Aug 09, 2020  
2019-2020 University of Maine at Machias Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 University of Maine at Machias Undergraduate Catalog

Bachelor of Arts - Biology


Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.00

Other GPA requirements to graduate: 2.00 in program requirements

Biology is one of the traditional liberal arts; it informs us about ourselves, the dynamics of the natural world, and how we interact with our environment. In so doing, biology complements the other liberal arts programs as a context for human endeavors.

Biology provides the basis of knowledge in the areas of medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and ecology. Studies of nature have long been the inspiration for works of art, literature, and music. At the same time, rapid advancements in biotechnology affect nearly every facet of our lives from the foods we eat and the drugs we take, to the fibers that are used to make our clothes. With our increasing ability to manipulate the genetic structure of organisms, as well as the structure and composition of entire ecosystems, comes an increased responsibility for all citizens to act in an informed manner.

Within that context, the major objectives of the B.A. in Biology at UMM are to:

  1. provide a broad and substantive training in scientific inquiry appropriate for students seeking careers in the biological sciences or in secondary education immediately following graduation;
  2. provide rigorous training for students planning to further their education in professional studies or graduate school; and
  3. allow sufficient flexibility to encourage students to pursue a concentration, a minor, or a second major.

Students will study biological systems at the level of the cell, the organism, and the ecosystem. Courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry will enhance students’ understanding of the physical laws that govern the activities of living organisms. All coursework is enhanced by extensive study in the laboratory and in the field with emphasis on hypothesis formulation and testing, and experimental design.

All students in the biology major are required to complete 57 credits of program requirements. A highlight of these requirements is the opportunity to participate in a Senior Thesis that allows students to do an in-depth study of an area of particular interest. Alternatively, students may enroll in a Senior Seminar that explores advanced topics in biology based on a student’s previous training. Students may elect additional coursework to complete a Fisheries Biology, Pre-Professional or Wildlife Biology concentration. Biology courses required in either concentration will fulfill biology electives in the program requirements.

General Requirements

General Requirements

All University Core Requirements  must be met in addition to the Biology program requirements. Note that completion of some courses within the major, such as in mathematics, will also fulfill Core requirements. Students must earn a minimum of 120 credits and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in the degree program requirements is necessary for graduation. This GPA must be achieved by the completion of a total of 60 credits. If the student fails to maintain this average in subsequent semesters, a warning may be issued. A student may lose matriculated status if the average remains below 2.0 after the completion of another 12 credits. Students may petition to be readmitted to the program.

A student may select one of the concentrations below. A concentration is not required to complete the Biology degree.

Program Requirements

Capstone Requirement - 10 cr

Complete 10 credits from one of the following options:

Senior Thesis Option

Biological Research Option

Senior Seminar Option

Fisheries Biology Concentration - 34 cr

Since some of the courses listed below will also meet program requirements, the fisheries biology concentration requires only an additional 22 to 30 credits.

Pre-Professional Concentration - 27-31 cr

The pre-professional concentration is designed for students planning to pursue careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, or other professions requiring a rigorous background in the life and physical sciences. Courses within this concentration will prepare students to successfully complete entrance exams required by professional schools. Students are encouraged to meet early and often with their advisor to prepare other aspects of their education such as internships, workshops, and volunteer activities in their desired field.

Since some of the courses below will also meet program requirements, the pre-professional concentration requires only an additional 16 to 23 credits.

Wildlife Biology Concentration - 33-35 cr

Since some of the courses listed below will also meet program requirements, the Wildlife Biology concentration requires only an additional 22 to 31 credits.