Mar 02, 2024  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


220 Pasteur Hall
Biology website
Edward Thompson, Chairperson
Michael Delong, Director, Large River Studies Center
Judith A. Loewen, Clinical Director, Clinical Laboratory Science
Frances Ragsdale, Educational Director, Clinical Laboratory  Science


Kimberly M. Bates, Professor; BS, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; MS, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia; 1997 -
Bruno Borsari, Associate Professor; DAgSci, University of Bologna (Italy); PhD, University of New Orleans; 2005 -
Michael D. Delong, Professor; BS, University of Southern Mississippi; MS, Memphis State University; PhD, University of Idaho-Moscow; 1992 -
Kimberly J. Evenson, Professor; BS, MS, North Dakota State University-Fargo; PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; 1995 -
Casey Finnerty, Assistant Profesor; BA, University of Chicago; PhD, Cornell University; 2011 -                          
Mark Garbrecht
, Assistant Professor; BS, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; PhD, University of Iowa College of Medicine; 2008 -
Judith A. Loewen, Assistant Professor; BS, University of Minnesota; MS, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; 2008 -
Neal Mundahl, Professor; BA, Winona State University; MS, Michigan Technological University; PhD, Miami University; 1989 -
Frances Ragsdale, Professor; BS, Eastern Oregon State College; MS, Southeastern Louisiana University; PhD, University of Idaho; 1993 -
Lawrence Reuter, Professor; BA, Saint Mary’s College of Minnesota; PhD, Princeton University; 1979 -
Robin K. Richardson, Professor; BS, Michigan State University; MS, Central Michigan University-Mt. Pleasant; PhD, University of Oklahoma-Norman; 1992 -
Amy M Runck, Assistant Professor; BS, MS, University of Alaska-Fairbanks; PhD, Idaho State University; 2010 -
Scott P. Segal, Associate Professor; BS, University of Wisconsin; PhD, Northwestern University; 2006 -
Edward Thompson, Professor; BA, Macalester College; PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 1992 -
Edward (Ted) Wilson, Associate Professor; BA, Luther College; MS, PhD, Iowa State University-Ames; 2004 -

Programs and Career Opportunities


The Biology Department offers a biology major in which a WSU student may select one of five options: allied health, cell and molecular, ecology, environmental science, or life science (teaching). Each of these options leads to a BS degree and allows for many career opportunities. Many graduates pursue additional education in disciplines such as biology, biochemistry, medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. Other graduates use the BS degree in biology to gain employment in the rapidly expanding field of health care and research or in more traditional areas such as wildlife and environmental management. The life science major prepares students for teaching at the middle school and high school levels.

The Biology Department also offers a major in clinical laboratory science. (See separate program listing under “Clinical Laboratory Science”).  Students interested in the clinical laboratory science major should contact the program director as soon as possible after arriving on campus.


For students majoring in other fields, the Biology Department offers a minor (38 S.H.), which includes courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. This minor is designed to supplement majors in all fields of study at Winona State University.

Pre-Professional Sequences

The Biology Department sponsors eight pre-professional sequences. These are not degree programs (i.e., major or minor) at WSU; rather these programs are designed to prepare students to pursue an advanced degree at another college or university.

  • Pre-Dentistry
  • Pre-Medicine (Allopathic and Osteopathic)
  • Pre-Optometry
  • Pre-Pharmacy
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Pre-Physician Assistant
  • Pre-Podiatry
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine

For the specific program requirements, see the Pre-Professional Sequences  section in this catalog.

General Program Requirements

Students in all biology majors start with a core set of classes, which includes Basics of Life, Organismal Diversity, General Ecology, Cell Biology, and Genetics. They also take Principles of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and an appropriate mathematics class. After these courses are completed, students begin to take coursework that is specific for their chosen options. A year of physics and a capstone research project are required of students majoring in all biology options.

The requirements for the various biology options are not necessarily identical with the requirements for admission to graduate or professional schools. For example, if students plan to attend medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy, or physician assistant schools or if students plan to pursue a doctorate in the sciences, they should expect to take additional courses in calculus, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Internships are encouraged.

For the qualified and interested student, the Biology Department sponsors an Honors Program (described below), which allows for a distinguished baccalaureate degree. The Biology Department is also home for the Gamma Delta Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. More information about the Honors Program and “Tri-Beta” is available on the Biology Department website.

As noted above, every student graduating with a degree in a biology option is required to complete a capstone research experience. This research must be supervised by a member of the biology faculty or someone approved by the Biology Department. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors to discuss research projects and to identify a research advisor during the second semester of their junior year. Additional information about this capstone requirement is available on the Biology Department website.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

BIOL 109 - Microbes and Society  BIOL 111 - Human Biological Diversity , BIOL 117 - Human Biology  , BIOL 118 - General Biology  , BIOL 171 - Medical Terminology A  , BIOL 172 - Medical Terminology B  , BIOL 173 - Medical Terminology C  , and BIOL 400 - Individual Problems in Biology I  must be taken for letter grade only. Biology majors and minors must take all required and elective courses for letter grades. Non-biology majors can take biology courses other than BIOL 117 - Human Biology  , BIOL 118 - General Biology  , BIOL 171 - Medical Terminology A  , BIOL 172 - Medical Terminology B  , BIOL 173 - Medical Terminology C  , or BIOL 400 - Individual Problems in Biology I  on a P/NC basis. Courses offered on a “pass/no credit only” or “letter grade only” basis are so designated in the course descriptions.

Honors in Biology Program

Any science can be described as having two major aspects: (1) an organized body of knowledge and (2) a formal way of adding new information to the existing body of knowledge. Thus, science is related to method and process, and not merely a collection of factual information. The Biology Department at WSU believes that students who desire advanced careers in biology need significant experiences that involve them directly in an intimate and meaningful process of biological inquiry. Together, the Honors Program and the capstone requirement provide this enhanced opportunity to eligible biology majors.

To qualify for Honors in Biology, a student must:

  1. Be a biology major (any option).
  2. Complete the biology core sequence (Basics of Life, Organismal Diversity, Ecology, Cell Biology and Genetics) or its equivalent as well as Principles of Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.
  3. Have a 3.25 GPA both overall and within the major.
  4. Identify a WSU faculty member who is willing to serve as a research advisor to the student.
  5. Apply for and be granted admission into the Honors in Biology Program by the Biology Honors Committee.
  6. Complete the Honors in Biology seminar.
  7. Present their research at an extramural research meeting or symposium.
  8. Submit a written honors thesis in an appropriate format and style that is approved by both the research advisor and the Biology Honors Committee.

General Education Intensive Course Requirements

Students may use Intensive courses, which will usually be in the student’s major or minor program, to satisfy both Intensive requirements and major requirements. The Biology Department offers the following intensive courses in the General Education Program:


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