Courses

The biology program offers an integrated approach to the study of living systems from molecules to ecosystems. Unifying themes are evolution, relationships between form and function, unity and diversity of life, the cycling of matter and the flow of energy. Supporting pedagogy promotes critical thinking, encourages scientific inquiry, fosters quantitative reasoning and cultivates clear and persuasive oral and written communication. Students are encouraged to achieve an integrated and comparative understanding of common themes and connections among the natural and physical sciences. 

BIO-100   TOPICS IN INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY    (4)                                     
An introduction to the science of biology intended for those who do not plan to elect upper-division courses or postgraduate work in biology. Topics may include genetics, evolution, environmental biology, disease, diversity, behavior, health, biotechnology, microbiology, reproduction and development. Human applications will be included where appropriate.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Not open to students who have taken BIO-110 or 111
May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the biology major

BIO-108   ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY         (4)                                              
An introduction to human effects on interactions among organisms and the environment.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the biology major

BIO-110   INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY I       (4)                                                   
An integrated study of biological form and function as they relate to ecology, evolution and genetics. Inquiry-based approaches to problem solving in science.
3 LEC, 1 LAB

BIO-111   INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY II       (4)                                                  
An integrated study of biological form and function using one or more current problems such as addiction and cancer as a central theme. Molecular, cellular and organismal biology and the relationship of biological issues to science and society.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110

BIO-150   CONCEPTS IN BIOLOGY       (4)                                                     
Introduction to concepts and principles of biology and biological thought. Topics alternate depending on instructor’s area of specialization. May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the major

BIO-195   TUTORIAL IN BIOLOGY        (2)                                                    
Partial course to accommodate transfer, advanced-placement or joint-enrollment students. Appropriate placement based on a student’s background and needs. May be repeated for credit to fulfill prerequisites for advanced courses in the department.
Prerequisite: Permission of the chair

BIO-201   MICROBIOLOGY             (4)                                                          
Cell biology, metabolism, genetics and phylogeny of bacteria and archaea. Introduction to eukaryotic microbes and viruses. Principles of pathogenesis, immunology and environmental microbiology. Applications in biotechnology, medicine and industry. Individual laboratory project and use of representative literature in the discipline.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and BIO-111

BIO-215   MARINE BIOLOGY              (4)                                                       
Ecological approach to the study of marine organisms as exemplified in temperate, semitropical and tropical environments. A three-week field course in the summer, with the academic work completed in the fall; dates to be determined. Limited to 14 students.
Prerequisite: One biology course and the instructor’s permission

BIO-216   MOLECULAR BIOLOGY          (4)                                                    
Genes and their activities at the molecular level in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mechanisms of gene expression and regulation in health and disease. Advanced topics in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Emphasis on experimental strategies and data analysis.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and BIO-111

BIO-220   GENETICS            (4)                                                                   
Structure, function, regulation and transmission of hereditary materials in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and BIO-111

BIO-222   HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I/LAB           (4)                     
Covers the basics of human anatomy and physiology including anatomical terminology, cells and tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and BIO-111

BIO-223   HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I/LAB          (4)                      
Covers the basics of human anatomy and physiology including the lymphatic/immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems and introduces common human disease processes.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-222

BIO-230   EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY              (4)                                           
Processes and patterns of adaptation and speciation. Population genetics and population biology as they relate to evolutionary biology.
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and 111

BIO-240   VERTEBRATE BIOLOGY           (4)                                                  
Morphology of the vertebrate body and evolution of vertebrate groups. Comparative anatomy and histology. Includes dissection of selected animals.
3 LEC, 1 LAB

BIO-250   FOUNDATIONS OF NEUROBIOLOGY          (4)                                  
Structure and function of neurons. Electrical properties of membranes. Synaptic transmission and modulation. Sensory transduction, muscular and endocrine function.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and 111; Students may take BIO-250 or BIO-251 first and each course is independent of the other
(Cross-listed with PSY-250)

BIO-251   FOUNDATIONS OF NEURAL SYSTEMS AND CIRCUITS        (4)          
This course focuses on the function and properties of neural circuits and systems. This includes the development of the CNS, brain anatomy, sensory systems, perceptual processes and cognition. Laboratories provide an introduction to neuro-anatomy, sensory system structure and function, CNS regulatory and behavioral/cognitive function using microscopy, computer software systems and EEG recordings.                                                                                
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: PSY-101 or BIO-110
(Cross-listed with PSY-251)

BIO-260   BIOINFORMATICS                  (4)                                                  
An introduction to the theory and practice of bioinformatics and computational biology. Laboratory includes original research of new genomes, including sequence annotation and sequence improvement. Topics include: the analysis of genome sequences, comparative genomics, gene expression arrays, and proteomics.
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and 111; a math course MAT-115 or higher              

BIO-270   INVERTEBRATE BIOLOGY         (4)                                                 
Comparative anatomy, functional morphology, systematics and evolution of major and minor invertebrate phyla to achieve an understanding of unity, diversity and evolution in these animals. Laboratory includes some fieldwork.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and 111

BIO-280   BIOCHEMISTRY I           (4)                                                           
Fundamentals of biochemistry, including structure and function of biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, catabolic and anabolic pathways, signal transduction and regulation of biochemical processes. Fundamental biochemical laboratory techniques including spectroscopy, enzymology, chromatographic separations, and electrophoresis.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: CHE-240 and CHE-240L; For biology majors only: BIO-110 and 111
(Cross-listed with CHE-280)

BIO-285   ANIMAL BEHAVIOR              (4)                                                    
Development, ecology and causation of animal behavior. Emphasis on comparative analysis of mechanisms underlying the production of species-specific behavior.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110 and 111 (new BIO-111 or PSY-101)
(Cross-listed with PSY-285)

BIO-296   TOPICS IN NEUROSCIENCE        (4)                                               
New technologies emerging from neuroscience such as designer drugs, MRI use as lie-detector, and gene therapy for neural disorders. Examination of the basic science behind these and other technologies as well as important social, political and ethical implications. May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the biology major. May be used as elective credit in the psychology major.
Prerequisite: BIO-110 or PSY-101 or PSY-102
(Cross-listed with PSY-296)

BIO-305   ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY             (4)                                                  
Comparative study of respiration, circulation, sensory and neural integration, locomotion, metabolism and temperature and water regulation in animals. Balanced emphasis on lower vertebrates, invertebrates and human systems. Selected topics studied in depth in the laboratory.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course

BIO-308   ECOLOGY              (4)                                                                  
Interactions of organisms with their abiotic and biotic environments. Study of species, populations, communities and ecosystems from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Laboratory and field studies, environmental analysis.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course (for biology majors) or BIO-108 (for environmental and sustainability studies)

BIO-309   CELLS AND TISSUES              (4)                                                  
Structure and function of eukaryotic cells as entities and as components of tissues. Laboratory to include the study of cell and tissue types using standard and advanced microscopic methods and microtechnique.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course

BIO-317   IMMUNOLOGY              (4)                                                            
Study of mammalian immune system at cellular and molecular level. Topics include: recognition of antigen, development of lymphocyte repertoire, innate and adaptive immune responses and immune disorders such as autoimmunity and immunodeficiency.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course; BIO-216 or 220 recommended

BIO-318   DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY          (4)                                             
Morphological patterns and developmental mechanisms in the ontogeny of animals. The role of development in the evolution of animal forms. Emphasis on classical vertebrate and invertebrate models.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course

BIO-325   NEUROPHARMACOLOGY             (4)                                               
Influence of drugs on neurons, synapses and circuits will be examined with a focus on mechanisms of drug interaction with neurotransmitter signaling. Topics will range from drugs that affect mood and behavior, to anaesthetics, sedatives, anticonvulsants, narcotics, analgesics and recreational drugs.
Prerequisite: BIO 110 and 111, and one 200-level BIO course; CHE-150 recommended
(Cross-listed with PSY-325)

BIO-330   DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM             (4)                           
This class examines the cell types that make up the human brain and how the cells function properly to make us who we are. We will examine the sub-cellular nature of different diseases to understand how brain cells function.
3 LEC, 1 LAB
Prerequisite: BIO-110, BIO-111, and one 200-level BIO course; BIO-216 or 220 recommended
Contributes to the Neuroscience major

BIO-380   RESEARCH IN BIOLOGY            (2)                                                 2
Lab or field research conducted with a biology faculty member. Permission of instructor is required. Projects may be in conjunction with the professor's ongoing research or with a biology course. Advanced planning is essential and application must be approved before the beginning of course selection week. Open to biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and neuroscience majors only. May be repeated as appropriate; continuation research to the next semester is contingent on a minimum grade of C in BIO-380
Prerequisite: appropriate advanced courses as required by the instructor                  
One credit is equivalent to a minimum of three hours of work per week
May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the major

BIO-410   DIRECTED READING         (1-4)                                                        
Directed reading courses are open to qualified juniors and seniors to pursue reading outside a program's listed courses. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

BIO-440   DIRECTED RESEARCH      (1-4)                                                        
Directed research courses are open to junior and senior majors to work with a faculty member on a project related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

BIO-450   INTERNSHIP                    (1-4)                                                        
Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

BIO-490   SENIOR THESIS                (4)                                                       
A senior thesis gives superior students the opportunity to write a thesis about a project related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

BIO-491 – 496 SEMINAR AND RESEARCH        (2)                                         
Integrative experience for junior or senior biology, neuroscience or biochemistry and molecular biology majors. Connects knowledge and skills with current topics in biology. May involve literature study and analysis, a research internship and/or laboratory research. Conducted under the guidance of a biology faculty member.

BIO-491   SEMINAR IN ECOLOGY                   (2)                                           
Prerequisite: BIO-308, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor

BIO-492   SEMINAR IN NEUROBIOLOGY          (2)                                          
Prerequisite: BIO-250 or BIO-305, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor

BIO-493   SEMINAR IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY  (2)                                         
Prerequisite: BIO-216, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor

BIO-494   SEMINAR IN MICROBIOLOGY             (2)                                        
Prerequisite: BIO-201, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor

BIO-495   SEMINAR IN EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS    (2)                                 
Prerequisite: BIO-230, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor

BIO-496   SEMINAR IN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY    (2)                                
Prerequisite: BIO-318, junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor