Core Courses (200-level)

These courses are required of all biology majors and provide a common foundation for further study in biology.

Biology 201, Genetics and Evolution

This course is an introduction to the mechanisms of inheritance and the generation of diversity in eukaryotic organisms. This course takes a modern approach to the study of genetics in which classical ideas about genotype, phenotype and inheritance are integrated into the modern molecular and genomic understanding of the processes involved in the generation of diversity. In addition to discussions of the molecular mechanisms involved in DNA replication, recombination, the generation and repair of mutations, and the relationship between genotype and phenotype, special consideration is given to our understanding of the processes involved in generating population-level variation in complex traits and how this understanding can help us identify the myriad genetic and non-genetic factors influencing these traits. The laboratory consists of a semester long project involving the genetic manipulation of a model organism’s genome to address one or more topics in the course. Offered every semester.

Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution

Students in this course will learn the fundamental principles of ecology and how they relate to the principles of evolution. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the development of mathematical models of natural phenomena, the testing of hypotheses through experiments, and reading of the primary literature. Major topics will include population growth and regulation, interactions among species, and causes and consequences of species diversity. Offered every semester.

Biology 244, Biostatistics

This course provides a practical introduction to methods of data analysis and visualization; applications of mathematics to the description of biological phenomena, and generation of testable hypotheses from models of biological processes. The goal of this course is to equip students with the practical knowledge of statistical methods commonly used in biology. Among topics covered are elements of probability theory, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, selected multivariate techniques and Bayesian inference. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. Prerequisite: eligibility for Q courses. Offered every semester.