Pre-allied Health

The Biology program provides a comprehensive educational experience consistent with Western’s liberal arts philosophy. The /Pre-Allied Health Emphasis is for students seeking careers in nursing.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

With a faculty focused on teaching, small classes and hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll delve deeply into your focus areas, as well as the supporting sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics. You’ll know your professors as they enrich your understanding of the current social, political and economic milieu. You’ll learn by experience as you build knowledge for your career and/or graduate school.

Pre-Allied Health majors receive broad training in the life sciences. The contemporary curriculum includes hands-on learning through laboratory and field experience. Our low student-to-faculty ratio allows meaningful interaction between biology majors and their professors, both in- and outside the classroom. Professors advise students on both their academic scheduling and career options. Students are encouraged to conduct research projects with faculty, and to participate in internships with private entities and local agencies.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in Western’s Pre-Allied Health program have unique opportunities to gain experience in scientific investigation through active participation with faculty in laboratory research.

Through funding from Thornton research grants, students can further hone the ancillary skills required to carry out research, by writing funding proposals, giving on-campus presentations of their work and drafting final research reports.

Some students present their results at national meetings of scientific societies and publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some also attend summer research programs, providing them with a more intensive research experience.

After Graduation

 The Pre-Allied-Health emphasis prepares students for entry into nursing school and dental hygienist school.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Pre-allied Health Biology Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
  1. Email this to your friends or family    Share on LinkedIn    Share on Google+    Twitter    Share this on Facebook

  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.


A study of the basic aspects of microbiology for allied health students that includes an introduction to the identification, physiology, growth and control of microbes. Laboratory exercises will emphasize aseptic, pure culture, and identification techniques. This course can only be used to fulfill graduation requirement for students in the allied health biology emphasis.

 BIOL 300 - BASIC NUTRITION (3 credits)

An introduction to the science of human nutrition. Consideration is given to the chemical nature and functions of the major groups of nutrients, the function of the digestive system, energy metabolism and balance, weight control, and nutrition for fitness. Human nutrition during the life span is also addressed. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 or BIOL 150; and CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.


An introduction to microbial morphology, identification, physiology, genetics, and microbiology Laboratory techniques. A brief consideration is given to fungi. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus


An introduction to regulatory mechanisms which maintain normal body function. Specific topics include cytology, histology, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous system. The course is designed for allied health and exercise and sport science students. Prerequisites: BIOL 150; CHEM 105 or CHEM 111.


A continuation of BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I. Specific topics include immunology, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, reproductive system, and endocrine system. Prerequisite: BIOL 372.

 BIOL 495 - SENIOR SEMINAR (1 credits)

An examination of biological sub disciplines through an investigation of the primary literature. The professional practices, procedures, and standards of the sub discipline are discussed. This course may be repeated for credit and must be taken twice to fulfill the Capstone Course requirement. Graded Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus and MATH 213.

 BIOL 496 - SENIOR THESIS ( 2-4 credits)

An application of the research-based practices for instruction in math. Focus is placed on the foundations for assessing and teaching math by addressing basic skills, critical thinking skills, conceptual understanding, real life applications, and diverse learner needs. Students implement and review specific assessment practices, teaching structures, intervention strategies, and technology applications within a standards- based framework of instruction. Prerequisite: admission to the Education Department.

Faculty & Staff


Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., University of North Texas
Phone: (970) 943-3405
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., Ph.D., University of Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-3355
Office Location: Hurst Hall 222
Assistant Professor in Biology and Environment & Sustainability
B.A., Biology, University of California–Santa Cruz, 1995, Ph.D., Botany, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2005
Phone: (970) 943-2565
Office Location: Kelly Hall 105
Professor of Biology
B.S., St. Joseph’s University; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University.
Phone: (970) 943-2094
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238B
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Colorado; B.A., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of Oregon
Phone: (970) 943-2552
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
Biology Laboratory Coordinator
B.A., Western State Colorado Universtiy; M.S., San Francisco State University.
Phone: (970) 943-2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143B
Thornton Chair in Biology
B.S, Colorado State University. M.S., University of Missouri; Ph.D., University of Missouri.
Phone: (970) 943-7121
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
Associate Professor of Biology
B.S., Allegheny College; Ph.D., Dartmouth College.
Phone: (970) 943-3181
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238A
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability, and Biology
B.S., Winona State University, M.S., University of Minnesota Duluth, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Phone: 970.943.2024
Office Location: Kelly Hall 114
Lecturer in Biology
B.A., University of Boulder , M.A., University of Denver and Health Sciences, Ph.D., University of Denver and Health Sciences
Phone: (970) 943-2145
Office Location: Hurst Hall 218
Emeritus Professor of Biology
B.S., University of California-Davis; Ph.D., University of Idaho.
Phone: 970.943.2063
Office Location: