The four-year curriculum in biology prepares students for graduate study in biology, for employment in laboratory or field programs in private industry or government agencies and for teaching in secondary schools. This curriculum also prepares students for admission into schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, and into allied health programs.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

Knowledge base
Students will demonstrate knowledge of evolutionary processes and the functions and interactions of cells, organisms and species.

Communication skills
Students will demonstrate oral and written communication skills needed for professional careers in the field of biology.

Critical-thinking skills
Students will demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Method and inquiry
Students will demonstrate knowledge in the methods of inquiry and research in biology.

Transfer students

Transfer students intending to major in biology must satisfy all biology major course requirements and complete a minimum of 15 credits of VCU biology courses at the 300-, 400- or 500-level.

Extended Teacher Preparation Program

Biology majors interested in teaching careers in secondary education can enroll in the Extended Teacher Preparation Program, which simultaneously awards a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching. For more information about this program, jointly administered by the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Education, contact the School of Educations Student Services Center.

Honors in biology

Biology majors may graduate with honors in biology. To qualify, students must have overall and biology GPAs of at least 3.5 and must complete the following courses in this sequence: BIOL   392, at least four credits of BIOL   495 and BIOL   490. Grades of A or B must be earned in each of the listed courses. Students who qualify will have the notation “Honors in Biology” placed on their transcript. Students must meet all Department of Biology requirements for graduation. Students should consult with their academic advisers to create a program suitable to their particular needs and interests.

Special requirements

The curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in Biology requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 40 of those credits in biology or other approved courses. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for biology courses is required. At least five laboratory experiences must be taken from all biology courses; only one of these may be BIOZ   395BIOL   492 or BIOL   495. Registration in BIOZ   395BIOL   492 or BIOL   495 must be for a minimum of two credit hours to count as one of the six required laboratory experiences. A maximum total of six credits for all undergraduate research in biology (BIOZ   395, BIOL   395, BIOL   492 and BIOL   495) may be applied to the major. A maximum of four credits of BIOL   496 may be applied to the major if repeated with a different course. No more than eight credits of the 100-level (or introductory level) biology courses can be applied to the major.

A minimum grade of C in the following is required for enrollment in all courses for which they are prerequisites and to successfully complete the B.S. in Biology.

BIOL   151Introduction to Biological Sciences I3
BIOZ   151Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I1
BIOL   152Introduction to Biological Sciences II3
BIOZ   152Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II1
BIOL   200Quantitative Biology3
BIOL   300Cellular and Molecular Biology3
BIOL   310Genetics3
BIOL   317Ecology3
BIOL   318Evolution3

Degree requirements for Biology, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS   202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S General Education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Collateral requirements

CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM   102
CHEZ   102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
CHEM   301
CHEZ   301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
CHEM   302
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
MATH   151Precalculus Mathematics (by course or placement) (fulfills quantitative literacy) 1
PHYS   201General Physics4-5
or PHYS   207 University Physics I
PHYS   202General Physics4-5
or PHYS   208 University Physics II
STAT   210Basic Practice of Statistics3
Select one of the following:3-4
Any STAT course (numbered 314 or above)
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
Total Hours32-35
1

This requirement can also satisfied by any higher-level MATH course.

Major requirements (minimum 40 credits)

Biocore
BIOL   151
BIOZ   151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I 1
4
BIOL   152
BIOZ   152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II 2
4
BIOL   200Quantitative Biology3
BIOL   300Cellular and Molecular Biology3
BIOL   310Genetics3
BIOL   317Ecology3
BIOL   318Evolution3
Select 1-4 credits from the following:1-4
Biology Capstone Seminar: ____ (Capstone)
Biology Capstone Laboratory
Biology Capstone Experience (Capstone)
Biology electives13 - 16
Select from all biology (BIOL and BIOZ) courses applicable to the biology major and biochemistry (CHEM   403). All majors must complete at minimum three additional upper-level biology lab courses. The laboratory experiences may be fulfilled by a separate laboratory section (BIOZ) or by laboratory hours included in a lecture-based (BIOL) course. Not all courses are offered each semester. BIOL courses at the 500 level are available to seniors and graduate students only.
Other biology electives (to satisfy the 40 biology credits required for the major)
Total Hours37-43
1

BNFO/LFSC 251 approved course substitute

2

BNFO/LFSC 252 approved course substitute

Open electives

Select 0-16 open elective credits0-16

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Biology electives

BIOL   291Topics in Biology1-4
BIOL   303Microbiology3
BIOZ   303Microbiology Laboratory2
BIOL   307Aquatic Ecology3
BIOZ   307Aquatic Ecology Laboratory1
BIOL   308Vertebrate Histology4
BIOL   309Entomology 14
BIOZ   310Laboratory in Genetics2
BIOL   312Invertebrate Zoology3
BIOZ   312Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory1
BIOL   313Vertebrate Natural History3
BIOZ   313Vertebrate Natural History Laboratory1
BIOL   314Animal Reproduction3
BIOZ   317Ecology Laboratory2
BIOL   320Biology of the Seed Plant 14
BIOL   321Plant Development3
BIOZ   321Plant Development Laboratory2
BIOL   322Economic Botany3
BIOL   323Plant Physiology3
BIOL   325Fungal Biology 13
BIOL 332/ENVS   330Environmental Pollution3
BIOL   333Evolution of the Angiosperms3
BIOL   335Global Change Biology3
BIOL 341/ANTH   301Human Evolution3
BIOZ 341/ANTZ   301Human Evolution Lab1
BIOL 351/BNFO   301Introduction to Bioinformatics3
BIOL/BNFO/MATH 380Introduction to Mathematical Biology4
BIOL   391Topics in Biology (as approved)1-4
BIOZ   391Topics in Biology Laboratory (as approved)1-4
BIOL   395Directed Study1-2
BIOZ   395Directed Study1-2
BIOL   401Applied and Environmental Microbiology3
BIOL   402Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 15
BIOL/ANTH 403Primatology3
BIOL   411Animal Physiology3
BIOL   413Parasitology3
BIOL   415Mangrove Avian Field Ecology4
BIOL   416Ornithology3
BIOZ   416Ornithology Laboratory2
BIOL   417Mammalogy 14
BIOL   422Forest Ecology 14
BIOL   425 Play VideoPlay course video for Field BotanyField Botany 13
BIOL   430Invasion Biology3
BIOL   431Introduction to Marine Biology3
BIOL   435Herpetology3
BIOL/FRSC 438Forensic Molecular Biology3
BIOZ/FRSZ 438Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory2
BIOL   440Developmental Biology3
BIOL   445Neurobiology and Behavior 14
BIOL   448Neuroscience3
BIOL   450Biology of Cancer I3
BIOL   451Biology of Cancer II 14
BIOL   452Biology of Drugs3
BIOL   455Immunology3
BIOL   459Infectious Disease Ecology3
BIOL   460Human Evolutionary Genetics3
BIOL   480Animal-Plant Interactions3
BIOL   489Communicating Research1
BIOL   490Presenting Research1
BIOL   491Topics in Biology1-4
BIOZ   491Topics in Biology Laboratory1-4
BIOL   492Independent Study1-4
BIOL   493Biology Internship1-3
BIOL   495Research and Thesis1-4
BIOL   496Biology Preceptorship2
BIOL   497Ecological Service Learning1
BIOL   502Microbial Biotechnology3
BIOL   503Fish Biology 14
BIOL   507Aquatic Microbiology4
BIOL   508Barrier Island Ecology3
BIOL   509Microbial Ecology3
BIOL   510Conservation Biology3
BIOL   514Stream Ecology4
BIOL/HGEN 516Population Genetics3
BIOL   518Plant Ecology4
BIOL   520Population Ecology3
BIOL   521Community Ecology3
BIOL   522Evolution and Speciation3
BIOL   524Endocrinology3
BIOL 530/HGEN   501Human Genetics3
BIOL   532Water Pollution Biology3
BIOL   535Wetlands Ecology 14
BIOL/BNFO 540Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 545/LFSC   510Biological Complexity3
BIOL 548/LFSC   520Bioinformatic Technologies2
BIOL   550Ecological Genetics3
BIOL   560Conservation Medicine3
BIOL   565Advances in Cell Signaling3
BIOL   591Special Topics in Biology1-4
CHEM   403Biochemistry I3
LFSC   301Integrative Life Sciences Research3
1

This course includes laboratory hours and may be used to satisfy laboratory requirements.

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
BIOL   151 Introduction to Biological Sciences I 3
BIOZ   151 Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I 1
CHEM   101 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ   101 General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MATH   151 Precalculus Mathematics 4
UNIV   101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
BIOL   152 Introduction to Biological Sciences II 3
BIOZ   152 Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II 1
BIOL   200 Quantitative Biology 3
CHEM   102 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ   102 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
HUMS   202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
 Term Hours: 15
Sophomore year
Fall semester
BIOL   300 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
CHEM   301 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ   301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
STAT   210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Experiential fine arts 1-3
 Term Hours: 15-17
Spring semester
CHEM   302 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ   302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
MATH   200
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
or Applications of Statistics
4
Approved literature and civilization 3-4
Select one of the following: 3
BIOL   310 Genetics 3
BIOL   317 Ecology 3
BIOL   318 Evolution 3
 Term Hours: 15-16
Junior year
Fall semester
PHYS   201
General Physics
or University Physics I
4-5
Approved human, social and political behavior 3
Foreign language (101-level) 4
Select the two courses not previously taken: 6
BIOL   310 Genetics 3
BIOL   317 Ecology 3
BIOL   318 Evolution 3
 Term Hours: 17-18
Spring semester
PHYS   202
General Physics
or University Physics II
4-5
Approved science and technology (other than BIOL 101) 3-4
Biology elective 3
Biology laboratory elective 1-2
Foreign language (102 - level) 4
 Term Hours: 15-18
Senior year
Fall semester
Approved diverse and global communities 3
Approved General Education elective 3-4
Biology elective(s) 3-6
Biology laboratory elective 1-2
General upper-level 3
 Term Hours: 13-18
Spring semester
Approved General Education elective 3-4
Biology elective(s) 3-6
Biology laboratory elective 1-2
General upper-level electives 3
Select one of the following: 1-4
BIOL   477 Biology Capstone Experience 0
BIOL   475 Biology Capstone Seminar: ____ 1-3
BIOZ   476 Biology Capstone Laboratory 2
 Term Hours: 11-19
 Total Hours: 117-137

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Courses not applicable to the major

The following courses are not applicable toward the biology major requirements, but may be used as general electives toward the bachelor’s degree:

BIOL   101Biological Concepts3
BIOZ   101Biological Concepts Laboratory1
BIOL   103Environmental Science4
BIOL   201Human Biology3
BIOZ   201Human Biology Laboratory1
BIOL   205Basic Human Anatomy4
BIOL   209Medical Microbiology3
BIOZ   209Medical Microbiology Laboratory1
BIOL   217Principles of Nutrition3
PHIS   206Human Physiology3
PHIZ   206Human Physiology Laboratory1

 Jump to biology lab courses.

BIOL   101. Biological Concepts. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A topical approach to basic biological principles. Topics include molecular aspects of cells, bioenergetics, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cellular and organismal reproduction, genetics and evolution, and ecology. Not applicable for credit toward the major in biology.

BIOL   103. Environmental Science. 4 Hours.

Hybrid semester course taught mostly online; 3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Online presentations, assignments, debates and exams require students to understand situations and ideas that involve scientific, social and economic concepts associated with Earth’s environment. Laboratory exercises reinforce major course concepts. Integrates aspects of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and sociology. Topics include ecology, evolution, natural resources, air and water resources, energy and recycling, population biology, and sustainable global societies. Not applicable as a prerequisite for any biology course at the 200 level or above, nor for credit toward the B.S. in Biology. Crosslisted as: ENVS   103.

BIOL   151. Introduction to Biological Sciences I. 3 Hours.

Semester course: 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Pre- or corequisites: MATH   151 and CHEM   101. Introduction to core biological concepts including cell structure, cellular metabolism, cell division, DNA replication, gene expression and genetics. Designed for biology majors.

BIOL   152. Introduction to Biological Sciences II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151 and CHEM   101, both with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on evolutionary principles, the role of natural selection in the evolution of life forms, taxonomy and phylogenies, biological diversity in the context of form and function of organisms, and and basic principles of ecology. Designed for biology majors.

BIOL   200. Quantitative Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online). 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151 and BIOZ   151 with minimum grades of C; and MATH   151, MATH   200, MATH   201 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within a one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. Enrollment restricted to biology majors and biology minors. An introduction to the application of the scientific method, experimental design and quantitative aspects of biology.

BIOL   201. Human Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   101, 151, or 152, or BIOL/ENVS   103. Fundamentals of human biology, including the structure, function and disorders of human body systems, principles of human genetics and inheritance, human evolution, and the interaction of humans with the environment. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOL   205. Basic Human Anatomy. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours, plus online component. 4 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   101 and BIOZ   101, BIOL   151 and BIOZ   151, or BIOL   152 and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to communication arts majors; health, physical education and exercise science majors; pre-health majors in clinical laboratory sciences, clinical radiation sciences, dental hygiene and nursing; students enrolled in the health sciences certificate program; and students in the advising tracks for pre-nursing, pre-occupational therapy, pre-pharmacy and pre-physical therapy and pre-nursing acclerated. Human specimens, models and interactive software are used to study human body structures; emphasis is on the skeleto-muscular aspects. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOL   209. Medical Microbiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   101 and BIOZ   101, BIOL   151 and BIOZ   151, or BIOL   152 and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C. General principles of microbiology and immunology to provide a thorough understanding of the host-microbe relationship in disease. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOL   217. Principles of Nutrition. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   101, 151 or 152 with a minimum grade of C, or BIOL/ENVS   103 with a minimum grade of C. An introduction to basic principles of nutrition and their application in promoting growth and maintaining health throughout the life cycle. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOL   291. Topics in Biology. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, 152 and BIOZ   151, 152, with minimum grades of C. A study of a selected topic in biology. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

BIOL   300. Cellular and Molecular Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151 and 152; BIOZ   151 or LFSC/BNFO   251; BIOZ   152 or LFSC/BNFO   252; CHEM   101 and CHEZ   101, all with a minimum grade of C; BIOL   200, MATH   200, MATH   201, STAT   210, STAT   212, STAT   314 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. Biology majors must have completed BIOL   200. Pre- or corequisites: CHEM   102 and CHEZ   102. A study of the molecular biology of the cell as it relates to gene expression, cell signaling, and cell growth and differentiation.

BIOL   303. Microbiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. The morphological, biochemical, taxonomic, genetic and evolutionary characteristics of microorganisms with a primary focus on bacteria. Focuses on the structural, mechanical and biochemical adaptations employed by microorganisms in their interactions with host cells and substrates.

BIOL   307. Aquatic Ecology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   317, CHEM   102 and CHEZ   102, with minimum grades of C. The physical, chemical and especially the biological aspects of freshwater ecosystems.

BIOL   308. Vertebrate Histology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. Microanatomy of vertebrate cells, tissues and organs and the relationship of structure to function. Laboratory work involves an in-depth study of vertebrate microanatomy at the light microscope level as well as an introduction to techniques used for the preparation of materials for histological study.

BIOL   309. Entomology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, 152 and BIOZ   151, 152, with minimum grades of C. A field-based course that focuses on insect diversification, identification, natural history and basic biology.

BIOL   310. Genetics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and BIOL and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C; and BIOL   200, MATH   200, MATH   201, STAT   210, STAT   212, STAT   314 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. Biology majors must have completed BIOL   200. The basic principles of molecular and applied genetics of plants, animals and microorganisms.

BIOL   312. Invertebrate Zoology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, 152 and BIOZ   151, 152, with minimum grades of C. A survey of the invertebrate animals with emphasis on environmental interactions. A weekend trip to a marine environment is required.

BIOL   313. Vertebrate Natural History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, 152 and BIOZ   151, 152, with minimum grades of C. The natural history of vertebrates with emphasis on the species native to Virginia.

BIOL   314. Animal Reproduction. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151, BIOL and BIOZ   152, and BIOL   300, each with a minimum grade of C. Introduction to basic reproductive anatomy and physiology. Examination of the basic factors that affect reproductive performance and how these factors are used to regulate the reproductive processes of domestic animals and humans.

BIOL   317. Ecology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and BIOL and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C; and BIOL   200, MATH   200, MATH   201, STAT   210, STAT   212, STAT   314 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. Biology majors must have completed BIOL   200. An introduction to the basic principles of ecology, including interactions among organisms and influences of the physical environment.

BIOL   318. Evolution. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and BIOL and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C; and BIOL   200, MATH   200, MATH   201, STAT   210, STAT   212, STAT   314 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. Biology majors must have completed BIOL   200. An exploration of the theoretical and empirical foundations of evolutionary biology with a focus on the processes driving evolutionary change across all of life.

BIOL   320. Biology of the Seed Plant. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and BIOL and BIOZ   152, each with a minimum grade of C. The physiology, structure and adaptation of seed plants.

BIOL   321. Plant Development. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   300 and 310, each with a minimum grade of C. A survey of the developmental changes that take place during the life cycle of lower and higher plants. Emphasis is placed on the control factors that are involved in regulating the ordered changes which take place during development.

BIOL   322. Economic Botany. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151 and 152 and BIOZ   151 and 152, or equivalents, with minimum grades of C. This class focuses on plant morphology, anatomy, phytochemistry, growth and reproduction through an examination of the biology of economically and culturally important plants, including crops used for foods and beverages, medicines and drugs, fibers, and timber.

BIOL   323. Plant Physiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151, BIOL and BIOZ   152, and BIOL   300, or equivalents, with minimum grades of C. An introduction to basic plant physiology, including transport processes, energy production and secondary metabolism with emphasis on adaptations to stress.

BIOL   325. Fungal Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. The basic biology of fungi, including growth, structure, genetics, diversity, the commercial uses of fungi and their importance as model organisms. Also discusses the interactions between fungi and plants and fungi and humans.

BIOL   332. Environmental Pollution. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: eight credits in biology. The study of pollution in the environment with emphasis on the procedures for detection and abatement. Crosslisted as: ENVS   330.

BIOL   333. Evolution of the Angiosperms. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151,152 and BIOZ   151, 152, all with minimum grade of C. Application of evolutionary concepts to flowering plants. Topics include speciation concepts, evolution of vegetative and sexual characteristics and an overview of angiosperm diversity to the level of family.

BIOL   335. Global Change Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, BIOL   152, BIOZ   151 and BIOZ   152, all with minimum grade of C. Examines how humans influence biological systems and explores what can be done to adapt to or to mitigate future global change, emphasizing anthropogenic climate change.

BIOL   341. Human Evolution. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200 with a minimum grade of C. Introduces the range of human diversity as well as a broad understanding of evolution and evolutionary biology, particularly as it applies to hominid evolution. Specific topics include basic genetics, primatology, paleontology, and growth and development. Crosslisted as: ANTH   301.

BIOL   351. Introduction to Bioinformatics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduction to the basic concepts, tools and possibilities of bioinformatics, the analysis of large bodies of biological information. The course stresses problem-solving and integrative projects, making extensive use of exercises in class that draw on bioinformatics resources on the Web and on local servers. Graded as pass/fail. Crosslisted as: BNFO   301.

BIOL   380. Introduction to Mathematical Biology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   200 and BIOL   151, or permission of instructor. An introduction to mathematical biology. Various mathematical modeling tools will be covered and implemented in a range of biological areas. Additionally, the collaborative research process will be presented and discussed. Crosslisted as: BNFO   380/MATH   380.

BIOL   391. Topics in Biology. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, 152 and BIOZ   151, 152, with minimum grades of C. A study of a selected topic in biology. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

BIOL   392. Introduction to Research. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 lecture/demonstration hours. 1 credit. Prerequisites: UNIV   200 or HONR   200; STAT   210; BIOL   310; BIOL   317; one of the following laboratory experiences: BIOZ   310, BIOZ   317 or BIOZ   476; all with minimum grades of C. An introduction to the scientific process, including the mechanics of problem definition, information gathering and experimental design. Experimentation is discussed in context with methods of data collection and analysis; some basic research techniques are demonstrated. Aims are to prepare the student for future research experiences, and to have the student write detailed research proposals.

BIOL   395. Directed Study. 1-2 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-2 credits. Maximum of 2 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses (BIOL   395, BIOL   492, BIOL   495 and/or BIOZ   395). Prerequisites: BIOZ   151 and BIOZ   152 with minimum grades of C, permission of the Department of Biology and research mentor. Mentors are not limited to faculty members within the Department of Biology, but the context of the research study must be applicable to the biological sciences as determined by the department. Studies should include directed readings, directed experimentation or advanced guided inquiry — all under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A minimum of three hours of supervised activity per week per credit hour is required. Graded as pass/fail.

BIOL   401. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 300 and 317, each with a minimum grade of C. The biology and chemical activities of microorganisms (bacteria, algae, virus and fungi) of industrial, pharmaceutical and agricultural importance.

BIOL   402. Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 5 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. The evolution of vertebrate forms as demonstrated by anatomical studies of selected vertebrate types.

BIOL   403. Primatology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: ANTH   210 or ANTH   301/BIOL   341. Primatology investigates the taxonomic relationships among primates through comparative anatomy, comparative behavior and comparative biochemistry. Study of primate evolution, demography, subsistence, reproduction, social organization, communication systems and ecology. Crosslisted as: ANTH   403.

BIOL   411. Animal Physiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   300 and CHEM   301, each with a minimum grade of C. Physiological principles of animal cells, tissues and organs from the viewpoint of chemical and physical phenomena.

BIOL   413. Parasitology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. The epidemiology and pathological effects of eukaryotic parasites, including parasite life cycles and host-parasite relationships.

BIOL   415. Mangrove Avian Field Ecology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; two weeks abroad in Panama (or other tropical location with mangrove forests) followed by class meetings two days per week throughout most of spring semester. 4 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317. An immersive study of tropical ecology with a focus on bird ecology and conservation of mangrove ecosystems through a unique blend of rigorous science and community engagement. Two weeks of study abroad, including engagement with local conservation organizations and participation in education outreach with local schools, followed by discussion, data analysis and presentation of progress and research in a public symposium on campus.

BIOL   416. Ornithology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. Provides an integrative study of birds, including avian evolution and diversity, general anatomy and physiology, behavior, and ecology.

BIOL   417. Mammalogy. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL 218 and 317 with minimum grades of C. Study of the characteristics, adaptive radiation and distribution of mammals, with emphasis on North American forms.

BIOL   422. Forest Ecology. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. Covers the fundamentals of forest ecology, with a particular emphasis on Virginia’s diverse forest ecosystems. Students gain an understanding of the principal controls on forest structure, growth and distribution and relate these principles to sustainable forest management.

BIOL   425. Field Botany. 3 Hours.Play VideoPlay course video for Field Botany

Semester course; 2 lecture hours and 3 laboratory hours.(60 percent online, 40 percent field/laboratory) 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   310 and BIOL   317, both with minimum grades of C. Online lectures, discussions, reflections and assessments in conjunction with field experience. Explores the effects of environmental conditions on plant morphology and adaptations, with emphasis on plant anatomy, plant physiology and ecology.

BIOL   430. Invasion Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, BIOL   152, BIOZ   151, BIOZ   152 and BIOL   317, all with minimum grade of C. A comprehensive view of the ecology and impacts of invasive species. Integrates the effects of historical human demography, ecological disturbance, natural history, species interactions, barriers to invasion, invasive species management and impacts on natural communities and ecosystems.

BIOL   431. Introduction to Marine Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   317, CHEM   102 and CHEZ   102, with minimum grades of C. An introduction to physical, chemical and geological oceanography and a more detailed treatment of the organisms and ecological processes involved in the pelagic and benthic environments of the world's oceans and estuaries.

BIOL   435. Herpetology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. The evolution, ecology, structure, taxonomy and behavior of reptiles and amphibians.

BIOL   438. Forensic Molecular Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   310 or equivalent; CHEM   302 and CHEZ   302. Provides an understanding of molecular biology testing methodologies as applied to analysis of forensic samples. Current topics in forensic DNA analysis will include quality assurance, DNA databanking, contemporary research and population genetics. Crosslisted as: FRSC   438.

BIOL   440. Developmental Biology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   300 and 310, each with a minimum grade of C. Basic principles of developmental biology focused on vertebrate model organisms with an emphasis on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that guide development.

BIOL   445. Neurobiology and Behavior. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. The study of animal behavior stressing ecological, evolutionary and neurobiological approaches.

BIOL   448. Neuroscience. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   310. An examination of the basic structure of the nervous system, nervous system operation on a cellular and molecular level and the formation of the nervous system during development.

BIOL   450. Biology of Cancer I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C or PHIS   309. An examination of the cellular, molecular and clinical aspects of cancer development, progression and treatment.

BIOL   451. Biology of Cancer II. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 12 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   450 and instructor's permission. An examination of the cellular, molecular and clinical aspects of cancer development, progression and treatment.

BIOL   452. Biology of Drugs. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. Explores how drugs modulate biological signaling pathways to study, cure, enhance and intoxicate organisms. An introduction to basic pharmacology that largely focuses on human pathways and diseases. Topics include major drug classes (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, etc.) and drugs of abuse (alcohol, marijuana, etc.).

BIOL   455. Immunology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C or PHIS   309. A comprehensive introduction to the immune system of higher animals, emphasizing the molecular and cellular basis for antibody-medicated immunity.

BIOL   459. Infectious Disease Ecology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   151, BIOL   152, BIOZ   151, BIOZ   152 and BIOL   317, all with minimum grade of C. A comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the causes and consequences of infectious disease at levels from individual organisms to global scale. Examines the history of infectious disease ecology in human and nonhuman populations. Students learn about the roles of transmission and coevolution in infectious disease ecology and how population models are used to inform management of epidemics and emerging infectious diseases.

BIOL   460. Human Evolutionary Genetics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   318 or BIOL   341 with a minimum grade of C. The origin and genetic history of modern humans, our historic colonization and migration, the utility of the Human Genome Project, our differences from other primates, adaptation to our environment and disease, and the ethical implications of genetic research in our society.

BIOL   475. Biology Capstone Seminar: ____. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL   300, BIOL   310 and BIOL   317 with minimum grades of C; and senior standing. Enrollment restricted to biology majors. Students read assigned topical papers before class, prepare critical analyses, discuss and debate selected positions. See Schedule of Classes for specific topics.

BIOL   477. Biology Capstone Experience. 0 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 0 credits. Prerequisites: completion of the Biocore with minimum grades of C and 90 hours of undergraduate course work. The following courses qualify as a capstone experience if taken as a co-requisite with this course: BIOL   492 Independent Study, BIOL   493 Biology Internship, BIOL   495 Research and Thesis, BIOL   497 Ecological Service Learning or other courses, including topics courses, that include the core competencies required for a capstone experience and are approved by the chair of the Department of Biology. Graded as Pass/Fail.

BIOL   480. Animal-Plant Interactions. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 or BIOL   318 with a minimum grade of C, or permission of the instructor. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of interactions among animals and plants.

BIOL   489. Communicating Research. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: Completion of the Biocore with minimum grades of C. Corequisite: BIOL   495, senior standing. An opportunity for students to develop skills necessary for effective communication of their research in writing. Includes a variety of seminar discussions and activities including preparation of figures for publication and the crafting of a research paper with correct usage of the primary literature. Students will use this as an opportunity to aid the writing of their thesis for BIOL   495.

BIOL   490. Presenting Research. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Prerequisite: Completion of the Biocore with minimum grades of C. Pre- or corequisites: BIOL   492 or 495, and senior standing. Opportunity for students to develop skills necessary for effective oral presentation of their research work. Includes a variety of seminar discussions and activities such as preparation of visual materials and statistical analysis of data. Students will make several oral presentations directly related to their specific BIOL   492 or 495 projects.

BIOL   491. Topics in Biology. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisite: BIOL   300. A study of a selected topic in biology. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

BIOL   492. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-4 credits. Maximum of 4 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses (BIOL   395, BIOL   492, BIOL   495 and/or BIOZ   395). A minimum of 2 credits is required for the course to count as a laboratory experience. Prerequisite: minimum grade of C in one of the following courses: BIOZ   310, BIOZ   317 or BIOZ   476; and permission of the chair of the Department of Biology. Projects should include data collection and analysis, learning field and/or laboratory techniques, and/or mastering experimental procedures, all under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A minimum of three hours of supervised activity per week per credit hour is required. A final report must be submitted at the completion of the project.

BIOL   493. Biology Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study and internship courses. 1 credit awarded for each 100 hours of work experience in professional biology setting. Prerequisites: BIOL   310 or 317 with minimum grades of C; and permission of the chair of the Department of Biology and of the agency, company or organization in which internship will be held. Internship designed to provide laboratory or field experience in an off-campus professional biology setting. A final report must be submitted upon completion of the internship. Graded as pass/fail.

BIOL   495. Research and Thesis. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 4 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all undergraduate research in biology (BIOL 292, 492, 495). A minimum of 2 credits is required for the course to count as a laboratory experience. A minimum of 4 credits is required for honors in biology. Prerequisites: LFSC   301, permission of the supervising faculty member and a research proposal acceptable to the departmental chair. Activities include field and/or laboratory research under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. A minimum of three hours of supervised activity per week per credit hour is required. Research projects must include experimental design and analysis of data. A written thesis of substantial quality is required upon completion of the research.

BIOL   496. Biology Preceptorship. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 credits. May be repeated with a different course for a maximum of 4 credits. Prerequisites: completion of the relevant course with a minimum grade of B and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Permission of instructor and departmental chair required prior to registration. Preceptors assist instructors in lecture (BIOL) or laboratory (BIOZ) courses. Responsibilities vary and may include, but are not are limited to, attending class, conducting review sessions and preparing course study/review materials. Graded as pass/fail.

BIOL   497. Ecological Service Learning. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. A service-learning course coupled to course content and material taught in BIOL   317. Students will seek out ecologically relevant opportunities with local, state and federal community partners who will provide experiences to enhance academic enrichment and personal growth and will help foster a sense of civic responsibility. Students must complete a minimum of 20 service-learning hours with community partner(s).

BIOL   498. Insects and Plants Service-learning. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 or BIOL   318 with a minimum grade of C, or permission of the instructor. A service-learning course related to insect-plant interactions. Field experience with community partners, including public parks, botanical gardens and organic farms. Designed to expand academic instruction, enhance personal growth and foster a sense of civic responsibility. Students must complete a minimum of 40 service-learning hours with a community partner.

Biology labs 

BIOZ   101. Biological Concepts Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   101, 151 or 152. Laboratory exercise correlated with BIOL   101. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOZ   151. Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisites: BIOL   151, MATH   151 and CHEM   101. Laboratory investigation of cellular metabolism, genetics and molecular biology, with an emphasis on formation and testing of hypotheses. Laboratory exercises will elaborate themes discussed in BIOL   151.

BIOZ   152. Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Prerequisites: BIOL   151 and BIOZ   151, both with a minimum grade of C. Pre- or corequisites: BIOL   152, MATH   151 and CHEM   101. Laboratory investigation of evolutionary concepts, evolution of organisms, biological diversity and ecology, with an emphasis on formation and testing of hypotheses. Laboratory exercises will elaborate themes discussed in BIOL   152.

BIOZ   201. Human Biology Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   201. Laboratory exercises correlated with BIOL   201 Human Biology. Exercises emphasize the structure, function and disorders of human body systems, principles of human genetics and inheritance, and human evolution and ecology. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOZ   209. Medical Microbiology Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   209. Techniques to culture, isolate and identify microbes with related topics such as water coliform tests, and antibiotics and disinfectant sensitivity testing. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Biology.

BIOZ   303. Microbiology Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 4 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   303. Laboratory application of techniques and concepts in microbiology. Emphasis is placed on techniques to isolate, culture and identify bacteria; genetics and molecular biology of bacteria; safety and aseptic protocols; assays for antibiotic and disinfectant susceptibility.

BIOZ   307. Aquatic Ecology Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Prerequisites: BIOL   317, CHEM   102 and CHEZ   102, with minimum grades of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   307. Laboratory and field studies of the biota of aquatic habitats and their relationship with the environment.

BIOZ   310. Laboratory in Genetics. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: UNIV   200 or HONR   200 with minimum grades of C. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL   310. Demonstrates the laws and molecular basis of heredity through exercises and experiments that use a variety of organisms.

BIOZ   312. Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and 152, with minimum grades of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   312. A laboratory survey of the invertebrate animals, with emphasis on environment interactions. A weekend trip to a marine environment is required.

BIOZ   313. Vertebrate Natural History Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and 152, with minimum grades of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   313. Laboratory exercises focusing on the natural history of vertebrates, with emphasis on the species native to Virginia.

BIOZ   317. Ecology Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 4 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and 152, and UNIV   200 or HONR   200; all with minimum grades of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   317. A field-oriented course that provides experience in ecological research, including experimental design, instrumentation, data collection and data analysis.

BIOZ   321. Plant Development Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 4 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   321. An experimental approach applied to a phylogenetic survey of developmental model systems. Observational and experimental protocols will be used to collect data and gather information. Problem-solving skills will be utilized to analyze and present experimental results.

BIOZ   341. Human Evolution Lab. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Corequisite: BIOL   341/ANTH   301. Laboratory exercises correlated with BIOL   341/ANTH   301. Exercises emphasize comparative primate and fossil anatomy, morphology and behavior, as well as practice in recognizing and applying evolutionary principles in human evolution. Crosslisted as: ANTZ   301.

BIOZ   391. Topics in Biology Laboratory. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisites: BIOL and BIOZ   151 and 152, with minimum grades of C. Laboratory investigations in a selected topic of biology. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

BIOZ   395. Directed Study. 1-2 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-2 credits. Maximum of 2 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses (BIOL   395, BIOL   492, BIOL   495 and/or BIOZ   395). Prerequisites: BIOZ   151 and BIOZ   152 with minimum grades of C, permission of the Department of Biology and research mentor. Mentors are not limited to faculty members within the Department of Biology, but the context of the research study must be applicable to the biological sciences as determined by the department. Studies should include directed readings, directed experimentation or advanced guided inquiry — all under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A minimum of three hours of supervised activity per week per credit hour is required. Graded as pass/fail.

BIOZ   416. Ornithology Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 4 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   317 with a minimum grade of C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL   416. A field-oriented course that develops basic skills in bird identification by sight and sound for a variety of regional taxa with emphasis on avian anatomy and adaptations for flight. Students conduct an independent or small-group research project on a question of their choice relating to avian ecology or behavior, including experimental design, data collection and analysis, and a final project presentation.

BIOZ   438. Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL/FRSC   438. Provides comprehensive coverage of the various types of DNA testing currently used in forensic science laboratories. Students will have hands-on experience with the analytical equipment employed in forensic science laboratories and the techniques for human identification in forensic casework. Students also will explore and practice both scientific writing and writing of DNA case reports. Crosslisted as: FRSZ   438.

BIOZ   476. Biology Capstone Laboratory. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL   310 with a minimum grade of C, and 90 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Application of basic methods used in cellular and molecular biology to the investigation of topics of current biological interest. Emphasis on experimental design, data collection and analysis, communication skills, critical thinking, and ethical and social responsibility.

BIOZ   491. Topics in Biology Laboratory. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisites: BIOL   300 with a minimum grade of C. Laboratory investigations in a selected topic of biology. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.