Welcome to the Department of Biology

Welcome to the Biology department!

Wow! There's a lot going on in space right now. Check out the latest pictures on Pluto from NASA's New Horizon probe. Also, July 20th is the 46th anniversary of the moon landing, and on July 22nd Expedition 44 will launch for the Interantional Space Station. For pictures and more information, check out NASA's page at http://www.nasa.gov/.

We are proud of all of the graduates of our program! We know many of you have travelled a long journey to graduation, and we celebrate you all. Here's a partial list of where our graduates have gone: Where are they now? 

 


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 For a pdf of the STEM U Survival Guide, click here.


Biology, the study of life, constitutes one of the most relevant fields of study in an individual’s total education. The study of biology enables students to understand the workings of their bodies in health and disease, makes them aware of their place in a world of living organisms, and awakens in them an appreciation of the beauty and complexity in the design of life.

The aim of the Biology Department is to provide a broad background in the biological sciences sufficient to meet the needs of students who intend to enter graduate or professional schools, to teach biology, and to pursue various biology-oriented careers. Therefore, students interested in careers in biological research, medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, public health, or other allied health specialities, may be interested in earning a degree in biology. For more information on specific programs, please see the section on pre-professional programs below.

The Department of Biology supports the mission of the university by seeking to create an environment where students can learn

  • to situate their knowledge of biology in a world-view which is biblical.
  • to think critically about sources of knowledge and knowledge claims, as well as to constantly try to integrate their knowledge, both within biology as well as with other disciplines of study.
  • to encourage and support a sense of curiosity and a realization of the excitement and reward that goes with discovery of the beauty and complexity of the living world, and to inspire in students a realization of the importance and benefits of life-long learning.
  • to see the importance of using their knowledge and talents in service to others, and to encourage them to contribute in significant ways to society and the church as professionals and as citizens.

Career Opportunities

A biology major provides excellent preparation for students who wish to enter professional programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, or certain paramedical programs. Employment opportunities for biology graduates are available at federalstate, and local agencies as biologists, ecologists, naturalists, wildlife managers, and, with some additional training, as laboratory technicians or researchers. The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist denomination and the public school system in MarylandVirginia and District of Columbia provide opportunities for science teachers at the secondary level. Many of these career opportunities as well as admission into other educational programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0.

For more career ideas, check out the "Best Health Care Jobs, 2014" ranked by US News & World Report.

Programs Offered

Biology (BA) Suggested 4-Year Track,
Biology (BS) Suggested 4-Year Track,
Biology Minor Suggested 4-Year Track,
Applied Bioinformatics Minor,
Teacher Certification.

Pre-professional programs

Students should choose their majors based on their principal abilities and interests, because most professional schools accept individuals on the basis of merit rather than on their choice of major. Those who plan to enter professional schools should consult with their academic adviser in addition to the appropriate pre-professional program coordinator, listed below.

An overall GPA of at least 3.0 is required for admission to most professional programs, although some require a GPA significantly above 3.0.

Students should work closely with their pre-professional coordinator to ensure that they are meeting all of the requirements and recommendations within their chosen field. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the professional schools they wish to attend and consult their bulletins for information concerning specific courses and tests required for admission. Credit earned by Advanced Placement or CLEP may not be accepted.

Listed below are program coordinators, and required courses, for pre-professional programs most frequently chosen by students at WAU:

Pre-Chiropractic, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD  
Pre-Dental Hygiene, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Dentistry, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Medicine, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Occupational Therapy, Melvin Roberts, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Optometry, Melvin Roberts, PhD  
Pre-Pharmacy, Melvin Roberts, PhD prerequisite courses
  Nellie McKenzie, PharmD  
Pre-Physician Assistant, Melvin Roberts, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Physical Therapy, Melvin Roberts, PhD prerequisite courses
Pre-Public Health, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD  
Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD prerequisite courses

 

Course Descriptions

Read the Department of Biology section in the Academic bulletin.

For more information about the department, please see below:

Admission Information

Graduation Requirements

Statement of Student Responsibility

Classes Taught by Biology Department Faculty

 

For news and stories, please see below:

* Brittany Bower ('14) was recently published in the Online Journal of Bioinformatics. Congratulations to her and Dr. Dormer on their publication!

* WAU seniors conducted an experiment on October 24 at the Vienna Adventist Academy (Vienna, Virginia), with 7th and 8th grade students. The experiment looked at heat diffusion by first putting a balloon in a candle flame (it pops quickly due to the air in the balloon heating and expanding, while the rubber of the balloon is degraded by the heat). Then the experiment is repeated with a balloon that is partially filled with water. The water absorbs and distributes the heat away from the point of contact, which delays (or prevents) the balloon from popping. Watch the video

* Here are some interesting creative projects, which were created by the fall 2014, BIOL 410 (Developmental Biology) class.

* If you're a pre-medicine student, you might find the Rice Premed Student Guide helpful; it contains a lot of important information for students on the pre-medicine track. Also, on their webpage you can find a link to a free MCAT study calendar.

* The new MCAT sample test is available from the AAMC. The exam costs $25 and can be obtained from the AAMC website: www.aamc.org/mcat2015sampletest.

* WAU Biology major, Cherriese Thompson, was the Maryland HOSA flag-bearer at the 2014 National Leadership Conference!

Cherriese - HOSA 2014

* What did YOU do for Service Day? Click here to read about one student's experiences during the fall 2013 Service Day.

* Congratulations to our Honors Society Inductees!

* Biology Major Sets New Standard for Ministry

* Learning Outside the Classroom

 Jonas Salk's birthday was on Oct. 28th. Dr. Salk developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine, saving thousands of lives and preventing childhood paralysis. You can read more information about him at http://www.biography.com/people/jonas-salk-9470147#synopsis. They have a nice video synopsis also.

Biology Department

L. Melvin Roberts, PhD, Chair
Glen H. Bennett, PhD
Nellie McKenzie, PharmD
Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD
Anthony G. Futcher, PhD

For program information, contact:

Dr. Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva
Phone: 301-891-4462
Fax: 301-270-1618
E-mail: mvillanu@wau.edu
Room 102D, Science Building