Department of Astronomy

Overview   Although the study of astronomy has ancient roots, it is now one of the most rapidly developing and exciting subjects in modern science. The area of study is the Universe and its contents: planets, stars, black holes, galaxies, and quasars. Each of these is a fascinating topic in its own right. But perhaps the greatest achievement of modern astronomy has been to gather them all into a rich and coherent picture, one which depicts the origin and evolution of all things from the Big Bang to the development of living organisms. The excitement and accessibility of astronomy is clear from the frequent press coverage of major new discoveries, including in recent years the discovery of planets orbiting other stars, the comet crash onto Jupiter, the discovery of very young galaxies in the distant universe, and the detection of primeval ripples in the cosmic background radiation. Astronomy draws from, and contributes to, other subjects: primarily physics but also geology, atmospheric and environmental science, biology, and even philosophy.

The Astronomy department offers students the opportunity to explore these frontier discoveries whether they are science majors or not. For non-science majors, courses are offered on both general astronomy and on more specialized topics of current interest (e.g. cosmology). For students with more serious interests in the field, the department provides more intensive coverage of astronomy which fosters development of fundamental analytical and quantitative skills useful in many different post-graduate careers. A total of twenty-five Astronomy courses are open to undergraduates. The department sponsors two majors programs. The Astronomy major offers a concentration on science in the context of a liberal arts degree for students who do not intend to pursue graduate training in physical science. The Astronomy-Physics major provides more rigorous preparation for graduate work in astronomy, physics, computer science, or related fields.

Faculty   The University has the largest astronomy department in the Southeastern United States. Its fourteen faculty members are committed to strong undergraduate teaching as well as to conducting astronomical research. As one of the top fifteen research departments in the country, there is considerable faculty expertise spanning a wide range of subjects from the evolution of stars, to simulations of massive black holes with supercomputers, to observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and other satellites, to studies of the evolution of the universe. Active faculty research programs keep classroom teaching up-to-date and are particularly important in tutorial and senior thesis projects. Faculty research is well supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Students   There are typically 15-25 students majoring in Astronomy or Astronomy-Physics. Students therefore get to know each other well and often work together. Close contact with the faculty is an integral part of the learning environment. Many students work one-on-one with faculty in tutorials or senior theses, and this work can be published in major research journals. Students can also work at the University's Observatory or in summer research projects supported by grants. Advanced students may, with the permission of the instructor, enroll in graduate courses.

Most students who complete our Astronomy-Physics degree go on to graduate programs in astronomy or physics, frequently at the best schools in the country. Students who complete the Astronomy degree are well prepared for a wide range of careers. Our graduates are employed by universities, NASA, federal observatories and laboratories, planetariums, and aerospace and computer corporations, or have gone into professions such as medicine, law, the military, business, science writing, and science education.

Special Resources   The department is very well equipped to support its students. There are excellent general and research collections in our library. We have a wide variety of telescopes: 6-inch, 8-in, and 10-in aperture instruments are available on the Grounds, some equipped with digital CCD cameras. At McCormick Observatory, located on Mount Jefferson on the Grounds, there is the historic 26-inch Clark refractor. In addition to its regular use in our research programs to measure distances and motion of stars, the 26-inch is also the main instrument used in the ASTR 313 laboratory class. At Fan Mountain Observatory, located 15 miles south of Charlottesville on an isolated peak at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we have 40-inch and 30-inch reflecting telescopes, with CCD cameras and spectrographs, which are available to more advanced students.

We offer excellent computing and image-processing facilities based on a network of Sun Microsystems UNIX workstations. The headquarters of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory is on Grounds, and this provides the opportunity for majors to work with radio astronomers, making use of telescopes located in New Mexico or in West Virginia. Finally, many of our faculty obtain astronomical data from major national telescopes, both ground based and space based (e.g. the Hubble Space Telescope, the Astro space shuttle missions, and X-ray satellites). Frequently, students work with this data as part of their own thesis projects. As soon as students declare an astronomy major, they are assigned an account on our computers and have 24 hour access to our library and other facilities.

Requirements for the Astronomy Major   The Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy, not intended as preparation for graduate study in science, provides a firm grounding in basic astronomy, mathematics, physics, and computer science. The student takes ASTR 121N, 124N (or ASTR 211, 212), ASTR 313, ASTR 498 (Senior Thesis), and twelve additional credits of 300-500 level Astronomy courses. The student is also required to take MATH 121, 122 (or MATH 131, 132); PHYS 231, 232 (or PHYS 151, 152, 251, 252); and CS 182 or 186. This program offers considerable opportunities for the student to pursue interests in other subjects and is well suited for inclusion in a double major.

Requirements for the Astronomy-Physics Major   The Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy-Physics is a program offered jointly by the Astronomy and Physics Departments. This major prepares the student for graduate study in astronomy, physics, computer science, and related fields. The student takes MATH 131, 132, 221, 225, 521, 522; CS 182 or 186; PHYS 151, 152, 251, 252, 221, 222, 321, 331, 342, 343, 355; and ASTR 211, 212, 313, 395, 498 (Senior Thesis), and six additional credits of 300-500 level Astronomy courses.

Prospective Astronomy-Physics Majors are strongly urged to consult with the Astronomy undergraduate advisor during registration week of their first semester at the University.

Requirements for the Distinguished Astronomy-Physics Major   Students must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or better. For the Distinguished Major, students must meet the requirements of the Astronomy-Physics major described above and must also take PHYS 356 and a two-semester Senior Thesis (ASTR 498). The six credits of elective Astronomy courses must consist of ASTR 451 and a 500-level course. This program leads to the award of degrees with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction.

Requirements for the Minor in Astronomy   The Minor Program in Astronomy is intended mainly for students with a strong interest in the subject who do not have the time to commit to the mathematics and physics courses required for the majors programs. Requirements for the Minor can be completed in either of two ways. The student can take ASTR 121, 124, 130, and six additional credits of 300-400 level Astronomy courses. Alternatively, the student can take ASTR 211, 212, and nine additional credits of 300-400 level Astronomy courses.

Additional Information   For more information, contact the

Undergraduate Advisor
Department of Astronomy
Kerchof Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22903-0818; telephone: (804) 924-3014;


ASTR 121N - (3) (S)
Introduction to the Sky and Solar System
Primarily for non-science majors. The night sky. Brief history of astronomy through Newton. Properties of the sun, earth, moon, planets, asteroids, meteors and comets. Origin and evolution of the solar system. Life in the universe. Recent results from space missions and ground-based telescopes.

ASTR 124N - (3) (S)
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe
Primarily for non-science majors. Stars, star formation and evolution. Light, atoms, and modern observing technologies. Origin of the chemical elements. Supernovae, pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes. Structure and evolution of our galaxy. Nature of other galaxies. Active galaxies and quasars. Expanding universe, cosmology, the big bang, and the early universe.

ASTR 130N - (3) (S) Introduction to Astronomical Observation
Pre/co-requisite: ASTR 121N or 124N or permission of the instructor
Primarily for non-science majors. An independent laboratory class in which students work individually or in small groups on observational projects. Extensive use is made of binoculars, 6-inch through 10-inch telescopes, and photographic equipment at the department's student observatory. In addition, some projects use computers to simulate observations taken with much larger telescopes. Projects focus on the study of constellations, planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies. Class work is done predominantly at night.

Note: ASTR 121N, 124N, and 130N were formerly called ASTR 101N, 102N, and 103N, respectively. These courses and all other Astronomy courses can be used to satisfy the College Natural Sciences Area requirements. ASTR 121N and 124N cover complementary subject matter. Each is complete in itself, and a student may elect to take either ASTR 121N or ASTR 124N, or both concurrently.

ASTR 170, 171 - (1) (SI) Seminar
Primarily for first and second year students, taught on a voluntary basis by a faculty member. Topics vary.

ASTR 211, 212 - (3) (Y) General Astronomy
Pre/co-requisites: MATH 121 or 131, PHYS 151 or 231, or permission of instructor
Primarily for science majors. A thorough discussion of the basic concepts and methods of solar system, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy with emphasis on physical principles. Recent research developments such as black holes, pulsars, quasars, and new solar system observations from the space program.

ASTR 313 - (3) (Y) Observational Astronomy
Prerequisites: ASTR 211, 212, or permission of instructor
Primarily for science majors. A laboratory course dealing with basic observational techniques in astronomy. Students make use of observational facilities at McCormick Observatory and at Fan Mountain Observatory. Classes generally meet at night.

ASTR 341 - (3) (Y) Archaeo-Astronomy
Pre/co-requisite: A 100- or 200-level Astronomy course or permission of instructor
Open to non-science students. Discussion of prescientific astronomy, including Mayan, Babylonian, and ancient Chinese astronomy, and the significance of relics such as Stonehenge. Usefulness of ancient records in the study of current astrophysical problems, such as supernova outbursts, is also discussed. Uses current literature from several disciplines including astronomy, archaeology, and anthropology.

ASTR 342 - (3) (Y) Life Beyond the Earth
Pre/co-requisite: A 100- or 200-level Astronomy course or permission of instructor
Open to non-science students. Possibility of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life; methods and desirability of interstellar communication; prospects for humanity's colonization of space, interaction of space colonies and the search for other civilizations.

ASTR 346 - (3) (SI) Development of Modern Astronomy
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
A reading course dealing with the history of astronomy.

ASTR 347 - (3) (Y) Science and Controversy in Astronomy
Pre/co-requisite: ASTR 121 or 124 or permission of instructor Open to non-science students. A critical evaluation of controversial topics in science and pseudo-science from the astronomer's perspective. Methods of science and the nature of scientific evidence with their implications for unresolved astrophysical problems; extraterrestrial life; UFO's; Velikovsky; von Daniken; astrology, etc.

ASTR 348 - (3) (Y) Introduction to Cosmology
Open to first year students; primarily for non-science students. A descriptive introduction to the study of the ultimate structure and evolution of the universe. Covers the history of cosmological speculation, the nature of the galaxies, a qualitative introduction to relativity theory and the nature of space-time, black holes, models of the universe (big bang, steady-state, etc.) and methods of testing them, history of the universe.

ASTR 395 - (3) (S) Tutorial
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
A study of a topic of special interest to the student under individual supervision by a faculty member. May be repeated once for credit.

ASTR 444 - (3) (SI) The Nature of Discovery in Astronomy
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Selected topics concerning the people, ideas, and principles that motivate the advance of twentieth century astronomy.

ASTR 451 - (3) (Y) Introduction to Astrophysics
Prerequisites: ASTR 211,212; PHYS 252 or permission of instructor
Basic concepts in mechanics, statistical physics, atomic and nuclear structure, and radiative transfer are developed and applied to selected fundamental problems in the areas of stellar structure, stellar atmospheres, the interstellar medium, and extragalactic astrophysics.

ASTR 498 - (3) (S) Senior Thesis
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated once for credit.

ASTR 511, 512 - (3) (O) Astronomical Techniques
Prerequisites: ASTR 211-212; PHYS 342, 343 or permission of instructor
A survey of modern techniques of radiation measurement, data analysis, and image processing, and their application to astrophysical problems, especially the physical properties of stars and galaxies. Relevant laboratory experiments and observations with the department's telescopes are included. Students are expected to develop a familiarity with FORTRAN programming and other basic computer skills if they do not already possess these.

ASTR 534 - (3) (E) Introductory Radio Astronomy
Prerequisites: MATH 225, PHYS 210
Fundamentals of measuring power and power spectra, antennas, interferometers and radiometers. Thermal radiation, synchrotron radiation and line frequency radiation. Radio emission from the planets, sun, flare stars, pulsars, supernovae, interstellar gas, galaxies and quasi-stellar sources.

ASTR 539, 540 - (3) (IR) Topical Seminar
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Detailed study of a current topic is made by the instructor and the seminar members. Topic to be covered appears in the Course Offering Directory for the semester in which it is given.

ASTR 541 - (3) (E) Stellar Atmospheres
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Basic concepts and techniques required to calculate the structure and emergent spectrum of stellar atmospheres are developed.

ASTR 542 - (3) (E) The Interstellar Medium
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Topics covered include the physics of interstellar gas and grains, the distribution and dynamics of the gas, and cosmic radiation and interstellar magnetic fields.

ASTR 543 - (3) (O) The Physics of Stellar Interiors
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor Basic physical principles required to study the interiors of stars are discussed, including the equations of stellar structure, the thermodynamics of stellar material, sources of opacity, and nuclear reactions. Simple approximations to stellar structure are developed.

ASTR 544 - (3) (O) Stellar Evolution
Prerequisite: ASTR 543 or permission of instructor
Describes the evolution of main sequence stars, late stages of evolution, explosive evolution, nucleosynthesis, convective and nonconvective mixing, and numerical techniques.

ASTR 545 - (3) (E) High Energy Astrophysics
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Introduction to the physics of basic radiation mechanisms and particle acceleration processes which are important in high energy phenomena and space science. Applications to pulsars, active galactic nuclei, radio galaxies, quasars, and supernovae are discussed.

ASTR 546 - (3) (SI) Binary Stars
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor Determination of orbital elements, the mass-luminosity-radius relation, formation of binary systems, the Roche model, mass loss, mass transfer, circumstellar material, accretion disks, evolution of close interacting binaries, and some special classes of binaries such as cataclysmic variables, RS CVn binaries, Algol-type binaries, and X-ray binaries.

ASTR 571, 572 - (3) (S) Fundamental Concepts in Astronomy
Prerequisites: Open only to students in School of Education; permission of instructor
Subject matter is the same as for ASTR 121, 124. Students enrolling are offered special reading assignments and consultation on topics in astronomical education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate section.

ASTR 573 - (3) (S) Laboratory Concepts in Astronomy
Prerequisites: Open only to students in School of Education; permission of instructor
Subject matter is the same as for ASTR 130. Students enrolling are offered special reading assignments and consultation on topics in astronomical education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate section.

ASTR 575, 576, 577, 578 - (3) (S) General Topics in Astronomy
Prerequisites: Open only to students in the School of Education; permission of instructor
The subject matter of these courses is the same as for ASTR 341, 342, 347, 348, respectively. Students enrolling are offered special reading assignments and consultation on topics in astronomical education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate section.

Department of Biology

Overview   The Biology Department offers a diversified program that serves students with a breadth of interests and provides an education that ultimately enables them to pursue careers in many areas of the biological sciences including teaching, medicine, and research. Biology is the study of life itself, at its many levels of organization: ecosystem, population, organism, cell and biomolecule. Our universal fascination with life drives our exploration of this discipline, for in it there are questions and answers about us and all living systems. How does the fertilized egg develop into a multicellular organism? Why do some cells age while others continue to divide? How do cells communicate with one another? How does the monarch butterfly know when and where to make its astonishing migration? Questions such as these define the frontiers of biology. We approach these scientific problems with exciting new technologies and creative approaches undreamed of even a decade ago. During this "golden period" of biological research we have been brought close to a complete understanding of many fundamental biological processes. Our dissections probe not only into cells, but to the very molecular fabric of living things. As we do so, we learn about our past and how we have evolved. We gain, too, an ever increasing appreciation for living things and the delicate balance of the ecosystem that we share.

Faculty   The thirty-four members of the faculty include professors who are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. The research activities within the department are currently supported by over forty investigator-initiated research grants totalling more than $4 million awarded annually from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and other government agencies or private foundations. Our commitment to excellence in research complements and enhances our dedication to outstanding teaching and provides the resources to promote creative and original research by our students. The department participates in University-wide programs in biological timing, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, and neuroscience.

Students   There are currently about six hundred students majoring in biology. Upon graduation, many biology majors have spent the better part of two years assisting in nationally-funded research projects and carrying out their own experiments. Students collaborate with some of the best biologists in the country, conducting research using the most advanced equipment available. The department has expanded and modernized its research laboratories, making it easier for students to take advanced classes early in their academic careers. Students graduating with a B.A. in biology gain admission to the most outstanding graduate schools in the country. The acceptance rate of our biology graduates to medical schools is exceptionally high.

Special Resources   The department, in offering modern research facilities equipped with the most advanced instrumentation available for biochemical, biophysical, cellular, molecular, and behavioral research, creates an intellectual environment that fosters scientific creativity. The facilities include a confocal microscopy facility, two light microscopy-image processing facilities, transmission and scanning electron microscopes, a high-performance liquid chromatography laboratory, and a range of instruments for molecular studies. An Ethernet interconnects mainframe and micro-computers as well as the World Wide Web. These resources in turn give ready access to scientific software such as DNA and protein sequence analysis programs and sequence databases. The Center for Biological Timing: Graduate and undergraduate summer fellowships at the Center are available on a competitive basis. Mountain Lake Biological Station: Information about undergraduate and graduate level summer courses may be obtained from the Director, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Department of Biology, Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Requirements for Major  Students selecting biology as their major subject are required to have completed the lower-level introductory courses BIOL 201, BIOL 202, BIOL 203 and BIOL 204 unless exempted by examination or placement. Students exempted from BIOL 201/202 must take BIOL 203/204 unless they have completed laboratory courses equivalent to BIOL 203/204. In addition, students must complete 22 credits of upper-level Biology courses (300 and above) that include BIOL 311 (Genetics), BIOL 301 (Cell Biology), and at least one upper-level laboratory course.

Biology 385, 386 and Biology 395 Restrictions   Only three credits of BIOL 385, 386, Selected Topics in Biology, and only three credits of BIOL 395, Recent Advances in Biology, may be submitted toward the 22 credits of upper-level (300 and above) biology courses required for the Biology major.

The laboratory requirement can also be satisfied by a three credit departmental course in field or marine biology or by two consecutive semesters of independent research (BIOL 495/496/497/498) conducted in one laboratory. (Summer research does not apply unless enrolled in BIOL 495-498.)

The overall grade point average for courses presented for the major must be 2.0 (C) or better. Majors are required to complete CHEM 141, 142, 141L, and 142L. CHEM 161, 162, 161L, 162L, also satisfy this requirement. Majors are also required to complete one course in either calculus (e.g., MATH 121, 122, 131, or 132) or statistics (e.g., MATH 112 or PSYC 301L. Students anticipating a career in the biological sciences are strongly advised to also take two semesters of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 241, 242, 241L, 242L), two semesters of physics with lab (PHYS 201, 202, 201L, 202L) and at least one additional math course. Sixteen of the 22 credits of upper-level courses required for the major must be chosen from courses offered by the Biology Department at the University of Virginia.

Requirements for Minor   Students selecting biology as their minor subject are required to complete the lower-level introductory courses BIOL 201, BIOL 202, BIOL 203 and BIOL 204 unless exempted by examination or placement. Students exempted from BIOL 201/202 must take BIOL 203/204 unless they have completed laboratory courses equivalent to BIOL 203/204. In addition, three upper-level Biology courses (300 and above) of three credits each are required. Only three credits in either BIOL 385, 386: Selected Topics in Biology; BIOL 395: Recent Advances in Biology; or BIOL 495, 496, 497, 498 may be submitted toward the three upper-level (300 or above) biology courses of three credits each required for the Biology minor. The grade point average for all courses presented for the minor must be C or better.

Academic Information   Hourly credit for Independent Research can be applied toward the 22 upper-level credits required for the major. Three credits are granted for two semesters of Independent Research (BIOL 495/496/497/498) and six credits are granted for four semesters of Independent Research.

Students who score a 4 or a 5 on the AP biology examination will receive six credits for BIOL 201 and BIOL 202. AP credit does not exempt students from either BIOL 203 or BIOL 204. However, students whose AP Biology course included a laboratory comparable to either BIOL 203 or 204 may take an upper level laboratory course instead of either introductory lab. A list of upper level lab courses that students with AP credit can substitute for either BIOL 203 or 204 may be obtained from the Biology Department.

Students may petition to have upper-level transfer credits count toward the biology major. One-half credit will be granted for each credit up to a maximum of six credits. Unique courses that broaden the undergraduate experience (i.e., field courses, marine biology, studies abroad, research opportunities, etc.) can receive full transfer credit. Note: Cell Biology (BIOL 301) and Genetics (BIOL 311) are required courses in the department. Courses in these subjects at other institutions may not be accepted. In all cases, prior approval should be arranged with the Undergraduate Committee.

Six credits from the following environmental sciences courses may be applied towards the biology major: EVSC 320, EVSC 320L, EVSC 421, EVSC 423, EVSC 426, EVSC 431, EVSC 431L, EVEC 521, EVEC 522, EVEC 523, EVEC 523L. Students who complete both CHEM 441 and CHEM 442 may apply three credits towards the biology major.

Students are urged to broaden their biology training by taking courses from several biology subdisciplines, including development, evolution, physiology, and behavior.

Students with special academic requirements or backgrounds may seek relief from these regulations by petitioning the Undergraduate Committee of the Biology Department.

Distinguished Majors Program in Biology
Eligibility   Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher after five semesters may apply to enter the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Application for the DMP must be made prior to the beginning of the seventh semester. Provisional admission to students with cumulative grade point averages below 3.4 but above 3.2 will be granted in exceptional cases. Administration of the DMP is the responsibility of the Undergraduate Committee.

Course Requirements:

  1. Completion of 27 credits in upper level courses approved for the Biology major, beyond BIOL 201, 202; 203, 204. An AP Biology score of 4 or 5 could be submitted in lieu of BIOL 201, 202. (Requirements 2 and 3 are counted toward this requirement.)
  2. Two semesters of BIOL 481, 482, Seminar in Biological Research (see discussion below).
  3. A full year's study in Introduction to Independent Research, BIOL 495, 496 with a member of the Biology Department faculty.
  4. Achieving a minimum grade point average of 3.4 in all Biology courses and overall in the University.

Research Requirements   The research work done under BIOL 495, 496 must be described in written form. The faculty research supervisor and the Undergraduate Committee will judge the work and the report. This research project is intended to foster independent thought and to develop the student's critical ability in formulating and conducting scientific research. The written report must be submitted to the research advisor and Undergraduate Committee during the student's last semester in residence.

In addition to a written report, the student is required to present an oral report of the research project at the Richard D. Katz Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium held by the Biology Department and the Undergraduate Biology Association in late April/early May each year.

Certification   The Undergraduate Committee will assume the responsibility for evaluation of both the written report of the research project and the oral presentation. On the basis of their evaluation, the Undergraduate Committee will recommend to the Chairman and Faculty of the Biology Department that the degree be awarded:

(a) with no distinction
(b) with distinction
(c) with high distinction
(d) with highest distinction
The decision of the Biology faculty regarding each candidate will be forwarded to the Committee on Special Programs and to the University Registrar at least ten days before commencement.

Additional Information   For more information, contact the

Department of Biology
229 Gilmer Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22903; Telephone: (804) 982-5474


BIOL 102N - (3) (Y)
Implications of Biology
For non-science majors
Prerequisite: BIOL 101 or permission of instructor
An exploration of selected biological problems currently facing humans. Genetic manipulation, developmental abnormalities and population pressures are representative topics.

BIOL 112N - (3) (Y)
Forensic Biology
Introduction to the courtroom, "old" forensics, structure of DNA, and analysis of specific cases. Focus on the revolution in anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and ecology created by DNA analysis, as well as exploration of future trends in forensics.

BIOL 121 - (3) (Y)
Human Biology
An introduction to basic biological principles as illustrated in the human organism. Emphasis is placed on the disruption of normal functions by disease either inherited or acquired. May be used to satisfy the natural science area requirements.

BIOL 201, 202 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Biology
An intensive introduction to modern biology designed for natural science majors. Biological structure and function at various levels of organization, cell biology, genetics, development and evolution are covered. These courses are required for all biology majors and are prerequisites for most upper level biology courses.

BIOL 203, 204 - (2) (Y)
Introduction to Biology Laboratory
Corequisites: May be taken independently, or in conjunction with BIOL 201, 202
BIOL 203: Laboratory exercises in introductory biology to illustrate experimental techniques and strategies used to elucidate biological concepts. BIOL 204: A study of life forms from simple to complex organization demonstrating the unique properties of living organisms. These courses are required for all biology majors and are prerequisites for most upper level biology courses.

BIOL 206 - (3) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy
Designed for pre-professionals in the health sciences, HPA I covers body organization, tissues, the integument, the skeletal system, the muscle system, and the nervous system.

BIOL 207 - (3) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy II
Designed for pre-professionals in the health sciences HPA II covers the endocrine system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the urinary system and the reproductive system.

BIOL 301 - (3) (S)
Cell Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204; CHEM 141, 142, 141L, 142L
Examines fundamental principles of eukaryotic cell biology at the molecular level. Topics include: protein localization, structure, assembly and function of the plasma membrane and organelles, signal transduction pathways, cell-cell interactions and the perturbations of these processes in diseases such as cancer. Experimental approaches in modern cell biology are emphasized. Required for all biology majors.

BIOL 305 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisite: BIOL 301
Specific adaptations and organization of cells as they function in tissues and organs.

BIOL 308 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204, or permission of instructor
A discussion of the molecular basis of bacterial and animal virus life cycles; properties of host cells; and viral-induced neoplastic diseases, including AIDS. Designed for science majors.

BIOL 311 - (4) (S)
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
Four aspects of genetics are considered: the transmission of genes from one generation to the next, the nature of the genetic material, the manner of replication, and the action of genes, including the utilization of the information encoded in the genetic material. Lectures and discussions. Required for all biology majors.

BIOL 312 - (3) (Y)
Fundamentals of Microbiology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204, or permission of instructor
A molecular approach to the structure and function of microorganisms. Emphasizes the diversity of bacteria; importance of microorganisms for genetic engineering, fermentation, energy production, environmental protection, mining; pathogenic bacteria and pathology; AIDS.

BIOL 313 - (3) (Y)
Genetics Laboratory
Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 311
Experimental techniques and organisms used to elucidate genetic concepts.

BIOL 318 - (3) (Y)
Introductory Botany
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202 or permission of instructor
Introductory laboratory course to examine the basic principles of plant structure, development, classification, and physiology. Laboratory exercises demonstrate these concepts with emphasis on cells and cellular function, structure and organization of higher plants, and a survey of plant and related organisms.

BIOL 322 - (3) (IR)
The Biology of Molluscs
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
An introduction to the Phylum Mollusca. Topics include systematics, ecology, physiology, and their economic importance to man. Three lecture hours.

BIOL 325 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Animal Behavior
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
Comparative aspects of animal behavior from a neuro-ethological approach; mechanisms employed in generating and guiding behavior.

BIOL 345 - (3) (Y)
Biology of Reproduction
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
Covers reproductive endocrinology, gametogenesis, development of the reproductive system, sex determination, and mechanisms underlying reproduction in males and females.

BIOL 385, 386 - (1-3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Biology
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Tutorial or seminar course that allows intensive study of the literature in a particular area of biology under the guidance of a faculty member from the Department.

BIOL 395 - (3) (S)
Recent Advances in Biology
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Consists of weekly lecture/discussion sessions on recent advances in biology as reported through articles in the current literature and in research seminars presented within the University. Required for DMP students.

BIOL 401 - (3) (Y)
Evolutionary Biology
Prerequisites: MATH 131 and BIOL 201, 202, or permission of instructor
An evolutionary approach to population ecology, animal behavior, and genetics. Topics include the principles of natural selection and the evolution of the phenotype, population regulation and life history evolution, mating systems, foraging behavior, speciation and phylogeny reconstruction. Includes a weekend field trip to Mt. Lake Biological Station. This course is cross- listed as EVSC 401.

BIOL 402 - (3) (Y)
Ecological Genetics
Prerequisites: BIOL 311 or permission of instructor
Origins, maintenance and decay of natural populations. Genetic polymorphism, polygenic inheritance, adaptation, natural selection (especially frequency- dependent selection), mimicry, gene flow, and speciation.

BIOL 404 - (3) (Y)
Biology of Plants
Life processes, structure and evolutionary relationships of higher plants. Laboratory work includes histology, vegetative propagation, greenhouse techniques and tissue culture.

BIOL 405 - (3) (Y)
Developmental Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 311 or permission of instructor
Developmental process in plants and animals, emphasizing the experimental basis of contemporary knowledge in embryogenesis, morphogenesis and in cell and tissue differentiation. Lecture and occasional evening discussions.

BIOL 406 - (3) (Y)
Laboratory in Bacterial Genetics
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, BIOL 311 recommended
An integrated lecture-laboratory study of classical and modern concepts of bacterial physiology and genetics. Mastery of basic bacteriological techniques and quantitative analysis of data are stressed. Lecture and open laboratory.

BIOL 408 - (3) (IR)
Mechanisms of Animal Behavior
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
Animal behavior is approached from a mechanistic point of view. Topics covered include: introduction to classical ethology, neuronal mechanisms underlying behavior, hormonal control and regulation, animal navigation and orientation, genetic basis of behavior, and the evolutionary origins of behaviors. Topics are illustrated with examples from classical and current experiments on both vertebrates and invertebrates. The experimental basis of our present understanding of animal behavior is stressed. Three lecture hours.

BIOL 409 - (4) (Y)
Invertebrate Zoology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, or permission of instructor
The morphology, physiological adaptations, life histories and evolutionary relationships of invertebrates. Lectures, laboratory and field investigations.

BIOL 410 - (4) (Y)
Vertebrate Zoology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202 and 204, or permission of instructor
Vertebrate groups, their structure, function, origins, relationships, special adaptations and representative organisms. Selected topics in vertebrate biology: flight, molecular evolution, size, thermoregulation, colors, tails, rumination. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 414 - (3) (Y)
Plant Cell Physiology
Prerequisites: BIOL 301 or permission of instructor
An in-depth analysis of cell structure and metabolic activity during plant cell growth and differentiation. Emphasis is placed on an understanding of the biochemical and molecular genetic factors regulating important plant and cellular physiological activities.

BIOL 416 - (4) (IR)
General Zoology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204
Acquaints the student with animals from the Protozoa to the Mammalia. The underlying themes of the course are structural- functional relationships, adaptational strategies, and evolutionary trends. The lab is designed to supplement and reinforce facts and concepts introduced in lectures and readings.

BIOL 417 - (3) (Y)
Cellular Neurobiology
Prerequisite: BIOL 301 or permission of instructor
A cellular approach to the study of the nervous system. Major topics: the structure and function of ionic channels in cell membranes; the electrochemical basis of the cell resting potential; the generation and conduction of nerve impulses; synaptic transmission; the structure and function of representative sensory receptors; function of neuronal ensembles in perception and in the generation of animal movements; and the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal modulation by neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and hormones. Three lecture and demonstration/discussion hours.

BIOL 419 - (3) (Y)
Biological Clocks
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
An introduction to biological timekeeping as used by organisms for controlling diverse processes including: sleep-wakefulness cycles, photoperiodic induction and regression, locomotor rhythmicity, eclosion rhythmicity and use of the biological clock in orientation and navigation.

BIOL 420 - (1) (S)
Field Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 201, 202, 203, 204 and permission of instructor
Application of field techniques for biological studies.

BIOL 422 - (3) (IR)
Human Genetics
Prerequisites: BIOL 311
Mendelian inheritance of genetic errors; polygenic traits and behavioral genetics; genetic polymorphism and race formation; mutation; methods of molecular genetic research on man and in genetic counseling.

BIOL 423 - (3) (Y)
Animal Physiology
Prerequisites: Six credits of upper division BIOL courses or permission of instructor
Discussions concentrate on selected vertebrate organ systems with some consideration of other systems where relevant.

BIOL 424 - (2) (IR)
Neurobiology Laboratory
Prerequisites: BIOL 417 and permission of instructor
Laboratory experiments in neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Four laboratory hours.

BIOL 425 - (3) (Y)
Human Genetics
Prerequisites: BIOL 301, 311
Focusses on the fundamental knowledge about organization, expression, and inheritance of the human genome. Reviews classical mendelian genetics and human genetic (pedigree) analysis. Emphasis is on understanding human genetics in molecular terms. Topics include: gene mapping procedures, methodologies for identifying genes responsible for inherited diseases, the molecular basis of several mutant (diseased) states, the human genome project, and discussions about genetic screening and gene therapy.

BIOL 427 - (3) (Y)
Exploration of Animal Behavior
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; BIOL 325 recommended
Direct experience in approaches used to study animal behavior. Each lab concentrates on a particular aspect of behavior. Students perform experiments that relate to the following topics: central nervous systems; sensory perception; sign stimuli, feeding behavior; social behavior; reproductive behavior; biological timing; animal observation in the laboratory and field.

BIOL 436 - (3) (Y)
Biology and Culture
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Examination of well-known, current critiques of science, especially (but not exclusively) of biology. Arguments concern such topics as: holism vs. reductionism; "deep ecology" vs. conservationism; animal behavior vs. human behavior, and the assessment of cognitive performance; sex vs. gender; origins of human language; the validity of sociobiology; the "mastermolecule-DNA paradigm;" developmental neurobiology and consciousness; cultural vs. biological evolution; the social construction of biological knowledge.

BIOL 441 - (3) (Y)
Molecular Biology of the Gene
Prerequisite: BIOL 311
The structure and regulation of prokaryotic, eukaryotic and viral genes will be examined at the molecular level. Experimental approaches in molecular biology that address mechanisms of replication, transcription, RNA processing and translation will be emphasized. Current advances in genetic research will be discussed.

BIOL 442 - (3) (IR)
Principles of Molecular Evolution
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Pattens of biological pro esses and macomolecular structures in order to infer their evolutions. These results lend insights into underlying mechanisms as well as into the evolutions of organisms.

BIOL 444 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisites: Six credits of upper division BIOL courses or permission of instructor
Mechanisms of hormone action: the structure, synthesis and physiology of hormones from endocrine systems concerned with metabolism, ion and water balance, growth and development, reproduction, etc.

BIOL 449 - (2) (IR)
Advanced Drosophila Genetics
Prerequisite: BIOL 311 or equivalent
Translocation heterozygotes in the generation of segmental anueploids; compound chromosomes and half-tetrad analysis of gene conversion events; methods for making mosaics and for P-element induced mutagenesis (including site-directed mutagenesis); P-element mediated transformation; use of enhancer traps. Cross-listed as BIOL 849.

BIOL 450 - (3) (IR)
Genetics and Development
Prerequisites: BIOL 311 and BIOL 405, or permission of instructor
Genetic dissection of a complex developmental process; isolation of mutants and identification of participating genes, characterization, establishment of a hierarchy of regulation.

BIOL 481, 482 - (1) (S) Seminar in Biological Research Designed for, required of, and restricted to graduating (fourth-year) Distinguished Majors candidates in biology. The class consists of one-hour, weekly meetings in which topics for discussion include recent advances in biology, as well as more practical matters such as how to write grant applications, how to make seminar presentations, how to apply to graduate programs, and other skills essential to professional success in biology.

BIOL 486 - (3) (IR)
Molecular Biology of the Cell Cycle
Prerequisites: Coursework in Cell Biology or Biochemistry
The mechanisms by which chromosomes are separated in cell division; those by which cells cleave once the chromosomes separate; control of cell division as part of the cell cycle. Emphasis on genetic techniques and in vitro reconstructed systems.

BIOL 495, 496 - (3) (S)
Introduction to Independent Research
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Independent research for qualified undergraduates under the direction of one of the staff. Nine laboratory hours.

BIOL 497, 498 - (3) (S)
Independent Research
Prerequisites: BIOL 495, BIOL 496 and permission of instructor
Independent research carried out by the student under the guidance of a departmental faculty member. Students who have completed BIOL 495 and BIOL 496 may enroll for BIOL 497 and BIOL 498 as a "second year" of independent research. Nine laboratory hours.

BIOL 501 - (4) (Y)
Prerequisites: Organic chemistry or permission of instructor
Structure and function of the major constituents of cells-proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates-and the relationship to cellular metabolism and self-replication. Lectures and discussion.

BIOL 504 - (4) (Y)
Advanced Cell Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 301 or BIOL 501 and permission of instructor
The structure, development, and function of plant and animal cells as demonstrated by modern studies in molecular biology, cell fine structure, and genetics. Lectures and discussion.

BIOL 505 - (3) (Y)
Temporal Organization of Living Systems
Prerequisite: BIOL 419 or graduate standing
Biological cycles at several levels of organization. Explores both the adaptive significance of biological cycles and the mechanisms that generate them, with emphasis on unanswered questions and unresolved issues.

BIOL 509 - (2) (SI)
Current Topics in Plant Molecular Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 301 or permission of instructor
A discussion of current literature and selected topics on the biochemical and molecular genetic basis for plant cellular growth and differentiation. Weekly readings and student presentations.

BIOL 512 - (3) (Y)
Comparative Biochemistry
Prerequisites: Organic chemistry, BIOL 301 or 501, and permission of instructor
Examines the biochemical adaptations that have arisen in organisms in response to physiological demands. Topics are drawn from recent advances made in elucidating molecular mechanisms of metabolic regulation.

BIOL 517 - (3) (SI)
Electronics for Biologists
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Consideration of electronics and electronic design for the laboratory. Analog and digital circuits utilized with emphasis on design of equipment for biological laboratories.

BIOL 536 - (3) (Y)
Techniques in Light and Electron Microscopy
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Topics include elementary theory of light and electron optics, theory and practice of specimen preparation, interpretation of micrographs, scientific photography, and use of specialized techniques such as tracer methods, immunocytochemistry, morphometric analysis, and image enhancement techniques. Laboratory sessions demonstrate techniques and instruments available in the department.

BIOL 540 - (3) (IR)
Sensory Neurobiology
Prerequisite: BIOL 417/817, or equivalent
In depth examination of the organization and physiology of the diverse sensory systems found in vertebrate and non-vertebrate animals. The philosophical thrust of the course will focus upon the functional rationale for receptor organization and the manner in which the central nervous system processes incoming sensory information. Visual, auditory, somatosensory, and electrosensory information processing, primarily in vertebrates, will be stressed.

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