SIUE Department of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences

Undergraduate Programs in Biology

Program information on this page comes from the current SIUE undergraduate catalog.  Requirements for students who commenced their degree in a previous year may differ - consult the undergraduate catalog for your year of admission to SIUE in the Registrar's archive (click here).


Axtell, Ralph W., Ph.D., 1958, University of Texas-Austin
Brugam, Richard B., Ph.D., 1975, Yale University (Distinguished Research Professor)
Duvernell, David D., Ph.D., 1998, Virginia Tech
Esselman, Elizabeth J., Ph.D., 1996, The Ohio State University

Kitz, Dennis J., Ph.D., 1980, University of Iowa
Krajniak, Kevin G., Ph.D., 1990, University of Florida
Lin, Zhi-Qing, Ph.D., 1996, McGill University

Retzlaff, William A., Ph.D., 1987, Clemson University

Romero, Aldemaro (Dean), Ph.D., 1984, University of Miami
Schulz, Kurt E., Ph.D., 1991, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wanda, Paul E., Ph.D., 1978, Pennsylvania State University

Associate Professors

AbuSharbain, Elaine M., Ph.D., 1992, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Barry, Kelly J., Ph.D., 1992, University of Hawaii

Brunkow, Paul E., Ph.D., 1996, Arizona State University

Essner, Jr.,Richard L., Ph.D., 2003, The Ohio State University
Fowler, Thomas J., Ph.D., 1993, The Ohio State University
Kohn, LuciAnn P., Ph.D., 1989, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Liebl, Faith L.W., Ph.D., 2005, University of Illinois at Chicago

McCracken, Vance J., Ph.D., 2001, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Minchin, Peter R., Ph.D., 1984, University of Tasmania
Theodorakis, Christopher W., Ph.D., 1994, University of Tennessee

Assistant Professors

Hubert, Amy, Ph.D., 2009, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jennings, David, Ph.D., 1997, University of Colorado
Luesse, Darron R., Ph.D., 2006, Indiana University, Bloomington
Williams, Jason, Ph.D., 2005, Miami University

Back to top

About Biology

Biology includes the whole domain of living things; patterns of cellular structure, the underlying biochemical pathways, anatomy and function of whole organisms; the mathematical predictability and molecular basis of inheritance; the flow of energy and matter through living systems; the regulation and interaction of basic life processes; the universality of adaptation; and the interdependence of the biosphere. Like all sciences, biology is both cumulative and open-ended in its discoveries. It teaches the wonders of life, the excitement of discovery, and the challenge of the unknown. Students who are curious about living things how they function or how they relate to the environment may want to study biology.

Back to top


The Department of Biological Sciences operates four tissue culture facilities, warm and cold rooms, computer laboratories and a greenhouse. Preparative ultracentrifuges, scintillation counters, fraction collectors, automated DNA sequencers, spectrophotometers, confocal microscope and gel electrophoresis equipment are available to facilitate research in enzymes, proteins, and genetic engineering. A comprehensive collection of instruments is available to conduct research in plant physiological ecology: oxygen electrode system with fluorescence probe, infrared gas analyzer for measurement of CO2 uptake, pressure chamber and thermocouple psychrometer for measuring water potential, and data loggers with a variety of sensors to measure environmental variables. The department maintains substantial collections of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants. The 2,660-acre campus, with its wooded areas, lakes, and ponds, provides easily accessible habitats for ecological and other field work.

Back to top

Career Opportunities

Many careers are available for people with basic or advanced training in biology. There are opportunities in botany, dentistry, ecology, education, environmental biology, fisheries biology, genetic engineering, horticulture, immunology, medicine, medical technology, microbiology, molecular biology, parasitology, physiology, wildlife management, forestry, and zoology. Technical and supervisory positions are available in federal, state, industrial and university laboratories. Environment and health-related occupations almost always require sound basic training in biology. Most students entering schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, veterinary science, chiropractic and podiatry are biology majors. Basic training in biology is essential for careers in allied health sciences, including nutrition, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Back to top


Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences
        Specialization required in one of the following:
          Genetics and Cellular Biology
          Integrative Biology
          Medical Science
          Medical Technology
Secondary Education Teacher Certification Program
Bachelor of Arts, Biological Sciences
        Specialization required in one of the following:
          Genetics and Cellular Biology
          Integrative Biology
          Medical Science
          Medical Technology

Back to top




High school students who plan to major in one of the degree programs in biological sciences should complete at least three years of college preparatory mathematics (two years of algebra and one year of geometry), and one year each of chemistry and biology before entering the University. A fourth year of college preparatory mathematics (to include trigonometry) is strongly recommended.

Admission to a degree program in biological sciences requires an application for a major and acceptance by the department. Once admitted, students are formally affiliated with the department and assigned an academic advisor. Advisement is mandatory. Majors are permitted to register each term only after their Course Request Forms have been approved by an academic advisor.

Students are encouraged to select their major field of study early in their academic careers to ensure orderly progress toward meeting degree requirements. To be admitted, students already enrolled in the University must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in completed science and mathematics courses, as well as a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in all courses taken at SIUE. Transfer students should have a 2.0 grade point average in science and mathematics courses taken at other colleges and universities.

Back to top


Students should show satisfactory academic progress to be retained in a degree program. Students may be dropped from the biology major for any of the following reasons:

  • grade point average of 1.0 or below in any term
  • cumulative grade point average of lower than 2.0 in the major at any time
  • any combination of withdrawal, incomplete, and failing grades in 50 percent or more of the courses for which the student is registered during two successive terms
  • any combination of three withdrawal, incomplete, or failing grades in any single required course in Biology.

For re-admission, students must meet the same admission requirements as students entering the program for the first time.

Back to top

Coursework completed at regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated upon admission to the University.  Results of transfer credit evaluations are available to students through CougarNet.  For more information regarding transfer, please visit

Back to top


Students interested in majoring in one of the options in biology are advised to apply for a major as early as possible and to consult with a CAS advisor without delay. Students must complete all required academic development and high school deficiency courses before declaring a biology major. Students are informed in writing of advisement procedures and assigned an academic advisor at the time of declaration. Students are required by the University to consult an advisor prior to registration each term. Enrollment in biology major courses above 151 requires approval of a biology advisor. Biology -particularly specializations in medical sciences, secondary education, and medical technology requires strict course sequencing if requirements are to be completed in four years. An appointment for advisement may be made by calling the CAS Advising Office at (618) 650-5525. The advisor will be pleased to help students prepare a program of study in biological sciences in any one of the six specializations.

Back to top


Academic Standards
All students pursuing a major in the biological sciences must adhere to the following academic standards in
addition to those listed above.
  • A grade of C or better is required in each of the major core courses (150, 151, 220) before proceeding to the
    next core course.
  • No more than 4 hours of D may be counted in the 38 hours required for a major in the biological sciences.
  • The GPA in the major is based on all courses attempted in the major.
  • Any student who receives four grades of D, F, or WF in biology courses numbered 220 or lower is no
    longer permitted to enroll in biology classes for credit toward a biology major.

Back to top


Residency and Other Requirements
Majors in biological sciences must complete at least 18 of the required hours in biology at SIUE. At least two 400-level courses must be included in the 18 hours. Students may take as many as 8 hours of 491 and 493 together as electives, but these will not fulfill the 400-level course requirements. For graduation, all specializations require 26 hours in biology beyond the introductory level. Credit for a biology major will be awarded for courses cross-listed with the biology curriculum. One year of a foreign language is required for the bachelor of arts degree in all specializations. Students seeking a minor in biological sciences must complete at least 9 of the 19 hours of biology at SIUE and obtain a GPA of 2.0 or better in all biology courses attempted at SIUE. All biology options require Chemistry 121.

Back to top


Degree Requirements
(Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science)
Each specialization within the biological sciences major has distinct degree requirements selected to meet the needs of students choosing to focus on a particular interest.  The Integrative Biology specialization provides the broadest background in biology.  The Medical Science specialization is designed to prepare the pre-professional student for various health professions.  The Medical Technology specialization is designed to prepare students for careers in clinical laboratory science as medical technologists.  The Ecology, Evolution, & Environment and Genetics and Cellular Biology specializations require particular courses that prepare students for careers and postgraduate education in those areas.  The degree requirements for each specialization are located in the current SIUE undergraduate catalog. (Note: This is a .pdf file--you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer).   Requirements for students who commenced their degree in a previous year may differ - consult the undergraduate catalog for your year of admission to SIUE in the Registrar's archive (click here)

Back to top


Graduation Requirements
  • Complete all specific program requirements.
  • Complete all University requirements including:
    • All general education requirements
    • A minimum of 124 credit hours
      • At least 30 of which must be completed at SIUE
      • At least 60 of which must be completed at a regionally accredited 4-year institution
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0
    • Bachelor of Arts only: one year of the same foreign language
  • File an Application for Graduation by the first day of the term in which you plan to graduate.

Back to top


Back to Biological Sciences Home Page

Privacy Policy
Published by: Department of Biological Sciences, SIUE
For information, email: Dr. David Duvernell, Chair
Site maintained by Dr. Peter Minchin
Last updated July 31, 2013