The Biology program in Alpine focuses on an organismal approach to the life sciences, emphasizing integrated ecological and co-evolutionary studies of plants and animals through field work in the Chihuahuan Desert region. It offers broad training in aspects of biology and prepares students for advanced specialty disciplines. In addition, students can also work toward either life science or composite science teaching certification, or toward an associate certification as a wildlife biologist as set forth by the Wildlife Society, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The Bachelor of Science can be tailored to field biologist, laboratory-focused biology, and various pre-health professions. The biology program advises for pre-medical, pre-dental, and other pre-health science disciplines. The composite science education track is designed to provide future teachers and educators a broad background in science, with a concentration in the biological sciences. The program also offers courses emphasizing non-game and small game organisms which meet the requirements for certification as a wildlife biologist as set forth by the Wildlife Society and lead to the professional B.S. degree in Biology. The department maintains one of the largest herbaria in Texas, highly regarded vertebrate animal and insect collections, modern greenhouses, and laboratories for microbiology and molecular biology.
Master of Science in Biology
Students who are accepted into the graduate program in biology may choose from three plans. For Plan I, the degree may be obtained by completing 30 semester credit hours in biology, including the writing of a thesis; Plan II by completing 36 semester credit hours and a “mini thesis;” or Plan II), by completing 36 semester credit hours in biology. Plans I and II require a thesis defense presentation and comprehensive oral exam. For Plan III, both oral and written comprehensive exams are required. Plan III must be approved by the biology faculty. A “mini thesis” is usually a one-semester project. At the discretion of the student and the committee, the department will accept six semester credit hours of coursework in a department other than the major.