May 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Biological Sciences


Jennifer M. Burns, Ph.D., Chairperson

Professors: Bradley, Burns, J. Carr, Densmore, Gollahon, Kingston, McIntyre, Patino, Ray, Rice, Rock, San Francisco, Sheridan, Wilde, Zak, H. Zhang, K. Zhang
Associate Professors: Collie, Held, Jeter, Keyel, Linksvayer, Olson, C.D. Phillips, Rodgers, Salazar-Bravo, Schmidt, Schwilk, Xie
Assistant Professors: Brelsfoard, Brown, Johnson, Manthey, N. Smith, van Gestel, Wakeman
Associate Professor of Practice: Lockwood
Assistant Professor of Practice: Parlos
Research Associate Professors: D. Carr, Harris
Research Assistant Professors: Karamysheva, J. Smith
Instructors: Boros, Griffith, Hailu, Monje
Adjunct Faculty: Acosta-Martinez, Alviña, Boal, McGuire, Owen, Payton, Serra-Moreno, Shi, Stevens

Emeritus: Chesser, Heintz, Holiday, C. J. Phillips, Rylander

CONTACT INFORMATION: 108 Biology Building | Box 43131 | Lubbock, TX 79409-3131 | T 806.742.2715 | F 806.742.2963 |

About the Department

This department supervises the following degree programs:

Undergraduate Program

The department offers four distinct undergraduate programs which lead to a Bachelor of Science. These majors are biology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, and biology with a concentration in ecology and environmental biology.

Any students entering in Fall 2018 or later must meet the TTU Assured Admission Standards to declare as a DBS major (see Admissions ). Internal TTU transfer students must have a TTU GPA of 2.5 or better with a minimum 12 completed semester hours. External transfer students from other colleges and universities must have a GPA of 2.5 or better with a minimum 12 completed semester hours to declare as a DBS majors. Any student whose TTU GPA drops below 2.5 shall have one long semester to bring their TTU GPA back to 2.5; a student who fails to do so within that time limit shall be transferred out of DBS.

Departmental Requirements. Two semesters of organic chemistry are required of all majors within this department. Students are urged to take organic chemistry during their second year of study, and those whose area of interest requires a strong background in chemistry should complete a chemistry minor.

Biology, zoology majors, and students in the ecology and environmental biology concentration must take either MATH 1451  (calculus) or MATH 2300  (statistics). Cell and molecular biology majors must take one semester of calculus (MATH 1451 ). Microbiology majors must take either MATH 1451  or MATH 2300 .

Students majoring in biology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, or zoology must complete PHYS 1403  and PHYS 1404  or PHYS 1408  and PHYS 2401 . Students majoring in biology with a concentration in ecology and environmental biology may substitute another course for the second physics class with advisor’s permission. Substitutions may be permitted for the majors and adjuncts with departmental authorization.

Unless otherwise noted, all prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of C or better for all BIOL, BOT, MBIO, and ZOOL courses.

Communication Literacy Plan. Biological Sciences graduates are expected to be able to communicate with biologists and with the general public in a variety of ways. Specifically, they should be capable of scientific writing in various formats, including research papers and reviews. They should be able to speak, if not articulately, then clearly about biology to peers and to informed laypersons. They should be able to correctly present and interpret data in tabular and graphical formats, and do so using a variety of media, including (but not limited to) poster presentations and PowerPoint presentations. Courses in the Communication Literacy Plan for the B.S. in Biological Sciences in all concentrations are BIOL 1403 , BIOL 1404 , BIOL 3303 , BIOL 3405 , BIOL 3416 , BIOL 4101 , BIOL 4301  (Neurobiology), BIOL 4307 , BIOL 4320 , BOT 3404 , MBIO 4303 , MBIO 4367 , MBIO 4401 , ZOOL 3403 , ZOOL 3406 , ZOOL 4311 , ZOOL 4409 , ZOOL 4410 , and ZOOL 4421 .

Courses with a grade of D cannot be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for a major or minor (including adjunct requirements and minors from other departments) in any program in this department.

Research Opportunities. The department encourages undergraduate students to work with professors in research laboratories and projects to obtain first-hand information about research in the life sciences. Opportunities are available in many fields, including systematics and evolutionary biology, ecology and environmental biology, cell and molecular biology, and several areas of biotechnology. These research programs have been well received in the past and have proved beneficial to both students and faculty. Students who have been involved in the research projects have received competitive grants; presented papers at scientific meetings; authored papers published in scientific journals; and progressed to become successful medical doctors, college professors, etc. Students should contact faculty members with whom they will conduct research prior to advisement. Information describing research interests of the faculty are available from advisors or on the departmental website at No more than 6 hours of undergraduate research credit may be counted toward any major in the department.

Departmental Residency Requirement. At least 10 hours of upper-division biological sciences courses for all majors in this department and at least 6 hours of upper-division biological sciences courses for biology minors must be taken at Texas Tech.

Teacher Education. Students who complete a major in biology and satisfy other requirements for the B.S. degree, including 18 hours of professional educational courses, will be qualified to teach high school biology in the public schools of Texas. The following courses meet both the major and the certification requirements in life science:

BIOL 1403  and BIOL 1404 , BIOL 3320 , BIOL 3120 , BIOL 3416 ; MBIO 3401 ; BOT 3404  or BOT 3401 ; ZOOL 2403  or ZOOL 3405 ; ZOOL 3406  or ZOOL 4407 .

• At least one of BIOL 3309 , BIOL 3307 , BIOL 3305 , or ZOOL 4312 .

PHYS 1403  and PHYS 1404  or PHYS 1408  and PHYS 2401 ; CHEM 1307 , CHEM 1107 , CHEM 1308 , CHEM 1108 , and one semester of organic chemistry, which may be satisfied with CHEM 3305  and CHEM 3105 .

Students may also satisfy the requirements for the teaching of high school biology under the multidisciplinary science major, with an emphasis in biology. This major is administered by the College of Education.

 BIOL 1401  and BIOL 1402  will satisfy the laboratory science requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences. BIOL 1403  and BIOL 1404  (or courses with Texas Common Course Numbers BIOL 1406 and 1407) are required for all majors in the department. Students can test out of BIOL 1403  and BIOL 1404  by taking the AP biology test in high school and achieving a score of five (5). Alternatively, students can test out of BIOL 1403  and/or BIOL 1404  by passing departmentally administered tests (see course coordinator). Students can test out of BIOL 1401  and BIOL 1402  by taking the AP biology test in high school and achieving a score of at least three (3). Alternatively, students can test out of BIOL 1401  and BIOL 1402  by taking the CLEP-S test administered by Academic Testing Services, but advanced placement scores for BIOL 1401  and BIOL 1402  will not be accepted as credit toward major requirements in the department.

Those students planning to become high school teachers should minor in secondary education. They will be required to take EDSE 4000  for their student teaching experience. The university’s teacher education program includes a full year of student teaching (two semesters of the senior year). Please see a College of Education advisor to complete a certification plan.

Minors. Students majoring in biology or zoology may minor in any other field (major and minor may not be in the same field). Other recommended minors, subject to approval by the department, are in such areas as chemistry, geosciences, physics, mathematics, animal science, environmental crop and soil science, and natural resources management.

Graduate Program

For information on graduate programs offered by the Department of Biological Sciences, visit the Graduate Programs  section of the catalog.

Undergraduate Program Offerings, Course Descriptions & Curricular Tables

(Click on program for curricular table.)


    Bachelor’sUndergraduate Minor


      BIOL - Biology (Undergraduate Courses)BIOL - Biology (Graduate Courses)BOT - Botany (Undergraduate Courses)MBIO - Microbiology (Undergraduate Courses)ZOOL - Zoology (Undergraduate Courses)