Biological & Environmental Sciences

Richard Halliburton, Chair
Higgins Hall 105a, Midtown Campus
(203) 837-8233
(203) 837- 8769 (fax)

Cathy Desisto-Reynolds, Department Secretary
Higgins Hall 017, Midtown Campus
(203) 837-8791
(203) 837- 8769 (fax)


R. Halliburton, Chr. T. Philbrick, Assoc. Chr.  
F. Dye R. Gyure S. Maskel
T. Pinou H. Russock S. Wagener
E. Wong    


The programs in the Department of Biological and Environmental Science provide students with the background required to succeed in a wide variety of fields such as cell and molecular biology, medicine, environmental science and education. A core of science courses provides a solid foundation in biology while electives allow students to pursue their special interests. At WestConn all biology majors conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor.


Consistent with the University mission, we endeavor to provide a diversified student body with the conceptual and technical knowledge each student will need to live and work in a society where biological frontiers are constantly expanding and changing. To achieve this challenge, we focus on six primary goals.


  1. Maintain a program of coursework and complementary research experience for undergraduate students who choose to major in biology, medical technology or science education.
    1. Promote appreciation of how advances in modern biology impact individuals and society.
    2. Prepare students to be successful in careers related to biology.
    3. Emphasize active learning in all aspects of coursework.
    4. Offer challenging research opportunities to complement classroom experiences.
    5. Strive to integrate undergraduate research with faculty research projects.
  2. Maintain a program of advanced, specialized coursework and activities that emphasize independent investigation so that qualified students can continue their studies to earn a master of arts degree in biological and environmental science.
    1. Challenge students to explore, through primary literature, important practical and theoretical issues in the biological sciences.
    2. Offer appropriate lecture and laboratory experience to train students for advanced responsibilities in research, education, industry, and other biology-related fields.
  3. Design and implement laboratory courses that support majors in nursing, chemistry and health sciences.
  4. Provide biology courses that support the general education science requirement of the university.
    1. Support the general curriculum of WCSU and strive to assure that the biological sciences are well represented in the academic framework of a liberal arts education.
    2. Offer a diversity of courses specifically for the effective communication of the relevance of biological and environmental sciences to a diverse student body.
  5. Serve as a conceptual and technical resource to the university and region.
    1. When called upon, provide information in areas of faculty expertise.
    2. Interact with regional educators to promote science education.
  6. Maintain ongoing scholarly activity and self-evaluation to assure that our faculty and programs reflect and contribute to modern advances in the biological and environmental sciences and in teaching pedagogy.

Degree Programs in Biological and Environmental Sciences

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Ecological Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Secondary Education: Biology
Elementary Education: Concentration in Biology
Medical Technology

Minor Program


Bachelor of Arts in Biology (B.A.)


All degree programs require the completion of general education requirements, the specified courses and credits listed below and additional free electives to total a minimum of 122 semester hours, including foreign language and physical education. To contact the department, call (203) 837-8791.

Biology Major

This option is for students planning to continue their education in either graduate school or professional school, such as medical, dental, veterinary, etc. It also will prepare students for entry level positions, such as a laboratory technician in the pharmaceutical industry.

Required Courses:

BIO 103, 104 General Biology I & II
BIO 200 Ecology
BIO 205 or 207 Animal or Plant Physiology
BIO 312 Genetics
BIO 300 Cell Biology
BIO 325 Evolutionary Biology
BIO 360 Scientific Communication
BIO 490 Senior Research
CHE 110, 111 General Chemistry I & II
CHE 210, 211 Organic Chemistry I & II
Biology electives - Two courses approved by the department (7-8 SH.). Math or science electives - 14 SH approved by the Department.

Ecology Option:

This option is for students who are interested in ecology and environmental biology and who wish to either work or attend graduate school in that field.

Required Courses:

BIO 103, 104 General Biology I & II
BIO 200 Ecology
BIO 205 or 207 Animal or Plant Physiology
BIO 312 Genetics
BIO 320, 450 or 460 Conservation, Population or Ecosystem Ecology
BIO 216 General Microbiology
BIO 325 Evolutionary Biology
BIO 360 Scientific Communication
BIO 490 Senior Research
CHE 110, 111 General Chemistry I & II
MAT 115 or 120 Biostatistics or Elementary Statistics
23-24 SH in science and math, including at least three biology courses and three physical science/math courses from the list approved by the department.

Bioscience Option:

For students who are not planning to continue their biology education after undergraduate school and who wish a course of study with less emphasis on physical science.

Required Courses:

BIO 103, 104 General Biology I & II
BIO 200 Ecology
BIO 205 or 207 Animal or Plant Physiology
BIO 312 Genetics
BIO 300 or 311 Cell or Developmental Biology
BIO 325 Evolutionary Biology
BIO 360 Scientific Communication
BIO 490 Senior Research
CHE 110, 111 General Chemistry I & II
Biology electives -Courses approved by department. (7-8 SH)
Math or science electives -12 SH approved by department.

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education- Biology (B.S.)


See p. 103.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education-Biology (B.S.) Requirements:

See p. 101.

Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology (B.S.)


Each student must complete a three-year program on campus which includes the general education requirements of the University and science courses as specified in the program shown below. In addition, it is expected that to qualify as a junior in the program, a student will have a cumulative average of 2.5 in biology and 2.5 in chemistry by the end of the sophomore sequence. Finally, each student must complete a year of study in an approved hospital school of medical technology.

The University offers all possible assistance to students to secure admission to hospital schools, but cannot guarantee admission since each hospital school determines which of its applicants will be accepted. Students should note that full tuition and fees will be charged for this final year of study.

All courses identified by number and title in the six semester sequence which follows are requirements in this major. Completion of the program within four academic years requires that the biology and chemistry courses be completed in the semester shown.

The sequence of general education requirements and free electives may be arranged at the student's discretion to complete 129 SH for graduation.

Coordinator: R. Gyure, Higgins Hall; phone (203) 837-8796.

Affiliated Hospital Schools and Faculties:

Danbury Hospital
Ramon Kranwinkel, Medical Director
Salvatore Sena, Ph.D., Education Director
Rebecca Brewer, Program Director

A graduate of the Medical Technology Program will usually work in a hospital laboratory under the direction of a clinical pathologist. Other employment opportunities exist in medical clinics, industry, pharmaceutical laboratories, public health agencies, research institutions and education.

Suggested Six Semester Sequence

Freshman Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHE 110 Gen. Chem I CHE 111 Gen. Chem. II
BIO 103 Gen. Bio. I BIO 104 Gen. Bio. II
MET 001 Intro. Med Tech COM 160, 161, 162
Writing Intensive Course (W)  

Sophomore Year

CHE 210 Organic Chem. CHE 211 Organic Chem.
BIO 215 Microbiology BIO 217 Diagnostic Micro.
BIO 105 Anat. & Phys. I BIO 106 Anat. & Phys. II

Junior Year

CHE 205 Analytical Lec. BIO 300 Cell Biology
CHE 206 Analytical Lab. MET 302 Immunology
BIO 312 Genetics MAT 115 or MAT 120
CHE 422 Biochemistry Lec.  

 Senior Year

30 credits (hospital)
MET 305 Clinical Microbiology
MET 310 Hematology
MET 315 Clinical Microscopy
MET 320 Blood Banking and Immunohematology
MET 325 Clinical Chemistry
MET 330 Special Topics in Medical Technology
MET 335 Immunology and Serology

Minor in Biology

At least 18 SH of biology courses* including:

BIO 103, 104 General Biology I & II
BIO 110 General Zoology and
BIO 111 General Botany
At least 6 SH of biology courses at or above the 200-level
Additional Biology courses to total at least 18 semester hours.

*BIO 100 Concepts of Biology will not count towards the minor; BIO 105, 106 Anatomy & Physiology I & II will count if both courses are taken. Students electing to minor in biology should consult with the department chairperson for course selection. (A minimum of one-half of all semester hours in the minor must be taken at WestConn. Students must attain a minimum GPA of 2.00 for the courses taken at WestConn.)

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