Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology or Bachelor of Science in Science Education (minor available)
Study life's complexities
At Central State, biology majors study the beauty and complexity of natural environments. You will hone your critical thinking and problem-solving skills through hands-on research and discover the origins of our world in courses, such as evolution and molecular genetics. You can also transform the future of our world by delving into fields like bioinformatics and environmental plant physiology.
All students conduct research — inside and outside the classroom
Opportunities for paid summer laboratory internships
All faculty hold PhDs and bring real-world experience to the classroom
All students benefit from small class settings and one-on-one mentoring from professors
Biology course descriptions
BIO 1100. Organismal Biology with Lab (I, II, III; 3)
This course is an introduction to the principles of biology related to organismal structure and function. Topics include cell organization, levels of biological organization, and whole-body systems. Includes two one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week. No prerequisites. Does not count toward a degree in Biology. Fulfills the general education requirement for natural science with lab.
BIO 1300. Genetics and Diversity with Lab (I, II, III; 4)
This course is an introduction to the principles of biology related to the inheritance of characteristics and their change over time. Topics include reproduction, basic genetics, population genetics, evolution, and the diversity of organisms. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week. No prerequisites. Does not count towards a degree in Biology. Fulfills the general education requirement for natural science with a lab.
BIO 1500. Environmental Science with Lab (II, III; 3)
This interdisciplinary course relates biological, chemical, and physical principles to how organisms interact with their environments. Environmental issues and policies will also be discussed. Two one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory period per week. No prerequisites. A requirement for the minor in Environmental Science. Fulfills the general education requirement for natural science with a lab.
BIO 1705. Biological Concepts (I, II, III; 4)
An introduction to the basic concepts used in the study of biology. Topics to be covered include metrics and measurement, scientific instrumentation, microscopy, the cell and cellular metabolism and genetics (Mendelian and population). Class will meet for three hours of lecture per week and two hours of lab. Co-requisite: MTH 1750.
BIO 1801. Fundamentals of Biology I (I, II; 4)
A study of the fundamental concepts of biology designed to acquaint majors with the scientific method and to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through hands-on exploration. Emphasis is placed on the gathering and analysis of data and the writing of formal lab reports. Topics covered include biological implications of chemical processes such as pH and molecular interactions, the structure and function of biomolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins), cell structure, evolution, cell division, Mendelian and introductory population genetics, ecology, energy utilization through metabolism and photosynthesis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. This course is required for Biology Education (Adolescent to Young Adult) and Environmental Engineering majors. Prerequisites: BIO 1705, ENG 1100 or ENG 1101, MTH 1750 or permission of the instructor.
BIO 1802. Fundamentals of Biology II (I, II; 4)
A continuing study of the fundamental concepts in biology with emphasis placed upon the evolution and diversity of organisms and their interactions through a survey of Kingdoms Prokarya, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. The semester culminates with emphasis on animal tissues, homeostasis, and organ systems. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: B10 1801.
BIO 2000. Evolution (II; 2)
A study of evolutionary processes and the history of life on earth. Topics of discussion include evidence supporting the theory of evolution gathered from fossil records, classical genetics, population biology, organismal behavior and changes in DNA over time. Two lecture/discussion periods per week. Required for the Education degree in Adolescent to Young Adult (7-12) Life Science, and an option for the Biology major. Fulfills the general education requirement for natural science. Prerequisite: BIO 1100, 1300 or BIO 1801.
BIO 2050. Biology of the Environment with Lab (II; 2)
A study of plants and animals emphasizing identification characteristics, the use of taxonomic keys, biological diversity in various environments, and general natural history. One three-hour lecture/laboratory period per week. Designed to fulfill the general education requirement in natural sciences, to fulfill a requirement for the Education degree in Middle Childhood (4-8) Science and as an option for the minor in Environmental Science. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 or BIO 1802.
BIO 2151. Human Anatomy and Physiology I (I; 3)
Course discussions emphasize the relationships between the structures and functions of human organ systems. Topics include cellular biology tissues, and integumentary, muscular, skeleton, and nervous systems. Laboratory periods are devoted to the study of basic mammalian tissues, mammalian dissection, and exercises illustrating the principles of body functions. Three one-hour lecture/discussion periods and one two-hour laboratory period per week. Does not count toward required hours for the Biology major. Prerequisite: BIO 1100 or permission of instructor.
BIO 2152. Human Anatomy and Physiology II (II; 3)
This continuation course covers in a discussion format the cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, digestive, excretion and endocrine systems. Three one-hour lecture/discussion periods and one two-hour laboratory period per week. Does not count toward required hours for the Biology major. Prerequisite: BIO 2151.
BIO 2200. Biology of Aging (II; 2)
A course covering the biology of human aging. It will examine the mechanisms of aging followed by the consequences of aging in all of the human organ systems including nervous, skeletal, endocrine, alimentary, reproductive, respiratory, excretory, cardiovascular, muscular, lymphatic, and integumentary and immune systems. Required for the minor in gerontology and fulfills the natural science requirement for the general education. Does not count towards a major in Biology. Prerequisite: High school biology, BIO 1100.
BIO 2340. Careers in Biology (I; 1)
This course introduces students to speakers highlighting various career choices in biology. Students will interactively discuss the pros and cons of various careers and the required skill sets and level of education for each. Required of Biology majors. Prerequisite: Natural Sciences major, BIO 1802.
BIO 2400 Molecular Genetics (I; 4)
This course focuses on the study of heredity from different, yet integrated perspectives. The first is the historical, quantitative and tactile approach of Mendelian Genetics; the second is a study of the environmental dynamics impacting the passage of traits through local and global communities (population genetics); the last involves examining DNA at the qualitative and conceptual level of molecular mechanisms of replication, gene regulation, expression and mutation. Additionally, the class offers opportunities to examine the impact of current genetic research on individuals, society, and decision making. Three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: BIO 1802 or permission of instructor.
BIO 2650. Microbiology (II; 4)
Microbiology, in the most literal sense, deals with the study of small organisms. The primary focus of the course is the study of human pathogens. Emphasis is placed on the isolation and identification of bacteria through traditional staining methods and metabolic testing as well as through the application of molecular tools such as PCR and ELISA. Mechanisms of pathology and antibiotic resistance will be examined as well as host defenses and the immune response. Non-bacterial pathogens such as viruses and parasites will also be discussed in relationship to disease. Alternate areas of microbiology, such as environmental and food microbiology, will be discussed. Three lecture/discussion periods and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Required for BIO and ENE majors. Prerequisite: BIO 1801.
BIO 2750. Zoology (I; 2)
This course deals with the basic characteristics, taxonomy, phylogeny, geologic and geographic distribution, behavior and ecology of the major animal groups. Consists of two two-hour lecture/laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite BIO 1802.
BIO 2850. Plant Biology (II; 2)
This course is an exploration of the structural and functional relationships in mosses, lower vascular plants and vascular plants. The morphology, anatomy, reproduction, function and basic biochemistry of plants and their growth and development will be covered. Two two-hour lecture/laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: BIO 1802.
BIO 3050. Developmental Biology of Vertebrates (I; 4)
This course is a comprehensive survey of the history of vertebrates through their comparative early development with an integration of descriptive, experimental, biochemical and molecular approaches. Besides vertebrate models, insects, sea urchins and helminthes models will also be used. Students will compare the development of selected vertebrates as well as invertebrate models and examine the mechanisms responsible for their differences and similarities. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIO 2750.
BIO 3070. Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates (I; 4)
This course explores the comparative morphogenesis and adult structures of the vertebrate system with emphasis on phylogenetic relationships of vertebrates. Organ systems to be studied include integumentary, skeletal, muscular, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, sensory and urogenital systems. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIO 2750.
BIO 3090. Histology (I; 4)
This course is concerned with providing a clear and concise introduction to the principles of histology, the microanatomy of tissues and organs. The understanding of basic structure is essential for the effective study of function as well as the basis for study and recognition of differences that exist between normal and diseased tissues. The laboratory provides an introduction to various histological techniques. Prerequisite: BIO 2750.
BIO 3150. Bioinformatics (II; 3)
Genomes are biological information storage devices. DNA sequencing has made it practical to describe entire genomes. The field of biology is devoted to interpreting this data is called "bioinformatics." The course combines elements of molecular biology, evolution and computer science all used to gain understanding of biomolecules. The student will utilize public databases and software tools to manipulate data and extract meaning. Additionally, the course will touch on the use of software tools that enable better experimental design and modeling. The central theme of the course is to train students to use DNA sequence information to problem solve. Prerequisite: BIO 2400 or permission of the instructor.
BIO 3430. Biology Seminar (II; 1)
This course is designed to reinforce and refine scientific writing style for papers and proposals. Students will use original research or a detailed literature review of a specific topic as the basis for this course. Presentations may be made by faculty and guest speakers. Required of all Biology majors. Prerequisite: Natural Science majors only, Junior standing.
BIO 3500. Ecology (I; 4)
Ecology is the study of the environment and organisms interacting within it. The course concentrates on basic principles of ecology (e.g. biomes, water and nutrient cycles, energy stratification, organismal interactions, and population genetics) then places these in the context of modern global problems (e.g. deforestation, pollution, acid rain, extinction, global warming). Three lecture / discussion periods and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Field work will take advantage of local resources such as the Tawawa Woods, Indian Mound, and Glen Helen. Prerequisites: BIO 1802. Recommended: BIO 2750 and BIO 2850.
BIO 4100 Molecular Cell Biology (II; 4)
An in-depth investigation of the fundamental unit of life — the cell — following two major themes: evolutionary development and molecular mechanisms. Emphasis is placed on the eukaryotic cell but prokaryotic cells are examined comparatively. The course is lab intensive and includes detailed examination of organelle structure and function working upwards from macromolecules, ways in which all cells are similar, the importance of cellular differences, diversity as it relates to function, and how cells coordinate activity into tissues, organs, and organisms. Lastly, the course demonstrates by example what happens when normal cellular processes go awry (i.e. genetic diseases, prions, and cancer). Three lecture/discussion periods and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: BIO 2400, CHM 2401, CHM 2402, and CHM 4300.
BIO 4200. Experimental Biology (I; 3)
This course is designed to expose students to experimental techniques and instruments utilized by research biologists, chemists, toxicologists, behavioral scientists and clinical scientists. It also includes use of periodic literature, interpretation of biological data and experimental design. Students will design and implement their own experiments. Two three-hour discussion/laboratory periods per week. Prerequisites: BIO 2650, BIO 2750 and BIO 2850.
BIO 4300. Environmental Plant Physiology (II; 4 – Odd Years)
This course is an investigation of the structure, function, physiology and biochemistry of vascular plant growth and its interaction with a changing environment. Topics to be explored include water relations, translocation, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis and photorespiration, plant hormones and their roles in growth, dormancy, photoperiodism and flowering, and responses to environmental stimuli. The student is expected to develop an experimental design and complete a research project. Three lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: BIO 2850 and CHM 2401 or permission of instructor.
BIO 4400. Animal Physiology (II; 4 - Even Years)
A study of the concepts and principles involved in the function of animal organ systems with emphasis on human physiology. Emphasis will be placed on the application of physical and chemical principles on cell function in which transport, electrical activity of cell membrane and cell contractility will be discussed, followed by the physiology of most organ systems in the human body. Three lecture/discussion periods and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: BIO 3050, BIO 3070 and CHM 1202.
BIO 4500. Undergraduate Research in Biology (I, II, III; 2)
Undergraduate research experience in which a student will work with a mentor to develop a research topic, work on semi-independent research, and present this topic in written and oral format. Students may work with a faculty mentor at Central State University or fulfill this requirement by doing an off-campus internship or job-shadowing experience. For the latter option, the student will work with a CSU faculty mentor upon return to campus to prepare and present a written and oral presentation for credit. Required of Biology and Education, Adolescent to Young Adult (7-12) Life Science majors. This course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.
BIO 4600 Selected Topics in Biology (On demand; 2)
This course is designed to present an in-depth study of topics not normally covered in other courses. The topics selected will be dependent on the needs of the student. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
BIO 4895. Capstone in Biology (I; 3)
This course will give the graduating senior majoring in biology preparation in test taking skills with reiteration of key biological concepts, curriculum vitae preparation, interviewing skills, and help on job, graduate school and professional school applications. The final for the course is the senior assessment tool used by the Department. Prerequisite: Senior status or permission of the instructor.
A Central State biology degree prepares you to work in all levels of health care, life sciences teaching, agriculture, or environmental science, among other fields. You will fulfill professional requirements while getting a solid grounding in the basics and extensive research experience. You will explore the many career paths available to you in the Careers in Biology course.
Health and medicine
Graduate studies in biological and environmental sciences
Life sciences teaching
Just like a single cell, the character of our lives is determined not by our genes but by our responses to the environmental signals that propel life.Sharath Krishna, Ph.D.
Experiences and opportunities
Learning does not stop when class ends. Opportunities to increase your knowledge and expand your network include hands-on research for all students, top speakers, and Central State's chapter of the National Biology Honors Society.
At Central State, even undergraduate biology majors do research, whether at the campus lab or off campus at an internship. Students work with professors and research scientists and some present and publish nationally.
You will hear about research — the bedrock of the field — from guest speakers throughout the year. You can begin to imagine the career paths you can take with your degree and your potential impact.
The Central State chapter of Beta, Beta, Beta (Tri-Beta), the national biological honor society, emphasizes academics and research. Students who qualify for induction have access to national speakers and networks in the discipline.
Explore more programs
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You will gain invaluable hands-on experience teaching in Dayton or Xenia public schools as you prepare for certification.
Ohio’s only sustainable agricultural major will equip you to help address the resource needs brought about by climate change.