The coursework taken depends on the concentration that is being pursued. However, in addition to the courses for their degree program, all students will have to complete the general education courses required by the University.
The department requires students in all concentrations to pass a comprehensive examination as one of the requirements of graduation. The exam will encompass all core required courses for the degree. Students who do not pass the exam will be given an opportunity to repeat it once a semester.
In addition, a student desiring to major in the biological and physical sciences who has career goals not consistent with any of the six concentrations may consult with the chair of the department and design a course of study with those goals in mind. The course of study must be approved by the department's faculty and should be submitted as early as possible since some courses are not offered each year.
A number of internships are available for students looking for hands-on experience. Students have interned with:
- The National Institute of Health (NIH)
- Private sector environmental labs
- Eastern Virginia Medical School
- Physical therapy offices
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
- The Conservator's Center, Inc.
Independent studies and research projects are often available. One student completed a project on subtypes of rotavirus infections prevalent in Egyptian children (in conjunction with Eastern Virginia Medical School). Other students have done summer internships at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine as part of their Summer Scholars program.
Faculty in the biological and physical sciences department know how important it is to have real-world experience along with a degree. To that end, they lead study trips to such places as Belize and Suriname.
The University has a study abroad agreement with the University of Dundee in Scotland, a university known for its science program. Several students have spent a semester there, taking courses that will transfer as part of the Averett degree program. In addition, a recent graduate received a master's degree in anatomy at the University of Dundee.
What could I do with this major?
Students who graduate with a degree in biological and physical sciences are prepared for additional study at graduate school, professional schools, teaching or in scientific research with government agencies, academic institutions or in various health fields. The goal of the department's faculty is to provide the best possible foundation upon which the student can build in the chosen area of concentration.
What are recent graduates of this major doing?
Candice Young '10 is enrolled in a Ph.D program in Energy and Environmental Systems at North Carolina A&T State University. She gave this glowing testimonial: "I want to thank the entire Averett University Biology and Education department for providing me with the knowledge and skills I needed to make it to this position in my academic studies. I truly feel as though you all prepared me well. THANK YOU for all that you do as wonderful educators."
Zana Kepuska '08 is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in pathology at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Mario Lawrence '06 completed a master's degree in wildlife biology and received a second master's degree in biology education at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. He is a biologist and zookeeper at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Ga.
Surakshya Dhakal '06 graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a master's degree in environmental health.