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College of Science

Special Programs and Opportunities

Preprofessional Major

This is a program designed for students who plan to attend a school of medicine, dentistry, optometry or veterinary medicine upon completion of their coursework at Purdue. The program allows students to complete approximately three-fourths of the credit hours and all of the courses required for graduation in six semesters. After successfully completing the first year at an accredited school of medicine, dentistry, optometry or veterinary medicine, the student may transfer his or her professional school credits back to Purdue, and the Bachelor of Science degree is granted. This is called the three-plus-one program.

It is important for the student who chooses to enroll in the three-plus-one program to realize that enrollment in the program does not guarantee admission to a professional school. Medical schools no longer encourage students to apply after three years of study, but they will review the applications of three-plus-one students. Strong students enrolled in the three-plus-one program often are admitted to schools of dentistry, veterinary medicine and optometry.

Three-plus-one students who are not accepted to a professional school after the third year have the option of completing a fourth year of study in the biological sciences and earning the B.S. degree. Three-plus-one students should meet regularly with their academic advisors to ensure that they are meeting the professional school requirements and to develop an alternate plan of study should they need to add a fourth year of undergraduate coursework.

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Undergraduate Research

Students interested in doing research but who will not participate in the Honors Research Program can do so for credit. Students must fill out the “Initial Enrollment for Undergraduate Research” form available in the Biology Counseling Office. Once the form is approved, students register for credit in BIOL 29400 or 49400, depending upon their semester classification. These courses can be repeated for credit.

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Special Assignments

Students who would like to undertake special study in areas not available through formal coursework offered by the department are strongly encouraged to find a faculty member whose work is in the area of their interest and arrange to enroll in special assignment courses: BIOL 19500, 29500, 39500 and 49500. The special study can be directed readings; independent study; supervised library, laboratory or field work; or discussions. Credit will be given for the work, and a title of the area investigated will appear on the transcript. These courses can be repeated for credit.

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Summer Internships

Students are encouraged to pursue summer internships both off and on campus. The Biology Counseling Office collects information about available summer internships.

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Professional Practice Program

The Department of Biological Sciences participates in the Professional Practice Program. Interested students should contact the Coordinator of the Professional Practice Program, Department of Biological Sciences, Room 1-123, Lilly Hall of Life Sciences. The department coordinator will have information about available programs and can offer advice.

To be eligible for the Professional Practice Program, a student must have a cumulative index of 2.5 or better and have an index of 2.8 or better in biology courses at the end of three semesters.

If grade achievements do not meet these requirements but a student possesses other qualifications that should be considered, he or she can petition for special consideration.

While a Professional Practice student employee, a student must register for the noncredit departmental course BIOL 39699 (Professional Practice Internship) and pay the special University fee for Professional Practice registration.

Under specified circumstances, students who want to participate in some form of independent study while off campus can register for Special Assignments: BIOL 39500 or 49500 (1-4 cr.) with the consent of the departmental coordinator of the program.

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Minor in Biological Sciences

The minor in biological sciences is designed to allow a non-biology major to establish a strong background knowledge of the biological sciences. It requires courses that cover the spectrum of basic biology, from diversity and ecology to molecular biology and genetics. Students who complete the minor will have sufficient background to understand foundational concepts from any area of biology and their application in everyday settings.

Changes in the Biological Sciences minor are in progress. Students should check with the department for the most recent information.

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Minor in Biological Sciences Requirements — 17-20 credits

All courses for the biology minor must be completed at Purdue University and at least one-half the courses for the minor must be completed on the West Lafayette campus.

The minor in biological sciences requires the following courses:
I. One of these two sequences:
7-8 cr.
a. BIOL 12100 (Diversity, Ecology and Behavior) (2 cr.); BIOL 13100 (Development, Structure and Function of Organisms) (3 cr.); BIOL 13500 (First-Year Biology Lab) (2 cr.)
b. BIOL 11000 (Fundamentals of Biology I) (4 cr.); and BIOL 11100 (Fundamentals of Biology II) (4 cr.)
7 cr.
II. And the following courses:
BIOL 23100 (Cell Structure and Function) (3 cr.) or BIOL 23000 (Biology of the Living Cell) (3 cr.); BIOL 24100 (Genetics and Molecular Biology) (3 cr.) or AGRY 320 (Genetics) (3 cr.)
3 cr.
III. One of the following courses: 
BIOL 28600 (Introduction to Ecology and Evolution) (2 cr.); BIOL 30100 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)* (3 cr.); BIOL 30200 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)* (3 cr.); BIOL 39500 (Principle of Physiology)† (4 cr.); BIOL 39500 (Principles of Development)† (4 cr.); BIOL 39500 (Macromolecules)† (4 cr.); BIOL 41500 (Introduction to Molecular Biology) (3 cr.); BIOL 41600 (Molecular Virology) (3 cr.); BIOL 42000 (Eukaryotic Cell Biology) (3 cr.); BIOL 43200 (Reproductive Physiology) (3 cr.); BIOL 43600 (Introduction to Neurobiology) (3 cr.); BIOL 43800 (General Microbiology) (3 cr.); BIOL 43900 (Microbiology Lab) (2 cr.); BIOL 44400 (Human Genetics) (3 cr.); BIOL 44600 (Cellular Microbiology) (3 cr.); BIOL 47800 (Introduction to Bioinformatics) (3 cr.); BIOL 48100 (Eukaryotic Genetics) (3 cr.); BIOL 48300 (Environmental and Conservation Biology) (3 cr.); BIOL 49300 (Introduction to Ethology) (3 cr.); BIOL 51100 (Introduction to X-Ray Crystallography) (3 cr.); BIOL 51400 (Laboratory in Crystallography) (2 cr.); fall; BIOL 51600 (Molecular Biology of Cancer) (3 cr.); BIOL 51700 (Molecular Biology: Proteins) (2 cr.); BIOL 53700 (Immunology) (3 cr.); BIOL 53800 (Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neurobiology) (3 cr.); BIOL 55900 (Endocrinology) (3 cr.); BIOL 56200 (Neural Systems) (3 cr.); BIOL 57300 (Molecular Biology of Animal Cells) (3 cr.); BIOL 58000 (Evolution) (3 cr.); BIOL 58705 (Animal Communication) (3 cr.); BIOL 59200 (Evolution of Behavior) (3 cr.); BIOL 59500 (Developmental Biology) (3 cr.); BIOL 59500 (Methods and Measurement in Physical Biochemistry) (3 cr.); BIOL 59500 (Protein Bioinformatics) (3 cr.); BIOL 59700 (Sex and Evolution) (3 cr.)
IV. One of the following laboratory courses: 
BIOL 23200 (Laboratory in Cell Structure and Function) (2 cr.); BIOL 24200 (Laboratory in Genetics and Molecular Biology) (2 cr.); BIOL 30100 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)* (3 cr.); BIOL 30200 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)* (3 cr.); BIOL 36600 (Developmental Biology)† (4 cr.); BIOL 32800 (Principles of Physiology)† (4 cr.); BIOL 39500 (Macromolecules)† (3 cr.); AGRY 32100 (Genetics Laboratory) (3 cr.)

The following courses are prerequisite or corequisite for some of the above courses: CHM 11500 (General Chemistry) (4 cr.) and CHM 11600 (General Chemistry) (4 cr.)

* If both BIOL 30100 and 30200 are completed, they will meet the requirements for Parts III and IV of the minor. BIOL 30100 or 30200 alone will not meet any requirement for the minor.

† Any one of BIOL 32800 (Principles of Physiology) or BIOL 36600 (Developmental Biology) or BIOL 39500 (Macromolecules) alone will meet the requirements for Parts III and IV of the minor.