Biology


Whether you dream of pioneering the next breakthrough in biotechnology, teasing apart a food web in a vanishing rainforest, or improving lives through health care, studying Biology at SAU will help you achieve that goal.

Our graduates work as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and biologists at places including Pioneer Hi-Bred International and MedTox Laboratories. 


Ambrose Advantages

  • Student-Designed Experiments in all Laboratories
  • First-year Research Opportunities at a Local Marsh
  • Individual Advising with Biology Faculty

students in lab

students in lab

looking in microscope

Undergraduate Biology at St. Ambrose is rigorous, but you’ll benefit from close, professional interaction with faculty and learn how to think like a scientist.

Read Our Fact Sheet on the Biology Program


More Information on the Biology Program

What will I learn?

Introductory courses provide a strong foundation in the major sub-disciplines of Biology. You begin your training to think like a Biologist, learn how to ask interesting questions, design well-constructed experiments, analyze data, and draw appropriate conclusions. 

Upper-level courses include Biological Literature and Communication, Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution, and Genetics. You will acquire an in-depth understanding and appreciation for sub-disciplines in the field. Our rigorous curriculum prepares you well for your future endeavors; graduating Biology majors consistently score above the national average on the Major Field Test in Biology. 

If you are pursuing a career in the health sciences, you get the unique opportunity to study Anatomy and Physiology with human cadavers.  This rare undergraduate experience gives you an advantage in medical school, dental school, or other health science fields. Click here for the Cadaver Lab Application

You can also take short-term study abroad courses in Marine Biology in Belize, Tropical Biology in Ecuador, or Mountain Biology in the French Alps with St. Ambrose Biology faculty.

Pre-Health Profession Education at SAU

The Biology Department at SAU provides a strong foundation in the life sciences, which can prepare you for a variety of healthcare careers.

As a Biology major, you develop critical thinking skills, read and interpret primary scientific literature, design experiments and analyze data to answer questions about the living world. This also allows you to understand the complexities of the human body: how it works, what it needs, how it can be harmed, and how to fix those ailments using modern medicine.

Our Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, coupled with General Education courses and a Biomedical Sciences Concentration, provides you with the courses necessary for admission to many graduate programs in the health sciences.

Click here to learn more about our Pre-Health Professions courses of study.

What are some possible job outcomes?

There are many career and graduate school opportunities for Biology graduates, including: 

  • research and development positions;
  • healthcare jobs in human or veterinary medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, and more;
  • research and teaching/outreach with colleges and universities, state and federal government, zoos and aquariums, museums, conservation agencies, and more;
  • non-research education at schools, museums, zoos, national and state parks;
  • communication and marketing employment in publishing, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, software, government, non-profit organizations;
  • legislation-related careers in law, government, or advocacy organizations.
What have alumni of this program done?
  • Gabriel Price '16 is currently earning his doctorate (Ph.D.) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. He is studying the effects of invasive earthworms on soil microbes and plant communities in the Midwest.
  • Meghan Ward '10, who graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014, is currently employed as a DVM at Countryside Veterinary Service. She supplemented her biology major with a minor in chemistry.
  • Laura Sass '09, who graduated from The University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2015, is currently employed as a DDS at Community Health Care, Inc. in Iowa. She also minored in chemistry.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Biology (30 credits)

Read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Required:
†BIOL 199 General Biology I: Foundation of Living Systems
BIOL 200 General Biology II: Functioning of Living Systems
BIOL 201 Diversity of Living Systems -or- BIOL 251 Fundamentals of Microbiology
BIOL 300 Biological Literature and Research
BIOL 301 Cell and Microbiology
BIOL 303 Genetics
BIOL 307 Ecology
BIOL 348 Evolution
†CHEM 105 General Chemistry I (1-4 credits)
CHEM 106 General Chemistry II (1-4 credits)
CHEM 207 Organic Chemstry I
CHEM 209 Organic Chemistry Lab
†MATH 171 Elementary Functions
†STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences

Choose one:
†PHIL 207 Ethics
†PHIL 310 Bio-Medical Ethics
†PHIL 311 Environmental Ethics
†THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
or another course approved by the department.

Optional Concentrations: Pre-Health and Secondary Education

Courses below are taken in addition to the major requirements, unless indicated otherwise.

Biomedical Science (Pre-Health Professions):

Required:
†MATH 191 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

Select eight credits from:
BIOL 230, 232, 211/251 or an approved course;

Choose either:
EXPL 201 + advisor approval OR both BIOL 401 and BIOL 402;

Choose either:
Both CHEM 208 and 210, OR CHEM 319;

Choose either:
Both PHYS 203 and PHYS 204, OR both PHYS 251 and PHYS 253.

Secondary Education:

Required:
CHEM 110 Laboratory Safety


Please consult your advisor for additional requirements.

† satisfies a general education requirement

Plan to Graduate

By following this outline, you have a plan to graduate with a Biology degree within four years - plus room to tackle another interest.

This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school. Click to see the BS in Biology with a Biomedical Sciences Concentration

Major in Biology

First Year

FALL ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)CRSEMSPRING ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 199/L MATH 171 (coreq) or placement 4 F BIOL 200/Lab General Biology II - Functioning of Living Systems BIOL 199, MATH 171 S 4
ENGL 101 English Composition Writing placement 3 F, S Oral Communication (COMM 129, 132, 203, 228 or 329) n/a F, S 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions n/a 3 F, S THEO N/A F, S 4
NSS 101 New Student Seminar n/a 1 F IL 101 Information Literacy n/a F, S 1
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts n/a 1 F, S KIN Activity F, S 1-2
Foreign Language 101 n/a 3 Foreign Language 102 Foreign Language 101 F, S 3
Total 15 Total 17-18

Second Year

FALL ClassesPREREQUISITE(S) CRSEMSPRING ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 201/L Diversity of Living Systems BIOL 199 4 F BIOL 251/L Fundamentals of Microbiology  BIOL 199 S 4
CHEM 105/L General Chemistry I MATH 171 (coreq) or placement 4 F CHEM 106/L General Chemistry II CHEM 105 & MATH 171 S 4
STAT 213 Applied Statistics MATH 171 3 F, S Elective n/a F, S 3
Social science n/a 3 F, S PHIL/THEO n/a F, S 3
Elective n/a 3 F, S Kinesiology n/a F, S 1-2
Total 17 Total 15-16

Third Year

FALL CLASSESPREREQUISITE(S) CRSEMSPRING ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 300 Biological Literature & Research BIOL 199, 200; ENGL 101 3 F, S BIOL 303/L Genetics BIOL 199, 200; CHEM 106 F, S 4
CHEM 207 Organic Chemistry I CHEM 106 3 F, Su Ethics (PHIL 207, 310, 311 or THEO 110) n/a F, S 3
CHEM 209 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I Corequisite of CHEM207 1 F, Su Humanities# n/a F, S 3
300-level Philosophy/Theology n/a 3 F, S Writing Intensive course n/a F, S 3
Creative Arts n/a 3 F, S Elective n/a F, S 3
Elective n/a 3 F, S      
Total 16 Total 16

Fourth Year

FALL CLASSESPREREQUISITE(S) CRSEMSPRING CLASSESPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 307/L Ecology BIOL 199, 200; CHEM 105, STAT 213  4 F BIOL 301/L  BIOL 199, 200 S 4
Humanities#  n/a 3 F,S BIOL 348/L Evolution Two of BIOL 301, 303, 307 S 4
300-level elective n/a 3 F, S 300-level elective n/a F, S 3
300-level elective n/a 3 F, S Elective n/a F, S 3
Total 13 Total 14

#=Humanities courses must be from two different departments

Biomedical Sciences Concentration

Year One

FALL ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)CRSEMSPRING ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 199/L MATH 171 (coreq) or placement 4 F BIOL 200/L BIOL 199, MATH 171 S 4
ENGL 101 English Composition Writing placement 3 F, S Oral Communication (COMM 129, 132, 203, 228 or 329) n/a F, S 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions n/a 3 F, S CHEM 106/L CHEM 105 & MATH 171 S 4
CHEM 105/L MATH 171 4 F MATH 191 MATH 171 F, S 4
NSS 101 New Student Seminar n/a 1 F IL 101 Information Literacy n/a F, S 1
Total 15 Total 16

Second Year

FALL ClassesPREREQUISITE(S) CRSEMSPRING ClassesPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
BIOL 230/L Human Anatomy and Physiology I BIOL 199 4 F BIOL 232/L Human Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 230 S 4
CHEM 207 Organic Chemistry I CHEM 106 3 F, Su CHEM 208 Organic Chemistry II CHEM 207 S 3
STAT 213 Applied Statistics MATH 171 3 F, S CHEM 210 Org. Chem. Lab II CHEM 209 S 1
CHEM 209 Org. Chem. Lab I CHEM 207 3 F, Su BIOL 251/L Fundamentals of Microbiology BIOL 199 S 4
KIN 149 1 F, S Foreign Language 102 Foreign Language 101 F, S 3
Foreign Language 101 3 F, S
Total 17 Total 15



Third Year

FALL PREREQUISITE(S)SEMCRSPRINGPREREQUISITE(S)SEMCR
 CHEM 319 [Opt. CHEM 320] S

3

[1]

BIOL 199, BIOL 200 OR 201, CHEM 106 F, S
CHEM 207 BIOL 303/L Genetics 4
   
PHYS 203/L College Physics I MATH 171 F 4 PHYS 204/L College Physics II PHYS 203 S 4
BIOL 300 Biological Literature & Research BIOL 199  F, S 3 Creative Arts n/a F, S 3
BIOL 200 or 201
ENGL 101 with C
Humanities# n/a F, S 3 Ethics (PHIL 207, 310, 311 or THEO 110) n/a F, S 3
PHIL/THEO n/a F, S 3 Social science n/a F, S 3
total 17 Total 17

Fourth Year

FALLPREREQUISITE(S)OFFEREDCRSPRINGPREREQUISITE(S)OFFEREDCR
BIOL 307/L Ecology BIOL 199, 200 F 4 BIOL 301/L Cell & Molecular Biology  BIOL 199, 200 S 4
CHEM 105 CHEM 106, 207, 209
STAT 213  
Writing Intensive course n/a F, S 3 BIOL 348/L Evolution Two of BIOL 301, 303, 307 S 4
300-level elective n/a F, S 3 300-level elective n/a F, S 3
Humanities# n/a F, S 3 300-level Philosophy/Theology n/a F, S 3
Theology  n/a F, S 3 Kinesiology - fitness n/a F, S 1
TOTAL 16 TOTAL 15

#Humanities courses must be from two different departments.

*The Concentration in Biomedical Science requires students to complete either CHEM 208/10 or CHEM 319. Students preparing for careers in medicine are advised to take both courses, which also fulfills the requirements for a Non-Teaching Minor in Chemistry.

Scholarships

Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)

Loans

All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Amy Blair, PhD, Chairperson

Biology Department
Lewis Hall, 2nd floor
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6109
BlairAmyC@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 50 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!