2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Biology Programs

The Biology major at Lesley prepares students for entry into a wide variety of graduate level programs in the life sciences as well as the many professional programs in the medical, health, and environmental fields. It also prepares students for direct employment in a number of areas, including the rapidly growing biotech, pharmaceutical, clinical medical and health research industries, as well as for careers in teaching, natural resources, and in relevant government agencies. The many linkages with a solid liberal arts education open the door for Biology majors to explore and pursue a wide variety of non-science careers that benefit from a deep scientific perspective.

The existence of both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science options offers students great flexibility in exploring biology related careers.

As in all Lesley programs, the emphasis of the Biology major is on student-centered and student-engaged learning and on making connections among disciplines and to the pressing topics of the times. The Biology major includes a required capstone research course and an off campus internship, and it also provides opportunities for independent research with faculty. Laboratory and fieldwork are integral to the major. Honors students also have the opportunity to do a literature-based or research-based senior honors thesis project. Study abroad is also possible and encouraged.

Learning Goals of the Biology Major:

I. Develop Critical Thinking and Scientific Inquiry Skills

•     Demonstrate the ability to synthesize and analyze information from multiple sources

•     Demonstrate the ability to explore nature scientifically: make observations, generate novel questions, bring existing ideas to bear on possible explanations, develop investigations to test predictions, evaluate evidence in light of questions and predictions

•     Perform a scientific investigation from inception to presentation of results in oral/visual and written format

II. Develop Scientific Literacy

•     Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in Biology and related disciplines

•     Demonstrate understanding of the complexity of living systems from the perspectives of molecular, cellular, organismal, ecological, and evolutionary biology

•     Demonstrate an integrative understanding of life’s complexity from the multiple perspectives of the biological sciences

III. Understand the Application of Science to Issues of Social Concern

•     Document participation in field-based projects and course assignments that integrate civic engagement and social responsibility with scientific approaches to problems by involving the local community or focusing on scientific issues related to community health and environment

•     Understand the causes and consequences of human activity in environmental/ecological systems

IV. Understand from Multiple Perspectives (including a historical perspective) the Breadth of Human Diversity

•     Demonstrate an understanding of the origins and importance of biological diversity in human and other living systems

V. Prepare for Future Careers and Learning

•     Demonstrate the potential for lifelong learning by applying knowledge within field placements; seeking opportunities to grow professionally, exploring current scholarship, and reflecting on one’s own practice

Marine Studies Consortium (MSC)

This consortium is an association of 17 Massachusetts higher education and research institutions. MSC courses offer unique learning opportunities in marine and aquatic sciences, environmental Policy, and environmental management. The courses are potential choices for Biology majors, The Biology of Fishes course, offered at the New England Aquarium, may be the only ichthyology course in the world where students use the resources of a major aquarium at every class meeting. Other courses, such as the Biology of Whales are offered nowhere else in New England at the undergraduate level. Courses, which include an additional consortium tuition fee, are held during the evenings on the campuses of our member institutions. MSC course descriptions can be found in the course descriptions section of this catalog. Students wishing to take MSC courses should contact David Morimoto, Division Director, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at 617.349.8226, or morimoto@lesley.edu. Full information about the MSC can be found at https://marinestudiesconsortium.org/courses.php.