Biology Major Requirements

2022 - 2023 Catalog

We have the following degrees:

Biology major leading to BA degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree consists of 37 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 27 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 340 or 340S; CHEM 110
  2. Quantitative Biology: Choose two courses from: BIOL 187, 201; CBSC 250; CSCI 102, 121; INTR 202; MATH 101, 102, and, when appropriate BIOL 297

    Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  3. Molecules and Cells: One course from BIOL 211S or 230, 212S, 215* or 215S*, 220, 223, 280*, 285* and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  4. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 217*, 229, 240* or 240S*, 241*, 242*, 243*, 244S, 245* or 245S, 247S, 270S*, and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225*, 250, 255, 260* or 260S*, 261S*, 265*, 267 (ENGN 267), 275, 282, 283 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least two of the following:
    BIOL 310*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 397, 398
  7. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology

Research in Biology: BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

  1. Required courses
  2.  

    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits3

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism.


    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits1

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.


    • BIOL 340 - Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.


    • or

    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews

      *

      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution.


    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits4

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory.


  3. Quantitative Biology
  4.  Two courses from the following:

    • BIOL 187 - Introduction to Data Science in Python
      Credits4

      In this era of data science, major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data-analysis environment, to explore data interactively. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, physiological modeling, image analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research.


    • BIOL 201 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.


    • CBSC 250 - Statistics and Research Design

      (PSYC 250)

      Credits4
      Prerequisiteany CBSC course and at least sophomore class standing

      Students learn about the design and analysis of psychological research, with particular emphasis on experimentation. Students learn statistical inference appropriate for hypothesis testing, and they use standard statistical packages to analyze data.


    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits4

      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.


    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics
      Credits3

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.


    • MATH 101 - Calculus I
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits3

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. Sections meet either 3 or 4 days a week, with material in the latter presented at a more casual pace.


    • MATH 102 - Calculus II
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteMATH 101 with a grade of C or greater

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.


    • and, when appropriate,

    • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
      Credits3-4

      Intermediate-level biology topics.


  5. Intermediate-level courses
  6. Intermediate-Level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 211S - Cell Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Lecture and lab work are intermingled in this course that introduces the structure and function of the cell and sub-cellular organelles. as well as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The diversity and development of different cell types within multicellular organisms is also discussed.


      • or

      • BIOL 230 - Cell Biology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, and at least sophomore standing

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. 


      • BIOL 212S - Molecular Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Molecular biology is an essential tool within modern biology, widely used in biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course provides an introduction to modem molecular biology. Lecture and laboratory exercises are intermingled to provide an understanding of fundamental biological processes that are central to molecular biology. In addition, genomics and bioinformatics concepts and tools are introduced.


      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, BIOL 113, and CHEM 241

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research.


      • or

      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews

        *

        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. This course examines major biological macromolecules, the common motifs which occur in metabolic reactions, explores the properties of enzymes catalyzing these reactions, and considers the approaches to characterize the small molecule complement (metabolites) of biological systems.


      • BIOL 220 - Genetics
        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and either sophomore or junior class standing

        A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations.


      • BIOL 223 - Virology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 211 or BIOL 220

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


    • Ecology and Evolution

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and a MATH course numbered 101 or greater

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.


      • BIOL 229 - Observing Ireland's Coastal Biomes
        FDRHA
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 or ARTS 111 or instructor consent

        Coastal regions offer a rich opportunity to experience a variety of biotic communities, from marine tidal communities to coastal plant and animal communities. In this course, students explore the biodiversity and ecology of these communities through readings, lectures, and traditional field observation/drawing. Observational drawing has a longstanding and important connection to studies of natural history and taxonomy and provides an ideal tool for understanding, appreciating and identifying the specific details of plants, animals, and their contextual environments. A place-based learning framework will provide insight into current environmental challenges and opportunities. Students spend Spring Term on the Atlantic (west) coast of Ireland, visiting coastal biomes and the biologically and historically unique Burren, a glacial karst landscape.


      • BIOL 240 - Comparative Animal Biology

        *

        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups.


      • or

      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews

        *

        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits6
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms.


      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology

        *

        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques.


      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 or ENV 110

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species.


      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans.


      • BIOL 244S - Invertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology

        This course surveys the major invertebrate groups from an evolutionary perspective, emphasizing the diversity of body plans while demonstrating how common functional requirements such as feeding, respiration, excretion, and reproduction are achieved. The economic, social, and scientific impact that invertebrates have on human society is identified. Practical exercises reinforce and complement the lectures in this course. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 245 - Ecology

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative.


      • or

      • BIOL 245S - Ecology at St Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology

        Basic concepts in population and community ecology and how they relate to biodiversity. Fundamental ecological concepts covered include population regulation, intra- and inter-specific competition, species niches, taxonomic and functional diversity.


      • BIOL 247S - Vertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology

        This course explores the diversity of vertebrate animals, beginning with the closest relatives of vertebrates and the evolutionary origins of the group. A detailed look at the defining characteristics of the body plans and lifestyles of the key vertebrate groups illustrate how they carry out basic animal functions in similar or different ways. This is put in an evolutionary context to reveal the patterns and trends in the vertebrates as a whole, while also highlighting current phylogenetic controversies. The module then explores some common themes across the key groups, starting with the developmental biology of some vertebrate model systems and the lessons we can learn from these. We also see how the highly developed brains of vertebrates have allowed the evolution of astonishing sensory capacities and of complex behaviors, and how these are different (or not) from invertebrates.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


    • Structure and Function

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology

        *

        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal.


      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of the endocrine system, including exploration of chemoregulatory mechanisms in vertebrates and examination of biochemical, cellular, and physiological aspects of hormone action. In-class exercises focus on developing written and verbal scientific communication skills, as well as in-depth analysis of primary literature.


      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.


      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course is an introduction to the structure, function, and homeostatic properties of the major organ systems of humans. Laboratory exercises include basic histology, kinesthetic clay modeling of human musculature, and standard diagnostic medical tests such as urinalysis and spirometry.


      • or

      • BIOL 261S - Comparative Physiology at St. Andrews

        *

        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Students study organisms in order to explore the origins and nature of physiological diversity. The course covers the principles of physiological adaptation In a range of animals, including examples from all major taxa and from all habitats.


      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design

        (ENGN 267)

        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePHYS 112

        Same as ENGN 267. Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


      • BIOL 275 - Food for Thought
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course utilizes problem-based learning to investigate nutrition and metabolism, as well as to the neural and hormonal regulation of feeding behavior. Through the use of primary literature and service-learning experiences, students develop an understanding of the experimental tools used in basic and applied nutritional sciences research. Because nutrition directly relates to many health care and quality-of-life issues at the forefront of modern society, this course also examines popular literature on food-related topics.


      • BIOL 282 - Modeling and Simulations in Public Health
        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteMATH 101

        Where are infections spreading? How many people will be affected? What are some different ways to stop the spread of an epidemic? These are questions that all of us ask during an outbreak or emergency. In a process known as modeling, scientists analyze data using complex mathematical methods to provide answers to these and other questions during an emergency response. Models provide the foresight that can help decision-makers better prepare for the future. In this course you will learn how to develop a simple mathematical models using data. You will learn basic epidemiological concepts, computational data analysis tools and relevant mathematical techniques to integrate existing data into the model and generate relevant predictions. In an open-ended project, you and several of your classmates will develop a model and recommendation about potential public health threat. No prior programming experience required - you will learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data analysis environment, to interactively explore data.


      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


  7. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought.
  8.  Students must take at least two of the following:

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 215, CHEM 341, or both BIOL 220 and CHEM 241

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms.


    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and a MATH course numbered 101 or greater

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses.


    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change

      *

      Credits4

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project.


    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology

      *

      Credits4

      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project.


    • BIOL 350 - Immunology
      Credits4
      Prerequisiteeither BIOL 215, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341; and senior class standing

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.


    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy.


    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission.


    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes.


    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants.


    • BIOL 395 - Advanced Topics in Biology
      Credits3-4

      Advanced-level biology topics.


    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms.


    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
      Credits3

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups.


  9. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  10.  

  11. Research in Biology
  12. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

Biology major leading to BS degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Science degree consists of at least 50 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 33 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 220; CHEM 110, 241; MATH 101, 102; PHYS 111, 112
  2. BIOL 185, 187; CSCI 102, or CSCI 121
  3. One course from BIOL 215 or 215S or CHEM 242. (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.
  4. Molecules and Cells: One additional course from BIOL 211S or 230, 212S, 215 or 215S, 223, 280, 285, CHEM 341/343 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 217, 229, 240 or 240S, 241, 242, 243, 244S, 245 or 245S, 247S, and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225, 250, 255, 260 or 260S, 261S, 267 (ENGN 267), 275, 280, 282, 283, and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  7. Advanced-level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *):
    BIOL 310*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 340 or 340S, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 397, 398
  8. Quantitative Biology: One course from BIOL 267, 282, 283, 285, 325, 357, 385 (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above), and, when appropriate BIOL 297
  9. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  10. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.

Research in Biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.

  1. Required courses
  2.  

    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits3

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism.


    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits1

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.


    • BIOL 220 - Genetics
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and either sophomore or junior class standing

      A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations.


    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits4

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory.


    • CHEM 241 - Organic Chemistry I
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCHEM 110 with a grade of C+ or greater

      A survey of the compounds of carbon including their structure, chemical and physical properties, reactivity, reaction mechanisms, identification, and synthesis. Laboratory focuses on the development of skills in preparing, purifying, and identifying organic compounds using spectroscopic methods.


    • MATH 101 - Calculus I
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits3

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. Sections meet either 3 or 4 days a week, with material in the latter presented at a more casual pace.


    • MATH 102 - Calculus II
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteMATH 101 with a grade of C or greater

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.


    • PHYS 111 - General Physics I
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits4

      An introduction to classical mechanics. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws, solids, fluids, and wave motion.


    • PHYS 112 - General Physics II
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits4
      PrerequisitePHYS 111

      A continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and optics.


  3. Take one course:
    • BIOL 185 - Data Science: Visualizing and Exploring Big Data
      Credits3

      We live in the era of big data. Major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring large datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use R, a popular open-source programming language and data analysis environment, to interactively explore data. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, machine learning, image analysis, geospatial analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research.


    • BIOL 187 - Introduction to Data Science in Python
      Credits4

      In this era of data science, major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data-analysis environment, to explore data interactively. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, physiological modeling, image analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research.


    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing
      FDRFM Math and Computer Science Foundation
      Credits4

      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.


  4. Take one course from the following
  5.  (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, BIOL 113, and CHEM 241

      A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research.


    • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. This course examines major biological macromolecules, the common motifs which occur in metabolic reactions, explores the properties of enzymes catalyzing these reactions, and considers the approaches to characterize the small molecule complement (metabolites) of biological systems.


    • CHEM 242 - Organic Chemistry II
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCHEM 241

      A continuation of CHEM 241.


  6. Intermediate-level courses
  7. Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One additional course from the following:

      • BIOL 211S - Cell Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Lecture and lab work are intermingled in this course that introduces the structure and function of the cell and sub-cellular organelles. as well as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The diversity and development of different cell types within multicellular organisms is also discussed.


      • or

      • BIOL 230 - Cell Biology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, and at least sophomore standing

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. 


      • BIOL 212S - Molecular Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Molecular biology is an essential tool within modern biology, widely used in biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course provides an introduction to modem molecular biology. Lecture and laboratory exercises are intermingled to provide an understanding of fundamental biological processes that are central to molecular biology. In addition, genomics and bioinformatics concepts and tools are introduced.


      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, BIOL 113, and CHEM 241

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research.


      • or

      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. This course examines major biological macromolecules, the common motifs which occur in metabolic reactions, explores the properties of enzymes catalyzing these reactions, and considers the approaches to characterize the small molecule complement (metabolites) of biological systems.


      • BIOL 223 - Virology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 211 or BIOL 220

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • CHEM 341 - Biochemistry I
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCHEM 242

        A study of the structure, function, biosynthesis and breakdown of biomolecules, including amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Enzymes, biological membranes and membrane transport, signal transduction, and regulation of metabolism are studied in greater detail.


      • CHEM 343 - Biochemistry I Laboratory
        Credits1

        Experiments demonstrate the techniques used to study proteins and lipids. Isolation and characterization of proteins and lipids using gel electrophoresis, UV-Vis spectroscopy, chromatographic techniques including GC-MS, and the proper reporting and analysis of experimental data are included.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


    • Ecology and Evolution

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and a MATH course numbered 101 or greater

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.


      • BIOL 229 - Observing Ireland's Coastal Biomes
        FDRHA
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 or ARTS 111 or instructor consent

        Coastal regions offer a rich opportunity to experience a variety of biotic communities, from marine tidal communities to coastal plant and animal communities. In this course, students explore the biodiversity and ecology of these communities through readings, lectures, and traditional field observation/drawing. Observational drawing has a longstanding and important connection to studies of natural history and taxonomy and provides an ideal tool for understanding, appreciating and identifying the specific details of plants, animals, and their contextual environments. A place-based learning framework will provide insight into current environmental challenges and opportunities. Students spend Spring Term on the Atlantic (west) coast of Ireland, visiting coastal biomes and the biologically and historically unique Burren, a glacial karst landscape.


      • BIOL 240 - Comparative Animal Biology
        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups.


      • or

      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews
        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits6
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms.


      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology
        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques.


      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 or ENV 110

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species.


      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans.


      • BIOL 244S - Invertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology

        This course surveys the major invertebrate groups from an evolutionary perspective, emphasizing the diversity of body plans while demonstrating how common functional requirements such as feeding, respiration, excretion, and reproduction are achieved. The economic, social, and scientific impact that invertebrates have on human society is identified. Practical exercises reinforce and complement the lectures in this course. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 245 - Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative.


      • or

      • BIOL 245S - Ecology at St Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology

        Basic concepts in population and community ecology and how they relate to biodiversity. Fundamental ecological concepts covered include population regulation, intra- and inter-specific competition, species niches, taxonomic and functional diversity.


      • BIOL 247S - Vertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology

        This course explores the diversity of vertebrate animals, beginning with the closest relatives of vertebrates and the evolutionary origins of the group. A detailed look at the defining characteristics of the body plans and lifestyles of the key vertebrate groups illustrate how they carry out basic animal functions in similar or different ways. This is put in an evolutionary context to reveal the patterns and trends in the vertebrates as a whole, while also highlighting current phylogenetic controversies. The module then explores some common themes across the key groups, starting with the developmental biology of some vertebrate model systems and the lessons we can learn from these. We also see how the highly developed brains of vertebrates have allowed the evolution of astonishing sensory capacities and of complex behaviors, and how these are different (or not) from invertebrates.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


    • Structure and Function

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal.


      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of the endocrine system, including exploration of chemoregulatory mechanisms in vertebrates and examination of biochemical, cellular, and physiological aspects of hormone action. In-class exercises focus on developing written and verbal scientific communication skills, as well as in-depth analysis of primary literature.


      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.


      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course is an introduction to the structure, function, and homeostatic properties of the major organ systems of humans. Laboratory exercises include basic histology, kinesthetic clay modeling of human musculature, and standard diagnostic medical tests such as urinalysis and spirometry.


      • or

      • BIOL 261S - Comparative Physiology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Students study organisms in order to explore the origins and nature of physiological diversity. The course covers the principles of physiological adaptation In a range of animals, including examples from all major taxa and from all habitats.


      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design
        FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePHYS 112

        Same as ENGN 267. Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


      • BIOL 275 - Food for Thought
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        This course utilizes problem-based learning to investigate nutrition and metabolism, as well as to the neural and hormonal regulation of feeding behavior. Through the use of primary literature and service-learning experiences, students develop an understanding of the experimental tools used in basic and applied nutritional sciences research. Because nutrition directly relates to many health care and quality-of-life issues at the forefront of modern society, this course also examines popular literature on food-related topics.


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • BIOL 282 - Modeling and Simulations in Public Health
        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteMATH 101

        Where are infections spreading? How many people will be affected? What are some different ways to stop the spread of an epidemic? These are questions that all of us ask during an outbreak or emergency. In a process known as modeling, scientists analyze data using complex mathematical methods to provide answers to these and other questions during an emergency response. Models provide the foresight that can help decision-makers better prepare for the future. In this course you will learn how to develop a simple mathematical models using data. You will learn basic epidemiological concepts, computational data analysis tools and relevant mathematical techniques to integrate existing data into the model and generate relevant predictions. In an open-ended project, you and several of your classmates will develop a model and recommendation about potential public health threat. No prior programming experience required - you will learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data analysis environment, to interactively explore data.


      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


      • and, when appropriate,

      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3-4

        Intermediate-level biology topics.


  8. Advanced-level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought.
  9. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *).

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 215, CHEM 341, or both BIOL 220 and CHEM 241

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms.


    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and a MATH course numbered 101 or greater

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses.


    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change

      *

      Credits4

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project.


    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology

      *

      Credits4

      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project.


    • BIOL 340 - Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.


    • or

    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution.


    • BIOL 350 - Immunology
      Credits4
      Prerequisiteeither BIOL 215, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341; and senior class standing

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.


    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy.


    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission.


    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes.


    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life

      *

      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants.


    • BIOL 395 - Advanced Topics in Biology
      Credits3-4

      Advanced-level biology topics.


    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior class standing

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms.


    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
      Credits3

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups.


  10. Quantitative Biology:
  11. One course from the following:

    • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design
      FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisitePHYS 112

      Same as ENGN 267. Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


    • BIOL 282 - Modeling and Simulations in Public Health
      FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteMATH 101

      Where are infections spreading? How many people will be affected? What are some different ways to stop the spread of an epidemic? These are questions that all of us ask during an outbreak or emergency. In a process known as modeling, scientists analyze data using complex mathematical methods to provide answers to these and other questions during an emergency response. Models provide the foresight that can help decision-makers better prepare for the future. In this course you will learn how to develop a simple mathematical models using data. You will learn basic epidemiological concepts, computational data analysis tools and relevant mathematical techniques to integrate existing data into the model and generate relevant predictions. In an open-ended project, you and several of your classmates will develop a model and recommendation about potential public health threat. No prior programming experience required - you will learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data analysis environment, to interactively explore data.


    • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and BIOL 113

      Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, and a MATH course numbered 101 or greater

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses.


    • BIOL 357 - A Walk Through the Ages: Using Artificial Intelligence to Understand the Evolution of Exercise
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 187 or CSCI 111

      Exercise leaves us healthier and happier, yet many of us struggle to get enough physical activity. Why it is so hard to hit the gym? Our biology and evolutionary past might play a role in our reluctance to undertake physical activity. In this course, students will learn how to quantify the amount of physical activity using wearable exercise trackers. We will collect data on different types of activities in different environments and physiological conditions. Using machine learning tools, we will develop a unique classifier that will predict the environmental/physiological setting based on the data. We will go through the processes of experimental design, data extraction, data preprocessing, data modeling and finally, data interpretation. These aspects of the course will culminate in a course project which will require students to build a model that represents the exercise data gathered.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants.


    •  (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above)

    • and, when appropriate,

    • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
      Credits3-4

      Intermediate-level biology topics.


  12. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  13.  

  14. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  15.  

  16. Research in Biology
  17. Research in biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.