May 24, 2024  
University Catalog 2018-2019 
University Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Biology

Division of Biological and Applied Health Sciences

NCF Science Annex 433 - (504) 520-7527 -

The study of life in its myriad forms is an enriching experience which enhances the spiritual and cultural development of those who engage in it. The Biology Department is dedicated to fostering a richer and fuller appreciation of the living world in all students, both majors and non-majors.

The Department offers both a B.S. and a B.A. degree. The B.S. is offered through programs in Biology , Biology Pre-Medical  , Biology Education , and the Dual Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering . The B.S. programs provide excellent preparation for a number of different career paths and for graduate school or for medical or other professional schools. The Biology Education  major enables students to obtain certification from the State of Louisiana as teachers of high school biology at the same time that they receive their undergraduate degree.

Students seeking a B.S. in Biology  may designate themselves Pre-Medical when declaring their major. The Biology  B.S. program and the Biology Pre-Medical  B.S. Program have identical course requirements, and both include a Chemistry minor.  The Pre-Medical designation also includes students preparing for dental, veterinary, and other health professional schools.

The B.A. degree in Biology  is designed to serve Biology majors who are interested in combining their study of biology with other disciplines such as Pre-Law, marketing, social sciences, journalism, or history.  Students seeking the B.A. degree may select any minor or double concentration.  This degree will not by itself prepare students for medical or dental schools, and may not provide all the coursework expected for graduate programs in biology. Therefore, the B.A. program is not recommended for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree in biology.  Those who opt for the B.A. degree will be required to take additional courses in chemistry, physics and mathematics if they later wish to attend professional school. 

Only biology courses completed with a grade of “C” or better will be counted towards the major. Except in unusual circumstances, students who must repeat more than two biology courses will not be permitted to continue as majors, and no biology course may be repeated more than once. Also, majors are required to pass a comprehensive examination.

Xavier is an Affiliate Institution of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS and a Member Institution of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCOM) in Cocodrie, LA. Xavier students are eligible to take courses at these institutions. Interested students should consult the Summer Announcement found on each institution’s respective website.

The Department recognizes a special obligation to students who choose to major in biological sciences and is committed to the task of providing these individuals with knowledge and opportunities which will enable them to become contributing members of society in their chosen fields. These students, upon graduation from Xavier, should be able to successfully pursue graduate or professional study, careers in research and teaching, or fill other positions requiring a background in biology. To achieve these goals, the Biology Department will attempt to:

  1. provide students with knowledge of basic biological concepts so that they may be able to explain the concepts, interpret data in light of these concepts, and organize these concepts in such a manner as to indicate an understanding of their interrelatedness; and
  2. provide practice in the use of the scientific method and tools of research so that the students may be able to organize a scientific problem, investigate the problem, and present their findings using an acceptable scientific format.

Required and Elective Courses in the Department

For the major in Biology or Biology Pre-Med: BIOL 1210L  , BIOL 1220L , BIOL 1230 /BIOL 1230L , BIOL 1240 /BIOL 1240L , BIOL 2000 /BIOL 2000L , BIOL 2010 /BIOL 2010L , BIOL 3110 /BIOL 3110L , BIOL 4230 , and fifteen hours of Biology electives.

Students in all programs should note that: 1) It is best to take required courses in sequence as indicated in the curricula outlined below; 2) Biology electives should not be attempted until all required biology courses (except BIOL 4230 ) are successfully completed; 3) students should realize the value of laboratory experience and schedule accompanying laboratory courses when selecting electives, although for sufficient reason the lab can be omitted; 4) students may not register for a laboratory course without concurrently taking (or previously completed) the corresponding lecture; 5) all students regardless of their program are to register for BIOL 4999 - Senior Comprehensives in the Fall semester for students planning to graduate in May, and in the Spring for students planning to graduate in December. Students will not be permitted to attempt Senior Comprehensives unless they have at least a 2.0 grade point average both overall and in the major, and have satisfactorily completed all specifically required biology courses.

In planning their elective courses, students should consult with their faculty advisors, who will assist them in choosing courses that are appropriate for the student’s interests and goals.

Honors in Biology - Each spring the Department will select a limited number of students for possible graduation with Honors in Biology. Students who achieve this distinction will have maintained at least a 3.50 grade point average in biology and 3.30 grade point average overall, with no grade of “C” or lower in any biology course, throughout their undergraduate careers. Biology and Biology Pre-Med majors who satisfy these minimum requirements will be selected at the end of their junior year. Selected students will be required to register for BIOL 4230 Biology Capstone  during their senior year. Students will be dropped from the Program if they fail to continue to meet the academic requirements given above.

Biology Minor  


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceNon-degree