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Biology Courses

Course information found here includes all permanent offerings and is updated regularly whenever Academic Senate approves changes. For historical information, see the Course Catalogs. For actual course availability in any given term, use Course Search in the Portal.

BIOL 110. Human Biology (1). The anatomy and basic normal functions of the human body with consideration of development, genetics, immunology, endocrinology, and related molecular, cellular, and ecological concepts, and an emphasis on scientific principles and experimental methods. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Laboratory work requires dissection. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered yearly. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 111. Zoology (1). A survey of the animal kingdom with consideration of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, structure and function, ecology, evolution, and behavior of invertebrates and vertebrates. The course stresses scientific principles and experimental methods. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Laboratory work requires dissection. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered yearly. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 121. Botany (1). The structure and function of plants emphasizing adaptations to the environment. The course focuses on the ecology, evolution, reproduction, physiology, cellular and molecular biology, and genetics of flowering plants. The course stresses scientific principles and experimental methods. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered yearly. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 141. Microbiology (1). The structure, genetics, physiology, and culture of microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria and viruses. The course stresses scientific principles and experimental methods in the context of disease and the environment. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered yearly. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 151. Marine Biology (1). A survey of marine organisms from microbes to mammals. The course emphasizes ecology, evolution, anatomy, reproduction, behavior, and physiology of marine organisms, and reviews marine ecosystems from intertidal to deep sea. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Laboratory work requires dissection. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered occasionally. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 172. Topics in Introductory Biology (1). The molecular and cellular biology, genetics, structure and function, ecology, and evolution of organisms, with an emphasis on scientific principles and experimental methods. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on small research projects. Laboratory work may require dissection. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered occasionally. Open to all first- and second-year students who have not taken a 100-level Biology course; others require consent of instructor.

BIOL 201. Biological Issues (.5, 1). This course examines the operation and limits of scientific inquiry by focusing on one or more contemporary biological issues. The basic biology of these issues is studied, and each issue is examined from an interdisciplinary perspective. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. . May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (4U) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: one college-level laboratory science course.

BIOL 206. Environmental Biology (1). An exploration of the interactions among organisms with one another and with the abiotic environment. General principles of ecology are examined and applied to contemporary environmental issues at the local, regional, and global scales. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. (4U) Prerequisite: one college-level laboratory science course.

BIOL 210. Paleontology (1). The history of life from its origins to the present. The preservation, distribution, and identification of invertebrate fossils and of selected vertebrate and plant fossils. Competing evolutionary theories are evaluated in the perspective of geologic time. Fossils are studied as once-living organisms adapting to changing ecosystems. Lecture, discussion, laboratory, field study. One Saturday or Sunday field trip. (Also listed as Geology 210.) Offered alternate fall semesters. Prerequisite: Geology 105 or Anthropology 120 or 1 course in biology. Geology 100 or 110 recommended.

BIOL 215. Emerging Diseases (1). An exploration of the relationships between microorganisms, environment, and diseases. General principles of genetics and evolution, as well as historical and political factors, are examined in an effort to explain the emergence of new diseases. Laboratory experiences include basic microbiology, data analysis, simulations, and survey research. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. (4U) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: one college-level biology course.

BIOL 217. Evolution (1). An exploration of descent with modification and the evolutionary history of life on earth. The history and philosophy of evolutionary theory, the genetic basis of microevolution, contemporary hypotheses of speciation, and phylogenetic systematics comprise the major course material. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods or three lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. Occasional Saturday field trips may be required. (4U) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: one of the following: one college-level biology course, Anthropology 120, 324, Geology 210, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 237. Cell Biology (1). A comprehensive analysis of cell structure and function and the molecular mechanisms that regulate cellular physiology, with a focus on eukaryotic cell biology. Topics include: origin and evolution of cells and cellular organelles, structure, synthesis, and regulation of biomolecules, membrane structure and transport, the cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion, cell motility, cell signaling, cell division and cell cycle regulation, cancer and cell stress, aging, and death. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods or three one-hour lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. (4U) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: one college-level biology course or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 247. Biometrics (1). The application of statistical methods to the solution of biological problems. Experimental design, sampling methods, and statistical analysis of data using both parametric and nonparametric methods are introduced. Computer-supported statistical packages are used in laboratory exercises. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. Three two-hour lecture-laboratory periods per week. Offered each semester. Prerequisite: one college-level biology course or consent of instructor. To register for this course, students must apply to the instructor in advance of the course registration period; preference is given to biology and biochemistry majors.

BIOL 256. Anatomy (1). How does anatomical structure influence cellular and organismal function? The central focus of this course will be the investigation of human anatomy evaluated by functional analysis and in an evolutionary context by comparing similarities and differences among vertebrates. Anatomy of human development will also be emphasized. Laboratory work requires dissection. Offered every other fall. Prerequisite: One biology course and one chemistry course at the college level are required, and a statistics course is preferred, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 260. Nutrition and Metabolism: Biochemical Mechanisms (1). Molecular biology, bioenergetics, and regulation of cellular processes. Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleic acids. Laboratory experiments investigate metabolism and electron transport utilizing techniques for preparation and purification of enzymes, carbohydrates, and lipids. Three class periods and one laboratory period per week. (Also listed as Chemistry 260.) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Chemistry 230 and either any 100-level biology course or Chemistry 235.

BIOL 273. Topics in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biology (.5, 1). Topics vary. Designed to pursue topics in molecular, cellular, and integrative biology such as bioinformatics. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: established individually for each offering, usually based on the background developed in other departmental courses, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 274. Topics in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology (.5, 1). Topics vary. Designed to pursue topics in ecology, evolution, and behavioral biology such as conservation biology and climate change biology. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: established individually for each offering, usually based on the background developed in other departmental courses, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 289. Genetics (1). Mendelian, population, quantitative, and molecular genetics are developed through a problem-solving approach. Small groups of students design, perform, analyze, and report on a research project. Three lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. Offered each fall. Prerequisite: one college-level biology course and Biology 247 (concurrent enrollment permitted) or consent of instructor .

BIOL 300. DNA and Protein Biochemistry (1). At the fundamental chemical level, how do cells maintain and extract information from DNA to build and utilize proteins? Considerable emphasis on the chemical basis of biological information storage and processing, structure and function of proteins, enzyme catalysis theory, and quantitative analysis of enzyme kinetics. Two three-hour combined class and laboratory periods per week. (Also listed as Chemistry 300.) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Chemistry 220, 235, and either any 100-level biology course or Chemistry 240.

BIOL 337. Population Biology (1). An investigation of the factors that determine the size of a population, its distribution, and the kinds of individuals that it comprises. Population genetics, population ecology, ecological genetics, and evolutionary ecology are introduced using observational, experimental, and theoretical analysis. Laboratory exercises stress examination of natural populations in the field. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on a major research project. Three lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and Biology 247 and 289, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 340. Neuroscience (.5, 1). A structure/function-based analysis of the nervous system from molecules to systems. The course will investigate cellular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurotransmission, and sensory and motor systems organization to understand information integration within the nervous system. Laboratory exercises may include anatomy, physiological measurements of neural conduction, cell biology techniques, dissection, and experiments with mice. Students improve their understanding of a specific topic of neuroscience by working in small groups to conduct and present a research project. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Biology 247 or another statistics course, Chemistry 117, and at least 1 of the following courses: Biology 237, 256, 260, 289, 300, 345, 357, Chemistry 260, 300, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 343. Animal Behavior (1). The study of the development, causation, function, and evolution of behavior from a biological perspective. The behavior of animals is viewed from theoretical and empirical perspectives, and observational and experimental methods are employed in field and laboratory exercises to test hypotheses for how and why animals behave as they do. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on a major research project. Three lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. Offered odd years, fall semester. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and one college-level biology course or one 200-level course in anthropology or psychology, or consent of instructor. Recommended: Biology 247, or Anthropology 240, or Psychology 200, or any other statistics course.

BIOL 345. Molecular Biology (.5, 1). Molecular biology lies at the intersection of biochemistry and genetics, investigating how genes are stored and transmitted from one generation to the next and how genes affect physical traits in individual cells and whole organisms. Main topics may include: transcription, translation, replication and repair, molecular organization of genes, gene and protein structure, and molecular biotechnology. This course will focus on experimental design in modern molecular biology. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and Biology 289, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 357. Human Physiology (1). An investigation of physiological concepts, such as structure-function relationships and homeostasis, in the human body. While the primary focus of this course is the regulation of human physiological systems in the normal and diseased states, animal models are used for comparative analysis. Students are required to prepare oral and written presentations, as well as conduct and present a group research project. Laboratory work requires dissection. Offered each spring. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, Biology 247, Chemistry 117, and at least 1 of the following courses: Biology 237, 256, 260, 289, 300, 345, Chemistry 260, 300, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 372. Ecology (1). Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and interactions between organisms and the nonliving environment. Ecologists study these interactions to understand the patterns of organism abundance and distribution of organisms that occur in different ecosystems. In this course, students examine these interactions at the population, community, ecosystem, and landscape levels through classroom, field, and laboratory activities. Contemporary questions about sustainability, biological diversity, and global change will be examined at each of these levels using quantitative methods. Students design, perform, analyze, and report on a major research project. Three lecture-discussion class periods and one laboratory period per week. Offered odd years, spring semester. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, 2 college-level biology courses and a statistics course (Biology 247, Mathematics 106, Anthropology 240, Psychology 162, or Sociology 305), or consent of instructor.

BIOL 373. Advanced Topics in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biology (.5, 1). Topics vary. Designed to pursue advanced topics in molecular, cellular, and integrative biology such as neuroscience research and microbiology of food preservation. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, Biology 247, and Biology 289, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 374. Advanced Topics in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology (.5, 1). Topics vary. Designed to pursue advanced topics in ecology, evolution, and behavioral biology such as physiological plant ecology, and animal behavior research. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, Biology 247, and Biology 217 or 289, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 385. Biology Capstone: Advanced Topics (.5, 1). This course explores an area of biology deeply through careful reading and analysis of the research literature and/or primary investigation. This course includes oral presentations, writing, and peer review, and culminates in the writing of a critical review or research manuscript. Upcoming offerings of this course may include bioinformatics, cancer biology, animal communication, and human pathophysiology. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. (CP) Offered every academic year. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, Biology 247, and at least 2 additional biology courses numbered 206 or higher or consent of instructor. Additional courses may be required based on the topic of the course.

BIOL 387. Biology Capstone: Senior Manuscript (.5, 1). In this course, students engage in scholarly research, prepare a primary research or critical review manuscript for submission to the departmental journal, The Beloit Biologist, engage in peer review, revise their manuscripts in response to critiques, present their research results publicly, and participate in professional development activities. This course is required to be considered for honors in biology. Students must apply to the departmental faculty for approval to participate in this course. (CP) Offered every academic year. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, Biology 217, 247, 289, and at least 2 additional biology courses numbered 206 or higher, and an accepted proposal.

BIOL 391. Directed Readings in Biology (.5, 1). Individual study under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Consent of faculty supervisor and chair of biology department.

BIOL 392. Independent Research in Biology (.5, 1). Research project conducted by a student with supervision by a faculty member. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Consent of faculty supervisor and chair of biology department.

BIOL 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom and laboratory instruction. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Consent of faculty supervisor and chair of biology department.

BIOL 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5). Course, laboratory, and curriculum development projects with faculty. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Consent of faculty supervisor and chair of biology department.

BIOL 398. Professional Experience (Non-Credit). An opportunity to acknowledge on a student’s permanent transcript experience as a teaching assistant, in the preparation or design of laboratory materials, or as a research assistant. Prerequisite: consent of faculty supervisor. Consent of faculty supervisor and chair of biology department.