Biology Course Descriptions

Some of the courses listed here are offered in alternate years. For a listing of courses currently offered, please consult courses offered list and the academic catalog.

105 Human Biology

A general introduction to biology using the human organism as a model. The course will be taught across levels of biological organization, from biological molecules to organ systems and whole organism structure and function. Additional topics include human development and consideration of modern views on human evolution. (May not be taken for major credit by natural science majors.) (1)
Lecture: 3hrs/wk.

120 Principles of Biology

An overview of biological science, focusing on the central role of genetics and its connections to the other major areas of study within biology. The first course in a two-semester introductory sequence for biology majors. (Students intending to major in biology or biochemistry should enroll in this course the Fall semester of their freshman year.) (1)
Lecture: 3hrs/wk; Laboratory: 3hrs/wk.

125 Biodiversity

An overview of ecology, evolution, and organismal diversity, focusing on the variety of organisms present on our planet and the interactions between these organisms and their environments. The second course in a two-semester introductory sequence for biology majors. (Students intending to major in biology should enroll in this course the Spring semester of their freshman year. Prospective biology majors should enroll in Biology 120 before enrolling in Biology 125.) (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 120 or permission.

205 General Ecology

A study of the interrelationships between organisms and the environment. Emphasis will focus on the physical and biological factors that influence ecosystem functions and the detrimental effects that occur from environment disturbances. (1)
Lecture: 3hrs/wk; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 125.

210 Cell Biology

A study of the fundamental processes that occur within eukaryotic cells, focusing on the structures and functions of the organelles, the cell cycle, and cell signaling. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course or one 200-level CHEM course or permission.

225 History of Life

An overview of current thinking on the origin and progression of life on our planet. The history of evolutionary thought will be traced from before Darwin to the Modern Synthesis. Cur- rent scientific information will be considered in a variety of topical areas, including the origin of multi-cellular life, and the paleobiology and evolutionary development of representative organismal groups, including humans. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 125 or permission.

230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Structure and function of the human body at the cell and organ system levels, covering general cell structure and function, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. (This class has a strictly enforced registration restriction with preference given to declared Health and Human Performance majors; this course is an elective for Biology majors.) (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 105 or the equivalent or 120.

235 General Microbiology

The morphology, taxonomy, ecology, and economic importance of representative microorganisms, with emphasis on bacteria. Human health issues such as sexually transmitted diseases and food safety, and plant health issues will be covered. Microbiological aspects of water and soil will also be examined. Emphasis in the laboratory will be placed on proper application of microbiological techniques. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: BIOL 120 and 125 or permission.

240 Algae and Fungi

Morphology, physiology, and ecology of these organisms will be emphasized including field trips to study them in their natural habitats. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 120 and 125 or permission.

245 Special Topics

Study of a special topic in biology not regularly offered. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 120 and 125.

260 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Structure and function of the human body at the cell and organ system levels, covering the endocrine, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, and reproductive systems. (1) (May be used as one of the two upper-level biology electives for the B.S. degree - see Biology core areas section.)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 230

265 The Plant Kingdom

The evolutionary relationships, life histories, and field studies of mosses, ferns, and vascular plants. Field trips to identify and study local spring wildflowers during the second half of the course. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 120 and 125 or permission.

270 Invertebrate Biology

A study of the invertebrate animals including phylogenetic relationships among the taxa and focusing on the physiology, embryology, ecology, and behavior of representative forms. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 120 and 125 or permission.

275 Vertebrate Biology

Identification, morphology, phylogeny, zoogeography, ecological physiology, and behavior of vertebrates. (1)
Lecture 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 120 and 125 or permission.

280 Animal Biology

A study of the Kingdom Animalia, focusing on phylogeny, taxonomy and structure/function of representative animal types. (1)
Lecture: 3hrs/wk; Laboratory: 3hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 120 & 125 or permission.

300 Aquatic Ecology

Synthesis of biological, chemical, and physical factors and processes in streams and lakes. Field work and laboratory analyses of samples collected. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: One 200-level Biology course.

305 Principles of Physiology

A study of physiological principles in animals. Particular emphasis will be placed on a consideration of how function at the cellular level is integrated through the organ system levels in a variety of vertebrate animal types, with mammals serving as an important example. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Lab: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: BIOL 210.

315 Genetics

A study of the principles of Mendelian, population, and molecular genetics. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk; Laboratory 3hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: One 200-level Biology course and Chemistry 112.

330 Community Ecology

An exploration of the causes of biological diversity in communities and how diversity and species interactions produce emergent properties that form ecosystem functions. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Lab: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 125 and one 200-level BIOL course.

340 Animal Behavior

The behavior of representative animals with emphasis on the evolution, adaptive significance, and causation of behavior patterns. The laboratory will emphasize the study of animals in their natural habitats. (Occasionally, early morning or afternoon Saturday field trips will be required.) (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 125 and one 200-level Biology course.

345 Special Topics in Biology

Study of a special topic in biology not regularly offered. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Department permission.

346 Special Topics in Biology

A study of a special topic in biology not regularly offered. This course has a required laboratory component. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk; Laboratory: 3hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Department permission.

350 Student Research

Problems chosen and carried out under the direction of a member of the departmental staff. (1)
Prerequisite: Permission.
Open to majors and minors with permission of the Department.

355 Student Research

Problems chosen and carried out under the direction of a member of the departmental staff. (1/2)
Prerequisite: Permission.
Open to majors and minors with permission of the Department.

365 Plant Anatomy and Physiology

Cellular, tissue, and organ anatomy of conifers and flowering plants will be studied in detail leading to advanced work in tissue culture, hormonal and light influenced growth responses. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 210 or 215.

370 Immunology

An overview of the field of immunology, from the molecular to organ levels. The relationships among the immune system, health, and disease will be explored. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: BIOL 210

380 Advanced Genetics

A study of the eukaryotic genome with particular reference to chromosome structure and function. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 315.

390 Advanced Cell Biology

The genetics, biochemistry and physiology of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells at the molecular level. Topics include control of gene expression, protein synthesis, signal transduction and membrane physiology. The laboratory makes extensive use of current techniques in cellular and molecular biology, and places emphasis on student-designed experiments. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 210 and Chemistry 221.

400 Molecular Biology

A detailed analysis of information flow from DNA to RNA to protein, with emphasis on both prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene regulation. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Biology 315.

410 Genomics

A study of the field of genomics, including structural, functional and comparative genomics. Microbial, eukaryotic and human genome projects will be covered. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 315.

415 Evolution

A study of the mechanisms that give rise to biological diversity, from the molecular to the ecological. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: BIOL 315.

420 Developmental Biology

An examination of embryonic development at the molecular and cellular levels. Topics will include genetic control of developmental processes, cell-cell signaling, and the molecular basis of differentiation and pattern formation. Examples from vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant systems will be used. (1)
Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.; Laboratory: 3 hrs/wk.
Prerequisite: Biology 210.

450 Internship

Work experience in a field of professional biology under the guidance of a member of the biology faculty. (May not be counted as one of the required courses for the Biology major.) (1)
Prerequisite: One 200-level Biology course and permission.

455 Seminar

A semester-long inquiry into a specialized topic in one of six general areas: Cell Biology, Genetics, Animal Biology, Plant Biology, Evolution, or Ecology. Using the primary literature principally, students will summarize the current knowledge in an area through both oral, poster, and written presentations. Special emphasis will be placed on analysis of the application of specific techniques and methodologies in contemporary biological investigations. (1/2)
Lecture: 11/2 hrs/wk.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing.

460 Senior Research

Problems chosen and carried out under the direction of a member of the departmental faculty. (Open to BS majors with permission of the Department; must be followed by Biology 470, Senior Thesis.) (1)
Prerequisites: Senior Standing.

470 Senior Thesis

Preparation of a written summary of a senior research project carried out under the supervision of a Department faculty member. An oral presentation will be required. (1)
Prerequisite: Senior Standing.

495, 496, 497 Honors Project

A program of independent study culminating in a paper, artistic creation, or performance. Prerequisite: To qualify for consideration to receive honors in the major, a student, in his/her senior year or in the Summer prior to the senior year, must work under the guidance of his/her committee. A written proposal and application must be approved by the committee and department. A minimum GPA of 3.4 in the major is required. 495 Honors Project is prerequisite for 497 Honors Project. (1/2, 1, 1/2)
Prerequisite: Senior Standing.