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Department of Biological and Physical Sciences (cont'd)
Biology programs available at MSU Billings include (1) the Biology Major (2) the Biology Minor, and (3) the Biology Teaching Minor. The biology major also has several options and plans of study to allow students to specialize in an area of interest. The biology curriculum is designed to provide biology students with the opportunity for the best possible undergraduate education in biology. In addition to the transmission of factual information, the biology curriculum places emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills in contemporary areas of biology. This is accomplished through a combination of lecturing, experimental laboratory exercises, independent learning by data analysis, research and field projects, seminars, incorporation of extensive writing, library research, and use of computers in data analysis.
MSU Billings’ program in biology begins with a two-year core curriculum emphasizing the broad scope of biology through coursework in biological principles, biological diversity, cell biology and genetics. Other required advanced courses and electives are taken in the junior and senior year. While building a solid foundation in biology, the program allows students to match their interests with professional requirements.
Students in biology at MSU Billings have an opportunity to focus on specific areas in biology through a variety of options and plans of study. Options available to students include Environmental Sciences, Biology Teaching Licensure, and Chemistry Teaching Licensure. The Environmental Sciences Option offers in-depth specialization to include an area of biology having regional and global importance. Specialization in biology is possible with the choice of an appropriate plan of study and in consultation with the faculty advisors who can provide students with the best educational experience at MSU Billings.
All students in the Biology program also take a Capstone seminar course in their senior year. This course is designed to ensure a standard of excellence in knowledge of basic biological concepts, and integration of those concepts with other areas in Science.
A maximum of five semester credits of BIOL 490, 491, 492, 493, 495, 496 and 497 can be applied to the BA or BS degree as unrestricted biology electives. Excess credits earned in these courses may still be applied to graduation as unrestricted electives.
Chemistry programs at MSU Billings include (1) the Chemistry Major (2) the Chemistry Minor and (3) the Chemistry Teaching Minor. Students taking the first two years in a chemistry program will have a well rounded background in organic and inorganic chemistry. Students majoring in chemistry will receive additional training in physical chemistry, quantitative chemistry, instrumentation, biochemistry and advanced organic or inorganic chemistry.
The chemistry program is designed to be flexible enough to meet individual interests of students and comprehensive enough to be competitive nationally. A chemistry major can expect to find employment in private, state, or federal laboratories ranging from research and development to quality control. Course selection and/or selection of a minor can open additional choices in other fields such as biology, geology, business, or health sciences. Graduate education is encouraged as an avenue to expand career opportunities.
Earth Science programs available at MSU Billings include (1) the earth science minor with an emphasis in Geology and (2) the Earth Science Teaching Minor which covers a broader field of the earth sciences leading to teacher licensure.
The Earth Science Minor with a geology emphasis provides opportunities for study in the areas of: landform development, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, crystallography, earth history, earth structures, and independent research. Students completing this program may find employment in the geological, engineering and environmental areas as well as employment as interpreters with park systems, nature centers and museums.
The Earth Science Teaching Minor provides opportunity for study in a broader area of earth sciences including geology, meteorology and astronomy. This broader field of study leads to an earth science teaching endorsement in the State of Montana. Students completing this track of study would be predominantly employed by educational systems.
The Broadfield Science program offers students a broad-based foundation in the sciences through coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics. The program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for positions requiring a broad-based foundation in all sciences.
The Broadfield Science Degree with Teaching Endorsement is especially attractive to students interested in teaching science because they will have a strong foundation in multiple scientific disciplines. With additional Professional Core requirements met for teacher licensure, students entering this program would be regarded as “highly qualified” according to national standards, and thus qualify for K-12 teaching opportunities in broadfield science.
Geography programs available at MSU Billings include (1) a Geography Minor and (2) a Geography Teaching Minor.
Students seeking a Geography Minor will be provided with an opportunity to study the phenomena, events and physical properties on the Earth’s surface, including their interrelationships with human beings. Students in the program will learn specific geographic techniques and their applications to regional, national and global levels. Technical skills in mapping, computer applications and survey research will be presented. Students completing this program may find employment with planning, interpretative and governmental agencies.
The Geography Teaching Minor will provide education majors with the necessary skills to obtain a teaching endorsement in geography. The student will be provided with an opportunity to study both the physical and cultural aspects of geography. However, the greater emphasis is on the cultural aspects of geography and their application to educational instruction. Students completing this program would be prepared to seek employment in regional, state and federal educational programs.
Physics programs available at MSU Billings include (1) the Physics Minor, (2) the Physics Teaching Minor, and (3) the Pre-engineering program. Physics is the study of matter, energy, and their interactions; this includes all physical structures and phenomena. Experiments and observations in physics have shown that the operation of the universe at all levels is based on a few fundamental laws. The study of physics is the study of these laws and their applications.
Requirements for the pre-engineering program and physics teaching minor are listed under the Pre-Professional Program and College of Education sections, respectively. It is recommended that chemistry teaching majors complete their teaching minors in physics, since many high schools require the teaching of physics and chemistry by the same individual. Chemistry and math majors should also consider a minor in physics.
Medical Laboratory Science Program
Students wishing to become medical/clinical lab scientists may choose the Medical Laboratory Science option in the Biology Program and complete the program in four years. Students working towards a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology or Chemistry, or a double major in Biology and Chemistry, may apply to this program and upon entrance complete the professional training in their fifth year. Two plans of study are available to complete this program. For additional information, contact Dr. Rhonda Dillman, Program Director at (406) 657-2031 or email@example.com.
Plan A: Bachelor of Science Degree
Total credits for graduation are 128. Additional credits are required in this option because students take additional summer session of courses. This additional summer semester is necessary because professional training programs approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS, www.naacls.org) are 12 months in duration. All students desiring to become a certified Clinical Laboratory Scientist must take a national certification examination upon completion of a senior year of professional training. All students will develop a career plan in their freshman/sophomore year with the help of their advisor. Students with a 2.5 GPA or higher can apply for a senior year of professional training. They will obtain a degree in Biology/Medical Laboratory Science Option from MSU Billings. The following courses are required in the fourth year of the program and offered by off campus Institutions:
Plan B. Bachelor of Science Degree
Total credits for graduation are 120. All students will develop a career plan in their senior year with the help of their advisor. After completion of the Bachelor of Science degree, students can apply for an internship at any approved training program in the United States. Upon completion of the internship, students will be qualified to take a national registry examination administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathologists or the National Certification Agency.
Advising Center, McMullen First Floor West
Students interested in professional programs in medical sciences such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physicians assistant, physical therapy and pharmacy must obtain a Bachelor’s degree in preparation for most of these professional programs. No specific undergraduate major is required for most of these health professions, but a strong academic background in biology and chemistry is expected for admission to these programs.
Medical science programs look for students who are well-rounded. Individual plans of study can be designed in consultation with a faculty advisor to provide the student with the maximum opportunity for pursuing goals. Students seeking admission to a medical science program apply to an appropriate professional school before graduation from MSU Billings. Biology and Chemistry faculty assist and advise the student in arranging these applications.
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