Pre-Nursing

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
    • Emphasis

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Lab Assistantships: Students commonly land positions helping their professors with fieldwork and research. 
       
    • Pre-health Club: Brings together students with a common interest in health fields to network and to provide career preparation, advice and peer support. 
       
    • Shadowing: Opportunities to shadow practicing professionals exists both locally and throughout the United States.
       
    • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students work with faculty mentors on funded and original research. 
       
    • Tri-Beta: Honor society for biology student researchers. 

    Scholarships

    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Faculty & Staff

    Faculty

    Kevin Alexander, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Phone: 970.943.3405
    Office Location: Taylor Hall 322
    Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology
    Phone: 970.943.3355
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 222
    Peter H. Gauss headshot
    Professor of Biology
    Phone: 970.943.2094
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 238B
    Shan Hays, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology
    Phone: 970.943.2552
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
    Amy Honan headshot
    Biology Lab Coordinator, Lecturer in Biology, Curator of Fungi
    Phone: 970.943.2437
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
    Patrick Magee, Ph.D. headshot
    Assistant Professor of Wildlife & Conservation Biology
    Phone: 970.943.7121
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
    Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. headshot
    Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
    Phone: 970.943.2311
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 225
    Cassandra Osborne, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology
    Phone: 970.943.3181
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 238A

    Courses

    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     BIOL 201 - Introduction to Microbiology (with laboratory) (4 credits)

    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. Additional course fee applies.

     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 150; and CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

     BIOL 342 - Microbiology (with laboratory) (4 credits)

    An introduction to microbial morphology, identification, physiology, genetics, and microbiology laboratory techniques. A brief consideration is given to fungi. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus

     BIOL 372 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) (4 credits)

    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. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisites: BIOL 150; CHEM 105 or CHEM 111.

     BIOL 373 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) (4 credits)

    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. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: BIOL 372.

     BIOL 496 - Senior Thesis (1 credits)

    An advanced research experience resulting in a Senior Thesis, supervised by a thesis committee of three faculty members including at least one biologist. A proposal of the project must be approved by the thesis committee prior to project initiation. In addition to completing the written thesis, students must present the results of their work in a departmental seminar. This course satisfies the capstone course requirement. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus; and MATH 151 or MATH 213.

     CHEM 111 - General Chemistry I (3 credits)

    An introductory course designed for science majors focusing on principles and applications of chemistry. Topics covered in this course are stoichiometry, bonding models, intermolecular forces, and periodic trends. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 140 or Accuplacer college-level mathematics test score of 85 or above, ACT math score of 24 or above, or instructor permission.

     CHEM 112 - General Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credits)

    An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory note bookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Additional course fee applies. Co-requisite: CHEM 111.

     CHEM 113 - General Chemistry II (3 credits)

    A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics covered are thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 111 with a minimum grade of C-.

     CHEM 114 - General Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credits)

    A continuation of CHEM 112. An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 113. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebook keeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

     CHEM 231 - Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (3 credits)

    A descriptive survey course which introduces the essential topics and applications of organic chemistry and biochemistry. The course is designed for non-majors who need the second semester of a one-year chemistry core that includes general, organic, and biochemistry. This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Prerequisite: CHEM 101 or CHEM 113.

     CHEM 234 - Introductory Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory (1 credits)

    An introductory laboratory to accompany CHEM 231. Experiments focus on reactions of organic functional groups, organic synthesis, and the chemistry of biological molecules. This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CHEM 231.

     MATH 213 - Probability and Statistics (3 credits)

    A course in the use of statistical techniques to draw knowledge from data. Topics include exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-procedures, ANOVA, chi squared procedures, regression, and non-parametric tests. Statistical software is used extensively to analyze real data sets. Prerequisite: MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-, or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test score of 85 or above; or instructor permission. GT-MA1

     PHYS 140 - Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (4 credits)

    A semi-quantitative introduction to the fundamental concepts of physical science, particularly the laws of physics as they relate to the structure of matter. Laboratory experiences play an important role in the investigations. This course may not be taken for credit toward the Physics Minor. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; MATH 099; Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or above.

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
    • Emphasis

    Students in the Pre-Nursing program earn a Biology degree while preparing for professional programs in nursing, medical technology, chiropractic, optometry and public health. Students work closely with Western’s Health Professions Advisor to build a degree path aligned with the admission requirements of their schools of choice as well as their greater professional interests.   

    Study within the Pre-Nursing emphasis begins with a broad training in the life sciences, including evolution, cell theory, genetics, metabolism, and ecological components and systems. Students then tighten their focus on biological concepts related to healthcare through labs, shadowing opportunities and field experience. 

    Learn More

    Reach out to Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. for more information.