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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 490
Course Title: Senior Seminar
Number of:
Credit Hours 1
Lecture Hours 1
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

A seminar course required as a culminating experience prior to graduation for all seniors majoring in Biology and Environmental Science. Students complete and present a review of their major field and participate in career planning. Evaluation is Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U), with a grade of S required. Cross-lsited as ENVS 490.  Prerequisites: Senior standing, ENGL 112, 45 semester hours in BIOL/ENVS.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Senior standing, ENGL 112, 45 semester hours in BIOL/ENVS.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Current scientific literature.

A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology
By Knisely, Karen (Sinauer)
Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences
By McMillan, Victoria (Bedford/St. Martins)
Course Objectives
  • To demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of science consistent with the field of study.
Measurable Learning
  • Conduct and present a review on major concepts in the field.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with career options in the appropriate field.
Topical Outline:
  • Critical analysis of scientific concepts
  • Employment opportunities and career planning
  • Administration of Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress
  • Administration of Major Field Test
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Peggy Wright Date: August 27, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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