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Finishing Foundations

Beginning in Fall 2017, Biology majors may complete their Finishing Foundation requirement through a variety of different avenues. The finishing foundation requirement can be met by the completion of the following courses:

  • BIOL 415 – Microbial Physiology (3-3-4)(S)(FF). Microbial physiology is the study of structure and function in microbial cells, biosynthesis of macromolecule precursors and their assembly into macromolecules, growth dynamics, integration of metabolic pathways at the level of gene expression and enzymatic activity, and responses to environmental changes. Experimental methodologies will be focused on various applications of microbial physiology. PREREQ: BIOL 303, and CHEM 301 or CHEM 307-308, or PERM/INST.
  • BOT 401 – Plant Physiology (3-3-4)(F)(FF). A study of plant biophysical and biochemical processes. Includes coverage of cell, tissue, and organ function, photosynthesis, water relations, mineral nutrition, transport mechanisms, growth and development, secondary metabolites, and plant responses to the environment. PREREQ: BIOL 191-192 and CHEM 317 or PERM/INST.
  • ZOOL 401 – Human Physiology (3-0-3)(S)(FF). Functional Aspects of human tissue and organ systems with emphasis on regulatory and homeostatic mechanism. PREREQ: BIOL 310 and BIOL 320.
  • ZOOL 409 – Animal Physiology and Nutrition (3-3-4)(F)(FF). Physiological principles common to all forms of animal life with a focus on nutrition are discussed. Physiological adaptations required to live in a variety of environments and deal with a diversity of diets are presented. PREREQ: BIOL 304 and BIOL 320.

Alternatively, students may choose to meet this requirement by completing an internship or mentored research project. Students who perform independent research within the University or with a community mentor must co-enroll in one of the following:

  • BIOL 485 – Undergraduate Research and Internships In The Biological Sciences (V-0-V)(F,S,SU)(FF). Students work with a faculty mentor or community to develop independent research or internship projects, respectively, to address a relevant question in biological research or perform a biologically relevant project with a community partner. Students work in teams to accomplish the research or project goals and present the outcomes of their research or projects in a public venue. Can be taken for 2-4 credits to fulfill the Finishing Foundations requirement.
  • BIOL 496 – Independent Study (2 – 3 credits)
  • BIOL 493 – Internship (2 – 3 credits)

Students who have already completed their Finishing Foundation requirement may also enroll in these courses. In this case, the credits will be applied towards the student’s upper-division biology credits.

Steps for Enrollment in the Finishing Foundations Program

1. Identify a Research or an Internship Opportunity of Interest

Finding an Internship in the Community

Students can use Handshake to search for internship opportunities available to Boise State students. Opportunities may also be found on the Biology Department’s OrgSync site that connects students to volunteer and job opportunities.

Internships appropriate for the Finishing Foundations program must meet the following requirements:

  • The student’s work during the internship must address an important biological question
  • The student must work on a project that enables the development of critical thinking and written/oral communication skills
  • The student must receive active mentorship

Finding a Research Opportunity with a Faculty Mentor at Boise State

Students should contact faculty members in the department to discuss research and independent study opportunities. Students are encouraged to:

  • Review the online faculty profiles and research descriptions found on the department faculty director.
  • Send an email to the faculty member describing your research interests, scientific training, and motivation for performing research.
  • Work with the faculty member to design and complete a research project.
  • Setup internship and independent study research projects before the deadline listed in the University Academic Calendar.

2. Approval of Research or Internship Opportunity

Before enrolling for independent study or internship credits, a student must obtain the approval of the Biology Department Advisor and/or Finishing Foundations Coordinator. Complete the Finishing Foundations Application Form to submit a description of your intended projects to the coordinator/advisor.

3. Register for BIOL 485 and BIOL 479/BIOL 496/BIOL 493.

Once the Finishing Foundations coordinator approves your on or off-campus internship or research opportunity, you will need to register for both courses.

4. Attend Weekly BIOL 485 Class Meetings

Students will attend weekly class meetings during the semester of their internship/research project. BIOL485 workshops will begin the 6th week of the Fall semester. Through this inter-professional capstone course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the purpose, approach, and outcomes of a wide diversity of scientific research projects
  • Create and present a poster to communicate the outcomes of their internship/research experience to faculty members
  • Use team-based approaches to solve problems encountered in their independent projects
  • Track their professional development via E-Portfolios that provide reflection and analysis of their individual project