Nov 14, 2018  


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Professors: Bernd, M. Campbell, Case, Dorcas, Hales, Lom (chair), Paradise, Peroni, Putnam, Raymond, Stanback, Wessner
Associate Professors: Hay, Sarafova
Assistant Professors: Barsoum, El Bejjani, K. Smith
Lecturer: McNally
Adjunct Assistant Professors: Melonakos, Pittman, Ward
Affiliated Faculty: Heyer (Mathematics), Myers (Chemistry), Ramirez (Psychology)


The Biology Department recommends BIO 111-114 for students who are in pre-medical studies or plan to major in Biology or another science.  BIO 106-109 and 111-114 fulfill the distribution requirement for a natural science, BIO 102-104 and 263 fulfill the distribution requirement for liberal studies. BIO 107 credit is granted to students who score 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam or a 6 or 7 on the IB Biology exam, and BIO 240 fulfills the mathematical and quantitative thought distribution requirement.

Major Requirements

The biology major requires eleven courses.  This total includes three introductory courses (CHE115 and BIO 111/113 and 112/114) plus eight advanced biology courses numbered 200 or above.  Of the eight biology courses numbered 200 or above, at least three advanced laboratory courses must be completed from the following list with at least one from each of the two groups: Group A (201, 202, 208, 303, 306, 307, and 333 or BIO 309 + 343); Group B (212, 216, 222, 241, 305, 311, 317, 321, 323, and 331).  Seven of the eleven courses required for the biology major must be Davidson courses taught by Davidson College faculty members.

CHE 250 and 350; Mathematics 111/112, 113, 140, and/or 160; and Physics 120/130 and 220/230 are also strongly recommended for biology majors.  Pre-medical students should consult with the Premedical Director when choosing basic science classes.

Biology Major Requirements (Engineering Dual Degree (3-2) Track)

Students seeking to complete the dual degree engineering (3-2) track with a biology major are required to take the following courses in order to receive a B.S. degree in Biology from Davidson: three introductory courses (BIO111/113, BIO112/114, and CHE115) plus six advanced biology courses numbered 200 or above.  Of these advanced courses at least three must satisfy group A or B requirements with at least one group A and one group B course.   

Honors Requirements

The biology honors program is promotes individual excellence through directed independent study and research.  Twelve courses are required in the major.  Students should plan their programs with their faculty advisers such that the combination of courses and research meets, in general, the balance of courses specified for the major.  A research proposal must be submitted for departmental action and research results must be presented in writing and orally by the deadlines specified in the Biology Department JHandbook.  The recommendation of the department regarding honors or high honors is based upon quality of the course work, research, and presentation.  Additional information and examples of past theses can be found at the Biology Student Thesis Information Site.

School for Field Studies

Davidson College is affiliated with the School for Field Studies, enabling students to participate in a semester-long or month-long program studying environmental issues.  Students must apply for acceptance to the School for Field Studies.  Permission of instructor is required.  The semester and summer programs concentrate on international environmental issues at one of six SFS centers:  Turks & Caicos Islands; Bhutan; Costa Rica; Australia & New Zealand; Panama; Tanzania, or Kenya.  Semester program students receive major credit for BIO 381, 382, and 383, and course credit for BIO 184.  Summer program students receive major credit for BIO 385.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

Students who participate in the School for Field Studies in a non-Western country receive cultural diversity credit for BIO 184.  Cultural diversity credit is also given for the summer program in Zambia (BIO368 or 369).

Biology Courses

All biology courses are open to all students, regardless of major.  BIO 100-199 do not fulfill biology major requirements.  BIO 111/113 and 112/114 serve as the entry courses to the major and are recommended for pre-medical students.  200 and 300-level biology courses give students access to a broad range of biological knowledge and technical skills.  Stressing problem-solving and critical thinking, these courses are appropriate for any student who has completed the prerequisites but they are not limited to biology majors.  Topical, discussion-based seminar courses (260s, 360-367, 390s) and research courses (250s, 350s, and 370s) often require permission to register.  

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