Biology


The biology major is designed to provide a comprehensive study in several areas of modern biology, including cell and molecular biology, ecology, botany, zoology, and physiology. This major will serve as excellent preparation for graduate school, medical school, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or for employment in research labs, clinical labs, fish and wildlife positions, or science education. Through broad offerings in the biological sciences students will have a foundational understanding of biological systems at the molecular, organismal and ecological levels. Students will also have a fundamental understanding of experimental design, execution and interpretation and will be introduced to research, reading and interpretation of scientific literature, and field studies.

Explore the Biology Program

The study of science is born from the conviction of the fundamental intelligibility of the world. Science at Ave Maria University testifies to the Catholic Church’s confidence in human reason’s ability to know the truth about God’s creation even apart from the illuminating power of grace. The natural sciences are not simply technological disciplines, but are truly liberal arts education in which we seek to know truth for its own sake. By enabling us to enter the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of physical reality, science instills within the students a deep sense of wonder at the natural universe. All students take at least two semesters of natural science as part of their Core Curriculum in the liberal arts education. These courses train their minds to think critically and allow them to understand more of the world that is a dim reflection of its Creator.

The Biology major provides a comprehensive study in multiple areas of modern biology. This major will serve as excellent preparation for graduate school, medical school, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or for employment in research laboratories, clinical laboratories or science education. If course prerequisites are required, they are identified within the course description. In addition to the general Core Curriculum requirements, the courses listed below are required.

Students with an interest in biology as a potential major are strongly encouraged to speak with a biology faculty advisor before beginning their freshman year.

Required Courses for the B.A. in Biology

  • BIOL 211 Biology I Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 212 Biology II Organismal and Population Biology
  • BIOL 220 Zoology
  • BIOL 230 Botany
  • BIOL 303 Genetics
  • BIOL 413 Critical Analysis II or BIOL 497 Directed Research
  • CHEM 125 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 126 General Chemistry II
  • MATH 150 Functions or MATH 151 Calculus I

16 Biology elective credits from among the following courses:

  • BIOL 105 Environmental Science I
  • BIOL 106 Environmental Science II
  • BIOL 200 Nutrition
  • BIOL 240 General Ecology with laboratory
  • BIOL 241 General Ecology without laboratory
  • BIOL 250 Health and Wellness
  • BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 305 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 306 Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
  • BIOL 307 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 310 General and Chemical Oceanography
  • BIOL 321 Tropical Ecology and Field Biology
  • BIOL 340 Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 401 Microbiology
  • BIOL 402 Microbiological Ecology
  • BIOL 403 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 404 General Virology
  • BIOL 407 Marine Zoology
  • BIOL 408 Marine Botany
  • BIOL 438 Aquatic Ecology
  • EXER 270 Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • EXER 300 Exercise Physiology

Required Courses for the B.S. in Biology

  • BIOL 211 Biology I Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 212 Biology II Organismal and Population Biology
  • BIOL 220 Zoology
  • BIOL 230 Botany
  • BIOL 303 Genetics
  • BIOL 305 Molecular Biology or BIOL 410 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 401 Microbiology
  • BIOL 413 Critical Analysis II or BIOL 497 Directed Research
  • CHEM 125 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 126 General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I
  • PHYS 221 College Physics I or PHYS 212 College Physics II

12 Biology elective credits from among the following courses:

  • BIOL 105 Environmental Science I
  • BIOL 106 Environmental Science II
  • BIOL 200 Nutrition
  • BIOL 240 General Ecology with laboratory
  • BIOL 241 General Ecology without laboratory
  • BIOL 250 Health and Wellness
  • BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 305 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 306 Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
  • BIOL 307 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 310 General and Chemical Oceanography
  • BIOL 321 Tropical Ecology and Field Biology
  • BIOL 340 Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 402 Microbiological Ecology
  • BIOL 403 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 404 General Virology
  • BIOL 407 Marine Zoology
  • BIOL 408 Marine Botany
  • BIOL 410 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 438 Aquatic Ecology
  • EXER 270 Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • EXER 300 Exercise Physiology

The pre-medicine program offers academic preparation for medical school. Recommended majors for students interested in pre-medicine include Biology (B.S. or B.A.), Health Science (B.A.), or Biochemistry (B.S.)†, although other academic majors are usually acceptable as long as the appropriate pre-requisites* for a given medical school are completed. Students are encouraged to explore the ethical, moral, and social implications of modern medicine and technology from a Catholic perspective and should consider taking THEO 390 Catholic Bioethics.

Multiple upper level Biology classes coinciding with prerequisites from most US medical schools are strongly recommended. Classes include Genetics, Molecular Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, and Biochemistry. In preparation for the MCAT examination, minimal requirements should be completed by the end of the junior year. A variety of other supplementary programs, seminars, and lectures are offered.

Minimal Pre-medicine Requirements

  • Biochemistry (1 Semester of Lecture)
  • BIOL 211 Biology I Cellular and Molecular Biology with laboratory
  • BIOL 212 Biology II Organismal and Population Biology with laboratory
  • BIOL 303 Genetics with laboratory
  • CHEM 125 General Chemistry I with laboratory
  • CHEM 126 General Chemistry II with laboratory
  • CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I with laboratory
  • CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry II with laboratory
  • MATH 150 Functions; MATH 151 Calculus I is strongly recommended
  • PHYS 211 College Physics I with laboratory
  • PHYS 212 College Physics II with laboratory
  • PSYC 201 Principles and Methods of Psychology
  • STAT 230 Applied Statistics

Recommended Pre-medicine Courses

At least 8 upper level credits (300 and above) of Biology courses are required for most medical school admissions. The following course are recommended to fulfill this requirement, and all are recommended to aid in taking the MCAT:

  • BICM 305 Biochemistry I: Structure, Mechanism and Metabolism
  • BICM 306 Biochemistry II: Biophysical Chemistry
  • BICM 415 (Varies by topic. Examples of relevant modules are Chemistry and Mechanism of Enzyme Action, Biochemistry of HIV, Biochemistry in drug discovery, and Biochemistry of Cancer)
  • BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 305 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 401 Microbiology

†For those intending to major in Biochemistry, please see the Biochemistry Degree section of the catalogue for a sample pre-med track.

*Admission requirements vary by institution. It is highly recommended that students check the requirements of the schools which they are considering.

  • Bachelors of Science (B.S.) and Bachelors of Arts (B.A) degrees available.
  • Ave Maria Department of Biology faculty have expertise in a wide range of Biological fields including molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, marine biology, physiology, ecology, and anatomy.
  • AMU Department of Biology faculty maintains active research laboratories with opportunities for undergraduate research. Undergraduate researchers also regularly present their work at academic meetings and some have published in academic journals.
  • Ave Maria University Department of Biology faculty teach all lab sections, allowing students more personal attention and expert guidance. Most labs are smaller than 24 students.
  • AMU is home to a Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society chapter, which exceptional students have the opportunity to join.
  • Student led organizations include the Biology club, Science Club, and pre-professional societies like the Ave Maria Pre-Dental Society.
  • The Department of Biology also offers degrees in Environmental Science (B.A.), Health Science (B.A.), Exercise Science (B.A.) and Health Science Administration (B.A.), and minors in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Health Science, and Exercise Science.
  • Biology students at Ave Maria University have research opportunities with departmental faculty, and have participated in national summer research programs. In addition, students have received internships at local companies such as Arthrex.
  • A degree in Biology is ideal for students who wish to attend post-baccalaureate studies in fields of Research, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Marine Science, or other Biological related professions. In addition, Biology majors often pursue careers in health care, academia, museums and zoos, education, governmental agencies, environmental conservation, forensic science, industry, and public policy.

Jacob Blanchard, M.A.

Instructor of Biology 
Education: B.A., Biology, Ave Maria University
Office: Henkels 3034
Phone: (239) 304-7130

Stephen Cronin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Molecular & Cellular Biology, Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Biology, University of California, San Diego.
Office: Henkels 3051
Phone: (239) 280-1617

Nicholas Curtis, Ph.D.

Chair of the Biology Department, Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Marine Science & Biology, University of Miami; Ph.D., Cell & Molecular Biology, University of South Florida
Office: Henkels 2053
Phone: (239) 304-7132

Daniel Credeur, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.S., Kinesiology, Louisiana State University; Ph.D., Kinesiology, Louisiana State University
Office: Canizaro Library 313
Phone: (239) 304-7966

Brett Feger, M.S., M.A.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Knox College; M.S., Zoology, Western Illinois University; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University
Office: Henkels 2021
Phone: (239) 304-7366

Craig Flanagan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Miami; M.S., Clinical Exercise Physiology, University of Miami; D.C., Chiropractic, Life University; Ph.D., Exercise Physiology, University of Miami

Ernesto Quintero, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Marine Biology, California State University; Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Maryland
Office: Henkels 2048
Phone: (239) 280-1666

Ladislav Sallai, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: M.S., Pharmacy, Comenius University; Ph.D., Chemistry, University of North Dakota
Office: Henkels 3028
Phone: (239) 280-2418

William Serson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Biology Millersville University; Ph.D., Plant Physiology, University of Kentucky
Office: Henkels 2045
Phone: (239) 280-2433