Biology is the study of life. This broad definition encompasses many different independent disciplines from the study of cells and molecular biology to the study of communities and evolutionary biology. We provide our students with a solid foundation of all the fundamental fields in biology producing well-rounded scientists grounded in the liberal arts. We believe that doing science is vital to learning and to loving science. Most of our courses have accompanying laboratories with onsite faculty right there with the students using up-to-date equipment in state of the art laboratories. Our students are well prepared to take this knowledge gained in the classroom to their internships where they gain real world experience. When our students graduate we expect them to have excellent quantitative skills, writing and communication skills, and skills in scientific methodology, critical thinking and analysis which prepares them well for continuing on with their education in graduate or professional schools or entering the workforce.
There are three degrees possible within the Biology department:
- The Biology Major (B.S.)
To complete the B.S. degree you will take at least 10 biology courses, six physical science courses and two mathematics courses in addition to an abridged liberal-arts curriculum. When you graduate, you'll be equipped for graduate or professional school. Please click here for course descriptions.
- The Biology Major (B.A.)
To complete the B.A. degree in Biology you will take at least nine biology courses, two chemistry courses and calculus, if needed, in addition to a more expanded liberal-arts curriculum than for the B.S. When you graduate you'll be equipped for graduate or professional school. Please click here for course descriptions.
- The Clinical Laboratory Science Major (B.S.)
To complete the clinical laboratory science degree you will take three years at Salem College and one year in the medical technology program at Wake Forest University (based upon your acceptance). You will graduate prepared to take a national certifying exam in clinical laboratory science. Please click here for course descriptions.
You will join a diverse group of biology students, hailing from places as faraway as Nepal and as close by as Mocksville, NC. Some students join the biology department because they want to be doctors. Others join because they're passionate about environmental science and evolution. Still others become involved because they're interested in medical technology. Whatever reason you have for joining the department, you will share with your peers a set of academic goals: to engage in scientific research, to work closely with faculty who share your passion for science and to make a difference in their world, wherever you live. It's this kind of drive and enthusiasm for science that we invite you to experience at Salem.
The diverse interests of the biology faculty provide you with a rigorous, well-rounded program of biological sciences. The high caliber of the biology program courses means that you are likely to join other Salem students in performing well above average on the standardized Biology Major Field Test and earning exceptionally positive reviews from the off-campus supervisors of your internships.
You will be encouraged to engage in scholarly activities outside the classroom. Our Alpha Beta chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the biological honor society, promotes and rewards excellence among our undergraduates. Top-performing biology students have consistently been active participants of the Lehman Scholars program. Faculty and students work together to arrange professional January Term and summer internships in which you will experience first-hand a job or research opportunity of interest to you. Although Salem College requires only one professional internship for completion of a bachelor's degree, you may choose, as do many biology students, to take part in multiple internships during your time here. When you graduate, you will have excellent quantitative skills, writing and communication skills and skills in scientific methodology, critical thinking and analysis, all of which will prepare you well for continuing on with your education in graduate or professional schools or enter the workforce.
Biology Major (B.A.)
The student who seeks the bachelor of arts degree with a major in biology must complete eleven courses, including eight biology courses.
Biology Major (B.S.)
The student who seeks the bachelor of science degree with a major in biology must complete a minimum of seventeen courses, including ten biology courses.
A student intending to be a B.S. biology major should meet with her advisor early and regularly to discuss a suggested program of study in order to remain on track for graduation within four years.
All students planning a major in biology are expected to finish their mathematics requirements by the end of their first year. Entering students who are confident in their quantitative skills are advised to take general chemistry (CHEM 110) and BIOL 100 & 101 in their first year. Students who have not had pre-calculus may consider taking CHEM 110 in their second year. BIOL 205 (or an equivalent course in statistics), 210 and 230 should be completed by the end of their junior year. The electives BIOL 235 and 218/219 are recommended for the junior or senior year. Most other electives are appropriate for students in their sophomore through senior years. BIOL 311 and 390 are capstone courses required in the senior year.
The minor in biology requires the completion of five courses.
Biology Courses (BIOL)Each course lists the number of lectures and laboratories per week.
010. Principles of BiologyOne course
An introductory course in biological science for non-majors. Emphasis is on general principles, including the scientific method, biochemistry, cytology, metabolism, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, cell division, classical and molecular genetics, evolution and ecology. This course will not substitute for any biology course for majors in biology or clinical laboratory science. Three lectures, one two-hour laboratory. Fall and Spring.
070. Issues in Biology for WomenOne course
The major emphasis of this course will be placed on the scientific principles behind many issues directly related to women’s lives. Designed for non-majors, this course will concentrate on basic biological issues in genetics, molecular biology and health, including such topics as reproduction and fertility, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, breast cancer, toxins and biohazards in the workplace, home and the environment, issues in modern health care provision and how biology influences society and vice versa. This course will not substitute for any biology course for majors in biology or clinical laboratory science and is open to non-majors only. Recommended prerequisite: BIOL 010 or equivalent. Spring, alternate years.
100. Cell and Molecular BiologyOne course
The structure and function of cells. An examination of the cell’s microscopic and ultrastructural features, physiological capabilities, and biochemical properties, including such topics as membrane and organelle formation, DNA replication, transcription, translation, cellular metabolism, cell division, cell differentiation and cell communication. This is the required introductory course for majors in biology and clinical laboratory science and is a prerequisite for all other biology courses. Three lectures, one three hour laboratory. Prerequisite: Placement above MATH 020. Fall.
101. BiodiversityOne course
Evolution and structure of organisms in all biological kingdoms (monerans, protists, plants, fungi, and animals) with emphasis on the basic principles of observation and experimental problems. Three lectures, one three hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 or both BIOL 010 and ENVS 100, or permission of instructor. Spring.
114. General BotanyOne course
The structure and function of plants with emphasis on angiosperms. Designed to provide the student with a broad survey of the plant activities. Growth, differentiation, nutrition and reproduction are studied in representative members of the major divisions. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 101 or permission of the instructor. Fall, alternate years.
200. Independent Study in BiologyOne-quarter to two courses
Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project, and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a maximum of two courses, the maximum in any one term being two course credits. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and 101; MATH 025, 070 or higher; or permission of the instructor.
205. BiometryOne course
Introduction to the theory and application of descriptive and inferential statistical methods used in the life sciences. Includes training in computer assisted analysis. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory/discussion session per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 100 or both BIOL010 and ENVS 100; MATH 025, 070 or higher; or permission of the instructor. Fall
210. EcologyOne course
The principles underlying the interrelations of organisms with their environments, including the population, community, ecosystem and biosphere levels of organization. The laboratory is closely integrated with the lecture and includes studies of the different levels of integration. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 100 and 101 or permission of instructor. Spring.
212. Plant TaxonomyOne course
The morphology, classification, nomenclature and systematics of the seed plants with emphasis upon orders and families. The laboratory stresses the collection and identification of specimens from the local spring flora. Field trips are taken to the different vegetative provinces of the Carolinas, including the seashore and mountains. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 101 or permission of instructor. Offered as needed.
215. Developmental BiologyOne course
Developmental biology incorporates the study of the transformation of a single cell into an adult organism and the underlying causes of what makes living things become different. We will explore the central concepts of the development of an individual and the role development plays in the evolution of organisms by using primarily vertebrate and invertebrate animal model systems to study classical embryology and the underlying molecular mechanisms of development. Two lectures and one three hour laboratory/ discussion session per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 or permission of the instructor. Offered as needed.
218. Anatomy and Physiology IOne course
The first of a two-course sequence in basic human anatomy and physiology. Beginning with a review of biochemistry, cytology and cellular metabolism, this first course then emphasizes the structure and function at the gross, histologic and ultrastructural levels of the integumentary, skeletal, articular, muscular and nervous systems. Anatomy by dissection and experimental concepts of physiology are studied in the laboratory. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and 101 or permission of the instructor. Fall.
219. Anatomy and Physiology IIOne course
The continuation of a two-course sequence in basic human anatomy and physiology. Emphasis on the structure and function of the cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine and reproductive systems. Anatomy by dissection and experimental concepts of physiology are studied in the laboratory. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 218. Spring.
220. Special Topics in BiologyOne course
An investigation of a topic of importance in contemporary biology. The specific course content and methods of study will vary in response to recent developments in the life sciences and current needs of students majoring in biology; the topic will be announced prior to registration for the course. Three lecture/discussions, one three-hour laboratory or field experience. Prerequisites: BIOL 100 or permission of the instructor.
222. OrnithologyOne course
A lecture/discussion, laboratory and field course on the biology of birds. The lecture/laboratory will stress concepts and principles of structure and physiology, distribution, behavior, migration and evolution, while the field portion will emphasize identification and recognition of the local bird fauna. Field trips will be taken to the different vegetative provinces of the Carolinas. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 101 or permission of the instructor. Offered as needed.
225. ParasitologyOne course
The biology of parasites and parasitism, including a comparative and systematic study of the major parasitic groups: protozoa, helminths and arthropods. The concepts and principles of morphology, physiology, life histories and host-parasite relationships of representative members of these phyla will be discussed in lecture and explored in the laboratory and the field. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and 101 or permission of the instructor. Offered as needed
230. GeneticsOne course
Principles of genetics, including an examination of gene chemistry and function, transmission genetics and cytogenetics, mutation, developmental and population genetics. The laboratory consists of experiments in classical genetics and molecular biology. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 100 and 101; MATH 070 or higher; junior standing as science or math major; or permission of instructor. Spring.
235. MicrobiologyOne course
A systematic study of the more important groups of microorganisms: the bacteria, yeasts, molds, cyanobacteria, rickettsiae, viruses and protozoa. Emphasis is given to morphology, taxonomy and activities of selected members of each group, including topics on control of microorganisms, disease relationships and applied microbiology. Three lectures, two two-hour laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 100 and 210; CHEM 201 and 202; or permission of instructor. Fall.
240. Research MethodsOne course
This course prepares students for conducting undergraduate research by emphasizing the process of asking scientific questions, critical analysis and designing undergraduate research projects. Students will analyze classic biologic literature, attend off campus graduate seminars, participate in peer reviews and design a research proposal based loosely on a National Science Foundation proposal for graduate fellowships. Two lectures and one three hour laboratory/discussion session per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and 101; or permission of the instructor. Offered as needed.
260. Conservation BiologyOne course
This course will examine human impacts on biological diversity, explore how conservation science can be used to ameliorate these impacts and inform land management decisions, and investigate the interaction between conservation science and public policy and assess the effectiveness of different approaches in reaching conservation goals. Prerequisite: BIOL 210 or permission of instructor. Spring
270. Internship in BiologyOne course
An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with at least a 2.0 cumulative average; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only. Fall and Spring.
290. Honors Independent Study in BiologyOne to two courses
Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Normally open to junior and senior biology majors with a 3.5 or greater average in biology, subject to the approval of the department chair. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and 101; MATH 070 or higher. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses per term.
311. EvolutionOne course
A study of the historical aspects of the theory of evolution, including a critical analysis of The Origin of Species, and an understanding of the modern theory with emphasis on the mechanisms involved. A term paper is required. Three hours of lecture/discussion per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 210 and 230, or permission of instructor. Fall.
390. Senior SeminarOne course
Fundamental problems in the biological sciences with emphasis on current research. Open only to seniors for credit, but sophomores and juniors are encouraged to attend the seminars. Spring.
391, 392. Undergraduate Research Program at the Wake Forest University School of MedicineOne to two courses
The undergraduate research program in the departments of neurobiology and anatomy, physiology and pharmacology or microbiology and immunology is a program for serious upper-division students in biology. It may be taken by biology majors interested in participating in ongoing basic and/or applied research who have completed BIOL 230 and CHEM 305, 309 or 311, 312, and who have an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 and a science G.P.A. of 3.2 or greater. The program as designed allows qualified students to take up to two course credits in undergraduate research. These course credits will be accepted as biology credits for the major. Students meeting the criteria and interested in participating must also have the approval of the chair of the biology department. Fall and Spring.
Mayo Clinic's College of Medicine
NSF REU grant - Dr. Cruse-Sanders
Biomedical Research at the Medical College of Georgia
Norfolk State University
Earth Systems Research Lab, University of Colorado
Wake Forest University's Department of Chemistry
Sea Lab internship on Dauphin Island, Alabama
National Textile Center research program at NC State University
HHMI Scholarships through NC State University and Salem College
WFUBMC-NC Biotechnology Center scholarships w/ Salem College
Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA
Tyson Foods in Wilkesboro - quality assurance department
Lipid Sciences Research department at Wake Forest Univ. Health Sciences
Targacept Inc, Winston-Salem, NC