The Biology Department faculty consists of six biologists whose areas of expertise encompass botany, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, human biology, microbiology and zoology. The department is housed in the Hendricks Science Complex which includes faculty offices, eight teaching laboratories with modern microscopes, various laboratory stock rooms, two lecture halls, a faculty research laboratory, a student lounge, and a greenhouse. All lecture halls and laboratories are equipped with digital projectors and sound systems. Approximately 180 students are enrolled as Biology majors during any given semester, making the Biology Department one of the largest academic departments on campus.


The Methodist University Biology Department strives to provide a supportive, rigorous and hands on learning environment for students. Our undergraduate curriculum is designed to give students the flexibility to train for careers in the health sciences, academic research laboratories, the private sector, and governmental agencies immediately following their undergraduate program as well as to prepare students for entry into traditional life science and professional graduate programs. The Department views student research as a core component of the undergraduate experience in the life sciences and the faculty endeavor to include students in their research and to encourage students to take up their own research projects whenever possible.


  1. Within three months of their graduation, fifty percent of the graduates of the Methodist University Biology Department will be admitted to graduate or professional school, or will be employed in a field related to their major.
  2. The average score of Methodist University seniors on the ETS major field examination in biology will be above the national mean.
  3. Biology graduates will be able to assimilate scientific information and to demonstrate their comprehension of it in preparation of oral and written presentations.
  4. Students taking either Science 1420 (Biological Science) or Biology 1530 (Fundamentals of Biology: Introduction to Cellular Biology) as part of the general university core will become familiar with the basic vocabulary and concepts of biology. Those taking Biology 1530 will also become prepared for future study in this area.

Requirements for the major in Biology

42-42 s.h. in Biology; CHE 1510, 1520, 3210, 3220; MAT 1130 or higher and 2200; additional courses in physics, chemistry, geology, and mathematics are desirable electives. It is strongly recommended that students planning to enter graduate professional programs in the health sciences take CHE 4500.

In the Biology major, students have considerable flexibility to design their course curriculum to reflect their particular academic interests and career goals. The major is designed around a system of four tiers with specific course requirements in the freshman and sophomore tiers and more elective options built into the junior and senior tiers as follows:

Requirements for Introductory Courses Tier (8 s.h.): BIO 1530, 1560

Requirements for Biology Core Tier (14-15 s.h.): BIO 2430 or 2440, BIO 2900, and two additional courses to be selected from BIO 2990, 3070, and 3480

Requirements for Upper Level Elective Tier (18-19 s.h.): Courses taken vary by student interest to fulfill the required number of semester hours. However, students must take at least one course from three of the six upper level elective categories outlined below. 

  • Zoology: BIO 3150, 3200, 3210, 3980, 3990
  • Human: BIO 3060, 3080
  • Micro/Cell: BIO 3960, 4000, 4010, 4400
  • Botany: BIO 3010, 3110
  • Ecology: BIO 3120, 3310, 4310, 4350
  • Special Categories: BIO 4500, 4850, 4990

Requirements for the Senior Tier (2 s.h.): Either BIO 4880 and 4890 or BIO 4900 and 4910

Requirements for the minor in Biology

BIO 1530, 1560, and 15-16 s.h. of Biology electives

Requirements for the A.S. concentration in Biology

BIO 1530, 1560, and at least 16 s.h. of 3000 or higher-level courses for a total of 23-24 s.h. in biology; SCI 1410 and 1430 for a total of 6 s.h. 

Program Faculty & Staff

Dr. Clay Britton, Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Clay Britton

Associate Professor of Biology
(910) 630-7451
Lori Brookman Cornwell, Professor of Biology

Dr. Lori Brookman Cornwell

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
(910) 630-7128
Margaret Folsom, Professor of Biology

Dr. Margaret Folsom

Professor of Biology
(910) 630-7127
Meghan Hennessey, Biology Lab Coordinator

Meghan Hennessey

Biology Lab Coordinator
(910) 630-7511
Dr. Rob McCandless, Chair, Department of Biology

Dr. Rob McCandless

Chair, Biology
(910) 630-7247
Dr. Scott Robertson, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Scott Robertson

Assistant Professor of Biology
(910) 482-5775
Dr. Otto Schwake, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Otto Schwake

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
(910) 630-7470

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