advisory committee to take a preliminary, diagnostic examination that includes subject matter usually required of undergraduates. If the preliminary examination reveals serious weaknesses in the student's subject-matter background, the student may be required to take remedial courses designated by the advisory committee.
Doctoral students must have five members on their advisory committee. Otherwise, the basic degree requirements of the Graduate School determine the policy of the department.
All graduate students in the Master of Science or Ph.D. programs are required to take BIOL 6202 during their first fall semester after acceptance in the graduate degree program. During their first year, teaching assistants are required to take a special topics course (BIOL 6301) that emphasizes development of teaching skills.
The Professional Science Master's (P.S.M.) degree is a two-year graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training and excel in science while simultaneously developing valued business skills. The PSM degree qualifies students for employment in the public or private sector and offers two tracks: (1) Ecology and Environmental Sustainability taught through the Department of Biological Sciences and (2) Natural Resource Management offered in the Department of Natural Resources Management within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Management.
The degree consists of 15 to 19 hours of required courses (including either a 6-hour internship or a 3-hour capstone course) plus 15 hours of elective courses. In addition, students will be required to complete a series of online workplace skills modules (e.g., economics, ethics, interviewing skills, human resource management, conflict management, team building). Students accepted to the program but found to be deficient in preparation for taking graduate courses will be required to take leveling courses. The P.S.M. degree differs from a conventional M.S. degree in requiring an internship or capstone experience in lieu of a research-based thesis. Capstone courses will be taken by those already employed.
Ron Chesser, Ph.D., Chairperson
Professors: Bradley, J. Carr, Chesser, Densmore, Heintz, Holaday, McIntyre, Patino, Phillips,
Rice, M. San Francisco, Sheridan, Strauss, Wilde, Zak, H. Zhang
Associate Professors: Collie, Diamond-Tissue, Dini, Gollahon, Held, Jeter, Kingston, McGinley, Olson, Ray, Reilly, Rock, Rodgers, Salazar-Bravo, Schmidt, Schwilk, Xie, K. Zhang
Assistant Professors: Keyel, McGuire, Phillips, Serra-Moreno
Research Associate Professor: D. Carr
Research Assistant Professor: Harris
Instructors: Boros, Lockwood, McMichael
Adjunct Faculty: Acosta-Martinez, Allen, Arsuffi, Boal, Dowd, Kottapalli, Lyte, Owen, Parajulee, Payton, Reece, Rodriguez, Rylander, S. San Francisco, Shi, Torres, Tripathy