Biology Major or Minor

BS Degree - Biology Major

In addition to the essential education requirements, students majoring in Biology must complete 51-54 semester hours in Biology and related sciences.

Core Courses - 14 s.h.

Choose four of the following courses in at least two areas - 13-16 s.h.
Area 1:

Area 2:

Area 3:

Other Required Courses - 24 s.h.

The following courses are strongly recommended for any student planning to attend professional school (medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, etc.)

The following courses are strongly recommended for any student planning to attend graduate school in biology (or any related field).

  • BIOL3120 Internship in Biological Sciences 1-3 s.h.
  • 3 BIOL electives 9-12 s.h. (depending on field of interest)
  • MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
  • MATH1510 Calculus I 3 s.h.

 

Biology Minor

A minor in Biology consists of 18 semester hours or more, including BIOL1500, BIOL1520, BIOL2100 and BIOL electives.

Neuroscience Concentration

  • BIOL2100 Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Genetics 4 s.h.
  • BIOL3440 Human Physiology* 4 s.h.
  • BIOL3500 Applied Pharmacology 3 s.h. or
        BIOL4450 Cell Biology 4 s.h.
  • CHEM1330 Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry 3 s.h. or
        CHEM3410 Organic Chemistry I 3 s.h.
  • PSYC1300 Introductory Psychology 3 s.h.
  • PSYC3330 Biopsychology 3 s.h.
  • PSYC3390 Cognitive Psychology 3 s.h.
  • PSYC3500 Principles of Learning 3 s.h.or
       PSYC3900C Topics: Animal Models in Psychopathology 3 s.h.
  • BIOL/PSYC2400 Frontiers in Neuroscience 1 s.h.
  • Capstone Research 2-3 s.h.
        BIOL/CHEM4120 Research I 1 s.h. and BIOL/CHEM4130 Research II 1 s.h. or
            PSYC3520 Research Methods Two 3 s.h.

*For Psychology majors the prerequisite of BIOL3420 Human Anatomy will be waived in lieu of BIOL2300 Anatomy and Physiology I.  

Teacher Certification in Biology

  1. FOR BIOLOGY MAJORS WHO WANT A SECONDARY ENDORSEMENT (5-12): Students majoring in Biology who desire Iowa Teacher Certification with a Biology secondary endorsement must complete the major requirements above and the Secondary Education Program (with SCIE3360 Methods of Teaching Science and Mathematics as the appropriate methods course).
  2. OPTION 1: FOR NON-BIOLOGY MAJORS WHO WANT A SECONDARY BIOLOGY ENDORSEMENT (5-12). Non-Biology majors desiring a secondary Biology endorsement (5-12) in Iowa must complete a major in a secondary teaching field, the Secondary Education Program (with SCIE3360 Methods of Teaching Science and Mathematics as the appropriate methods course), and 27 semester hours in Biology including the following courses:
    BIOL1400 Unity of Life 3 s.h.
    BIOL2360 Fundamentals of Microbiology 4 s.h.
    BIOL2430 Animal Biology 4 s.h.
    BIOL2440 Plant Biology 4 s.h.
    BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology 3 s.h. and BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab 1 s.h.
    BIOL3420 Human Anatomy 4 s.h.
    BIOL3440 Human Physiology 4 s.h.
    OPTION 2: FOR NON-BIOLOGY MAJORS WHO WANT A SECONDARY BIOLOGY ENDORSEMENT (5-12). Non-Biology majors desiring a secondary Biology endorsement (5-12) in Iowa must complete a major in a secondary teaching field, the Secondary Education Program (with SCIE3360 Methods of Teaching Science and Mathematics as the appropriate methods course), and 30 semester hours in the broad area of Science (BIOL, CHEM, SCIE) to include the following 15 semester hours in Biology:
    BIOL1500 Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolution 3 s.h.
    BIOL1520 Fundamentals of Organismal Biology 4 s.h.
    BIOL2100 Fundamentals of Cell Bology and Genetics 4 s.h.
    Choose one of the following BIOL courses:
    BIOL2360 Microbiology 4 s.h.
    BIOL2430 Animal Biology 4 s.h.
    BIOL2440 Plant Biology 4 s.h.
    BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology 3 s.h. and BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab 1 s.h.

 

Courses in Biological Sciences

Lecture hours-lab hours are noted following the titles of courses that have labs.

BIOL1100 Introduction to Sustainability 3 s.h.
An introduction to the fundamentals of sustainability and its impact on biological systems. Explores how sustainability relates to population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history. Practical approaches to this course will be tied closely to small-scale agriculture and water use with hands-on fieldwork at the campus EcoPlot. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Sustainability

BIOL1260 Environmental Biology (3-0) 3 s.h.
An exploration of the environment, including the normal structure and functioning of ecosystems and the human impact on these ecosystems. Current environmental issues, such as human population growth, air and water pollution, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and ecosystem degradation, will be considered. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Peace

BIOL1400 Unity of Life (3-0) 3 s.h.
A study of the key characteristics of life that unite all living organisms, including humans. Emphasis will be placed on comparing how humans and other organisms fulfill basic life needs. Will not count for credit in the Biology major or minor. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Equality

BIOL1500 Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolution 3 s.h.
A study of the diversity of life, focusing on the evolutionary processes that shape life and theecological interactions among organisms and their physical environments. Goal 1A

BIOL1520 Fundamentals of Organismal Biology (3-2) 4 s.h.
A comparative study of form and function across organisms, focusing on the various structures and strategies used by plants and animals to fulfill basic life needs. Additional fee required. Goal 1A

BIOL2000 Individual Study Goal 1A  1-3 s.h.

BIOL2100 Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Genetics (3-2) 4 s.h.
A study of the various patterns and mechanisms of heredity, changes in the genetic material and the consequences of these genetic changes. The course will also give an introduction to cellular structures, macromolecules, and processes, including DNA replication, transcription, translation and cellular signaling. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: CHEM1330 or CHEM3410 (C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

BIOL2300 Anatomy and Physiology I (2-2) 3 s.h.
The study of structure and function of the human body on the cellular, tissue, organ, and organ-system level. All organ systems are discussed. Emphasis is on the anatomy of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. Laboratory includes both gross and microscopic structure and function. (One year each of high school biology and chemistry or the equivalent strongly recommended.) Additional fee required. Goal 1A

BIOL2310 Anatomy and Physiology II (2-2) 3 s.h.
The focus is on the physiology of the organ systems, specifically the endocrine and reproductive systems. Fluid-electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, and metabolism are also emphasized. Online only. Prerequisite: BIOL2300. Goal 1A

BIOL2350 Introduction to Microbiology 4 s.h.
Students will learn about immunology, bacteriology, mycology, and virology. Emphasis will be placed on the cellular mechanisms and role of microbial pathogens (bacteria) and agents (viruses, prions) affecting human health and how they are treated. Credit is not allowed for this course and BIOL2360. Prerequisites: CHEM1330 or BIOL2100 or instructors consent.

BIOL2360 Microbiology (3-2) 4 s.h.
Students will learn about immunology, bacteriology, mycology, and virology. Emphasis will be placed on the cellular mechanism and role of microbial pathogens (bacteria) and agents (viruses, prions) affecting human health and how they are treated. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: CHEM1330 or BIOL2100 or instructor's consent. Goal 1A

BIOL2400 Frontiers in Neuroscience (also PSYC2400) 1 s.h.
This course will explore historical and recent exploration in the field of neuroscience. Specifically, research will be presented related to cellular mechanisms of action in neuroscience, the use of animals in neuroscience, disease states related to neuroscience, drug discovery in neuroscience, and psychological medications in neuroscience.

BIOL2430 Animal Biology (3-2) 4 s.h.
A survey of the major groups in the animal kingdom, including sponges, cnidarians, molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, vertebrates, etc. Within each group, taxonomy, internal and external form, reproduction, nutrition, and habitat will be considered. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: BIOL1400 or BIOL1520. Goal 1A

BIOL2440 Plant Biology (3-2) 4 s.h.
A survey of the major groups in the plant kingdom, including nonvascular plants, ferns and fern allies, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Within each group, taxonomy, internal and external form, and reproductive life cycles will be considered. In addition, plant growth and metabolism, algae, and fungi will be covered. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: BIOL1400 or BIOL1520. Goal 1A

BIOL2560 Nutrition 3 s.h.
Study of the principles upon which the science of nutrition is based and the analysis of the principles of nutrition as related to health and disease. Goal 1A

BIOL2580 Drug Development and Society 3 s.h.
An exploration of drug discovery, development, and delivery from the medicinal herbs of the Middle Ages through the present day pharmaceutical industry. Drug safety for society is the underlying theme. Topics include pharmacology of selected herbs, drug delivery systems, and federal regulation of drugs. ELO6 Science - Innovation

BIOL2900 Special Topics 1-3 s.h.
Study of selected topics of general interest in biology, to be announced prior to the semester when the course is offered. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Goal 1A

BIOL3000 Individual Study Goal 1A 1-3 s.h.

BIOL3120 Internship in Biological Sciences 1 – 3 s.h.
Developed in conjunction with and approved by an appropriate faculty member in the Biological Sciences. This internship will be with professionals who are in career areas relating to majors in the department and may be pursued abroad. The student is responsible for arranging their internship. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 semester hours. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis.) Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent. Goal 1A

BIOL3310 Molecular Genetics (3-3) 4 s.h.
A study of cellular processes involved in the Central Dogma: DNA replication, transcription and translation. The study will include how gene expression is regulated at various levels, such as at the transcription level and post-translational level. Lastly students will study and perform different molecular genetic techniques used in laboratories today: pipetting, DNA gel electrophoresis, PCR and DNA cloning. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: BIOL2100 (C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

+ BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology (3-0) 3 s.h.
A study of how organisms interact with one another and with their physical environments at the physiological, population, community, and ecosystem levels. Case studies will use ecological concepts to develop conservation strategies for species, habitats, and ecosystems. Corequisite (for Biology majors): BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab. Goal 6, ELO6 Science - World Citizenship

+ BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab (0-2) 3 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite (for Biology majors): BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology. Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent.

BIOL3420 Human Anatomy (3-2) 4 s.h.
A study of gross human anatomy utilizing charts, three dimensional models, computer simulations, and dissection of mammalian animals. The course will discuss regional and surface anatomy to establish the relationships of the various organ systems of the body. Additional fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL1400 or BIOL2100. Goal 1A

BIOL3440 Human Physiology (3-2) 4 s.h.
A systems oriented study of the function of the human body on the cellular, tissue, organ, and organ-system levels with an emphasis on medical physiology. Laboratory includes computer simulations and use of Biopac equipment. Additional fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL3420 (grade of C or better strongly recommended) and one semester of chemistry. Goal 1A

BIOL3500 Applied Pharmacology 3 s.h.
A general study of the rationale for current drug therapy including classification of medication, mechanisms of action, main therapeutic effects, clinical indications, adverse reactions, and drug interactions. Does not substitute for NURS3450. Prerequisites: CHEM1330 or CHEM3410. Goal 1A

BIOL3900 Special Topics Goal 1A 1-3 s.h.

BIOL4110 Biology Seminar 1 s.h.
Presentation and discussion of current topics from the biological literature and biological world. Emphasis will be placed on finding, interpreting, and presenting primary journal articles. Prerequisite: Upper division status. Goal 1A

BIOL4120 Research I (also CHEM4120) 1 s.h.
Covers the basic elements of scientific research. Brief lectures on research methodologies and design will be provided. The student will develop a research schedule and write a research proposal in cooperation with a faculty mentor. The student will be expected to begin any initial research indicated in the research schedule. Prerequisite: BIOL2100, CHEM3410, and senior standing or consent of instructor. Goal 1A

BIOL4130 Research II (also CHEM4130) 1 s.h.
The student completes the research that was started in BIOL/CHEM4120. Highlights of the research will be presented orally and through a poster presentation. A final thesis manuscript is required for submission. Prerequisite: BIOL/CHEM4120. Goal 1A

BIOL4310 Biochemistry (also CHEM4310) (3-3) 4 s.h.
An introduction to biologically important molecules and metabolic pathways and the laboratory techniques used to study and characterize them. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: CHEM3420/3421 and BIOL2100. Goal 1A

+ BIOL4400 Immunology 3 s.h.
Investigation of the innate and adaptive immune system, including inflammation, B and T cell development and function, immunization and its role in human health. Prerequisites: BIOL2100 and BIOL2360 (grade of C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

+ BIOL4450 Cell Biology (3-3) 4 s.h.
Investigation of the fine structures and functions of the cell and its parts. Includes an in-depth study of: 1) the regulatory mechanisms involved in cellular processes, such as transport of material, cell division, metabolism, signal transduction and apoptosis and 2) the fine structures, such as the different eukaryotic organelles, cytoskeleton, and prokaryotic appendages. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: BIOL2100 (grade of C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

+ BIOL4460 Cancer Biology 3 s.h.
Students will investigate the cellular mechanisms of cancer and then will learn about a few specific cancers. Includes an in-depth study of the multistage model of carcinogenesis, genes involved in cancer, activation of cancer genes, signal transduction pathways that promote carcinogenesis, the mechanism of metastasis, apoptosis, how cancer treatments work, and the new potential cancer treatments. Prerequisite: BIOL3310, BIOL4450, or [BIOL2100 and BIOL/CHEM 4310] (grade of C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

BIOL4900 Special Topics 1-3 s.h.
Opportunity for a small group of advanced students to pursue in-depth study of an area or topic of interest. Will be offered on demand when faculty are available. Goal 1A

Support Courses for Biology Major

ATHT2500 Medical Terminology 2 s.h.
A self-study, programmed-based opportunity to learn and understand medical terminology.

CHEM1330 Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry 3 s.h.
An introduction to the principles of inorganic, organic and biochemistry, including a study of atoms, chemical bonding, types of chemical reactions (focusing on ones in the cell), solution chemistry, introduction of biological molecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids). This course is intended for students desiring a general education in chemistry, those majoring in nursing or allied health fields and those that need it to fulfill the chemistry requirement for fundamentals of cell biology and genetics course. Course will not count for credit in the Chemistry and/or Biology majors or minors. Prerequisite: MATH1280 or one year of high school algebra (C or better strongly recommended). Goal 1A

CHEM1430 Principles of Chemistry I (3-0) 3 s.h.
A study of the general principles, theories, and methods of chemistry. Emphasis is placed on the solving of mathematical problems. Intended for natural science majors and others who require a strong background in chemistry. Prerequisite: Two years of high school mathematics or MATH1280, and one year of high school chemistry or CHEM1330. Corequisite: CHEM1431 Principles of Chemistry I Lab. Goal 1A

CHEM1431 Principles of Chemistry I Lab (0-3) 1 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite: CHEM1430 Principles of Chemistry I. Goal 1A

CHEM1440 Principles of Chemistry II (3-0) 3 s.h.
A continuation of CHEM1430. Includes semimicro methods of qualitative analysis and common gravimetric and volumetric methods of quantitative analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM1430/1431. Corequisite: CHEM1441 Principles of Chemistry II Lab. Goal 1A

CHEM1441 Principles of Chemistry II Lab (0-3) 1 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite: CHEM1440 Principles of Chemistry II. Goal 1A

CHEM3410 Organic Chemistry I (0-3) 3 s.h.
An in-depth study of modern organic chemistry including nomenclature, structure and bonding, synthesis, reaction mechanisms, and important functional groups and families of both aliphatic and aromatic compounds. Prerequisite: CHEM1440/1441 with a grade of C or better.  is strongly recommended. Corequisite: CHEM3411 Organic Chemistry I Lab. Goal 1A

CHEM3411 Organic Chemistry I Lab (0-3) 1 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite: CHEM3410 Organic Chemistry I. Goal 1A

CHEM3420 Organic Chemistry II (3-0) 3 s.h.
A continuation of CHEM3410 which is a prerequisite. With a grade of C or better is strongly recommended. Corequisite: CHEM3421 Organic Chemistry II Lab. Goal 1A

CHEM3421 Organic Chemistry II Lab (0-3) 1 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite: CHEM3420 Organic Chemistry II. Goal 1A

MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
Data analysis and measures of central tendency, dispersion, and correlation. Introduction to probability. Estimation and hypothesis testing. Bivariate regression. Elementary ANOVA. Introduction to nonparametric techniques. Prerequisite: 1 year high school algebra. Goal 3A, ELO6 Math

MATH1510 Calculus I 3 s.h.
Limits, continuity, derivative, mean-value theorem, simple integration, fundamental theorem of calculus. Prerequisite: 2 years high school algebra. Goal 3A, ELO6 Math

PHYS1410 Elements of Physics I (3-2) 4 s.h.
An elementary physics course emphasizing the fundamental concepts associated with the physical universe. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, fluids, heat thermodynamics, wavemotion, and sound. Designed to meet the needs of biology majors and students preparing for the medical profession and related fields. Prerequisites: Two years high school algebra and one year geometry; plane trigonometry recommended. Goal 1A

PHYS1420 Elements of Physics II (3-2) 4 s.h.
A continuation of PHYS1410. Topics included are electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, light, relativity, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics. Prerequisite: PHYS1410. Goal 1A

PSYC1300 Introductory Psychology 3 s.h.
An introductory survey of psychological methods and thoughts as they relate to human experience and behavior. Topics include the role of the central nervous system in mediating behavior, learning and memory, states of awareness, motivation and emotion, personality, psychological disorders, and therapy. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Innovation

+ PSYC3330 Biopsychology 3 s.h.
Examination of the biological substrates of behavior. Topics include synaptic transmission and patterns of neural activity, sleep and arousal, learning and memory, and motivation and emotion. Prerequisites: PSYC1300 and one of the following: BIOL1300, BIOL1400, BIOL2300. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3390 Cognitive Psychology 3 s.h.
Research and theory in areas of cognitive psychology, including attention; memory acquisition, storage, and retrieval; language comprehension; and problem solving. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3500 Principles of Learning 3 s.h.
Explores a variety of theories of learning. Considers both conceptual and applied aspects of learning. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3520 Research Methods Two 3 s.h.
Development and implementation of an original research project. Prerequisite: PSYC3320, psychology major. Goal 1C

PSYC3900C Topic - Animal Models of Psychopathology 3 s.h.
An exploration of the role of animals in the experimental study of mental illness. Course includes the psychology and neurobiology of human psychopathology, historical conceptions, assessment of animal model validity and specific animal models for human illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, aggression, and memory disorders due both to disease and aging. Prerequisite: PSYC1300 or instructor consent.

SCIE3360 Methods of Teaching Science and Mathematics (Also MATH3360) 3 s.h.
A study of the objectives, methods, techniques, materials, and activities related to teaching science and mathematics in the secondary schools. Prerequisite: 20 hours in science or mathematics and Prerequisites:  admittance into Teacher Education, unless part of an approved Liberal Studies Program. Goal 1A