Nov 28, 2021  
School of Undergraduate Studies 2021-2022 
School of Undergraduate Studies 2021-2022

Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology and Physics

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Department Chair: Gregory Keller

Faculty: Dorothy Boorse, Sean Clark, Evangeline Cornwell, Valerie Gin, Peter Iltis, David Lee, Sam Mason, Kristen Siaw, Craig Story, Yuanming Zheng.   Part-Time: Adam Broughton, Thomas Faulds

Biology Program

MISSION: The mission of the Biology Program is to graduate men and women with a foundational perspective of the diverse fields of biology and an awareness of their interrelations. A wide range of biology courses covering topics from molecular biology to human biology to ecosystem dynamics, together with required support courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, provide our students with the resources to be successful in the post-undergraduate world of work and continued academic pursuit. Student research experiences, together with off-campus internship, cooperative education, and summer work opportunities in biology, are encouraged to clarify vocational direction. Throughout the biology program a serious effort is made to engage students in careful thought about the relationship of biology to the Christian faith and issues of global concern. Graduating students are well prepared for all graduate programs in biology, particularly including health professions.

Biology Major

Honors in Biology

Majors who research and write an honors thesis will be eligible to graduate with honors. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, candidates will develop a thesis proposal and register for 4-8 credits of research (BIO 471 , BIO 472 ). In consultation with a faculty advisor, the candidate will select a thesis committee of three faculty members: the advisor as the chair of the committee and two other faculty members, one of which must be from a department outside the student’s major. The role of the committee includes: first, to approve the research proposal from the candidate; second, to help shape and monitor the progress of the candidate’s research; and third, to read and approve the candidate’s final thesis. Each candidate is responsible for calling periodic meetings with his/her thesis committee to report progress and receive feedback. The minimum GPA for an honors candidate is 3.50 in the major and 3.00 overall.

Completed research must be presented in the biology senior seminar class or in a scheduled seminar open to the public, and defended orally with the Honors Thesis Committee prior to exam week. Once the committee approves the thesis, four bound copies of the final thesis must be produced by the candidate, each with a cover page followed by a signed signature page following the format of “The Guidelines for Honors Theses within the Department of Biology, Gordon College.” Once bound, the thesis will be distributed to the candidate, the advisor, the Department of Biology and the Jenks Library.

Degrees Offered

The Biology Program offers two degrees: a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. Within each degree program, students may take one of 5 concentrations (Professional, Health Professions, Biotechnology, Environmental, or Marine Biology).

Special Collaborations

Marine Science Studies Consortium

Gordon is a member of the Marine Studies Consortium, which offers students the opportunity to take courses in marine biology through the Consortium, for an additional fee. Courses include Introduction to Marine Mammals, Coastal Zone Management, Biology of Fishes, Water Resources Planning and Management, etc. Courses are held at other New England sites. See Arrangements made through Biology Department Chair.

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies

Gordon is one of the charter members of Au Sable Institute, an environmental science program that teaches field courses for a variety of Christian liberal arts colleges. Campuses are located in Michigan and Washington state, with additional courses offered in India and Costa Rica. Au Sable students can get certificates as naturalists or as land, water, or environmental resources analysts. Offerings may vary annually. See Au Sable representative Dr. Dorothy Boorse. Course information is available on the Au Sable website at

Chemistry Program

MISSION: The Chemistry Program seeks to provide students with a broad understanding of the principal areas within the discipline. As a central scientific discipline, chemistry offers insight into the structure, properties, and behavior of atoms and molecules. The department empowers students to engage the principles of green chemistry during their studies and in their careers and is a charter member of the Green Chemistry Commitment.

As part of a Christian liberal arts college, the program further seeks to develop within its students the conviction that scientific endeavor is worthy of Christian commitment and can be integrated with Christian faith. Students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for the place of the sciences in a liberal education and to gain an understanding of the relationship of the natural sciences to society and its problems.

Kinesiology Program

MISSION: The Kinesiology Program fosters a community of learners in which students and faculty engage in the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. The curriculum embraces a multidimensional approach to the study of human movement, exercise, and sport and emphasizes an understanding of the scientific foundations as well as the psychological and social dimensions of physical activity. Through a Christian worldview students consider scientific advancements, societal changes and ethical implications in topic areas such as recreation and leisure values, physical stewardship, performance enhancement and quality-of-life issues. Graduating students are well prepared for graduate programs in kinesiology and the health professions. 

Kinesiology Major

The curriculum in the kinesiology major emphasizes the mechanical, neurological and physiological bases of human movement and is coupled with experiences to enhance critical-thinking skills essential to scientific inquiry. The course of study includes examination of both normal and healthy function as well as clinical conditions and disease states. The department emphasizes collaborative research with students as well as volunteer and internship experiences in a variety of professional settings. Kinesiology graduates are well prepared for post-baccalaureate study in kinesiology, clinical exercise physiology, medicine, physical and occupational therapy, nursing and physician assistant programs.

Honors in Kinesiology

In exceptional cases majors may earn departmental honors in kinesiology by conducting research and writing an honors thesis during their senior year. In collaboration with a faculty advisor, candidates will enroll in KIN 492 in their junior or senior year to develop a thesis proposal and conduct pilot work on a selected topic. The proposal will be defended by the end of the fall semester of the student’s senior year. The defense will be presented before the Department of Kinesiology faculty and must include evidence of readiness to conduct a full study based on initial pilot work. Upon successful defense, candidates will enroll in an additional 4 credits of KIN 492 and will conduct formal research and write a thesis. For honors the thesis must be of high quality and must be orally defended before department faculty. The minimum GPA for honors candidates is 3.5 in the major and 3.0 overall. See department faculty for details.

Physics and 3-2 Engineering Program

MISSION: The Physics Program seeks to introduce students to the discipline of physics. Through courses, labs and guided research, the program provides thorough grounding in laboratory and theoretical aspects of physics in order to prepare physics students for graduate school, secondary school teaching, industrial employment or government service. The 3-2 engineering program, with its dedicated lab facilities and deep technical training, prepares students to apply to transfer to an engineering school and excel once they matriculate into the engineering program. Through its Core Curriculum courses, the department seeks to develop in all students an appreciation and basic understanding of the physical aspects of creation as well as the influence of physics upon the development of culture. Students are encouraged to grapple with ethical, epistemological and metaphysical questions which will inform and enrich their worldview as Christians while simultaneously receiving uncompromised mentoring to become physicists.

Interdisciplinary Minors

Neuroscience Minor  - This interdisciplinary minor (24 credits) draws from biology, psychology, chemistry and kinesiology.

Environmental Studies Minor  - An interdisciplinary minor focusing on the interactions between human systems and natural systems with the objective of preparing students for employment or further studies in areas involving the environment. Usually taken by non-biology majors.  See Dr. Boorse for more information.




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