Zoology Minor

Studying Zoology—the science of animals—is intended to enhance the learning of students who are interested in obtaining a solid foundation in zoological concepts, including diversity in the animal kingdom, morphology, physiology, evolution, behavior, and ecology. 

Students will develop an understanding of animal biology at multiple hierarchical levels and to develop an appreciation for animal diversity. 

Zoology minors completing any of the biology majors are encouraged to choose courses to minimize overlap. Students have a biology faculty adviser who will assist in the selection of courses that fulfill the minor and support the student's goals. Up to eight transfer credits, approved by the biology department, may be applied to the minor. Courses specifically designed for non-science majors may not be credited toward the minor.

High School Preparation

Take a high school curriculum that will prepare you for your college course work. If your high school offers AP, IB, or honors classes, take as many sciences as you can—for example, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics. This preparation will help you as you enter the higher-level classes at Saint Mary’s.

Enhance Your Experience

This minor is a natural complement to the curriculum for majors in the natural and physical sciences, especially pre-veterinary science.

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

B120 Botany and Zoology II (3 cr.)

This introductory course serves both majors and non-majors.  Course topics include the process of evolution; surveys of microbial, plant and animal life; plant anatomy and physiology; comparative animal anatomy and systems physiology.

B121 Botany and Zoology II Laboratory (1 cr.)

These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B120. Investigations include the scientific method and techniques; phylogenetic surveys of bacteria, Protista and fungi, the plant and animal kingdoms; and animal body systems physiology.

B. 8 credits chosen from the following courses:

B110 Botany and Zoology I (3 cr.)

This introductory course serves both majors and non-majors.  Course topics include the process of evolution and ecology; biological molecules and basic chemistry; cell structure, cellular respiration and photosynthesis; the mechanisms of chromosome replication, transcription and translation; and Mendelian genetics. Three fifty minute or two seventy-five minute lecture/discussion periods are held weekly. 

B111 Botany and Zoology I Laboratory (1 cr.)

These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B110. Investigations include the scientific method and techniques; population growth; plant communities and invasive species; ecosystems and habitat quality; cell biology; osmosis; enzyme kinetics; photosynthesis; DNA electrophoresis and Mendelian genetics. The lab meets for one three-hour session each week.

B301 Ecology with Laboratory (4 cr.)

A study of the theoretical and practical ecological concepts pertaining to species, populations, communities and ecosystems; stress is placed on the concepts of energy flow, nutrient cycles, limiting factors, population dynamics and succession.

B305 Human Anatomy with Laboratory (4 cr.)

This course explores the design and structure of the human body. Lectures present cellular and histological features of the body systems.

B311 Cell Biology with Laboratory (3 cr.)

This course is a study of the cell at the ultrastructural, biochemical, and physiological levels. Special consideration is given to respiration, photosynthesis, secretion, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, cell growth, movement, membranes, and other organelles.

B313 Physiology with Laboratory (4 cr.)

This course explores the functions of the body systems of humans. The interrelationships of organ systems processes to maintain homeostasis are emphasized. Laboratory sessions provide experiences with procedures and instrumentation to gather data that highlight the function of the body systems. Course topics are particularly relevant to the health sciences.

C. 9 additional biology elective credits chosen from the following courses:

B210 Introduction to Mammalogy with Laboratory (3 cr.)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the ecology and classification of mammals.  Students will be presented with information on the evolutionary history and special adaptations of mammals within the context of their ecological roles as individuals or populations in a biological community. This course also examines contemporary conservation issues related to mammals. The laboratory component of the course will allow students to practice some the techniques used by mammologists with particular emphasis on field techniques. The development of scientific literacy skills will be heavily emphasized. This course is open to science and non-science majors. Two one-hour class meetings and one two-hour lab each week.

B371 Ornithology with Laboratory (3 cr.)

This course examines birds from aspects of ecology, behavior, taxonomy, physiology, and identification.

B385 Freshwater Ecology with Laboratory (3 cr.)

Advanced studies of the freshwater aquatic ecosystems, both lotic and lentic, are undertaken. Emphasis is placed on ecological adaptations, life histories, and interactions between organisms and their physical environment. Secondary emphasis is placed on aquatic ecosystem production and measurement.

B465 Herpetology with Laboratory (2 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to the biology of amphibians and reptiles, with an emphasis on the ecology, distribution, and conservation of the species found in Minnesota and neighboring states.

B475 Ichthyology with Laboratory (3 cr.)

A course on the classification, morphology, physiology, and ecology of fishes.

B490 Fisheries Biology with Laboratory (3 cr.)

An introduction to fisheries biology, this course has a lecture emphasis on population dynamics and lake, pond, and stream fishery management. Attention is given to the recreational and commercial value of freshwater fish species.

B491 Wildlife Ecology and Management with Laboratory (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to wildlife ecology with emphasis on techniques, population dynamics, recreational and commercial value. Wildlife management techniques are also introduced through study of case histories of selected species.