Biology Major Requirements

2014 - 2015 Catalog

The Biology department has the following degrees:

Biology major leading to BA degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree consists of 37 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 27 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 340 or 340S; CHEM 110
  2. Quantitative Biology: Choose two courses from: BIOL 301; CSCI 102, 121; INTR 202; MATH 101, 102; PSYC 250

    Intermediate-level
    courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  3. Molecules and Cells: One course from BIOL 211* or 211S*, 215* or 215S*, 220, 223, 280*, 285* and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  4. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 210, 216*, 217*, 231*, 240* or 240S*, 241*, 242*, 243*, 245*, 270S*, ENV 212 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225*, 250, 255, 260* or 260S*, 265*, 267 (ENGN 267), 282, 283 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least two of the following:
    BIOL 301, 310*, 321*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 396, 397, 398
  7. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology

Research in Biology: BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology

      FDR: SL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 113.

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory

      FDR: SL: see note in BIOL 111
      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, Head of the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 111.

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

    • BIOL 340 - Evolution

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.

    • or
    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews *

      Credits: 6
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 6


      Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology.

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      NOTE: Instructor Consent required for upper-division students ONLY. Contact Lisa Alty for Instructor Consent.

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory. While no previous knowledge of chemistry is required, some background is advantageous. Laboratory course.

  2. Quantitative Biology
  3.  Two courses from the following:

    • BIOL 301 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

    • CSCI 102 - Introduction to Computational Modeling

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 4
      Credits: 4


      This course provides a hands-on understanding of the computational methods that support science and technology now and that will be essential for success in the science, engineering, and business worlds of the near future. The central theme of the course is building computational models of the processes that surround us every day, from the effects of drugs on the body to the formation of galaxies in the universe to the interactions of nations in the global economy. Classroom lectures and textbook readings are supplemented with lab exercises implementing the models using state-of-the-art software tools.

    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.

    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: INTR 201.

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

    • MATH 101 - Calculus I

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Note: Students needing this course to fulfill an FDR requirement should add to a waiting list when open; additional sections may be added.

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem.

      Fall 2014 descriptions:

      MATH 101: Calculus I (3). This section assumes that students have already seen some calculus, yet want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Students who have never seen calculus should instead take 101B (note that 101, 101B, and 101E all lead into Math 102). An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. The class meets four days a week. (FM) Dymàcek, Keller, Staff.  
       
      MATH 101B: Calculus I for Beginners: A First Course (3). This class is restricted to and specially tailored for those who are beginning their study of calculus. Students who have already taken calculus cannot take this section. Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for 101 or 101E instead of 101B. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. This section meets four days per week. (FM) Staff.

      MATH 101E: Calculus I with Biology Applications (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Corequisite: BIOL 111 or CHEM 110. This section has a strong emphasis on biological applications, and is intended to benefit students interested in biological majors and health-related careers. It is designed and specially tailored for First-Years who took high school biology and who are taking a college lab science course concurrently. It is intended both for those students who have never had calculus before and also for those who have seen some calculus yet want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Mathematical concepts include the study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. This section meets four days per week. Toporikova.

    • MATH 102 - Calculus II

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: The equivalent of MATH 101 with C grade or better. Note: Students wanting to take this course should add to the waiting list when open; additional sections may be added.

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.

    • PSYC 250 - Research Design and Analysis

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: PSYC 120.

      Students learn about the design and analysis of psychological research, with particular emphasis on experimentation. Students learn statistical inference appropriate for hypothesis testing, and they use standard statistical packages to analyze data. Laboratory course.

  4. Intermediate-level courses
  5. Intermediate-Level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 211 - Cell Biology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: Bio 111 and 113.

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. The lab component reinforces the lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 211S - Cell Structure and Function at St. Andrews *

        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        This is an introductory module covering general aspects of animal cell structure and associated physiology. The module starts with a general overview of the regulation of the cell cycle, the roles of protein complexes essential to cell shape and adhesion and the homeostatic role of ion pumps, transporters and channels in the maintenance of solute compositions in both the intra- and extra-cellular fluid compartments. The module continues with detailed structure-function relationships within cells from three major tissues i) nerve cells and the mechanisms of generation and propagation of the action potential, ii) skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle cells and mechanisms controlling contraction and finally iii) blood cells and O2 transport, immune response, coagulation and cell signaling pathways. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry).

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews *

        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: CHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341.

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 220 - Genetics

        FDR: SL: BIOL 221 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113, and sophomore or junior standing.

        A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.

      • BIOL 223 - Virology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall or Winter of 2012-2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: BIOL 211 or 220.

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.

      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2014 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent.

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.

      • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 220.

        Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

    • Ecology and Evolution

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 210 - Human Parasitology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A survey of the phenomenon of animal parasitism, including discussion of the chief distinguishing structures, life cycles, and functions of major pathogenic parasites infecting humans and other animals.

      • BIOL 216 - Tropical Ecology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113, instructor consent, and approval of the International Education Committee.

        Course participants visit sites of biological interest in the neotropics. The specific sites vary from year to year, but may include rain forest, high altitude forest, and/or the Galapagos Islands. Students gain firsthand experience with plant and animal communities that have distinctive scientific and historical importance, while learning about ecological and evolutionary processes responsible for patterns of biological diversity in the tropics. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent.

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.

      • BIOL 231 - Field Entomology *

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A study of the diversity, classification and ecology of insects. This course consists primarily of fieldwork in Virginia (first four weeks) and Central America (last two weeks). Students become familiar with the major insect groups, make a synoptic collection, and compare diversity between temperate Virginia and tropical Central America. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 240 - Zoology *

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews *

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: Instructor consent and either BIOL 111 or ENV 110

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species. Students should be prepared for hiking off-trail, wading in swamps, and catching live animals.

      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 245 - Ecology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 270S - Comparative Biology at St. Andrews *

        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        An examination of the comparative biology of animals and plants, focusing on the problems encountered by organisms in different habitats and with different lifestyles, and of the different structural, physiological and ecological solutions they have evolved. An analysis of fundamental design differences between plants and animals, between organisms of different sizes and biophysical effects of scaling, and between the stresses of aquatic and terrestrial lifestyles. Integration of ecology, physiology and behavior is a major theme. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • ENV 212 - Land Use and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Watershed

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: ENV 110 or instructor consent.

        This field-based course examines Chesapeake aquatic ecosystems from the headwaters through the estuary and how they are affected by human land use. Emphasis is placed on current research and management practices aimed at restoring degraded habitats and promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in coastal watersheds.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

    • Structure and Function

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter 2011 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A study of the chemoregulatory mechanisms of the vertebrates; emphasis is on biochemical and cellular, as well as physiological aspects of hormone action.

      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.

      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 and instructor consent.

        An introduction to the structure, function, and homeostasis of the major organ systems of humans. Laboratory exercises include basic histology, dissection of the cat with comparisons to human anatomy, and physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and urinary systems. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 260S - Human Systems Physiology at St. Andrews *

        Credits: 6
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        An introduction to the control and regulation of important physiological processes in humans. Emphasis is placed on how the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems are interrelated and how this integration of function is required for human survival. Changes associated with disease are discussed in the context of control systems that no longer operate as intended. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 265 - Integrative Science Topic *

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or PHYS 112.

        This course integrates biology, physics, engineering and mathematical modeling through the study of the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular disease. A variety of cardiovascular disease states are used to reinforce basic mechanical and electrical principles of cardiovascular physiology. Treatments using these physiological and/or engineering principles are also considered, such as cardiovascular drugs and drug delivery systems, heart and blood vessel transplantation, defibrillators and heart monitors, etc. Laboratories provide an opportunity to investigate fluid dynamics, cardiovascular monitoring using physiological transducers, computer heart/vessel modeling software, diagnostic imaging (ultrasound/MRI), etc. Speakers and site visits highlight cardiovascular medicine (clinical and/or veterinary), epidemiology, FDA medical device approval and testing, vascular stent design, etc., to provide a wider relevance to our discussions. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design (ENGN 267)

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: PHYS-112 or instructor consent.

        Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.

      • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: MATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent.

        This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials.

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

  6. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought.
  7.  Students must take at least two of the following:

    • BIOL 301 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: ONE of the following: BIOL 220 plus CHEM 241, or BIOL 215, or CHEM 341.

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 321 - Advanced Genetics Laboratory *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and 221.

      A research-based practicum on the acquisition and analysis of DNA sequence data. Students pursue lab-based independent projects to gain proficiency in DNA sequencing, and practice analyzing and comparing the DNA sequence data obtained. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.

    • BIOL 323 - Research Questions in Genomes *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      Genomics is a rapidly growing field that integrates and expands on diverse subjects such as evolution, molecular biology, and computer science. Genomics has increased our understanding of human health and evolution and had a direct impact on the advancement of medicine. This course provides students the opportunity to actively engage in genomics research projects, thus increasing their understanding of the research process and the significance of genomics tools. Students generate original sequence data and annotate genes and other features, leading to an independent analysis of a comparative genomics question, and contributing to research publications. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: MATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent.

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 350 - Immunology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: Senior standing and one course chosen from BIOL 215, BIOL 215S, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341.

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.

    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Offered when departmental resources permit
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: At least junior standing and BIOL 220.

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111, 113 and 220

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: At least junior standing and BIOL 220.

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 and at least junior standing.

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course

    • BIOL 395 - Selected Topics in Structural and Functional Biology

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include physiology, neurobiology, developmental biology and immunology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 396 - Selected Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology

      Credits: 3-4
      Credits: 3-4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include genetics, virology, cell biology and microbiology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

  8. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  9. Research in Biology
  10. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

Biology major leading to BS degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Science degree consists of at least 50 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 33 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 220; CHEM 110, 241 or 241S; MATH 101, 102; PHYS 111, 112, 113, and 114
  2. CSCI 102 or 121
  3. One course from BIOL 215 or 215S or CHEM 242. (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.
  4. Molecules and Cells: One additional course from BIOL 211 or 211S, 215 or 215S, 223, 280, 285, CHEM 341/343 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 210, 216, 217, 230, 231, 235, 240 or 240S, 241, 242, 243, 245, 246, ENV 212 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225, 250, 255, 260 or 260S, 265, 267 (ENGN 267), 280, 282, 283, and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  7. Advanced-level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *):
    BIOL 301, 310*, 320*, 321*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 340 or 340S, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 396, 397, 398
  8. Quantitative Biology: One course from BIOL 267, 282, 283, 285, 301, 325, 385 (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above)
  9. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  10. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.

Research in Biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology

      FDR: SL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 113.

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory

      FDR: SL: see note in BIOL 111
      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, Head of the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 111.

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

    • BIOL 220 - Genetics

      FDR: SL: BIOL 221 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113, and sophomore or junior standing.

      A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.

    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      NOTE: Instructor Consent required for upper-division students ONLY. Contact Lisa Alty for Instructor Consent.

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory. While no previous knowledge of chemistry is required, some background is advantageous. Laboratory course.

    • CHEM 241 - Organic Chemistry I

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Grade of C (2.0) or better in CHEM 110.

      A survey of the compounds of carbon including their structure, chemical and physical properties, reactivity, reaction mechanisms, identification, and synthesis. Laboratory focuses on the development of skills in preparing, purifying, and identifying organic compounds using spectroscopic methods. Laboratory course with fee.

    • or
    • CHEM 241S - Organic Chemistry I at St. Andrews

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: An average grade of 3.0 or better in CHEM 110, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average.

      A survey of the compounds of carbon including their structure, chemical and physical properties, reactivity, reaction mechanisms, identification, and synthesis. Laboratory focuses on the development of skills in preparing, purifying, and identifying organic compounds using spectroscopic methods. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L faculty member. Laboratory course.

    • MATH 101 - Calculus I

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Note: Students needing this course to fulfill an FDR requirement should add to a waiting list when open; additional sections may be added.

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem.

      Fall 2014 descriptions:

      MATH 101: Calculus I (3). This section assumes that students have already seen some calculus, yet want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Students who have never seen calculus should instead take 101B (note that 101, 101B, and 101E all lead into Math 102). An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. The class meets four days a week. (FM) Dymàcek, Keller, Staff.  
       
      MATH 101B: Calculus I for Beginners: A First Course (3). This class is restricted to and specially tailored for those who are beginning their study of calculus. Students who have already taken calculus cannot take this section. Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for 101 or 101E instead of 101B. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. This section meets four days per week. (FM) Staff.

      MATH 101E: Calculus I with Biology Applications (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Corequisite: BIOL 111 or CHEM 110. This section has a strong emphasis on biological applications, and is intended to benefit students interested in biological majors and health-related careers. It is designed and specially tailored for First-Years who took high school biology and who are taking a college lab science course concurrently. It is intended both for those students who have never had calculus before and also for those who have seen some calculus yet want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Mathematical concepts include the study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. This section meets four days per week. Toporikova.

    • MATH 102 - Calculus II

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: The equivalent of MATH 101 with C grade or better. Note: Students wanting to take this course should add to the waiting list when open; additional sections may be added.

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.

    • PHYS 111 - General Physics I

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 101 or equivalent.

      Corequisite: PHYS 113

      An introduction to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics include Newton's laws, wave motion, and the laws of thermodynamics. This course must be taken simultaneously with Physics 113.

    • PHYS 112 - General Physics II

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: PHYS 111.

      Corequisite: PHYS 114

      A continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, and quantum theory. This course must be taken simultaneously with PHYS 114.

    • PHYS 113 - General Physics Laboratory I

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 1


      Corequisite: PHYS 111. A laboratory course to accompany PHYS 111.

      Laboratory exercises in classical mechanics.

    • PHYS 114 - General Physics Laboratory II

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 1


      Corequisite: PHYS 112. A laboratory course to accompany PHYS 112.

      Laboratory exercises in electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

  2. Take either
    • CSCI 101 - Survey of Computer Science

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      An overview of the discipline of computer science achieved through an introductory-level survey of a number of major areas of computer science. Topics include algorithms used for computer solutions of important practical problems, computer programming, digital logic applied to computer circuitry, computer architecture, data representation and organization, Web page basics, computer networks, and theoretical limits of computation. Lectures and formal laboratories.

    • or
    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.

  3. Take one course from the following
  4.  (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry).

      A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews

      Credits: 6
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 6


      Prerequisites: CHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341.

      This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

    • CHEM 242 - Organic Chemistry II

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: CHEM 241 or 241S.

      A continuation of CHEM 241.  Laboratory course with fee.

  5. Intermediate-level courses
  6. Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One additional course from the following:

      • BIOL 211 - Cell Biology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: Bio 111 and 113.

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. The lab component reinforces the lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 211S - Cell Structure and Function at St. Andrews

        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        This is an introductory module covering general aspects of animal cell structure and associated physiology. The module starts with a general overview of the regulation of the cell cycle, the roles of protein complexes essential to cell shape and adhesion and the homeostatic role of ion pumps, transporters and channels in the maintenance of solute compositions in both the intra- and extra-cellular fluid compartments. The module continues with detailed structure-function relationships within cells from three major tissues i) nerve cells and the mechanisms of generation and propagation of the action potential, ii) skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle cells and mechanisms controlling contraction and finally iii) blood cells and O2 transport, immune response, coagulation and cell signaling pathways. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry).

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews

        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: CHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341.

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 223 - Virology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall or Winter of 2012-2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: BIOL 211 or 220.

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.

      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2014 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent.

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.

      • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 220.

        Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.

      • CHEM 341 - Biochemistry I

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: CHEM 242.

        A study of the structure, function, biosynthesis and breakdown of biomolecules, including amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Enzymes, biological membranes and membrane transport, signal transduction, and regulation of metabolism are studied in greater detail.

      • CHEM 343 - Biochemistry I Laboratory

        Credits: 1
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 1


        Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 341.

        Experiments demonstrate the techniques used to study proteins and lipids. Isolation and characterization of proteins and lipids using gel electrophoresis, UV-Vis spectroscopy, chromatographic techniques including GC-MS, and the proper reporting and analysis of experimental data are included. Laboratory course with fee.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

    • Ecology and Evolution

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 210 - Human Parasitology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A survey of the phenomenon of animal parasitism, including discussion of the chief distinguishing structures, life cycles, and functions of major pathogenic parasites infecting humans and other animals.

      • BIOL 216 - Tropical Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113, instructor consent, and approval of the International Education Committee.

        Course participants visit sites of biological interest in the neotropics. The specific sites vary from year to year, but may include rain forest, high altitude forest, and/or the Galapagos Islands. Students gain firsthand experience with plant and animal communities that have distinctive scientific and historical importance, while learning about ecological and evolutionary processes responsible for patterns of biological diversity in the tropics. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent.

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.

      • BIOL 230 - Field Biogeography and Species Conservation

        FDR: SL
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent. Corequisite: English 294.

        This course emphasizes the patterns of diversity encountered during visits to different regional plant communities where we use professional floristic works to identify vascular plants. In addition, evolutionary and ecological explanations for patterns of distribution and extinction, and the lessons these teach for conservation, are explored. (SL) Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 231 - Field Entomology

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A study of the diversity, classification and ecology of insects. This course consists primarily of fieldwork in Virginia (first four weeks) and Central America (last two weeks). Students become familiar with the major insect groups, make a synoptic collection, and compare diversity between temperate Virginia and tropical Central America. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 235 - Plant Diversity

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and faculty resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An examination of the major groups of algae, fungi, bryophytes, and vascular plants of the world. In the laboratory, students will collect and study representatives of these groups from our local environment. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 240 - Zoology

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 6
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: Instructor consent and either BIOL 111 or ENV 110

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species. Students should be prepared for hiking off-trail, wading in swamps, and catching live animals.

      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 245 - Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 246 - Biological Diversity: Patterns and Processes

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest if expressed and faculty resources permit
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

        How are plants and animals distributed on Earth, and how do important biogeographical patterns reflect ecological and evolutionary processes? The answers to these questions are crucial to conservation efforts and to predicting changes in "biodiversity" during a time of unprecedented, rapid global environmental change.

      • ENV 212 - Land Use and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Watershed

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: ENV 110 or instructor consent.

        This field-based course examines Chesapeake aquatic ecosystems from the headwaters through the estuary and how they are affected by human land use. Emphasis is placed on current research and management practices aimed at restoring degraded habitats and promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in coastal watersheds.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

    • Structure and Function

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter 2011 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        A study of the chemoregulatory mechanisms of the vertebrates; emphasis is on biochemical and cellular, as well as physiological aspects of hormone action.

      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.

      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 and instructor consent.

        An introduction to the structure, function, and homeostasis of the major organ systems of humans. Laboratory exercises include basic histology, dissection of the cat with comparisons to human anatomy, and physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and urinary systems. Laboratory course.

      • or
      • BIOL 260S - Human Systems Physiology at St. Andrews

        Credits: 6
        Credits: 6


        Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average, and permission of the Department of Biology.

        An introduction to the control and regulation of important physiological processes in humans. Emphasis is placed on how the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems are interrelated and how this integration of function is required for human survival. Changes associated with disease are discussed in the context of control systems that no longer operate as intended. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 265 - Integrative Science Topic

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or PHYS 112.

        This course integrates biology, physics, engineering and mathematical modeling through the study of the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular disease. A variety of cardiovascular disease states are used to reinforce basic mechanical and electrical principles of cardiovascular physiology. Treatments using these physiological and/or engineering principles are also considered, such as cardiovascular drugs and drug delivery systems, heart and blood vessel transplantation, defibrillators and heart monitors, etc. Laboratories provide an opportunity to investigate fluid dynamics, cardiovascular monitoring using physiological transducers, computer heart/vessel modeling software, diagnostic imaging (ultrasound/MRI), etc. Speakers and site visits highlight cardiovascular medicine (clinical and/or veterinary), epidemiology, FDA medical device approval and testing, vascular stent design, etc., to provide a wider relevance to our discussions. Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: PHYS-112 or instructor consent.

        Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.

      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2014 and alternate years
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent.

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.

      • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: MATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent.

        This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.

      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials.

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.

      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring


        Prerequisites vary with topic.

        Topics vary with instructor and term.

  7. Advanced -level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought.
  8. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *).

    • BIOL 301 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: ONE of the following: BIOL 220 plus CHEM 241, or BIOL 215, or CHEM 341.

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 320 - Modern Genetic Analysis *

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and faculty resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

      An examination of DNA sequence-based information and its uses in molecular biology, medicine, and evolutionary studies. Includes technologies and approaches of sequencing, genome sequencing projects, analysis of sequence data, location of and identification of genes linked to disease, and using data to establish evolutionary histories of genes and species.

    • BIOL 321 - Advanced Genetics Laboratory *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and 221.

      A research-based practicum on the acquisition and analysis of DNA sequence data. Students pursue lab-based independent projects to gain proficiency in DNA sequencing, and practice analyzing and comparing the DNA sequence data obtained. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.

    • BIOL 323 - Research Questions in Genomes *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      Genomics is a rapidly growing field that integrates and expands on diverse subjects such as evolution, molecular biology, and computer science. Genomics has increased our understanding of human health and evolution and had a direct impact on the advancement of medicine. This course provides students the opportunity to actively engage in genomics research projects, thus increasing their understanding of the research process and the significance of genomics tools. Students generate original sequence data and annotate genes and other features, leading to an independent analysis of a comparative genomics question, and contributing to research publications. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: MATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent.

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or instructor consent.

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 340 - Evolution

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.

    • or
    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews

      Credits: 6
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 6


      Prerequisites: An average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology.

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 350 - Immunology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: Senior standing and one course chosen from BIOL 215, BIOL 215S, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341.

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.

    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Offered when departmental resources permit
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: At least junior standing and BIOL 220.

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111, 113 and 220

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: At least junior standing and BIOL 220.

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220 and at least junior standing.

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life *

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course

    • BIOL 395 - Selected Topics in Structural and Functional Biology

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include physiology, neurobiology, developmental biology and immunology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 396 - Selected Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology

      Credits: 3-4
      Credits: 3-4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include genetics, virology, cell biology and microbiology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

  9. Quantitative Biology:
  10. One course from the following:

    • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: PHYS-112 or instructor consent.

      Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.

    • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: MATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent.

      This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials.

      Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.

    • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 220.

      Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.

    • BIOL 301 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: MATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent.

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course

    •  (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above)
  11. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  12. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  13. Research in Biology
  14. Research in biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.