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undergraduate program

Courses and Degrees

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a wide range of courses in order to help students tailor the degree to best fit their needs. For questions regarding a degree in biological sciences, please contact one of the undergraduate advisors, who can be reached by linking to the "advisors" webpage to the right.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Bachelor of Science in Biology (8th -12th Grade Teaching)

Courses

BIOL 1106 General Biology Laboratory I

Investigations related to BIOL 1306. First Semester of a laboratory required for science majors and minor, also available to the general student. Prerequisites: READ 0322, ENGL 0321, MATH 0421. Corequisite BIOL 1306. Lab. 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 1306 General Biology I

An introduction to the unifying biological principles with emphasis on fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and evolutionary theory. Covers major biological concepts, scientific design, cells, and organisms. Designed for both the biology major and the non-science major. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 1107 General Biology Laboratory II

Laboratory practice designed for the general education student and majors and minors in biology that illustrates the fundamentals of organismal biology, ecology, biodiversity, biological concepts, cells, and organisms. Prerequisite: READ 0322, ENGL 0321, MATH 0421. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 1307. Lab. 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 1307 General Biology II

An introduction to the fundamentals of organismal biology, ecology, and biodiversity with an emphasis on global implications. Designed for both the biology major and the non-science major. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 1108 Biological Concepts Laboratory I

This course covers laboratory investigations related to BIOL 1308. Prerequisite: READ 0322, ENGL 0321, MATH 0421. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 1308 Biological Concepts I

This introductory course is designed to provide non-science majors a conceptual approach to topics ranging from molecular and cellular biology, to genetics, and biotechnology as they relate to current events, cultural and societal issues. Lec 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 1109 Biological Concepts Laboratory II

This course covers laboratory investigations related to BIOL 1309. Prerequisite: READ 0322, ENGL 0321.

BIOL 1309 Biological Concepts II

This introductory course is designed to provide non-science majors a conceptual approach to topics ranging from evolution biodiversity, ecology, to conservation biology as they relate to current events, cultural and societal issues. Lec 3, Cr 3.

BIOL 1322 Human Nutrition

A study of the basic principles of nutrition in health and disease Stresses the modern concepts of an adequate diet based on the nutritional needs of the individual. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 2101 Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I

Cells, tissues, skeletal, muscle, nervous systems. Includes dissections and instrumentation related to basic hands-on understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 2301. Lab. 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 2301 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

General biological principles, cellular biology, emphasis on human integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems and related topics. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: BIOL 2101. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 2102 Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II

Emphasis on endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Includes related dissection and instrumentation designed to facilitate basic hands-on understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Prerequisite: BIOL 2301 AND 2101, prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 2302. Lab. 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 2143 General Biology Laboratory III

This course covers laboratory investigations related to BIOL 2343. Prerequisite: BIOL 1107 and BIOL 1307. Corequisite BIOL 2343 or currently enrolled. Lab 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 2343 General Biology III

This course is a comparative study of form and function in protists, fungi, and plants including a survey of diversity, physiology, reproduction and development. Other topics to be discussed include the origin and diversification of life, population genetics, taxonomy, and systematics. Lec 3, Cr 3.

BIOL 2302 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Continuation of BIOL 2301. Includes human urogenital, circulatory, respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems, human development, emphasis on nutrition, metabolic, electrolyte and fluid balance. Prerequisite: BIOL 2301 and 2101, prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 2101. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 2317 Evolution

This course reviews the history of evolutionary thought and examines modern evolutionary theory. Topics include Darwinian and evolution mechanisms of evolutionary change, speciation and the history of life and macroevolutionary trends. The course concludes with a survey of current research, including applications to human evolution. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, 1106, 1307, 1107. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 2121 Microbiology Laboratory

Laboratory application of microbial techniques including staining microscopy, cultivation of microbes and handling of aseptic cultures and materials in the laboratory, biochemical aspect of microbes, chemical, physical, and chemotherapeutic control of microbial growth, sanitary analysis of municipal water systems, determination of a bacterial unknown. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: BIOL 2321. Lab 4, Cr. 1.

BIOL 2321 Microbiology

An introduction to the field of microbiology, microbial morphology, cell fine structure, factors controlling growth and reproduction, microbial survey, pus viruses; metabolism; microbial genetics, biotechnology, genetic control of microbes; resistance to infection, immunology; transmission of diseases; environmental and applied microbiology. Prerequisite; BIOL 1306, 1106, 1307, 1107 or BIOL 2301, 2101, 2302, 2102, prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 2121. CHEM 1311, 1312, highly recommended. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 3101 Advanced Physiology Laboratory

A laboratory which emphasizes the major concepts of modern genetics. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for: BIOL 3303. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 3301 Advanced Physiology

Selective topics of mammalian physiology, primarily man, which include nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, endocrine, immunity, respiratory, digestive, metabolic, urinary, acid-base balance, and reproductive systems. Anatomy and Physiology I and II are highly recommended for this course. Lec. 3, Cr. 3

BIOL 3103 Genetics Laboratory

A laboratory which emphasizes the major concepts of modern genetics. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for: BIOL 3303. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 3303 Genetics

This course is an introduction to genetics with consideration of its application in plant and animal biology and human welfare. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 3108 Plant Morphology Laboratory

A laboratory emphasizing the study of the morphology, development and relationships of fungi, algae, liverworts, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 3308.  Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 3308 Plant Morphology

This course is a study of the morphology, development and relationships of fungi, algae, liverworts, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 3109 Ecology Laboratory

A laboratory for ecology which covers the study of the basic environmental factors affecting plants and animals, and their relation to economic and conservation problems. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 3309. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 3309 Ecology

A study of the basic environmental factors affecting plants and animals and their relation to economic and conservation problems. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology, Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 3112 Cell Biology Laboratory

A laboratory study of cell and molecular structure and function with emphasis on bioenergetics, membranes, genes, and genetic control, cell division and its regulation, cellular differentiation.  Biochemistry I is highly recommended before taking this course. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307, CHEM 2323 and CHEM 2325. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 3312. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 3312 Cell Biology

A study of cell structure and function with emphasis on bioenergetics, membranes, genes, and genetic control, cell division, and its regulation, cellular-differentiation. (May not be repeated for credit) Prerequisite: eight semester credit hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 3114 Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory

A laboratory study of the comparative morphology, evolution, systematics, and natural history of the invertebrates.  Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 3414. Lab 3, Cr. 1

BIOL 3314 Invertebrate Zoology

A study of the comparative morphology, evolution, systemic and natural history of the invertebrates. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4100 Biology Seminar

The student completes and independent scholarly review of research topic, makes an oral report on the topic, and discusses current research with faculty and students. Prerequisite: Senior standing, twenty-four semester credit hours of biology. Lec. 1, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4170 Laboratory Topics in Biology

This course is a series of lab/field investigations in areas not available in other courses. May be repeated for credit when content changes. Lab. 1, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4199  Research Problems in Biology

Research under the supervision of a Biology faculty member. May be repeated for credit but no more than three semester credit hours (*) may apply toward the Biology major. (*combinations of 4199, 4299). Prerequisite: Junior standing, completion of three advanced courses in Biology (nine upper-division semester credit hours and approval of instructor). Lec. 1, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4299 Research Problems in Biology

Research under the supervision of a Biology faculty member. May be repeated for credit but no more than three semester credit hours (*) may be applied towards the Biology major. (*combinations of 4199, 4299). Prerequisite: Junior standing, completion of three advanced courses in Biology (nine upper-division semester credit hours), and approval of instructor. Lec. 2, Cr. 2.

BIOL 4301 Evolution

This course involves the study of organic evolution with an emphasis on mechanics, especially genetics and modern theories. This course will provide a common foundation of understanding of the fundamental principles that underpin biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 2343. Lec 3, Cr 3.

BIOL 4104 Ichthyology Laboratory

This lab emphasizes field surveys, taxonomy, and the identification of local marines and freshwater fishes. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, BIOL 1306, BIOL 1107 , and BIOL 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4304. Lab 3, Cr 1.

BIOL 4304 Ichthyology

This course covers the classification, evolution, ecology, and biology of the fishes. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, BIOL 1306, BIOL 1107, and BIOL 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4104. Lec 3, Cr 3.

BIOL 4109 Herpetology Laboratory

The lab and field work will familiarize students with herptofauna of the lower Rio Grande Valley and with plant and animal associations in a variety of habitats. Students will be required to keep a journal of field observations and a catalog of specimens observed. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, 1106, 1307, 1106. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4309. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4309 Herpetology

An in-depth study of amphibians and reptiles. Classification according to their types and characteristics as well as collection and field trip techniques for acquiring and preparing museum specimens and their preservation for proper storage and cataloguing. A good knowledge of South Texas herpetofauna will be emphasized. Special in-depth study of venomous snakes and current snakebite treatment measures will be surveyed. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4302 Marine Biology Laboratory

A laboratory study of the common marine animals, especially invertebrates in local coastal waters, particular attention given to structural and physiological relationships. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4302. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4302 Marine Biology

A study of the common marine animals, especially invertebrates in coastal waters, particular attention is to be given to structural and physiological relationships. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4110 Marine Botany Laboratory

A laboratory practice emphasizing the collection, preservation, and identification of common local marine flora with emphasis on the macroscopic algae forms.  Field trips to local marine environments is required.  Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307.  Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4310. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4310 Marine Botany

A study of common local marine flora with emphasis on the macroscopic algae forms. Students are expected to furnish their own transportation to nine or ten laboratory field sessions. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4114 Plant Taxonomy Laboratory

Laboratory identification of vascular plants with emphasis on native flowering plants. Prerequisites: BIOL 1306, 1106, 1307, 1107. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4314. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4314 Plant Taxonomy

Identification of vascular plants with emphasis on native flowering plants. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4120 Plant Anatomy Laboratory

This is a laboratory study of the anatomy of seed plants. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4320. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4320 Plant Anatomy

Anatomy of seed plants. Prerequisite: eight semesters hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4125 Plant Physiology Laboratory

A laboratory analysis of cell biology, biochemistry, metabolism, ecophysiology, and the development of plants. Topics include water relations, respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, mineral nutrition, plant hormones, plant molecular biology, genetic engineering, and the role of environmental signals to plant development. Prerequisites: BIOL 1306, 1307, 1106, 1107, CHEM 2323. 2325. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4325 Plant Physiology

An analysis of cell biology, biochemistry, metabolism, ecophysiology and development of plants. Topics include water relations, respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, mineral nutrition, plant hormones, plant molecular biology, genetic engineering and the role of environmental signals to plant development. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, 1307, 1106, 1107, CHEM 2323, 2325. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4127 Texas Coastal Ecology Laboratory

This course is a series of laboratory and field investigations emphasizing identification, biology and ecology of local marine organisms. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, BIOL 1307 and concurrent enrollment in BIOL 4327. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4327 Texas Coastal Ecology

This course examines the major near shore habitats and communities of the western Gulf of Mexico including: beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, salt marshes, mud flats, sea grass meadows, and rocky shores. Emphasis is placed on directed, field-oriented, group and/or individual research projects. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, BIOL 1307, and one of the following courses: BIOL 3309, BIOL 3314 or BIOL 4302. Lec 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4330 Integrative Biology for Middle School Science Teachers

This course designed for middle school science teachers is the coordinated-thematic integration of biology with physics, chemistry, and earth/space science through a series of lectures, panels, demonstrations and applied activities. Prerequisite: eight semester credit hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4331 Integrative Biology for High School Science Teachers

This course designed for high school science teachers is the coordinated-thematic integration of biology with physics, chemistry, and earth/space science through a series of lectures, panels, demonstrations and applied activities. Prerequisite: eight semester credit hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4140 Immunology Laboratory

This laboratory covers the Immune System, cells and organs of the immune system, antigens and antibodies, Immunoglobulin Genes, Major Histocompatibility Complex proteins, cytokines, vaccines, and infectious diseases. Biochemistry I is highly recommended for this course. Prerequisites: BIOL 1306, 1307, 1106, 1107, CHEM 2323, 2325. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4340. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4340 Immunology

This course covers the immune system, cells and organs of the immune system, antigens, and antibodies, immunoglobulin genes. Major histocompatibility, complex protein, cytokines, vaccines and infectious diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4132 Animal Behavior Laboratory

Projects introduce students to laboratory and field methods for observing, quantifying, analyzing, and reporting animal behavior. Typical research projects address: sensory mechanisms, chemical and vocal communication signals, and dynamic behavioral interactions. Prerequisite: Junior standing and completion of12 credit hours in Biology. Corequisite: BIOL 4332.Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4332 Animal Behavior

Lectures introduce students to the biological basis of animal behavior. Emphasis is placed on evolutionary explanations of: behavioral genetics and development, neural and hormonal mechanisms, instincts and learning, reproductive, and social behavior. Prerequisite: Junior standing and completion of 12 credit hours in Biology. Corequisite: BIOL 4132. Lec 3, Cr 3.

BIOL 4150 Ornithology Laboratory

A laboratory practice concerning the field identification, classification, morphology, ecology, distribution, migration patterns, and behavior of local birds.  Field trips are required. Prerequisite: BIOL 1106, 1306, 1107, 1307. Corequisite: Enrollment in or credit for BIOL 4350. Lab 3, Cr. 1.

BIOL 4350 Ornithology

The study of the classification, morphology, ecology, distribution, migration patterns, and behavior of birds. Emphasis on local species. Field trip required. Prerequisite: eight semester hours of biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4370 Topics in Biology

Specialized lecture content not available in other courses. May be repeated for credit as topics change but no more than three semester credit hours may apply towards the Biology major. Prerequisite: Junior standing, completion of twelve semester credit hours in Biology. Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4390 Biology Internship

This course is an applied experience in an industrial, educational, private agency, or governmental facility supported by an acceptable scholarly written report and a seminar. Prerequisite: Junior standing, 16 semester credit hours of Biology. Lab. 6-8, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4399 Research Problems in Biology

Research under the supervision of a Biology faculty member. May be repeated for credit but no more than three semester credit hours may apply toward the Biology major. Students enrolling for BIOL 4399 will present research results in a Biology Department seminar Prerequisite: Junior standing, completion of three advanced courses in Biology (nine advanced sem. credit hours in biology and approval of instructor). Lec. 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4361 Neuroscience I (Cellular and Molecular)

This is a comprehensive first course in the cell and molecular neuroscience for students with biology and/or health science majors. The course offers general principles with a useful blend of data from vertebrate and invertebrate, and provides clear focus and well rounded modern knowledge. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, BIOL 1307, and junior or senior standing. Lec 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4362 Neuroscience II (System, Developmental, and Disorders)

This is a comprehensive course in systems, developmental, and disorders of the nervous system. Neuronal mechanisms underlying intercellular communication, learning and memory, and diseases will be taught based on the knowledge in cellular and molecular neuroscience. Prerequisite: BIOL 1306, BIOL 1307, and junior or senior standing. Lec 3, Cr. 3.

BIOL 4422 Conservation Biology

This course will provide you with a better understanding of the issues in conservation biology, the scientific information of why problems have come to be and hopefully, how science can help identify and solve those problems. The lab portion will focus on a combination of exercises mimicking those issues faced by conservation biologists, discussion of case studies and engaging with actual conservation biologists. There is a lecture and laboratory component to this course. Lec. 3, Cr. 1; Lab. 3 Cr. 1.

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