Biology Course Descriptions

Biology Courses (BI)

101 General Biology I (4 credits): This course is an Introduction to the science of living organisms, with emphasis on molecular and cellular aspects of energy processing, cell reproduction and genetics. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly.

102 General Biology II (4 credits): This course is an introduction to the science of living organisms, with an overview of kingdoms with emphasis on structure and function of plants and animals and consideration of population biology and ecology. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 101; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

110 Human Biology (4 credits): In this course students will learn about the biology of the human organism.  This course encompasses the form and function of the human, from the cellular to the environmental level.  It is organized around two unifying themes: (1) the relationships between structure and function of body parts and (2) the body’s mechanisms of internal regulations and problems that occur (illness) when these mechanisms are disrupted.  Critical thinking and the scientific method are emphasized.  This course is for non-science majors and is appropriate for students majoring in all disciplines. It contains a weekly three hour laboratory section. 

201 Evolution and Population Biology (4 credits): This course is a study of how evolutionary changes contribute to the diversity of life. Includes an overview of the history of evolutionary theories as well as the use of modern molecular techniques, traditional population biology, and genetics to examine the evolutionary history of life. The course also focuses on the role of natural and artificial selection, sexual selection, kin selection, and social behavior on the development of specific adaptations. Three class hours weekly. Prerequisite: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

204 Genetics (4 credits): This course is a study of the classical and modern views of the nature of the gene, its transmission and its function. It includes microbial and population genetics. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair. Successful completion of CH101/111 and 102/112 is strongly recommended.

205 Human Anatomy (4 credits): This course is a study of the structure of the human body at cellular, tissue, organ and system levels with emphasis on the primary structural components of the skeletal, muscular, circulatory and nervous systems. Laboratory exercises include a detailed dissection of the cat as a representative organism for the study of mammalian musculature and vasculature. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

206 Human Physiology (4 credits): This course is a study of the functioning systems of the human organism. It emphasizes mechanisms governing the function of each tissue type as part of the whole organ, and it examines various systems in the laboratory using a variety of experimental techniques. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

211 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits): In this comparative study of the structure and function of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, lecture emphasizes evolutionary adaptation leading to solutions of environmental challenges. Laboratory exercises include observation and dissection of representative animal examples to highlight structural adaptations that determine function. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. This course must be completed prior to enrollment in BI 490. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

222 Plant Biology (4 credits): This survey of the plant kingdom including algae, bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms emphasizes evolutionary relationships. It explores structural and functional adaptations to life on land among higher plants: plant anatomy, growth patterns, physiology of photosynthesis, growth responses to environmental stimuli and hormonal controls. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Some field trips. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or permission of the instructor.

242 Biological Research Methods (4 credits): This course is a study of the range of modern scientific methods used in experimentation, with a focus on the use of primary scientific literature to examine scientific design, limitations of experimental methods and analysis of results. Selected laboratory exercises introduce students to various techniques used in modern biological experimentation and research writing skills. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 101 and 102; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

290 Junior Seminar in Biology (2 credits): This seminar examines original literature on selected topics. Students complete database searches, readings of primary literature, oral presentations, an overview of career options, and career preparation assignments designed to meet individual goals. Students participate in weekly two-hour seminar. This course is most useful when taken in spring of junior year; the fall section is exclusively for students who will be studying abroad in spring of their Junior year. Prerequisites: At least two 200-level Biology courses and junior standing in Biology; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

317 Developmental Biology (4 credits): This course is a study of the basic processes of differentiation and morphogenesis in plants and animals. It includes consideration of basic underlying genetic mechanisms. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 204, and 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

321 Human Genetics and Development (4 credits): This course is a study of human heredity and embryological development with emphasis on underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms, with consideration of current advances in understanding the human genome, gene expression in development, and major human genetic and developmental syndromes. Three class hours and special projects (no laboratory). Prerequisite: BI 204 and 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

323 Microbiology (4 credits): This course is a study of microorganisms in their structure, function and relationship to their environment, both physical and human; immunology; genetic engineering. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 204 and 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair .

325 Cell Biology (4 credits): This course is a study of cell structure and function at the molecular level: enzymes, membranes, respiration, photosynthesis, protein targeting, intracellular trafficking, information transfer and storage. The laboratory emphasizes modern biochemical and molecular technique. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 204 and 242, CH 101/111, 102/112 (may be taken concurrently); or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

327 Histology (4 credits): This course is a biomedical study of the structure and functions of mammalian cells, tissues and organs at the microscopic level. Laboratory session involves an extensive microscopic analysis and identification of the cells, tissues and organs. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

329 Ecology (4 credits): This course investigates the factors that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms, including evolution of adaptations, behavior, and niches, population growth and population regulation, competition, predation, plant community succession, and ecosystem nutrient cycling. The course will introduce students to concepts using both plant and animal examples from the scientific literature, and model those concepts mathematically. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly; field trips. Prerequisites: BI 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

330 Conservation Biology (4 credits): Conservation biology is an emerging field of biology that documents the loss of worldwide biodiversity, seeks to understand the genetic and ecological characteristics of declining populations, and devises strategies to prevent further losses. Topics explored include conservation ethics, taxonomic definitions, global patterns of biodiversity, genetic diversity within species, demographic processes, species interactions, extinctions and invasions, habitat fragmentation, conservation reserves and ecological restoration. Lecture, weekly discussion of primary literature, and field trips. Prerequisites: BI 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

331 Aquatic Biology (4 credits): This course examines the structure and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Students study lentic (standing water) communities, from small mosquito breeding sites up to the world’s largest lakes, lotic (running water), from headwater streams up to our largest rivers, and estuaries, where fresh and saltwater mix. Students further study the political, social and economic aspects of aquatic resources management. This course is geared toward upper-level Biology majors (juniors and seniors), and instruction follows a standard lecture approach augmented with frequent outdoor lectures on Arcadia’s campus and numerous field trips to local water bodies where students measure both physical and biological parameters of the site to be analyzed in the laboratory. Prerequisites: BI 242 or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

332 Animal Behavior (4 credits): This is an upper-level course focused on animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective. The course explores how animals process and respond to environmental stimuli, including treatments of physiology, learning, memory, hormonal behavior, fixed action patterns, communication, and the ontogeny of behavior. In addition, this course examines the ecology of behavior, stressing the links between environmental factors, behavior, and resultant patterns of organismal distribution and abundance, including discussions of group formation, territoriality, dispersion, colonial breeding, and reproductive ecology. During the last part of the course, topics such as sexual selection, mating system evolution, parental care, kin selection, eusocial behavior, and human sociobiology are addressed. Laboratory work emphasizes hypothesis testing and the development of an independent project. Prerequisites: BI 201, and 242; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

333 Molecular Biology (4 credits): This study of the molecular structure and functioning of the gene includes in-depth investigation of current areas of molecular research in biological fields such as medicine, development, population biology, and evolution. Laboratory involves techniques of molecular biology including DNA purification and analysis, cloning, and the polymerase chain reaction. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI204 and 242, CH101/111, 102/112; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

335 Neurobiology (4 credits): A study at the molecular, cellular, and systems level to examine the mechanisms through which the nervous system mediates behavior, this course emphasizes current and historical experimental evidence used to define the underlying principles of the nervous system. Discussions of nervous system disorders and treatments are integrated throughout the course. Topics include development, physiology, pharmacology and neuroanatomy. The laboratory sessions involve a range of models, fixed specimens, computer simulations; invertebrate, vertebrate and human experiments to examine nervous system structure and function. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites: BI 242, CH 101/111, 102/112; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

336 Pathophysiology (4 credits): This course is a study of the physiological factors that underlie human disease states.  It analyzes the relationship between normal physiological processes and alterations that occur in specific organ systems as a result of disease and abnormal physiological conditions. Particular emphasis is placed on the mechanisms responsible for disease etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations. Pre-requisites: BI206 or instructor approval.

337 Immunobiology (4 credits): This course is a study of the cellular and molecular components involved in specific and nonspecific immune responses and regulation. In-depth discussion of experimental evidence is used to establish our present interpretations of immune mechanisms. Topics include hematopoiesis, lymphocyte maturation and activation, somatic recombination, isotype switching, hypersensitivity, transplantation, autoimmunity, AIDS and immunological techniques. Oral presentations and critical analyses of research articles are included. Three class hours weekly and special projects (no laboratory). Prerequisites: BI 204 and 242, CH 101/111, 102/112; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair. BI 325 is recommended.

338 Bioinformatics (Also listed as CS338) (4 credits): This introductory course in Bioinformatics is focused on genomics and concepts related to gene structure and function. Students gain knowledge in the utilization of genome databases/browsers and bioinformatic tools employed for gene model prediction (annotation), and use those tools to annotate sequences from various eukaryotic genomes. Students are given instruction on algorithm design based on pattern-matching and gain hands-on experience in the use of algorithms to help predict gene models and to test those models for accuracy within the context of the programming language Perl. Collaboration between students trained in different disciplines (math, computer science, biology) is encouraged in order to address issues in genomics and to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Prerequisites: BI101, 102, and 242 or CS201/202 or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair.

340 Biochemistry (4 credits): This course introduces students to the basic concepts in biochemistry through lecture and problem sets. A biomedical perspective is used throughout. Students learn the basic principles governing the structure and function of biochemical systems. Prerequisites: BI 242, CH 101/111, 102/112; or written permission of the instructor and Department Chair. CH201, 202 are recommended.

360 Topics in Biology (4 credits): This course is an In-depth exploration of a selected topic in the biological sciences. Topics are determined by instructor. Current research and methodology are emphasized. Prerequisite: Written permission of the instructor.

370 Internship in Biology (4 credits): This internship in a supervised professional setting involves a significant biological research component for a minimum of eight hours per week. It includes meetings with other interns and the instructor to analyze and discuss the work experience. It requires a journal or laboratory notebook, a written report, and a student evaluation of the internship. It is usually not acceptable as an elective in place of a 300-level course. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing in Biology and written permission of the major adviser and Chair. Interested students must submit a written proposal for an internship before registering for the course. Students also must carry at least 8 additional credits at Arcadia University while enrolled in the internship, unless regularly attending on a part-time basis.

380 Faculty Sponsored Research (2 credits, Summer): This course is a 2-credit laboratory or field research experience that can be taken repeatedly for elective credit with approval of the sponsoring professor and Department Chair. Students read and synthesize literature relevant to their research project and develop a research proposal under the guidance of their faculty research adviser. They then carry out this research project, analyze the data, and write a final research report. Because of the highly specialized nature of this course, students must obtain written approval by the faculty research adviser in order to register for the course, and students must register for the course at least one month prior to the first day of classes. This course cannot be counted as one of the 300-level Biology classes required of all Biology majors. Prerequisite: BI 242 or permission of the instructor.

389 Independent Study: Independent, faculty-supervised laboratory or library research project is conducted at on- or off-campus facilities and summarized in a paper of appropriate length, style and format. Not usually acceptable as an elective in place of a 300-level course. Prerequisites: Four courses in Biology, junior or senior standing in Biology, approval of the Department and a written proposal.

490 Senior Seminar in Biology (4 credits): This Capstone course involves the completion of a faculty-supervised laboratory, field or library research project in Biology, including a paper in appropriate style and format; participation in a weekly two-hour seminar; and formal presentation and defense of a poster. Prerequisites: BI 201, 204, 211, 242, 290 and senior standing in Biology.

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