Dec 02, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [OFFICIAL CATALOG]

Department of Biology

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Fribourgh​ Hall, Room 406, (501) 569-3270 | (501) 569-3271 (fax) |

Chairperson: Tonkyn, David W.,
Professors: Ali, Nawab
Baltosser, William H.
Bush, John M.
He, Qingfang
Khodakovskaya, Mariya
Sikes, Robert S.
Associate Professors: Grace, Stephen C.
Stapleton, Carl R.
Tang, Fusheng
Wang, Hong
Assistant Professor: Woolbright, Scott
Instructors: Chaney, Kelly
Hearnsberger, Scott M.
Landers, Joshua
Leacock, Stefanie
Adjunct Professors: Allen, William
Clark, David
Quave, Cassandra
Sayyed, Kaleemullah
Professor Emeriti: Lanza, Janet
Baeyens, Dennis
Heidt, Gary
Ferguson, Dale
Fribourgh, Jim
Kleve, Maurice G.

Biology is a diverse discipline, the study of which allows entry into fields such as biotechnology, cell biology, conservation, ecology, physiology, environmental sciences, and the many aspects of the health-related sciences. The biology department includes faculty, coursework, and programs in the traditional area of biology, ecology and organismal, molecular biotechnology, secondary education, and environmental health sciences. The biology department offers the following degrees: Biology, B.S. (with four available concentrations) and Environmental Health Sciences, B.S.  

Students in both degree programs benefit from extensive laboratory experience that provides hands-on use of modern laboratory and field equipment. Through an affiliation with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the department offers a variety of courses in marine biology. Furthermore, abundant opportunities allow specialized learning through undergraduate research, internships, cooperative education, and practicums. Student organizations for both degree programs provide opportunities for recreational, service, and career-oriented activities in which students and faculty interact informally.

General Information

Within the biology curriculum, the department offers courses that serve several objectives: to provide students with an understanding of basic biological principles and their importance in society; to provide a pre-professional background for students preparing to enter medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other professional fields; to provide a strong academic background for students entering careers immediately after the completion of their undergraduate degree; and to provide the breadth and depth of background needed to succeed in a graduate program. A student pursuing the BS in biology may select from four concentrations: general biology; ecology and organismal biology; molecular biotechnology; and education. A minor in biology is also offered.

Admission Requirements

Students who select biology as their major must have completed at least 15 credit hours at UA Little Rock, have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or greater on all course work at UA Little Rock, and have taken BIOL 1400  or BIOL 1401  (or equivalent) with a grade of C or greater. Students who entered UA Little Rock conditionally by contract must complete the contract before being eligible for admission to the biology program. Decisions regarding course equivalency and situations in which students have tested out of courses or transferred credit from other programs will be made by the department chairperson. Transfer students with 30 hours or more in transfer credit may be accepted into the biology degree program with fewer than 15 hours at UA Little Rock with the approval of the department chairperson.

Honors Program in Biology

The department offers an honors program to provide qualified students the opportunity to pursue advanced study and receive appropriate recognition. Interested students should apply to the department chairperson for admission. Participants in the honors program are selected by the department faculty on the basis of these criteria:

  1. junior standing
  2. minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.25, and
  3. acceptance by a faculty member for participation in a research project.

To complete the honors program a student must:

  1. maintain the 3.25 GPA
  2. enroll in undergraduate research courses for a minimum of two semesters
  3. complete a minimum of three credit hours and a maximum of six hours of undergraduate research, and
  4. present the results of the undergraduate research project at an honors seminar as well as submit a written report approved by the faculty supervisor to the department faculty.

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is affiliated with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Through this arrangement, students receive UA Little Rock credit for courses taken at the research laboratory during the 12-week summer teaching session, which usually begins the first full week in June each year. The summer session consists of two terms, although the length of some classes varies. Students register and pay tuition on the UA Little Rock campus and have their credit transferred to this campus for inclusion in their academic records. Students who want to take courses in this program must apply by May 1 for summer enrollment and have prior approval of their department chairperson or the on-campus coordinator. For more information or application forms, contact the chairperson, Department of Biology.

Major in Biology

Students who wish to major in biology may choose from four different concentrations:

  1. Biology, General Biology Concentration, B.S.   
  2. Biology, Ecology & Organismal Concentration, B.S.   
  3. Biology, Molecular Biotechnology Concentration, B.S.   
  4. Biology, Education Track, B.S.   

General Biology Concentration

This concentration is designed to give students a broad overview of biology. Students completing this program have a broad background but also have enough upper-level courses to build depth in knowledge and skills. The program provides sufficient flexibility that students can tailor their programs to specific needs.

Ecology and Organismal Biology Concentration

This concentration is designed to prepare students interested in ecology, conservation, and organismal biology for entry into graduate programs, employment in governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, or positions where an integrating organismal and ecological background is required. Students completing this program have a broad background but also have enough upper-level courses to build depth in knowledge and skills. The program provides sufficient flexibility that students can tailor their programs to specific needs.

Molecular Biotechnology Concentration

This concentration is a joint effort between the biology department at the UA Little Rock and the medical technology department of the UAMS. The curriculum is designed for students who want to pursue a research career in molecular biotechnology at the bachelor’s level (this program is not intended as a premedical or pre-professional curriculum). This concentration will prepare students for technical occupations in basic and applied molecular biotechnology research and positions with federal and state governmental agencies and private or commercial enterprises that conduct either basic or applied research in biotechnology. The concentration is divided into two levels: a four-semester Pre-Biotechnology Curriculum that leads to admission to the Molecular Biotechnology Research Program (MBRP), which is a joint curriculum between UA Little Rock and UAMS. Completion of the Pre-Biotechnology Curriculum and candidacy to the MBRP requires a minimum of 60 hours including BIOL 2401 , BIOL 2402 , BIOL 2403 , and BIOL 3300 ; eight hours of general chemistry; four hours of organic chemistry; and a minimum GPA of 2.60. Students transferring to UA Little Rock who wish to apply to the MBRP may substitute transferring courses for these requirements with the approval of the Molecular Biotechnology Research Committee. Admission to the MBRP will be competitive, based on the student’s cumulative GPA, an interview with the Molecular Biotechnology Research Committee, and two faculty recommendations. Each fall, a maximum of 20 students meeting these requirements will be admitted to the program. This program of courses is a major-minor combination; no separate minor field is required. Requirements for this concentration are as follows in the column to the right. (degree plan below)

Teacher Licensure (Minor in Education)

The Teacher Licensure program in the Department of Biology is designed to prepare students majoring in biology for teacher licensure in education. Students entering this program will earn a B.S. in Biology. A Minor in Education is also required. Those students who may be interested in teaching biology, please contact the Biology Department at 501-569-3270.

Environmental Health Sciences

Fribourgh Hall, Room 406C, (501) 569-3501, (501) 569-3271 (fax),

Director:                                            Stapleton, Carl R., Associate Professor

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Sciences program is designed to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities in the environmental profession. With a total of 22 hours of approved electives, students can focus on their individual career objective. Although the curriculum prepares students to be immediately competitive for environmental employment upon graduation, it also emphasizes research and creates a foundation for those seeking graduate degrees in the environmental field. Employment opportunities are available both in the public and private sectors. Courses within the curriculum emphasize the development of environmental skills in both field and laboratory settings. These environmental skills include permitting, impact analysis, restoration ecology, sampling, computer modeling, epidemiology, planning, energy analysis, toxicology, risk assessment, research methods, information dissemination, and best management practices. Both cooperative education and internship experiences are available for majors. A student chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals provides opportunities for professional growth and community service involvement.

General Information

Admission Requirements

To major in Environmental Health Sciences, a student must have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better and must have completed both ENHS 2320  and ENHS 2120  with a grade of “C” or better. Any decisions concerning environmental health sciences course equivalencies will be made by the Program Director.

The B.S. degree in Environmental Health Sciences is a combined major-minor in Environmental Health Sciences and Biology. Therefore, a minor is not required for the Environmental Health Sciences major, but a separate minor can still be selected.

Requirements for the Environmental Health Sciences major include the following:

  1. Basic Sciences – 37 credit hours;
  2. Core – 11 credit hours;
  3. Environmental Media – 6 credit hours;
  4. Environmental Analysis and Risk Assessment – 8 credit hours;
  5. Biology Electives (Approved) – 8 credit hours; and
  6. General Electives (Approved) – 14 credit hours.


    Bachelor of ScienceMinor

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