Nov 20, 2018  
2016-2017 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Biological Sciences


Ron Chesser, Ph.D., Chairperson

Professors: Bradley, J. Carr, Chesser, Densmore, Heintz, Holaday, McIntyre, Patino, Phillips, Rice, M. San Francisco, Sheridan, Strauss, Wilde, Zak, H. Zhang
Associate Professors: Collie, Diamond-Tissue, Dini, Gollahon, Held, Jeter, Kingston, McGinley, Olson, Ray, Reilly, Rock, Rodgers, Salazar-Bravo, Schmidt, Schwilk, Xie, K. Zhang
Assistant Professors: Keyel, McGuire, Phillips, Serra-Moreno
Research Associate Professor: Carr
Research Assistant Professor: Harris
Instructors: Boros, Lockwood, McMichael
Adjunct Faculty: Acosta-Martinez, Allen, Arsuffi, Boal, Dowd, Kottapalli, Lyte, Owen, Parajulee, Payton, Reece, Rodriguez, Rylander, S. San Francisco, Shi, Torres, Tripathy

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:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology
  • Master of Science in Biology
  • Master of Science in Microbiology
  • Master of Science in Zoology
  • Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resources Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (Program being consolidated with Ph.D. in Biology, effective August 31, 2018. No new students will be accepted for this degree.)

Undergraduate Program

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 and zoology majors and students in the ecology and environmental biology specialization 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 specialization in ecology and environmental biology may substitute another environmental science for the second physics class with advisor’s permission.

Substitutions may be permitted for the majors and adjuncts with departmental authorization.

Writing Intensive Courses. Six hours of coursework taken in this department for use toward the major must be writing intensive (BIOL 1403 , BIOL 1404 , BIOL 3405 , BIOL 3410 , BIOL 3416 , BIOL 4101 , BIOL 4305 , BIOL 4307 ; BOT 3404 ; MBIO 4303 ; ZOOL 4409 , ZOOL 4410 , 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 3403 , BOT 3404  or BOT 3401 ; ZOOL 2403  or ZOOL 3405 ; ZOOL 3406  or ZOOL 4407 .

• At least one of BIOL 3309 , BIOL 3307 , BIOL 4305 , 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 and 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 is implementing a new teacher education program that includes a full year of student teaching (two semesters of the senior year) for students beginning their teacher education program in spring 2013 or later. 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. A chemistry minor is required of cell and molecular biology and microbiology majors.

Graduate Program

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

Program Offerings & Course Descriptions


    Bachelor’sUndergraduate Minor


      Biology (Undergraduate Courses)Botany (Undergraduate Courses)Microbiology (Undergraduate Courses)Zoology (Undergraduate Courses)