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Division of Academic Affairs
Undergraduate Catalog 2012-13


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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biology


Jeffrey S. McKinnon, Chairperson, BN-108 Howell Science Complex
Jean-Luc Scemama, Director of Undergraduate Studies, BN-105 Howell Science Complex

Admission Requirements

In order to declare a major in biology or biochemistry, a student must satisfy foundations curriculum requirements as stated in the catalog for transfer to departments in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA in all biology and chemistry courses below the 3000 level.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum in biology is intended to give all biology majors a background in molecular biology, diversity, evolution, ecology, and genetics. BIOL 1100, 1101, 1200, 1201, 2250, 2251, 2300 constitute the core curriculum. A choice of electives permits a student to pursue in depth an area or areas of particular interest. Lecture courses having laboratory components that carry independent credit may or may not be required as corequisites (see appropriate catalog descriptions). Laboratory components carrying no credit are corequisites. All students must take a departmentally administered assessment examination before graduation. Scores from this examination will not be used in the calculation of GPA or for academic standing. Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit.

BS in Biology, General

  1. Foundations curriculum (For information about courses that carry foundations curriculum credit see Liberal Arts Foundations Curriculum.) - 42 s.h.
    CHEM 1150, 1151. General Chemistry and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C: MATH 1065; C for 1150: CHEM 1151; C for 1151: CHEM 1150)
    CHEM 1160, 1161. General Chemistry and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: CHEM 1150, 1151; C for 1160: CHEM 1161; C for 1161: CHEM 1160; RC: MATH 1083 or 1085
    MATH 1065. College Algebra (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: Appropriate score on math placement test or math section of the SAT/ACT)
  2. Core. - 15 s.h.
    BIOL 1100, 1101. Principles of Biology and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1101: BIOL 1100)
    BIOL 1200, 1201. Principles of Biology and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1201: BIOL 1200)
    BIOL 2250. Ecology (3) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1100, 1101, 1200, 1201)
    BIOL 2251. Ecology Laboratory (1) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1100, 1101, 1200, 1201; C: BIOL 2250)
    BIOL 2300. Principles of Genetics (3) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1100, 1200)
  3. Recommended electives. - 25 s.h.
    The following elective areas are recommended to guide students in choosing biology electives consistent with their academic goals. Students may concentrate in one of the specified areas, below, or choose a more general course of study. A maximum of 6 s.h. of BIOL 3504, 3550, 4504, 4514, 4550, 5995 may count toward biology electives without consent of dept. chair or director of undergraduate studies.
    Ecology/Environmental Biology:
    BIOL 3070, 3071. Survey of Plants and Fungi (4,0) (P: BIOL 1050, 1051 or 1060, 1061 or 1200, 1201)
    BIOL 3230, 3231. Field Botany (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1050, 1051 or 1100, 1101; C for 3230: 3231; C for 3231: 3230)
    BIOL 3240, 3241. Field Zoology (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1060 or 2250)
    BIOL 3310, 3311. Cellular Physiology (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1120 and 1130, or 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 3320. Principles of Animal Physiology (3) (F,S,SS) P: CHEM 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 3321. Principles of Animal Physiology Laboratory (1) (C: BIOL 3320)
    BIOL 3660. Introduction to Marine Biology (3) (F,S,SS) (P/C: BIOL 2250, 2251)
    BIOL 3661. Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory (1) (F,S) (C: BIOL 3660)
    BIOL 4200, 4201. Population and Community Ecology (4,0) (4200:WI) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251, 2300; CHEM 1150, 1151; RP: CHEM 1160, 1161; MATH 2121 or 1 statistics course)
    BIOL 4300, 4301. Ecosystem Ecology (4,0) (WI) (F) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251)
    BIOL 4320. Ecological Responses to Global Climate Change (3) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251)
    BIOL 4504, 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2,2) (WI, WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5070, 5071. Ornithology (4,0) (F) (P: 8 s.h. in BIOL)
    BIOL 5150, 5151. Herpetology (4,0) (S) (P: 8 s.h. in BIOL)
    BIOL 5200, 5201. Invertebrate Zoology (4,0) (F) (P: 6 s.h. in BIOL)
    BIOL 5220, 5221. Limnology (4,0) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5230, 5231. Phycology (4,0) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201)
    BIOL 5260, 5261. Microbial Ecology (4,0) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251, 3220, 3221; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5270. Marine Community Ecology (3) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5351. Biological Processes and the Chemistry of Natural Water (2) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; 2 CHEM courses; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5550, 5551. Ichthyology (4,0) (F)
    BIOL 5640, 5641. Entomology (4,0) (F) (P: 12 s.h. in BIOL)
    BIOL 5730, 5731. Animal Physiological Ecology (4,0) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; 3310, 3311 or 3320, 3321 or 5800; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5950, 5951. Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (4,0) (F) (P: 12 s.h. in biology or consent of instructor; RP: BIOL 2250, 2251)
    Marine Biology:
    BIOL 3660. Introduction to Marine Biology (3) (F,S,SS) (P/C: BIOL 2250, 2251)
    BIOL 3661. Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory (1) (F,S) (C: BIOL 3660)
    BIOL 4504, 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2,2) (WI, WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5200, 5201. Invertebrate Zoology (4,0) (F) (P: 6 s.h. in BIOL)
    BIOL 5220, 5221. Limnology (4,0) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5230, 5231. Phycology (4,0) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201)
    BIOL 5270. Marine Community Ecology (3) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5351. Biological Processes and the Chemistry of Natural Water (2) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; 2 CHEM courses; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5550, 5551. Ichthyology (4,0) (F)
    BIOL 5600, 5601. Fisheries Techniques (3,0) (F,S) (F) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251; or equivalent)
    BIOL 5680. Current Topics in Coastal Biology (2) (S) (P: Consent of instructor)
    GEOL 1550. Oceanography (4) (S) (FC:SC)
    GEOL 5300. Geology of Coastal Processes and Environments (3) (S) (P: GEOL 1550, 4010, 4011; or consent of instructor)
    Microbiology:
    BIOL 2100, 2101. Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology (3,0) (F,SS) (Formerly BIOL 3100, 3101) (P: BIOL 1100, 1101; MATH 1065; CHEM 1020, 1021 or 1120, 1121 or 1150, 1151)
    BIOL 3220, 3221. Microbiology (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
    BIOL 3310, 3311. Cellular Physiology (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1120 and 1130, or 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 4130. Astrobiology (3) (WI) (F) (P: BIOL 2250, 2300 RP: BIOL 3220)
    BIOL 4170. Immunology I (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300 or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 4220. Microbes and Immunity (3) (WI*) (S, SS) (P: BIOL 2110, 2111 or 3220, 3221)
    BIOL 4504, 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2,2) (WI, WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5260, 5261. Microbial Ecology (4,0) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251, 3220, 3221; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5800. Principles of Biochemistry I (3) (F,S) (P: CHEM 2760, 2763, BIOL 3310, 3311) or
    BIOL 5810. Principles of Biochemistry II (3) (F,S) (P: CHEM 2760, 2763, BIOL 3310, 3311)
    BIOL 5821. Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory (1) (F,S) (P/C: BIOL 5800 or 5810)
    BIOL 5870. Molecular Biology of the Gene (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300)
    BIOL 5890. Virology (3) (S,SS) (P: BIOL 3220, 3221; or consent of instructor)
    Molecular Biology and Biotechnology:
    BIOL 2100, 2101. Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology (3,0) (F,SS) (Formerly BIOL 3100, 3101) (P: BIOL 1100, 1101; MATH 1065; CHEM 1020, 1021 or 1120, 1121 or 1150, 1151)
    BIOL 3220, 3221. Microbiology (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
    BIOL 3310, 3311. Cellular Physiology (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1120 and 1130, or 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 4170. Immunology I (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 4240. Genome Evolution (3) (P: BIOL 2300 or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 4504, 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2,2) (WI, WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5260, 5261. Microbial Ecology (4,0) (S) (P: BIOL 2250, 2251, 3220, 3221; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5510, 5511. Transmission Electron Microscopy (4) (S) (P: Senior standing as BIOL major or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5520, 5521. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Analysis (2,0) (F,SS) (P: Senior standing as BIOL major or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5800, 5810. Principles of Biochemistry I, II (3,3) (F,S) (P: CHEM 2760, 2763, BIOL 3310, 3311)
    BIOL 5821. Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory (1) (F,S) (P/C: BIOL 5800 or 5810)
    BIOL 5870. Molecular Biology of the Gene (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300)
    BIOL 5890. Virology (3) (S,SS) (P: BIOL 3220, 3221; or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5900, 5901. Biotechniques and Laboratory (2,3) (S) (P: BIOL 2100, 2101, 5870; consent of instructor; RP: BIOL 5810)
    Physiology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology:
    BIOL 3220, 3221. Microbiology (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
    BIOL 3310, 3311. Cellular Physiology (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1120 and 1130, or 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 3320. Principles of Animal Physiology (3) (F,S,SS) P: CHEM 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 3321. Principles of Animal Physiology Laboratory (1) (F,S,SS) (C: BIOL 3320)
    BIOL 4040. Human Genetics (3) (S) (P: BIOL 2300)
    BIOL 4050, 4051. Comparative Anatomy (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1100, 1200)
    BIOL 4060, 4061. Embryology (4,0) (P: BIOL 2300)
    BIOL 4170. Immunology I (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300 or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 4504, 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2,2) (WI, WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5450, 5451. Histology (4,0) (F) (P: 4 BIOL courses)
    BIOL 5630, 5631. Comparative Animal Physiology (4,0) (S) (P: 2 BIOL and 2 organic chemistry courses)
    BIOL 5870. Molecular Biology of the Gene (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300)
  4. Cognates. - 22 s.h.
    CHEM 2750. Organic Chemistry I (3) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1160, 1161; C: CHEM 2753)
    CHEM 2753. Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1) (F,S,SS) (C: CHEM 2750)
    CHEM 2760. Organic Chemistry II (3) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 2750; C: CHEM 2763)
    CHEM 2763. Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 2750, 2753; C: CHEM 2760)
    MATH 2121. Calculus for the Life Sciences I (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 or 1077 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 2122. Calculus for the Life Sciences II (3) (F,S,SS) (P: MATH 2121)
    PHYS 1250, 1260. General Physics (3,3) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P for 1250: MATH 1065 or 1066; P for 1260: PHYS 1250)
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: 1260 or 2260)
  5. Research skills (Choose one area.) - 8-9 s.h.
    Students contemplating graduate school should consider admission requirements before selecting a research skills area.
    1. Foreign language through level 1003.
    2. Quantitative and Communication Skills (1 course each in scientific writing, statistics, and computer programming.)
      Recommended courses:
      ENGL 3820. Scientific Writing (3) (WI) (F,S) (P: ENGL 1200) or ITEC 3290. Technical Writing (3) (WI) (F,S,SS)(P: ENGL 1200) or a course in scientific writing
      MATH 2228. Elementary Statistical Methods I (3) (F,S,SS) (P: MATH 1065 or equivalent)
      MIS 2223. Introduction to Computers (3) (F,S,SS) or ACCT 2401. Financial Accounting (3) (F,S,SS) (P: MATH 1065 or 1066 or 2119 or 2121 or 2171)
    3. Relevant cognate area courses chosen to meet this requirement must be planned through consultation with a faculty advisor and approved in advance by the dept chair and the dept director of undergraduate studies.
    4. Recommended for microbiology and molecular biology/biotechnology:
      CHEM 2250, 2251. Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis (3,2) (WI, WI) (F,S) (P: CHEM 1160, 1161; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
      MIS 2223. Introduction to Computers (3) (F,S,SS)
  6. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.

BS in Biochemistry

Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:
  1. Foundations (For information about courses that carry foundations curriculum credit see Liberal Arts Foundations Curriculum.) - 42 s.h.
    CHEM 1150, 1151. General Chemistry and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C: MATH 1065; C for 1150: CHEM 1151; C for 1151: CHEM 1150)
    CHEM 1160, 1161. General Chemistry and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: CHEM 1150, 1151; C for 1160:
    CHEM 1161; C for 1161: CHEM 1160; RC: MATH 1083 or 1085)
    MATH 1065. College Algebra (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: Appropriate score on math placement test test or math section of the SAT/ACT)
  2. Core. - 40 s.h.
    Biology:
    BIOL 1100, 1101. Principles of Biology and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1101: BIOL 1100)
    BIOL 1200, 1201. Principles of Biology and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1201: BIOL 1200)
    BIOL 2300. Principles of Genetics (3) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1100, 1200)
    BIOL 3310, 3311. Cellular Physiology (4,0) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1120 and 1130, or 2650 or 2750 or 2770)
    BIOL 5800, 5810. Principles of Biochemistry I, II (3,3) (P: CHEM 2760, 2763)
    BIOL 5821. Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory I (1) (P/C: BIOL 5800 or 5810)
    Chemistry:
    CHEM 2250, 2251. Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis (3,2) (WI, WI) (F,S) (P: CHEM 1160, 1161; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
    CHEM 2750. Organic Chemistry I (3) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 1160, 1161; C: CHEM 2753)
    CHEM 2753. Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1) (F,S,SS) (C: CHEM 2750)
    CHEM 2760. Organic Chemistry II (3) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 2750; C: CHEM 2763)
    CHEM 2763. Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1) (F,S,SS) (P: CHEM 2750, 2753; C: CHEM 2760)
    CHEM 3950, 3951. Physical Chemistry and Laboratory I (4,1) (WI, WI) (F,S) (P: PHYS 1261, 2360; MATH 2173; CHEM 2250, 2251) or CHEM 3850, 3851. Introduction to Physical Chemistry (4,1) (WI,WI) (F) (P: CHEM 1160, 1161; MATH 2122 or 2172; PHYS 1260, 1261; C for 3850: CHEM 3851; C for 3851: CHEM 3850)
  3. Cognates. - 25-27 s.h.
    MATH 1083. Introduction to Functions (3) (F, S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 with a minimum grade of C) or
    MATH 1085. Pre-Calculus Mathematics (5) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 2171, 2172, 2173. Calculus I, II, III (4,4,4) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P for 2171: minimum grade of C in any of MATH 1083, 1085, or 2122; P for 2172: MATH 2171 with minimum grade of C or 2122 with consent of instructor; P for 2173: MATH 2172 with minimum grade of C)
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: 1260 or 2260)
    PHYS 2350, 2360. University Physics (4,4) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: for 2350: MATH 2121, 2151, 2171; P for PHYS 2360: PHYS 2350)
  4. Electives (Choose from the following.) - 6 s.h.
    BIOL 2100, 2101. Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology (3,0) (F,SS) (Formerly BIOL 3100, 3101) (P: BIOL 1100, 1101; MATH 1065; CHEM 1020, 1021 or 1120, 1121 or 1150, 1151)
    BIOL 3220, 3221. Microbiology (4,0) (F) (P: BIOL 1200, 1201; CHEM 2650 or 2750)
    BIOL 5510, 5511. Transmission Electron Microscopy (4) (P: Senior standing as a BIOL major or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5520, 5521. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Analysis (2,0) (P: Senior standing as a BIOL major or consent of instructor)
    BIOL 5870. Molecular Biology of the Gene (3) (F) (P: BIOL 2300)
    BIOL 5900, 5901. Biotechniques and Laboratory (2,3) (P: BIOL 2100, 2101, 5870; consent of chair or instructor; RP: BIOL 5810)
    CHEM 3960, 3961. Physical Chemistry and Laboratory II (4,1) (WI, WI) (F) (P: CHEM 3950, 3951) or all of the following: BIOL 3550. Biology Honors (1) (WI) (F,S,SS) (P: Faculty invitation), BIOL 4550. Biology Honors (2) (WI) (F, S, SS) (P: Faculty invitation) and BIOL 4514. Research Problems in Biology (2) (WI) (F, S, SS) (P: Consent of instructor)
    MATH 4331. Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (3) (F,S) (P: MATH 2173)
  5. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.

Biology Minor

Minimum requirement for biology minor is 24 s.h. of credit as follows:
  1. Core. - 15 s.h.
    BIOL 1100, 1101. Principles of Biology and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1101: BIOL 1100)
    BIOL 1200, 1201. Principles of Biology and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P/C for 1201: BIOL 1200)
    BIOL 2250, 2251. Ecology and Ecology Laboratory (3,1) (F,S,SS)
    BIOL 2300. Principles of Genetics (3) (F,S,SS) (P: BIOL 1100, 1200)
  2. BIOL electives. - 9 s.h.
Minor programs consisting of course sequences in particular areas that include a minimum of 24 s.h. can be arranged with the approval of the biology undergraduate curriculum committee.

Biology Honors Program

Biology majors who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 may participate in the department’s honors program. This program is designed for exceptional students wishing to use their creative abilities to pursue in-depth inquiries (research, co-teaching, field work, internships, etc.) into the biological sciences, the topic of inquiry being determined by the student in consultation with a faculty mentor/sponsor. Participation in the program is by mutual agreement between the student and the faculty mentor, and requires enrollment in a minimum of 6 s.h. of credit selected from BIOL 3550, 4550, 4504, 4514, 5995. While grades will be awarded independently for each research/honors course in which the student enrolls, graduation with honors requires the student to submit the final product of activity for critical review by the departmental honors review board. (Students should note that no more than 6 s.h. of credit in honors or research courses may be counted for biology elective credit.)