Check out the BHSU Biology Program

WELCOME TO THE BHSU BIOLOGY PROGRAM

Do you love exploring plants, animals, medicine and the world in which we live? The Black Hills State University biology program has an outstanding curriculum and faculty supported by state-of-the-art facilities where you can experience great hands-on learning.

Earning your degree in biology will open the door to a variety of engaging careers.  A biology graduate may pursue a career as a physician, physical therapist, pharmacist, marine biologist, forensic scientist and many more.

Explore the Living World

A Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from BHSU provides students the opportunity to explore the diverse sub-disciplines of biology. Students may choose an emphasis in Environmental Biology with laboratory and field courses that focus on ecological principles, plant and animal biology, and conservation; or an emphasis in Cellular Biology and Physiology with lecture and laboratory courses ranging from Cell & Molecular biology, to Neurobiology, and Genomics. Through the rigorous curricula provided in both emphases, students will learn to design experiments, interpret biological data and communicate biological concepts and research findings effectively. Students completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from BHSU will find themselves:

  • WELL PREPARED FOR GRADUATE PROGRAMS in a wide variety of biological disciplines.
  • WELL PREPARED FOR ADMISSION TO MEDICAL SCHOOL or other professional programs in the biomedical sciences.
  • ABLE TO COMPETE WELL FOR JOBS, whether in the biotech industry or in positions in state or federal agencies.

hands-on experience

BHSU provides Biology majors with opportunities to conduct authentic research in labs outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. BHSU’s Western South Dakota DNA Sequencing and Genotyping Core Facility (WestCore) and the Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources (CCBR) support biology faculty and students conducting genetics and genomics research on a variety of biological systems by providing both NextGen and Sanger nucleic acid sequencing, genotyping, and other services. WestCore and CCBR provide hands on training to undergraduate students in genetics and genomic research techniques using cutting-edge equipment to prepare students for graduate school or for jobs in the biotechnology workforce.

As a Biology major at BHSU, students will have the opportunity to:

  • BE TAUGHT BY AND INTERACT WITH HIGHLY QUALIFIED FACULTY who are committed to the highest quality student instruction and advising to ensure students are fully prepared for their desired career path.
  • PARTICIPATE IN AUTHENTIC FACULTY-MENTORED RESEARCH either through paid undergraduate research fellowships or through independent study.
  • PRESENT RESEARCH FINDINGS at regional and national scientific conferences. Past students have even published with their mentor in scientific journals!
Unique Class experiences

Through courses designed to train the future of biologists in cutting edge research techniques and recent advances in the various fields of biology, students are able to earn upper division credit towards their degree while contributing new knowledge to the scientific community. Such courses include:

  • RESR 498 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH/SCHOLARSHIP: Participate in a mentored research experience.
  • BIOL 494 INTERNSHIP: Participate in an internship with a biotechnology company, campus core facility, or public agency while receiving college credit.
  • BIOL 492 TOPICS BIOLOGY: Explore recent advances in biology through focused topic courses.
  • BIOL 491 INDEPENDENT STUDY: Expand knowledge in a particular topic of choice under the guidance of a faculty member.

Biology Major - Teaching

 

Required Core - 21 semester hours

  • BIOL 151 General Biology I & 151L Lab (gen ed)
  • BIOL 153 General Biology II & 153L Lab (gen ed)
  • BIOL 371 Genetics & 371L Lab
  • BIOL 373 Evolution & 373L Lab
  • BIOL 490 Seminar
  • SEED 413 - 7 - 12 Science Methods

25 Restricted Electives - Elective courses shall be taken from two emphases, with at least two courses from one emphasis and the remainder from the other. Students must also take the corresponding lab if applicable.

Environmental Biology Emphasis
Must take BIOL 311 & 311L with this emphasis

  • BIOL 301 Plant Systematics & 301L Lab
  • BIOL 302 Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 311 Principles of Ecology & 311L Lab
  • BIOL 321 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • BIOL 355 Mammalogy & 355L Lab
  • BIOL 357 Invertebrate Zoology & 357L Lab
  • BIOL 405 Entomology & 405L Lab
  • BIOL 415 Mycology & 415L Lab
  • BIOL 434 Herpetology & 434L Lab
  • BIOL 437 Biometry
  • BIOL 461 Agrostology & 461L Lab
  • BIOL 462 Dendrology & Lab
  • BIOL 463 Ornithology & Lab

Cellular/Physiology Emphasis
Must take BIOL 343 & 343L with this emphasis

  • BIOL 317 Electron Microscopy & 317L Lab
  • BIOL 325 Physiology & 325L Lab
  • BIOL 331 Microbiology & 331L Lab
  • BIOL 343 Cell & Molecular Biol. & 343L Lab
  • BIOL 381 Vertebrate Anatomy & 381L Lab
  • BIOL 422 Immunology
  • BIOL 430 Neurobiology & 430L Lab
  • BIOL 437 Biometry
  • BIOL 460 Evolutionary & Ecological Plant Physiology & 460L Lab
  • BIOL 474 Introductory Genomics & 474L Lab

Pre-Professional Teaching Core - 18 semester hours

  • EDFN 295 Practicum: Pre-Admission Teaching
  • EDFN 338 Foundations of American Education
  • EPSY 302 Educational Psychology
  • EPSY 428 Child & Adolescent Development 
  • INED 411 South Dakota Indian Studies
  • PSYC 101 General Psychology (gen ed)
  • SPED 100 Intro to Persons with Exceptionalities

Professional Secondary Ed Teaching Core - 26 semester hours

  • EDFN 365 Computer Based Technology & Learning
  • EDFN 375 Methods of Technology Integration
  • EDFN 440 Classroom Management
  • MLED 480 Middle Level Methods
  • SEED 408 Plan, Manage & Assess the 7-12 Diverse Classroom 
  • SEED 450 Reading and Content Literacy
  • SEED 495 Practicum
  • EDFN 475 Human Relations
  • SEED 488 7-12 Student Teaching

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • MATH Gen Ed - Mathematics - 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Social Science - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab - 6-8 semester hours
  • ENGL 101 - Composition I
  • ENGL 201 - Composition II
 
  • SPCM 101 - Fundamentals of Speech
    or
  • SPCM 215 - Public Speaking
    or
  • SPCM 222 - Argumentation and Debate

 

A minor  is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Minor in Biology - Teaching - 24 hours

  • 4 BIOL 151 General Biology I & 151L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 153 General Biology II & 153L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 311 Principles of Ecology & 311L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 331 Microbiology & 331L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 371 Genetics & 371L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 300/400 level Elective
  • 2 SEED 413 7-12 Science Methods

Minor in Biology - 24 hours

  • 4 BIOL 151 General Biology I & 151L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 153 General Biology II & 153L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 343 Cell and Molecular Biology & 343L Lab
  • or
  • 4 BIOL 371 Genetics & 371L Lab
  • 12 BIOL 300/400 level BIOL Electives - 12 semester hours

Biology Major

The biology major is intended to give students an undergraduate education with an emphasis on several broad areas within the science of biology. It is strongly recommended that all Biology majors take Calculus, have one year of Physics, and minor in Chemistry. Computer science proficiency is highly recommended.

Required Core - 18 semester hours

  • 4 BIOL 151 General Biology I & 151L Lab (gen ed)
  • 4 BIOL 153 General Biology II & 153L Lab (gen ed)
  • 4 BIOL 371 Genetics & 371L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 373 Evolution & 373L Lab
  • 2 BIOL 490 Seminar

25 Restricted Elective - Elective courses shall be taken from two emphases, with at least two courses from one emphasis and the remainder from the other. Students must take the corresponding lab if applicable.

Environmental Biology Emphasis

  • 4 BIOL 301 Plant Systematics & 301L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 302 Animal Behavior
  • 4 BIOL 311 Principles of Ecology & 311L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 321 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • 3 BIOL 355 Mammalogy & 355L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 357 Invertebrate Zoology & 357L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 405 Entomology & 405L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 415 Mycology & 415L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 434 Herpetology & 434L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 437 Biometry
  • 3 BIOL 461 Agrostology & 461L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 462 Dendrology & Lab
  • 4 BIOL 463 Ornithology & Lab
  • Must take BIOL 311 & 311L with this emphasis

Cellular/Physiology Emphasis

  • 3 BIOL 317 Electron Microscopy & 317L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 325 Physiology & 325L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 331 Microbiology & 331L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 343 Cell & Molecular Biol. & 343L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 381 Vertebrate Anatomy & 381L Lab
  • 4 BIOL 422 Immunology
  • 4 BIOL 430 Neurobiology & 430L Lab
  • 3 BIOL 437 Biometry [Pre-req MATH 102 & 281]
  • 4 BIOL 474 Ecological Genomics & Lab
  • Must take BIOL 343 & 343L with this emphasis

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • ENGL 101
  • ENGL 201
  • SPCM - Gen Ed - Speech (1 class) - 3 semester hours
  • MATH - Gen Ed - Mathematics (1 class) - 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Social Science (2 classes from different subjects) - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities (2 classes from different subjects or a foreign language sequence) - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Natural Sciences & Lab (2 classes/corresponding labs) - 6-8 semester hours
 

A minor is required with this major plus electives to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Student Organizations

Health Science Student Org

Dedicated to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine and healthcare, HSSO provides educational information, internship opportunities, social programs, community service projects, and guest speakers.

Environmental sustainability student org. (Esso.)

The purpose of the ESSO is to protect and conserve while generating involvement surrounding environmental issues. Our members will gain experience in leadership and volunteering through community engagement, education, and expansion of our social networks.

physical science club

Develop professional and leadership skills, network in your field, and have some fun through community and campus outreach, educational programs, social events, and outdoor adventures throughout the Black Hills.

Women in stem

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics empowers women at BHSU to pursue and succeed in STEM careers by providing a support system, community, and mentorship for future leaders. Become involved in local and national outreach activities and work with area youth to help develop the next generation of successful women in STEM fields.

Find your career

Employment opportunities exist in a variety of sectors:
» Medical Professional (MD, MD/PhD, DO, PA, PT, OD, DDS, and others)
» Medical Technician
» Pharmacy/Pharmacology
» Veterinary Medicine
» Forensics
» Cytogenetics
» Genetics
» Physiology
» ... and many other biological fields.

CONDUCTING RESEARCH AT THE SANFORD UNDERGROUND LAB

Utilizing the Sanford Underground Research Facility as an impetus to teach others about science is a natural connection for Black Hills State University. BHSU is taking the lead in development of the Sanford Center for Science Education, which will include hands-on science activities for visitors and tourists, classrooms for visiting high school and university groups, and ways to view underground science in action.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.