David Harutunyan sits in his dorm room and does Biology homework March 22. A pig appeared on the screen as Harutunyan did a dissection module. Photo by Timothy Gay
Pursuing a degree in Biology gives students a greater understanding of the natures of life, students and faculty said.
To receive a bachelor of science, students complete four lower-division biology and chemistry courses, one physics and Calculus I, along with nine upper-division courses, according to Seaver Academic Catalog. First-year Biology major David Harutunyan said he chose to become a Biology major because he wanted a deeper understanding of life’s origins.
“The major has a heavy course load with a lot of information to memorize,” Harutunyan said. “The thing that interests me the most in biology is the evolution of life — how humans and animals evolved and how life as we know it came to be.”
Haruntunyan’s goal is to attend medical school after graduating college. He said he wants a stronger background of the information to do well on the Medical College Admission Test.
From Haruntunyan’s experience, biology involves studying how living organisms are structured, their functions, growth, where they originated from and how they evolved.
“We can use biology to classify and describe various organisms and how they function,” Harutunyan said. “We can also examine how organisms interact with one another in their environment.”
Haruntunyan admits the amount of information he has to memorize in the field is challenging, but he said it’s fascinating for him to acquire.
Biology Professor Krista Lucas said the number of labs Biology majors have to perform in can be the most challenging aspect to the degree.
“It is usually tricky for students to arrange their schedules, but it can be done,” Lucas said.
Lucas has specifically been helpful for Harutunyan. He said Lucas is always there when you need help understanding something you are having trouble with.
“Dr. Lucas has helped me understand Hardy Weinberg problems better,” Harutunyan said. “She has also made zoology even more interesting than I already thought it was, because of all the exciting activities we get to do in lab.”
Biology is beneficial because it’s a field in which students can seek answers to questions in the natural world, Lucas said. She believes it is a place for those who are curious to learn more about how the world works and the relationships between living things and their environment, and who are fascinated by the microscopic workings of life.
“There are so many options with a Biology degree,” Lucas said. “Even if someone decides to change fields for graduate school or their profession, the critical thinking skills gained with a biology degree are priceless.”
A Biology degree can earn you jobs such as a biology instructor, a biological technician, a biochemist, a genetic counselor, a health communication specialist, a pharmaceutical or medical product sales representative, a physician assistant, a veterinarian or a physician, Harutunyan said.
“If you plan on going into the field of medicine, becoming a Biology major means that you will already be taking most of the required courses for medical school as a part of your major,” Harutunyan said.
There’s many Pepperdine students who go on to professional schools such as medical, veterinary, dental, physical therapy, and those who progress and get master’s degrees or PhDs in biology, Lucas said.
“Biology grads can also work for organizations like the Nature Conservancy, go into teaching, become bench scientists for a variety of companies or go into science communication,” Lucas said. “There are so many options.”
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