Biology

Courses

Introductory courses in the Biology Department can serve either as prerequisites for further study for the biology major/minor or satisfy the Life Science component of The Natural World in the Perspectives on Knowledge area of the General Education Requirements.

Non-introductory courses are designed for students seeking more in-depth information on cellular and molecular, organismal, and population biology and for students with specific vocational aims. The department also offers several non-majors courses as part of the Perspectives on Knowledge curriculum.

See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information

NOTE: Successful completion of any two of the following mini-courses (half semester, 7-week courses) will yield credit for the Area Two: Division of Natural Sciences experimental laboratory course requirement - BIO50-102, 112, 122, 162, 222, 232. 

  • 50-121 Investigation Into Living Systems
    This laboratory course will provide students an opportunity to participate in the process of science as it relates to living systems through a semester long project. Contributes to Environmental Studies. To be taken concurrently with BIO50-123. (NSL).
  • 50-123 Living Systems
    This course will introduce students to fundamental cell and biodiversity concepts, such as, cell structure and function, cellular bioenergetics, the diversity of life and how different organisms interact with the environment and with each other. This course is required for students majoring in Biology. Not intended for students solely seeking to fulfill general education requirements. Contributes to Environmental Studies. To be taken concurrently with BIO50-121. (NS).
  • 50-124 Explorations in Biology
    The course approach will combine inquiry-based learning with content delivery and an integration of laboratory skills. Explorations in Biology provides a natural science course designed for students who do not intend to major in Biology. The content of this course will vary according to the specialization of the instructor but will emphasize contemporary topics in the field of biology. Together, this course helps promote observation, experimentation and analytical skills. (NS)
  • 50-131 Investigation in Genetics
    This laboratory course will provide students an opportunity to participate in the process of science as it relates to molecular and population genetics through a semester long project. To be taken concurrently with BIO50-133. (NSL)
  • 50-133 Molecular & Population Genetics
    This course will introduce students to fundamental molecular and population genetics concepts, such as, molecular basis of inheritance and gene expression, Mendelian genetics and microevolutionary processes. This course is required for students majoring in Biology. Not intended for students solely seeking to fulfill general education requirements. To be taken concurrently with BIO50-131. (NS)
  • 50-184 Forensic Biology (2-2)
    A natural science lecture/laboratory course designed for students who do not intend to major in Biology. This course focuses on a variety of biological techniques and theories used in examining evidence from a crime scene. The laboratory component will involve molecular biology techniques in DNA analysis, blood typing and blood spatter analysis, anatomy including the bones of the body, and microscopy of hair, fibers and fingerprints. (NSL)
  • 50-194 Science of Chocolate
    This course explores the biology and chemistry of Theobroma cacao, the plant from which people make chocolate. Topics in the course will include pollination ecology, genetics, antioxidants and health and climate change. In addition, production versus consumption of chocolate will discussed in light of economics and social justice issues including child slavery, indigenous communities and agricultural goods. Class activities will include a combination of inquiry-based projects, class discussion and quantitative reasoning. (SJ) (NS)
  • 50-222 Methods in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (3-3; Half Semester)
    This lecture/laboratory course is a foundation-building course that contains instruction on reading the primary literature in ecology and evolutionary biology, conducting literature searches, designing experiments, writing scientific papers, using quantitative methods, exercising critical thinking skills for data analyses, creating graphs, and developing specific laboratory and field research skills for ecology and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121 and 50-133/131 and Mathematics 52-114. (Fall and Spring) (NSL) (WA)
  • 50-232 Methods in Cellular/Molecular Biology (3-3; Half-Semester)
    This lecture/laboratory course is a foundation-building course that contains instruction on reading the primary literature in cellular/molecular biology, conducting literature searches, designing experiments, writing scientific papers, using quantitative methods, exercising critical thinking skills for data analyses, creating graphs and developing specific laboratory skills for cellular/molecular biology. Prerequisites: Biology50-123/121 and 50-133/131. (Fall and Spring) (NSL) (WA)
  • 50-254 Anatomy and Physiology I
    This course does not count towards the Biology major in the BA or BS degrees but could be taken as an elective. It is required for all students pursuing a degree in Kinesiology, but may be taken by students seeking to fulfill general education requirements. This is the first of a two course sequence in the study of human anatomy and physiology. (NSL)
  • 50-264 Anatomy and Physiology II
    See Kinesiology 48-264. This course does not count towards the Biology major in the BA or BS degrees but could be taken as an elective. It is required for students pursuing a B.S. degree in Kinesiology. It is not intended for students solely seeking to fulfill general education requirements. Prerequisite: Kinesiology 48-254 or Biology 50-254. (NSL).
  • 50-314 Genetics
    An introduction to the study of genetics, including the principles of heredity, structure and variation of chromosomes, the molecular nature of genetic information, DNA replication, transcription, translation, control of gene expression, genomics, quantitative genetics and population genetics. The course includes discussion of current findings of genetic research. Laboratory exercises emphasize hypothesis testing and the analysis of genetic crosses, along with techniques and concepts of genetics. Prerequisites: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131 and Biology 50-222 or 50-232 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) (NSL)
  • 50-324 Behavioral Neuroscience
    See Psychology 33-534. Prerequisite: Psychology 33-204 or Psychology 33-214 or Biology 50-222/232 and Biology 50-123/121, or permission of instructor. (Spring)
  • 50-334 Evolutionary Biology
    An exploration of the possible mechanisms of evolution. Topics to be discussed include natural selection, punctuated evolution, population genetics, adaptation, units of selection, speciation, evolutionary biogeography and macroevolution. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131 and Biology 50-222 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) (NS)
  • 50-354 Neurobiology
    The anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology of nervous systems are studied; the human nervous system is emphasized. Half of the course is cellular neurobiology and half is organismal neurobiology. Specific topics include resting potentials, action potentials, synapses, neurotransmitters, sensory and motor processing, nerve regeneration, vision, audition, development and memory/learning. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121 and 133/131and Biology 50-232 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204. (NS)
  • 50-364 Comparative Vertebrate Morphology
    After a brief consideration of the lower chordates, this course deals with the functional anatomy of the vertebrates. Although there is some study of vertebrates in natural environments, primary emphasis is on laboratory dissections of preserved specimens. Prerequisite: Biology 50-222. (NSL)
  • 50-374 Human Genetics and Evolution
    An exploration of major themes and case studies in human variation and human evolution, including polygenic traits, gene by environment interaction, molecular evidence of natural selection, epigenetics, and variation in life history traits. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131, and Biology 50-222 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204.. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) (NS)
  • 50-384 Conservation Biology
    A survey of the field of conservation biology through global and local conservation case studies, including threats to biodiversity, solutions to conservation problems and protection of endangered species. Contributes to Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, Biology 50-133/131 and Biology 50-222. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) (NS).
  • 50-404 Cancer Biology (3-4)
    An interdisciplinary approach to the study of human cancer, including in-depth analysis of the variety of molecular mechanisms that contribute to cancer development and progression, examination of how biomedical research findings are translated into clinical practice and issues related to patient care. Prerequisite: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-314/311. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NS)
  • 50-424 Organ Physiology (3-3)
    Processes/functions of organ systems: nervous, muscular, cardiac, circulatory, respiratory, renal, digestive and endocrine. Human physiology is emphasized. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131, and Biology 50-232 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204, and Chemistry 51-314/311, or permission of instructor. (NSL)
  • 50-434 Ecology (3-3)
    This class explores the interactions of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environment. In particular, the course looks at the influence of nutrients, climate, competition, predation and symbiotic relationships on individuals, populations and communities. This course includes a mandatory weekend field trip. Contributes to Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131, and Biology 50-222 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) (NSL)
  • 50-444 Invertebrate Ecology (3-3)
    This class explores the amazing diversity found across marine, terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The lecture component involves taxonomic descriptors of different groups, but more specifically focuses on the ecology of these organisms through critical reading of the primary literature. Through the semester, the course confronts topics that impact many invertebrates, such as exotic species, habitat degradation, chemical communication, predator-prey interactions and competition. In weekly lab sessions, special emphasis is placed on conducting experiments, learning to identify organisms, and investigating the role of aquatic insects in ponds and streams through field work. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121, 50-133/131 and Biology 50-222 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204. Biology 50-434 is recommended but not required. (NSL)
  • 50-454 Tissue Mechanics
    See Kinesiology 48-754. (NS)
  • 50-464 Molecular Biology
    This course focuses on the molecular aspects of genetic systems in prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses. Topics include: molecular methods and their applications, cell cycle control, gene expression, regulation of gene expression, gene arrangement, DNA mutagenesis and repair, mobile genetic elements and viral replication. Laboratory includes independent projects using molecular biology techniques. Prerequisites: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-314/311. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NSL)
  • 50-474 Genetics, Genomics, and Medicine
    An exploration of human phenotype, including Mendelian, polygenic and environmental influences, using approaches ranging from family studies and evolutionary medicine to population genomics. The lab will focus on bioinformational resources in genetics, genomics, and medicine. Prerequisite: Biology 50-123/121 and 133/131, and Biology 50-222 or Kinesiology 48-314 or Psychology 33-204 (NSL)
  • 50-484 Microbiology (3-3)
    An introduction to the study of microbes. This course is not strictly a bacteriology course as some attention is given to fungi and viruses. This course includes microbial cell structure and function, growth, metabolism and genetics. Microbial diversity is a recurring theme throughout the course. The course includes a weekly laboratory session. Prerequisites: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-314/311, or permission of instructor. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NSL)
  • 50-494 Biology of Reproduction
    This course takes a comprehensive look at the process of reproduction by examining the role of hormones, developmental and genetic sex, the process of puberty, and the production of offspring. Emphasis is given to human reproduction, although other species are studied to assist in the understanding of reproduction. Prerequisites: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-314/311. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NS)
  • 50-514 Cellular Physiology (3-3)
    The general functions of eukaryotic cells are studied primarily in animal cells. Topics include transcription, translation, protein functions, cell motility, secretion and endocytosis, cell signaling and cell cycling. Laboratory experiments teach techniques and concepts of cellular physiology. Prerequisites: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-324/321. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NSL)
  • 50-524 Endocrinology (3-3)
    This course undertakes a detailed exposure to the structure and function of the endocrine system. The course emphasizes the biosynthesis, mechanism of action and homeostatic function of hormones. Topics demonstrate the chemical and physiological principles of hormonal integration with emphasis on humans. Prerequisite: Biology 50-232 and either Chemistry 51-324/321 or 51-324/331. Chemistry 51-604 is recommended but not required; or permission of the instructor. (NSL)
  • 50-534 Fundamentals of Immunology (3-0)
    An introduction to the immune system as studied in mammals. Emphasis is placed on acquired immunity, specifically as it pertains to the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. This course deals with the cellular and biochemical mechanisms involved in the education and regulation of both the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Prerequisites: Biology 50-232 and Chemistry 51-314/311. Chemistry 51-604 is recommended but not required; or permission of instructor. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) (NS)
  • 50-971 Research in Biology.
    Students must make arrangements with a faculty member in the Biology Department prior to enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and a completed course description report. May be repeated with changed content. Also Animal Behavior 09-971, 09-972, 09-973, 09-974.
  • 50-972 Research in Biology.
    Students must make arrangements with a faculty member in the Biology Department prior to enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and a completed course description report. May be repeated with changed content. Also Animal Behavior 09-971, 09-972, 09-973, 09-974.
  • 50-973 Research in Biology
    Students must make arrangements with a faculty member in the Biology Department prior to enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and a completed course description report. May be repeated with changed content. Also Animal Behavior 09-971, 09-972, 09-973, 09-974.
  • 50-974 Research in Biology
    Students must make arrangements with a faculty member in the Biology Department prior to enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and a completed course description report. May be repeated with changed content. Also Animal Behavior 09-971, 09-972, 09-973, 09-974.
  • 50-991 Biology Capstone Seminar
    Topics vary by interest, but biology students will expand their knowledge of the scientific literature and present their work to their peers. Biology majors that have pursued at least three hours of credit in Research in Biology (BIO50-973) will have the opportunity to synthesize and present their work in an integrated one credit hour version of the seminar. Biology majors that have not pursued three hours of credit in Research in Biology (BIO50-973) will take the four-hour version of the seminar. Accordingly, the Biology Capstone may involve group and/or individual research projects. The seminar will also provide time and preparation for all students to take the Biology Major Field Test (MFT). Pre-requisite: Senior Standing.
  • 50-994 Biology Capstone Seminar
    Topics vary by interest, but biology students will expand their knowledge of the scientific literature and present their work to their peers. Biology majors that have pursued at least three hours of credit in Research in Biology (BIO50-973) will have the opportunity to synthesize and present their work in an integrated one credit hour version of the seminar. Biology majors that have not pursued three hours of credit in Research in Biology (BIO50-973) will take the four-hour version of the seminar. Accordingly, the Biology Capstone may involve group and/or individual research projects. The seminar will also provide time and preparation for all students to take the Biology Major Field Test (MFT). Pre-requisite: Senior Standing.