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Biology at RWU stands apart from the competition. For starters, the major is housed in the state-of-the-art Marine and Natural Sciences (MNS) Building. Located just a few hundred yards from Mount Hope Bay, the MNS Building is complete with a 4,000 square-foot wet lab, a greenhouse and a vast array of scientific equipment from PCR machines to a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. Roger Williams is also home to the state’s only shellfish hatchery, making both our academics and our facilities widely known and respected.

Students are encouraged to join student-faculty collaboration and ongoing research project in areas that include evolutionary genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, microbiology, neurobiology and ecology.

Most recently, biology students founded a chapter of FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children) on campus. The students raise funds, collect donations and spend spring break in El Salvador as Global Health Volunteers at FIMRC pediatric clinics and in the surrounding rural communities.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the time a student has completed a major in Biology or Marine Biology, s/he is expected to be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. formulate a scientific question or problem
  2. design a properly controlled experiment or field study that tests a clearly-stated hypothesis
  3. evaluate evidence critically and quantitatively, and apply this knowledge to novel situations.
  4. effectively communicate scientific knowledge orally, graphically, and in writing
  5. conduct a search of peer-reviewed print and electronic resources relevant to a research project in the life sciences
  6. understand the role of macromolecules in cellular processes
  7. understand the relationship between the structure and function of cellular components
  8. understand the relationship between the structure and function of major organ systems
  9. understand the mechanisms of physiological homeostasis
  10. describe cellular and physiological adaptations that have evolved in a variety of phyla
  11. understand the key discoveries of modern biology (including molecular biology and bioinformatics)
  12. understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inheritance
  13. understand the species concept and the factors affecting biodiversity
  14. describe the patterns and mechanisms of evolution
  15. understand how phylogenetic relationships among taxa are determined
  16. describe the patterns and mechanisms of population distribution, growth and regulation
  17. understand the flow of matter and energy through natural systems from the molecular to the ecosystem level
  18. describe interactions among biotic and abiotic factors in natural systems
  19. understand the life history strategies of organisms
  20. describe the major global biological communities and biomes
  21. understand significant interactions and dependencies between human and natural systems