Biology Course Descriptions

BIOL 101 Biological Concepts (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B, Lab)
An approach to the study of biology that emphasizes conceptual understanding of biological systems. These areas include evolution and the origin of life, cellular processes, Mendelian and molecular genetics, ecology, behavioral science, and basic physiological systems. The interrelationship of these areas and their effect on human biology are stressed. Laboratory. This course is not open to Biology majors.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam.

BIOL 103 Biological Perspectives on Environmental Issues (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B)
An introduction to the scientific principles on which environmental decisions should be based. Methods of conservation practice are stressed. The course includes a discussion of the development and future of the conservation movement. Occasional field trips. No laboratory. This course is not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 112 Biology of Marine Organisms (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B, Lab)
An introduction to life in the oceans, including basic principles of ecology, a description of the important organisms, and the impact of humans on marine life. Laboratory. This course is not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 114 A Human Perspective on Genetics (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B)
An exploration of the field of genetics from the rediscovery of Mendel’s work in 1900 up to the present, with an emphasis on human involvement and ramifications. Topics discussed may include the human genome project, genetic disorders, cloning, genetically modified crops and animals, prenatal and postnatal genetic screening, and mass production of pharmaceuticals. No laboratory. This course is not open to Biology majors.

BIOL 142 Introduction to Human Biology (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B, Lab)
An exploration of the functional aspects of the human body at the molecular, cellular, organ, and systems levels. Emphasis is on the development and evolution of homeostatic mechanisms that allow the body to respond and adapt to physical and emotional stresses under changing environmental conditions. Laboratory. This course is not open to Biology or Food & Nutrition majors, except for students in the Applied Nutrition concentration.

BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology
An introduction to the organismal, population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization for students intending to major in Biology. The course examines the processes of evolution, the diversity of the biological world, and the interactions of organisms and their environment. Laboratory periods concentrate on developing basic skills of observation, measuring and interpreting data, and the reading and reporting of experimental work. Offered Fall semester only.
Prerequisite: MATH 123 College Algebra or eligibility to enroll in MATH 200 Precalculus.

BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
An introduction to the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels of biological organization. The course examines the processes of energy release, photosynthesis, heredity, molecular control of cells, and selected topics in physiology. Laboratory periods concentrate on developing basic skills of observation, measuring and interpreting data, and the reading and reporting of experimental work. Offered Spring semester only.
Prerequisite: MATH 123 College Algebra or eligibility to enroll in MATH 200 Precalculus.

BIOL 200 Introduction to Environmental Science
A comprehensive survey of the environmental principles concerning the interactions of humans and world resources. The role of technology in meeting the problems of growth, pollution, energy, and agriculture is examined in the context of present capabilities and the prospects for future development. No laboratory.

BIOL 203 Plants and Society (Gen. Ed. Domain II-B)
An exploration of the dependency of humans on plants and plant products. The beginning of agriculture and its consequences for human evolution are discussed. The origins, dispersals, improvements, and uses of economically valuable plants are considered along with their relationships to the world’s economy. Occasional field trips. No laboratory. This course is acceptable for majors as a biology elective, but not in place of a required plant course.

BIOL 210 Introduction to Marine Mammals
An exploration of the biology and natural history of marine mammals in the North Atlantic, including whales, dolphins, and seals. Topics include evolution, anatomy, behavior, field identification, and the history of whaling and contemporary conservation issues. Demonstration laboratory work focuses on smaller marine mammals. There is one Saturday field trip on Massachusetts Bay. This course is not open to Biology majors. Additional course fees apply.
Prerequisite: One college biology course. Application to campus representative of the Marine Studies Consortium must be made one semester prior to experience.

BIOL 220 Animal Behavior
A study of the influence of natural selection on the behavior of animals. This course emphasizes the distinction between the immediate causes of behavior, including external stimuli and internal physiological mechanisms, and the ultimate consequences or survival value of behavior. Topics such as learning and instinct, aggression, territoriality, communication, and social behavior are discussed. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: NEUR 225 Biopsychology or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology or BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 232 Invertebrate Zoology
A comparative study of the invertebrate animal phyla with emphasis on marine forms. The course stresses functional morphology, development, behavior, and ecological and evolutionary relationships among the various groups. Students study live specimens whenever possible. Laboratory exercises include field trips to collect and study invertebrates of the region.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 233 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
An introduction to the evolution of vertebrate anatomy. The course is a survey of the anatomical designs of living and extinct vertebrates. It emphasizes the antoamical adaptions of vertebrate organs and organ systems in primitive chordates, fishes, reptiles, and mammals. Laboratories are primarily dissection based. Laboratory. Note: Students may receive credit for only one (1) of the following courses: BIOL 233 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cellular and Organ Systems or BIOL 333 Principles of Human Physiology. 
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology; or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology
An introduction to the functions and relationships of vertebrate organs and organ systems. The course emphasizes physiological adaptations and mechanisms by which vertebrates compensate for environmental variations. Laboratory. Note: Students may receive credit for only one (1) of the following courses: BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cellular and Organ Systems or BIOL 333 Principles of Human Physiology.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology; or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 240 Botanical Diversity
An examination of the biology and evolution of the organisms traditionally studied by botanists including plants, algae, and fungi. Topics include reproduction, ecological interactions, paleobotany, biogeography, and impact of humans on each group of organisms. Laboratory exercises include live and prepared materials to present ecological and anatomical features of representative species. Occasional field trips.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology.

BIOL 251 Vascular Plant Taxonomy
An historical view of plant classification; concepts of nomenclature, goals of phylogenetic and biosystematic investigations; anatomical and morphological characteristics important in classification; key characteristics of important temperate plant families; collection and identification techniques; and introduction to the local flora. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology.

BIOL 260 Cell Biology
A study of the structure and function of cells and their major organelles. Topics covered include the nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi, lysosome, endoplasmic reticulum, protein trafficking, signal transduction, cellular energetics, and gene expression. Laboratory exercises are mostly experimental.
Prerequisites: CHEM 108 Principles of Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis; MATH 200 Precalculus; and either BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology or BIOL 101 Biological Concepts.

BIOL 262 Molecular Biology
An examination of the way the cell accesses, uses, and maintains the information stored in the genome. It begins with an overview of DNA structure and topology, continues with replication, transcription, and translation, and concludes with gene regulation. Special topics could include cancer, stem cells, and RNAi, and focusing on the structure-function relationships of the molecules involved in these processes. Laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIOL 161 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology and CHEM 108 Principles of Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis; or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 272 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Cellular & Organ Systems
A study of the functional systems in the human body and the maintenance of homeostasis. Systems covered in this course include: endocrine, cardiovascular, renal (urinary), immune and digestive. Laboratory. Course offered Fall semester.
Note: Students may receive credit for only one (1) of the following courses: BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Cellular & Organ Systems or BIOL 333 Principles of Human Physiology.
Prerequisites: An introductory biology course with laboratory and an introductory chemistry course with laboratory.

BIOL 273 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Musculoskeletal & Control Systems
A continuation of BIOL 272 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Cellular and Organ Systems. This course focuses on joints, skeletal and muscular systems. In addition, the nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems are studied. This course is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in medical science. Laboratory. Course offered Spring semester.
Prerequisite: BIOL 272 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Cellular & Organ Systems or permission of instructor.

BIOL 301 Genetics
A study of the principles governing heredity in all living things, including microorganisms, plants, and animals. Topics covered include Mendelian inheritance, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, human hereditary disease, and population genetics. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 260 Cell Biology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 303 Exercise Physiology
An advanced examination of the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on functions of the human body. Relationships among bodily functions, exercise, neural, hormonal and nutritional factors are discussed. Structural and functional aspects of the skeletomuscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems are emphasized. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: A grade of C- (1.70) or higher in BIOL 273 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Musculoskeletal & Control Systems.

BIOL 305 Cetacean Biology and Conservation
An examination of the biology and conservation of cetaceans: whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Topics include physiology, population biology and life history analysis, molecular genetics, morphology, distributional ecology, and social behavior. Early lectures focus on the biology of cetaceans and how they are adapted to the marine environment. Later lectures use case studies to review how biological principles can be applied to the conservation of a wide range of cetacean species. Additional course fees apply.
Prerequisites: One year of general biology and two upper-level biology courses. Application to campus representative of the Marine Studies Consortium must be made one semester prior to experience.

BIOL 307 Microbiology
An introduction to the structure, reproduction, physiology and taxonomy of microorganisms. Special attention is given to bacteria and viruses. Emphasis is placed on aspects of microbiology of significance to humankind, including pathogenesis, immunity, microbial ecology, pollution control, food microbiology, and biotechnology. Laboratory exercises introduce the student to standard techniques of cultivation and identification of microorganisms, food microbiology, DNA purification and analysis, immunological assays, as well as encourage independent investigations.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology.

BIOL 316 Wetlands: Hydrology, Ecology, Restoration
A study of wetlands and their role in the hydrology and ecology of global landscapes. Course topics include the function of inland and coastal marshes, swamps and bogs in water and nutrient cycles, and the role of wetlands in the support of biodiversity, from microbes to vertebrates. The biological links between wetlands and human activities, such as agriculture, coastal development, and fisheries, and the legal framework for the protection and restoration of endangered wetlands are also examined. Additional course fees apply.
Prerequisites: One year of introductory science (e.g. biology, geology, chemistry, or engineering) and two upper-level (elective) science courses. Application to campus representative of the Marine Studies Consortium must be made one semester prior to experience.

BIOL 325 Neurobiology
An advanced examination of the development, structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Topics covered include synaptic communication, neurotransmission, sensory and motor processing, reflexes and cellular processes of learning and memory. It is designed for biology or psychology majors with an interest in neurophysiology. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: NEUR 225 Biopsychology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cellular & Organ Systems or BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 333 Principles of Human Physiology
An overview of the functional anatomy of the human body and its physiology. Basic concepts concerning the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems are studied. Laboratory. Note: Students may receive credit for only one (1) of the following courses: BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cellular and Organ Systems or BIOL 333 Principles of Human Physiology.
Prerequisites: An introductory biology course with laboratory and an introductory chemistry course with laboratory.

BIOL 335 Principles of Wildlife Biology
A study of the distribution of major wildlife groups in the United States. The principles of wildlife management and evaluation of land and water habitats are stressed, as well as population growth dynamics and field procedures. Laboratory.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology.

BIOL 336 Ornithology
An introduction to the biology of birds, including anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, field identification, and conservation. Students become familiar with the techniques and tools necessary to identify bird species by sight and/or sound, as well as with basic research techniques. Laboratory includes field trips.
Prerequisite: A biology or zoology course at the 100-level or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 340 Immunology
A study of the principles of immunology and its application to diseases and health. The course examines the molecular and cellular components of the immune system relevant to infectious diseases, genetic- and infection-associated immunodeficiency, cancer, hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, and transplantation. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 307 Microbiology or permission of instructor.

BIOL 341 Marine Biology
An introduction to the variety of marine environments and the biological and physical factors which contribute to the productivity of these areas. Oceanic habitats are compared to other ecosystems including tropical and temperate estuaries, coral reefs and salt marshes. Problems of human interaction with the marine environment are emphasized. Laboratory.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology.

BIOL 348 Ecology
An advanced course that synthesizes knowledge gained in other courses and applies it to ecological problems. Emphasis is placed on the interactions between the organism and its biological and physical environments. Concepts covered include soil, climate, trophic systems, life history trade offs, behavioral ecology, biodiversity, and human impact. Laboratory includes field trips.
Prerequisites: A chemistry course with laboratory and two (2) biology courses (at least one at the 200-level or above); or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 371 Medical Microbiology
An overview of human infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Emphasis will be placed on current diagnostic techniques and microbial pathogenic mechanisms, and on contemporary issues that include newly emerging infectious diseases, vaccines, and bio-terrorism. Laboratory exercises focus on state-of-the-art procedures for the isolation and identification of pathogenic microbes and for the determination of their susceptibility to chemotherapeutic drugs.
Prerequisite: BIOL 307 Microbiology.

BIOL 390 Special Topics in Biology
An in-depth examination of a field or subject matter in the Biological Sciences. Specific topics are announced prior to each term when offered, at the discretion of the Department. This course may be taken twice, provided a different special topic is being examined.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and two (2) biology courses (one must have a laboratory); or permission of the instructor. Additional prerequisites may be required dependent upon topic.

BIOL 391 Tropical Ecology and Conservation: Field Study
An examination of ecological principles as they apply to tropical ecosystems. Topics covered include tropical climate and soils, geological history of Central America, biological diversity, characteristics and types of tropical communities, types of interactions among community members, ecological succession, anthropogenic impacts and conservation. The course requires a 1-2 week field trip after the end of the semester to a tropical ecosystem (at additional cost). The field portion of this course includes some strenuous activities; students are strongly encouraged to consider whether they are physically and emotionally prepared for rigorous activity and travel in a developing nation. Note: This course is open only to majors/minors in Biology or Environmental Science.
Prerequisites: Either BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and permission of the instructor

BIOL 402 Processes of Organic Evolution
A study of the historical development of evolutionary thought in the pre- and post-Darwinian periods; the interplay among mutations, recombination, gene flow, natural selection, and genetic drift in determining the direction of evolutionary change; isolating mechanisms and the origins of species; the role of polyploidy in plant evolution; the significance of hybridization in evolution and speciation; evidences of evolution from various disciplines. No laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 301 Genetics.

BIOL 406 Methods in Biological Research I
Designed to develop a working appreciation of methods of scientific inquiry through development of an original research proposal. Topics included are: problem definition, literature survey, resource bibliography, and research design, including proposed data analysis. Normally taken in the spring term of the junior year, this course is open only to Biology majors.
Prerequisite: MATH 208 Biostatistics, CHEM 108 Principles of Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis or equivalent, at least four biology courses at the 200-level or above, and a minimum cumulative QPA of 1.70 in all Biology courses.

BIOL 407 Methods in Biological Research II
A continuation of BIOL 406 Methods in Biological Research I in which the students implement their research design under the supervision of a Department faculty member. The research may be conducted off-campus with approval of course coordinator. Open only to Biology majors.
Prerequisite: Completion of BIOL 406 Methods in Biological Research I with a minimum grade of C- (1.70) or better.

BIOL 409 Developmental Biology
A study of the fundamental principles that regulate animal development from sperm and egg formation through the mechanisms by which the basic organization of the embryo arises from the fertilized zygote. Topics covered include fertilization, nuclear cytoplasmic interactions, gastrulation, animal cloning, cell-cell interactions, formation of the nervous system, and sex differentiation. Laboratory exercises include both descriptive and experimental embryology.
Prerequisite: BIOL 260 Cell Biology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 417 Endocrinology
A study of endocrine glands, the hormones they secrete, and the effects these hormones have on their target tissues. The course examines the mechanisms of the action of hormones at the molecular, cellular, organ, and physiological levels, as well as their effects on development of the individual. Topics covered include the role of hormones in male and female reproduction, pregnancy, parturition, lactation, growth, diabetes, and exercise. In the laboratory, students perform experiments involving small animal surgery and injection of hormones.
Prerequisites: NEUR 225 Biopsychology; or CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry and one of the following biology courses: BIOL 234 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology or BIOL 272 Human Anatomy & Physiology: Cellular & Organ Systems or BIOL 260 Cell Biology; or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 451 Plant Physiology
An introduction to basic processes that regulate plant growth and development. Photosynthesis, photomorphogenesis, hormonal control, and mineral acquisition are emphasized. The laboratory has an open-ended design with an emphasis on repeatability of experimental results.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology or BIOL 101 Biological Concepts.

BIOL 453 Seminar in Recombinant DNA Technology
An examination of the process of recombinant science, beginning with generation of an experimental question, experimental design using existing tools and/or developing new tools, and analysis of results. Students read a series of seminal research papers in the field of recombinant DNA technology, beginning with the earliest papers on DNA structure and molecular cloning, published in the 1950’s-1970’s, continuing with historically relevant papers that built on early advances, and ending with recent breakthroughs in the field, including gene therapy and stem cells.
Prerequisite: BIOL 262 Molecular Biology or permission of instructor.

BIOL 490 Independent Study in Biology
An opportunity for the Biology major to work independently in an area relevant to the student’s special interests. Each student’s experience is planned in cooperation with a department member. Progress reports and final written and oral reports are required.
Prerequisites: Biology major of junior or senior standing, two semesters completed at Framingham State University, overall QPA of 2.50, and approval of the Department Chair. The independent study option is reserved for those students who have previously demonstrated sufficient motivation and self-discipline to work independently.

BIOL 495 Internship in Biology
A supervised field study in the area of the student’s interest that complements formal course work. The internship program is offered through cooperation of participating institutions that provide guidance for the interns. A minimum of 160 on-site hours is necessary to complete the internship in Biology and must be verified by the on-site supervisor and a member of the Biology faculty. The 160 hours must be completed within one semester. The internship in Biology may be taken for one (1) course credit in the major as a free elective. A student may not enroll in an internship more than twice (two course credits). Any student interested in participating in an internship must consult with the Biology Department chair prior to the middle of the semester preceding the semester of the desired internship. A written plan for the internship must be submitted by the student to the Department Chair. The plan must be approved by the Department Chair as well as the faculty member who serves as internship coordinator. The student must meet with the faculty internship coordinator at least four times during the semester. The grade for the internship is assigned by the internship coordinator and the on-site supervisor. Data gathered during the internship may not be utilized for BIOL 407 Methods in Biological Research II.
Prerequisites: Biology major of senior standing, two semesters completed at Framingham State University, overall QPA of 2.50 with a 2.75 average in courses for the major, and approval of the Department Chair.

The following courses also carry credit as Biology electives:

NEUR 225 Biopsychology
An overview of the biological foundations of behavior and mental processes. Topics covered include the biological underpinnings or various domains in psychology such as emotion, motivation, perception, cognitive function, psychopharmacology, and hormone effects on the brain and behavior. No laboratory.
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 General Psychology and one of the following Biology courses: BIOL 101 Biology Concepts or BIOL 142 Human Biology or BIOL 161 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology or permission of instructor.

NEUR 380 Neuropharmacology
An advanced investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of exogenous compounds and the physiological and behavioral responses of the body. Use of substances to treat mental disorders are emphasized. Compounds examined may include alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and naturopathic treatments.
Prerequisite(s): Two Biology courses above 200 level or above or two Psychology courses 200 level and above, at least one of which must be NEUR 225 Biopsychology, PSYC 245 HealthPsychology, or PSYC 280 Sensation and Perception; or permission of the instructor.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ENVS 450 Senior Thesis in Environmental Science
An opportunity for the Environmental Science major to work independently in an area relevant to the student's special interests. Each student's experience is planned in cooperation with an advisor from the Environmental Science Committee of the Geography and Biology Departments. Progress reports and final written and oral reports are required. Proposal for independent research must be submitted to the Environmental Science Committee by October 15th for spring semester or February 15th for fall semester.
Prerequisites: Environmental Science majors only. Senior standing and approval of the Geography department chair.

ENVS 495 Internship in Environmental Science
A supervised practical experience in a public or private agency, appropriate to the students training and interests. The internship program is offered through cooperation of participating institutions that provide guidance for the interns. A minimum of 160 on-site hours is necessary to complete the internship in Environmental Studies. The 160 hours must be completed within one semester. The internship in Environmental Science may be taken for one (1) course credit in the major as a free elective. A student may not enroll in an internship more than twice (two course credits). Admission to this course must be approved by the Environmental Science Committee of the Geography and Biology Departments. Application due by October 15th for spring semester and February 15th for fall semester.
Prerequisites: Environmental Science majors only. Senior standing, two semesters completed at Framingham State College, overall QPA of 2.75 with a 2.75 average in courses for the major.

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