Courses offered by the Biology Department
(listed by category)

The course listings on this page are for informational purposes only and subject to change without notice. For the most accurate information regarding course offerings and degree requirements within the biology department, please check the current academic catalog.

General Education Biology Courses for Liberal Arts Majors

The following courses are appropriate for non-science majors to fulfill the general education requirement in biology. They do not count towards a biology major.

BIOL 103:
ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Fall & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
Admission to FMU.

Description: A study of the needs of human beings for food, energy, and other natural resources and the effects of their actions on the air, water, soil, plants, and other animals. The diversity of life, plant anatomy and physiology, ecology and evolution will be included. Throughout the course the process of doing science is emphasized. (Does not count towards a biology major.)

BIOL 104:
HUMAN BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Spring & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
Admission to FMU.

Description: Basic biology of humans and how to interpret emerging technologies such as DNA fingerprinting and genetic engineering. The process of doing science is emphasized. (Does not count towards a biology major.)

Required Courses for Biology Majors

The following courses fulfill the “Introductory Biology” core requirement for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology. Pre-nursing majors have to take BIOL 105, but not BIOL 115 and BIOL 106.

BIOL 105:
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES I

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
Admission to FMU

Description: The content of this course covers broad concepts of the scientific method, biological chemistry, and the molecular and cellular basis of life. Includes topics of cell structure, energetics and metabolism, molecular genetics, Mendelian inheritance, and cell reproduction, with selected applications at the tissue and organ levels of organization. Required for majors, minors, and collaterals in biology, health physics majors, and pre-nursing majors. Recommended for other science majors and middle level education majors with an emphasis in science.

BIOL 115:
LABORATORY FOR
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES I

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites/corequisites?
BIOL 105.

Description: This course is a practical examination of life science topics through experimental procedures with instruction on laboratory equipment and techniques. Required for majors, minors, and collaterals in biology and health physics majors. Recommended for other science majors and middle level education majors who have an emphasis in science.

BIOL 106:
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES II

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
At least C grade in BIOL 105 & BIOL 115.

Description: A survey of the domains of life in an evolutionary framework. Includes biological evolution and the mechanisms of evolutionary change, a survey of biological diversity with examples of plant and animal structure and physiology, and general ecological principles. Includes laboratory and field experiences.

BIOL 499:
SENIOR SEMINAR

When is it offered?
Fall & Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
24 hours of biology courses.

Description: The course will include reviews of concepts from the core curriculum of biology. Seminars will be presented on biological research, on career opportunities, and on post-graduate educational planning. During the course the students’ knowledge of biology will be assessed by laboratory presentations and the internal and external exit exams.

Plant Biology Core Courses

The following courses fulfill the “Plant Biology” core requirement for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 206:
FALL FLORA

When is it offered?
Every Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 or BIOL 103 & 104.

Description: Collection, preservation, identification, and classification of 250 native and naturalized plants in the Pee Dee region during fall season. Most of the laboratory time is spent in the field studying the taxonomical, morphological, and ecological aspects of plants. Taxonomic keys used extensively. Students may select only two courses from the Biology 206, 207, 208 series.

BIOL 208:
SUMMER FLORA

When is it offered?
Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and BIOL 103 &  104.

Description: Collection, preservation, identification, and classification of 250 native and naturalized plants in the Pee Dee region during the summer season. Most of the laboratory time is spent in the field studying the taxonomical, morphological, and ecological aspects of plants. Taxonomic keys used extensively. Students may select only two courses from the Biology 206, 207, 208 series.

BIOL 307:
PLANT STRUCTURE
AND FUNCTION

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: A survey of the fundamental processes, forms, and functions of plants with a focus on flowering plants (Angiosperms). Students will learn about plant anatomy and physiology as well as plant morphology and development. Through the lens of structure and function, students will also examine the evolutionary history of land plants and study ways that plants interact with their environment.

BIOL 207:
SPRING FLORA

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 or BIOL 103 & 104.

Description: Collection, preservation, identification, and classification of 250 native and naturalized plants in the Pee Dee region during spring season. Most of the laboratory time is spent in the field studying the taxonomical, morphological, and ecological aspects of plants. Taxonomic keys used extensively. Students may select only two courses from the Biology 206, 207, 208 series.

BIOL 303:
THE PLANT KINGDOM

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Structure, function, life histories, and evolutionary trends of vascular and nonvascular plants.

BIOL 313:
MYCOLOGY

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Study of the taxonomy, form and function of fungi.

BIOL 320:
PLANT EVOLUTION
AND DIVERSITY

When is it offered?
Every Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: This course utilizes the framework of evolutionary processes and the tools used by biologists who study systematics to better understand the diversity in the plant kingdom. Students will study the patterns, processes, and mechanisms of plant evolution and speciation. The course will detail each phylum of extant plants and places a focus on flowering plants, covering such topics as plant/pollinator coevolution, plant defense against herbivory, and crop improvement.

Cell Biology Core Courses

The following courses fulfill the “Cell Biology” core requirement for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 301:
CELL BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 201.

Description: Cellular and molecular basis of cell structure and function: chemical composition and physical properties of biological molecules; organization and function of supramolecular structures, organelles, and basic cell types; enzyme action and regulation; energetics and mechanisms of biological transport; flow of energy and information; relationships between cell and whole body functions.

BIOL 407:
IMMUNOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 201.

Description: Cellular and molecular basis of the immune response; antibody structure and function; antigen-antibody interactions, applications; immunogenetics; hypersensitivity.

BIOL 302:
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 102.

Description: How a single cell, the zygote, grows into a multicelled organism. First part of the course focuses on how cells differentiate into specialized types, move around the embryo and communicate with each other. Second part of the course focuses on how molecular mechanisms give rise to major embryonic tissues, organs and organ systems in representative organisms. Also included are discussions about birth defects, sex determination and aging.

Ecology Core Courses

The following courses fulfill the “Ecology” core requirement for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 308:
AQUATIC ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Fall & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 102.

Description: An examination of the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of standing and flowing freshwaters and how these dynamics affect the ecology of organisms.

BIOL 317:
MARINE ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Structure and function of marine ecosystems, communities, and populations. Adaptations of marine organisms and their relationships to their environments will be examined. The ecology of coastal Carolina systems and animals will be emphasized. Credit cannot be given for both BIOL 204 and BIOL 317.

BIOL 402:
TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 102.

Description: Structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems, communities, and populations; relationships of organisms (including human beings) to their environments.

BIOL 412:
BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and Junior status.

Description: Topics within ecology and evolution combine as students examine the adaptive significance of behavior. Key concepts include: altruism and selfishness, evolutionary stable strategies and game theory, coevolution in relation to predation and predator avoidance, competition, sexual selection, parental care and conflict, communication, and human behavior. Students will explore the relevant primary literature and develop and test hypotheses in topic-specific laboratories.

BIOL 314:
FIELD BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Extended field experience at selected locations in the United States or abroad. Individual research projects will focus on field techniques and comparing biological diversity among varying ecosystems.

BIOL 318:
TROPICAL ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Principles of tropical ecology, plus individual research projects focusing on field techniques, biodiversity, and/or behavioral, population, or community ecology. Travel study course held at FMU and at Wildsumaco Biological Station in Ecuador. The course incurs an extra trip expense.

BIOL 411:
ECOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 & CHEM 102.

Description: General principles of ecology of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems from an evolutionary perspective. The scientific method will be stressed.

Genetics Core Courses

The following courses fulfill the “Genetics” core requirement for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 401:
GENETICS

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 201.

Description: Mendelian genetics, the chromosome, probability, and mapping in diploids, fungi, bacteria, and viruses; chemical basis of DNA replication and mutation and the genetic code.

BIOL 409:
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 and CHEM 201.

Description: Topics include the theory of natural selection, mechanisms of evolutionary change, the fossil record, biogeography, molecular evolution, speciation, phylogeny reconstruction and evolutionary rates.

Zoology Electives

The following courses can be used to fulfill the 8 hours of elective biology course requirements for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 201:
INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY

When is it offered?
Alternating Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 or BIOL 103/104.

Description: Structure, physiology, ecology, life histories, and evolutionary trends of invertebrate animals.

BIOL 204:
MARINE BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Scope and application of marine biology, with emphasis on coastal Carolina animals and their ecology. Credit cannot be given for both BIOL 204 and BIOL 317.

BIOL 305:
COMPARATIVE
VERTEBRATE ANATOMY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Evolution and analysis of vertebrate structure, with laboratory dissection of representative animal forms.

BIOL 315:
ORNITHOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: Anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, behavior, and identification of birds.

BIOL 202:
VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 or BIOL 103/104.

Description: Classification, ecology, life histories, and evolutionary trends of vertebrate animals.

BIOL 209:
ENTOMOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 or BIOL 103 & 104.

Description: General biology of insects, including anatomy, diversity, physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolution. The lab emphasizes collection, identification, and preservation.

BIOL 312:
HERPETOLOGY

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: The biology of amphibians and reptiles. Along with a review of these two vertebrate groups, emphasis will be placed on the identification of local species through study of specimens and field trips.

BIOL 410:
VERTEBRATE PHYSIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 & CHEM 102.

Description: The study of the function of the major organ systems in different classes of vertebrate animals. The relationship between the physiology and ecology of species will also be investigated.

Human Systems Electives

The following courses can be used to fulfill the 8 hours of elective biology course requirements for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology. These are often part of the prerequisite requirements needed for professional degrees in healthcare.

BIOL 205:
HUMAN ANATOMY

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 105 & sophomore status or higher.

Description: Designed as anatomic studies for students in medical technology, nursing, and related allied health programs. Fundamental tissues, organs, and systems; anatomic terminology; early development; connective tissue, skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, genitourinary, endocrine, and integumentary systems.

BIOL 309:
NEUROSCIENCE

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 104 or 105 & sophomore status or higher.

Description: This course will introduce students to anatomical and physiological properties of the nervous system with special emphasis on the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Neuroscience topics to be covered will include: molecular function, development, disease states, and research techniques. Laboratories will focus on neural anatomy as well as relevant sensory, developmental, molecular, and related nervous system processes.

BIOL 213:
BIOLOGY OF SEX

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
4 hours in biology.

Description: This course will provide an introduction to the biological principles involved in human reproduction. Topics include the evolution of sex, reproductive anatomy and physiology, endocrinology, puberty, biology of gender, reproductive cycles, pregnancy, birth, fertility control, sexual disorders, and current issues in reproductive technology. This is a 3 credit course and does not have a lab.

BIOL 311:
MICROBIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Fall & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 105 & sophomore status or higher.

Description: Structure, activities, and control of microorganisms, including principles of immunology.

BIOL 406:
PHYSIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Fall & Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 & CHEM 201.

Description: The normal structure and function of the animal body, with special emphasis on human body systems. Physical and chemical concepts such as bioenergetics and enzyme function will be covered. Credit cannot be given for both BIOL 236 and BIOL 406.

Other Biology Electives

The following courses can be used to fulfill the 8 hours of elective biology course requirements for the B.S. and B.A. majors in biology.

BIOL 210:
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Alternating Fall.

What are the prerequisites?
MATH 111 & BIOL 106 or BIOL 103 & 104 .

Description: Lecture emphasizes biological diversity, extinction processes, and applied conservation methods, including design principles for biological reserves. Conservation policy is discussed in the context of social, economic, and political factors. Laboratory and field experiences highlight the science of conservation and regional conservation issues.

BIOL 220:
INTRODUCTION TO
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: An introduction to molecular processes of the cell. This course will explore the relationships between molecular and cellular structures and their functions, with special emphasis on proteins and nucleic acids and their roles in coordinating cellular activities. The course will lay a foundation for molecular biology focusing on the concepts of macromolecules, cell cycle, replication, gene expression, and cell communication.

BIOL 413:
BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106 & MATH 132 or higher.

Description: Experimental design and analysis for the biological sciences. Covers considerations in designing experiments as well as appropriate statistical analysis for each design. Designs and analysis from a variety of biological fields will be covered.

BIOL 214:
ISSUES IN
ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: This course utilizes the case study method to teach about major environmental issues facing the world today. These issues include climate change; loss of biodiversity; pollution; water supply and demand; endangered species; ecological footprint; and pesticide use. Students will work together to develop skills in group learning, speaking, and critical thinking, while learning the relevance of biology and environmental issues in their daily lives.

BIOL 306:
SPECIAL TOPICS
IN BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 106.

Description: In-depth study of an area of interest in biology. Different areas of study offered on a rotating basis. May be taken twice for academic credit with departmental approval.

BIOL 415:
RADIATION BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
PHYS 316 & BIOL 106.

Description: Topics include the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that lead to radiation-induced biological damage. The course will begin with interactions and responses at a molecular level and progress towards cellular and systemic responses to the damage. Methods for assessing the dose to biological systems and the corresponding risk will be addressed.

Biology Courses for Pre-Nursing Majors

Pre-nursing majors are required to take at least 4 biology courses. Students pursuing careers in other health professions are encouraged to take the upper level physiology (BIOL 406) and microbiology (BIOL 311) courses instead of BIOL 215 and BIOL 236. These are designed specifically for the pre-nursing curriculum.

BIOL 105:
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES I

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
Admission to FMU

Description: The content of this course covers broad concepts of the scientific method, biological chemistry, and the molecular and cellular basis of life. Includes topics of cell structure, energetics and metabolism, molecular genetics, Mendelian inheritance, and cell reproduction, with selected applications at the tissue and organ levels of organization. Required for majors, minors, and collaterals in biology, health physics majors, and pre-nursing majors. Recommended for other science majors and middle level education majors with an emphasis in science.

BIOL 215:
MICROBIOLOGY FOR
HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

(recommended for pre-nursing majors only)

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 105.

Description: Introduction to the cause, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases, with an emphasis on clinical considerations and real-world healthcare applications. Intended for pre-nursing majors.

BIOL 205:
HUMAN ANATOMY

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 105 & sophomore status or higher.

Description: Designed as anatomic studies for students in medical technology, nursing, and related allied health programs. Fundamental tissues, organs, and systems; anatomic terminology; early development; connective tissue, skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, genitourinary, endocrine, and integumentary systems.

BIOL 236:
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY FOR
HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

(recommended for pre-nursing majors only)

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, & Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
BIOL 105 and CHEM 102.

Description: Structure and function of the major organs and human body systems, emphasizing their mechanisms of operation, including clinical considerations. This course is recommended for pre-nursing majors only. Credit cannot be given for both BIOL 236 and BIOL 406.

Internship/Research Courses in Biology

This are courses that allow you to get academic credit for internship opportunities and research projects. In some cases, these can be performed on or off campus. For more information, please talk to your advisor or the relevant departmental coordinator.

BIOL 490:
PRE-VETERINARIAN
INTERNSHIP

When is it offered?
Fall and Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
Permission of Department.

Description: Clinical experience in veterinary medicine under supervision of a practicing veterinarian. Interested students should register with the Coordinator of the Pre-Veterinary Program. This course can be repeated  until a maximum of 3 semester hours can be earned. Earned hours do not fulfill the requirements of biology electives for a biology major, minor, or collateral.

BIOL 497:
SPECIAL STUDIES

When is it offered?
Fall, Spring, and Summer.

What are the prerequisites?
Permission of Department.

Description: Open to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in their major courses. A maximum of 3 semester hours may be earned. Academic Committee approval required for each seminar and practicum. All individual research projects are reviewed by three faculty members from two different disciplines. May be taken for credit (3 hours) towards the Honors degree by special arrangement.

BIOL 494:
PRE-HEALTH PROGRAM
INTERNSHIP

When is it offered?
Fall and Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
Permission of Department.

Description: Clinical experience under the supervision of a practicing health professional consistent with a student’s career goals. Open only to juniors and seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher. Interested students should register with the Coordinator of Pre-Health Programs. This course can be repeated  until a maximum of 3 semester hours can be earned. Earned hours do not fulfill the requirements of biology electives for a biology major, minor, or collateral.

BIOL 498:
BIOLOGY INTERNSHIP

When is it offered?
Fall and Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
Permission of Department.

Description: Independent work under the direction of a professional biologist which may include teaching, research or other service. A maximum of 3 semester hours may be earned. Earned hours do not fulfill the requirements of biology electives for a biology major, minor, or collateral.

Special Biology Courses

These courses are designed for students in majors related to biology. In some cases, they can be taken by biology majors. Talk to your advisor for more information.

BIOL 102:
BIOLOGY FOR
EDUCATION MAJORS

When is it offered?
To Be Determined.

What are the prerequisites?
Education majors.

Description: This course is a lab science course that provides the information needed for the Life Science part of the PRAXIS “Elementary Education: Content Knowledge” exam. By the end of the course, students should: understand the scientific method, including being proficient with science and engineering practices; have an understanding of the basic science upon which biology rests, including the areas of cell biology, genetics, organ systems, energetics, evolution, and ecology; develop a basic understanding of how plants and animals contribute to and function within our environment; and be familiar with plant and animal diversity and physiology.

BIOL 120:
NATURAL HISTORY
OF SOUTH CAROLINA

When is it offered?
Alternating Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
Admission to FMU.

Description: Topics will include the scientific method and may cover a variety of plants and/or animals. Identification, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, and conservation of these groups will be covered. Laboratories will include outdoor field trips. Does not count as a biology elective above the 200-level.

BIOL 415:
RADIATION BIOLOGY

When is it offered?
Every Spring.

What are the prerequisites?
PHYS 316 & BIOL 106.

Description: Topics include the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that lead to radiation-induced biological damage. The course will begin with interactions and responses at a molecular level and progress towards cellular and systemic responses to the damage. Methods for assessing the dose to biological systems and the corresponding risk will be addressed.