Biology Course Descriptions Fall 2011


12 courses* distributed as follows:
    • BIOL 150 Cell Biology 
    • BIOL 190 Botany
    • BIOL 220 Zoology 
    • BIOL 250 Genetics
• BIOL 365 Ecology and Evolution 
    • CHEM 110 General Chemistry I: Chemical Structure and Properties
• CHEM 120 General Chemistry II: Chemical Analysis and Reactivity
• Four BIOL electives (with laboratories),  one of which may be CHEM 330
   Biological Chemistry
• BIOL 497 Biology Seminar, which requires completing the non-credit
   seminars BIOL 221 Seminar: Biological Communication and BIOL 222
   Seminar: Biometry.

*The Biology Department strongly encourages students to design and carry out
independent research for course credit. However, this credit will not count toward
the four required electives. 

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience for the biology major consists of a comprehensive
examination and participation in the Senior Seminar course. The comprehensive
examination is the standardized Major FieldTest (MFT), or the Graduate Record
Examination (GRE) in biology. BIOL 497 Senior Seminar is a one semester, non-
credit course that meets weekly. During the course each senior presents a formal
seminar. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on both the
standardized test score and the Senior Seminar grade.


Any five biology courses (with laboratories) numbered 150 or above.
The Biology Department highly recommends that all students pursuing
a biology minor take at least
CHEM 110 General Chemistry I: Chemical Structure & Properties and
CHEM 120 General Chemistry II: Chemical Analysis & Reactivity.

 Students planning to certify to teach biology should contact their major advisors
and the Education Department for a list of courses required within the major and
by the professional societies for licensure.

The following are general guidelines for courses required by many
graduate and professional schools. Students should refer to the Guide 
for Academic Planning and work closely with their academic advisors
to ensure adequate course preparation for specific post-graduate

Medical School, Dental School, and Veterinary Medicine programs expect: 

• Preparation for qualifying examinations (MCAT, DAT, VCAT) 
   is minimally achieved by completing at least BIOL 150 Cell Biology,
   BIOL 320 Animal Physiology, and BIOL 250 Genetics.
• Two courses in general chemistry and two courses in 
   organic chemistry
• At least one course in mathematics
• Two courses in physics
• Two to three courses in English

Graduate Schools in general expect: 

• Biology major
• Two years of chemistry through organic chemistry
• One year of physics
• At least one calculus course
• At least one statistics course
• Competency in a foreign language

Experience with experimental design (such as through independent
research), and in some cases, computer programming is highly desirable.
Most graduate schools require a reading knowledge in at least one foreign
language and/or basic programming skills.

Courses for non-science majors

The following courses are designed for non-science majors and may not be
used to fulfill requirements for the biology major or minor. They will fulfill the 
collegiate Natural Science Inquiry Learning Domain requirement and may
(check class schedule) fulfill the laboratory requirement. 

BIOL 100 Concepts in Biology (NS)
BIOL 101 Concepts in Biology (NS-L) 
The structure, function, heredity,
evolution, and ecological interactions of living systems with emphasis on
those concepts having major implications for humans and society.
Specific content may vary by course section subtitle but all sections repeat
core concepts. Only one section
 may be counted for course credit. 

BIOL 102 Natural History (NS-L) The variety of organisms and ecosystems,
with special emphasis on the geological and biological history of Arkansas.
Field laboratories expose students to the major taxonomic groups of organisms.

BIOL 107 Biology of the Human Body (NS)
BIOL 103 Biology of the Human Body (NS-L) 
The structure and function of
human organ systems, with emphasis on the maintenance and perpetuation
of the living state.

BIOL 104 Environmental Biology (CW, NS-L)   An introduction to principles
of ecology as they relate to the human concerns of overpopulation, resource
management, pollution, and environmental ethics.

BIOL 105 Plants in Human Affairs (NS)  A consideration of useful and harmful
plants in human cultures. Emphasis is on plant origins, historical significance,
economic importance, aesthetic uses, active ingredients, and their botanical

BIOL 106 Neotropical Biology (NS-L)  An introduction to the diversity,
structure, function, and history of tropical ecosystems. Course is taught
during the summer semester in Costa Rica. Students who take this course
cannot also receive credit for BIOL 102 Natural History.

BIOL 112 Natural History of the New World (NS-L)[GA]  The variety
of organisms and ecosystems of a particular region and how they originated
and have changed throughout time. Special emphasis on the geological
and biological history of the selected region, as well as the human history
and contemporary environmental issues of that region.  Field laboratories
expose students to the regional geology, ecosystems, and the major
taxonomic groups of organisms. Course is taught away from the college
campus in the region specified by the course section subtitle.  Students
cannot also receive credit for BIOL 102 Natural History or BIOL 106
Neotropical Biology.

Biology core

The following courses are required for all biology majors and it is highly
recommended that they be completed by the end of the junior year. 

BIOL 150 Cell Biology (NS-L)  The structure and function of cells
with emphasis on evolutionary principles, basic biochemistry, and
scientific epistemology. Laboratory course. This is a prerequisite for
all other biology courses.

BIOL 190 Botany   Survey of algae, nonvascular, and vascular plants,
with emphasis on the origin, structure, development and physiology of
flowering vascular plants. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 150. 

BIOL 220 Zoology   A survey of the major phyla, classes, and orders
of animals, with emphasis on basic body plans and organization,
development, phylogenetic relationships, and the structure and function
of representative organ systems. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 150. 

BIOL 221 Seminar: Biological Communication   Introduction to reading
and writing skills in biological literature. This is a non-credit seminar required
for BIOL 497. Prerequisite: BIOL 150. 

BIOL 222 Seminar: Biometry Introduction to basic statistical and
experimental design techniques utilized in the biological sciences. This is a
non-credit seminar required for BIOL 497. Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and BIOL 221. 

BIOL 250 Genetics Fundamental principles of heredity, including both Mendelian
and molecular genetics. Emphasis is on those principles with the greatest
implications to understanding biological systems in general, and humans
in particular. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 190 or 220, or consent
of instructor. 

BIOL 365 Ecology and Evolution  Study of biotic and abiotic interactions
among organisms and the evolutionary processes that have shaped life.
Major topics include population and community interactions, biomes,
forces of genetic change, adaptation, conservation biology, and the
geological and biological history of the Earth. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190 and 250. 

Biology electives

BIOL 205 Anatomy and Physiology I  Prerequisite: BIOL 150 and
CHEM 100 and/or equivalent or consent of 
instructor. Cross-listed as KINE 205. 

BIOL 215 Anatomy and Physiology II  Prerequisite: BIOL 150, CHEM 100,
and KINE 205 or equivalent or consent 
of instructor. Cross-listed as KINE 215. 

BIOL 300 Comparative Animal Behavior (W2)  Study of the genetic,
developmental, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary bases of adaptive
behavior of animals, including humans. Laboratory course. Prerequisite:
BIOL 220 or both PSYC 295 and BIOL 
101. Cross-listed as PSYC 300. 

BIOL 310 Developmental Biology (W2)  A survey of the development
of a variety of animals with emphasis on the molecular processes involved.
The embryology of vertebrates is stressed. Laboratory course. Prerequisite:
BIOL 250.

BIOL 320 Animal Physiology (W2)   Study of the mechanisms of
homeostatic regulation in animals with an emphasis on mammalian
and other vertebrate organ systems. Laboratory course. Prerequisite:
BIOL 150, CHEM 110, and at least sophomore 

BIOL 325 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience  A cellular and
molecular biology approach to the study of the nervous system with
an emphasis on mammalian systems. Topics will include neural
signaling, sensation, movement, development and plasticity, and
complex brain functions. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 320. 

BIOL 330 Plant Systematics   Classification of vascular plants
and current methods of phylogenetic inference. Field collections will
emphasize the flora of Arkansas; laboratory analyses will focus on
morphological features of plant families;  and lectures will address
major themes in the evolution of vascular plants.

BIOL 335 Marine Biology (W2)  Studies of marine organisms and
their environment, with a focus on barrier islands, estuaries, mangroves,
sea grass beds, or coral reefs, depending on the destination of the
research trip. To observe marine organisms and their environment,
students will travel to a destination that will be determined each year
the course is taught. Possible destinations include: the Gulf Coast
Research Lab (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, MS, the Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary, and Calabash Caye Field Station in Belize. This trip
entails an additional cost to the student. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 220. 

BIOL 340 Microbiology  Biology of bacteria and viruses. Laboratory
includes culturing, identification, isolation from environment, and
experimentation.  Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 250. 

BIOL 360 Biology of Algae and Fungi (W2)  Comparative ecology,
physiology, and morphology of algae and fungi.  Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190. 

BIOL 370 Plant Physiology (W2)  Study of the essential plant processes
with emphasis on mineral nutrition, water relations, photosynthesis, hormones,
and the influence of external factors. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 190. 

BIOL 430 Immunology (W2) Principles of immunology with an emphasis
on the role of experimentation in the development of current immunological
concepts. The laboratory will include experiments to demonstrate principles
and the use of immunological techniques for scientific investigation.
Laboratory course. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and
completion of BIOL 250 and 
one course in chemistry. 

BIOL 440 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy  Phylogenetic relationships
and anatomical systems of vertebrates with emphasis on cartilaginous fishes
and mammals. Laboratory course.  Prerequisite: BIOL 220. 

BIOL 450 Advanced Cell Biology   An examination of current models of
intracellular processes such as membrane and cytoskeleton structure,
compartmentalization, transport, signaling, and the control of cell division.
Emphasis on current research and theory. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250. 

BIOL 460 Evolution (W2)  The mechanisms of evolution, principles of
population genetics, selection and adaptation, and the history of life on
Earth. Biological diversity and  evolutionary issues for conservation and
medicine are also covered. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 250. 

BIOL 465 Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics [UR] Evolutionary
processes acting at the molecular level, and the utilization of molecular
patterns to reconstruct the evolutionary history of genes, genomes,
populations and species. The laboratory will focus on using sequence
data to complete an intensive semester-long research project in
phylogenetics, protein structure and function modeling or other
bioinformatics topics. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 250. 

BIOL 470 Advanced Genetics   Current research and paradigms in
molecular genetics with emphasis on adaptive and developmental gene
regulation, molecular evolution, manipulation for gene engineering,
genomics, proteomics, and their implications. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250. 

BIOL 480 Field Ecology (W2)[GA]  Studies of ecological patterns and
processes in Arkansas ecosystems followed by comparative studies in
non-Arkansas field sites. Comparative field study sites will alternate each
year between Costa Rica and a US ecosystem such as the American
Southwest or the Everglades. These comparative field studies entail an
additional cost to the student.  Laboratory course. Prerequisite: BIOL 365. 

BIOL 490 Advanced Topics   Texts, review papers, and or original
literature will be used to provide extended or integrated coverage of
selected areas of biology. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing;
check course announcements for specific 

BIOL 497 Biology Seminar   Reviews of current literature and oral
presentations by students based on library or original research.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and completion of BIOL 221 and BIOL 222. 

BIOL X99 Independent Research [UR]  Original research using scientific
methodology of hypothesis testing, data collection, and analysis.
Requirements include a formal research proposal, a final written report
in conventional scientific format, and an oral presentation. Students must
select an advisor within the Biology Department to oversee and evaluate
the study. Specific requirements and options (such as off-campus projects
or summer research) can be obtained from the Biology Department. This
credit will not count toward the four electives required for a major.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and consent of department.