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Department of Biology
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Undergraduate Biology (BIO) Courses


   Freshman Level (1000)

1410 Human Biology (3-2). An introductory owner’s manual to the human body for non-biology majors. Includes fundamentals of human anatomy and the functions of the major systems of the body, contemporary health issues, human hereditary, and human evolution.

1411 Man and the Environment (3-2). An introductory owner’s manual to Spaceship Earth for non-biology majors. Includes a survey of contemporary ecological concepts that affect man’s life, values, and culture. Topics include the biosphere and ecosystems, adaptation, environmental pollution, waste management, conservation, population growth, and world food problems.

1480 Principles of Biology (3-3). An introduction to the unifying principles of biology, including the chemistry of life, cell structure and function, energy, inheritance, development, evolution, and ecology. Laboratory is designed to develop and improve critical thinking and problems solving skills related to the topics discussed in lectures. Intended for the biology major or minor. (Formerly Biology 1301)


   Sophmore Level (2000)

2401/1411 General Botany (3-3). A consideration of the structural adaptations and diversity of plants and their life cycles. Laboratory will emphasize comparative anatomy of the Kingdoms Fungi and Plantae. (Formerly Biology 2432) Prerequisite: Biology 1480 or equivalent.

2402/1413 General Zoology (3-3). A consideration of the structural adaptations of animals. Laboratory will emphasize comparative anatomy within the Kingdom Animalia. (Formerly Biology 2431) Prerequisite: Biology 1480 or equivalent.

2403 Comparative Plant and Animal Physiology (3-3). A general introduction to how plants and animals function, comparative in approach and stressing the principles of physiology that govern the degree of environmental adaptation. Prerequisites: Biology 2401 and 2402.

2423 Human Anatomy (3-3). The study of the structure of cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the human body.

2424 Human Physiology (3-3). The study of the normal functions of the cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the human body. Prerequisite: Credit for Biology 2423.


   Junior Level (3000)

3101 Genetics Laboratory (0-2). Computer based problem solving in genetics. Optional laboratory to accompany Biology 3301. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment or credit in Biology 3301.

3301 Genetics (3-0). This is a course in general genetics. Topics are organized into three major areas: cytogenetics, molecular genetics and classical genetics. Prerequisites: Two courses in biology or consent of instructor.

3302 Medical Genetics (3-0). A study of the role of genetics in human health with emphasis placed upon the mechanisms, methods of diagnosis and current treatment of genetic diseases. Course work will involve case studies and problem sets and will include learning to use a computer database to retrieve information on human genetic diseases. Prerequisite: Must have completed Biology 3301 with a grade of A.

3305 Medical Botany (3-0). An introduction to pharmacognosy and humanistic botany, including a discussion of the major food plants, special medicinal plants, plant hallucinogens, poisonous plants, and other economically important plants. Prerequisite: One semester of freshman biology (1480, 1410, or 1411) or consent of instructor.

3324 Pathophysiology (3-0). A study of the function of the human body as it is altered by and responds to disease, including disease manifestations, mechanisms of disease production and response, and the physiological basis of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. This course provides an introduction to the field and coverage of those diseases not confined to a single body system. Prerequisite: Biology 2424 or equivalent; Biology 2411 or equivalent. Will not satisfy advanced Biology credit.

3333 Natural History of the Concho Valley (3-0). A study of the relationship among geology, soils, climate, plants, animals, and recent human history in the Concho Valley region of Texas. Emphasis will be placed on understanding woody vegetation and vertebrate animals of the region.

3403 Cell Biology (3-3). Study of the morphology, function, biochemistry and molecular biology of cells and organelles. Laboratory work will involve the practice and application of techniques to cell biology. Prerequisites: Biology 1480, 3301; Chemistry 3151, 3351, 3152, 3352.

3411 General Microbiology (3-3). The major areas in the field of microbiology are surveyed, with special emphasis given to the bacteria. Groups of microorganisms are characterized in sufficient detail to reveal their nature. Fundamental concepts of biology and basic biological processes common to all forms of life are emphasized. Laboratory methods are stressed, and detailed studies are made of pure cultures. Prerequisites: Two semesters of chemistry and biology.

3412 Pathogenic Microbiology (3-3). The relationship of microorganisms to human disease with an emphasis on bacteria. Elements of immunity and diagnosis and treatment of infection will be covered. This course includes a heavy emphasis on the role and application of laboratory work. Prerequisites: Two semesters of chemistry and two semesters of biology.

3413 Immunology (3-2). A study of the specific cellular and humoral responses of the animal body to microorganisms and certain other extrinsic and intrinsic agents. Prerequisites: Biology 1480 and 2402, or 2423 and 2424.

3421 Histology (3-3). The microscopic study of normal cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the human body with emphasis on integration of microscopic structure with physiology, embryology, and other areas of biology. Prerequisites: Biology 1480 and 2402 or 2423 and 2424; Junior standing.

3461 Entomology (3-3). General entomology: a survey of the important orders and families of insects with emphasis on the natural history, systematics, taxonomy, and physiology of the group. Laboratory will include field trips with required collection and identification of local representative taxa.


   Senior Level (4000)

*4181 Seminar in Biology (1-0). A course designed to acquaint the student with the basic literature of the discipline and to encourage an exchange among biology majors and faculty members on selected topics.

4191, 4291, 4391 Research. Individual research problems for superior students majoring in biology. May be repeated to a total of six semester hours of credit. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Approval from the Head of the Department is required prior to enrollment.

4301 Conservation Biology (3-0). Theory and practice of conservation biology with emphasis on the maintenance of species diversity, factors affecting extinction, genetic impacts of rarity, and practical management considerations, including design of reserves and captive breeding and release programs. Prerequisites: Biology 1480, 3301.

4303 Evolution (3-0). A review of the history of evolutionary thought and discussion of the development of all living organisms from previously existing types under the control of evolutionary processes. Emphasis on the mechanisms of evolution and the different theories regarding the processes that have brought about evolutionary change. Prerequisite: Biology 3301.

4315 Biogeography (3-0). A study of the distribution of plants and animals over the earth and of the principles that govern this distribution. Prerequisite: Biology 2401 and 2402 or equivalent.

4381 Special Topics. Selected topics in biology. May be repeated once for credit when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

*4401 Ornithology (3-3). A study of the biology of birds, their anatomy, evolutionary history, diversity, ecology, behavior, and zoogeography. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the identification and natural history of Texas birds. Prerequisites: Biology 2402 or equivalent.

*4402 Mammalogy (3-3). A study of the biology of mammals, their anatomy, evolutionary history, diversity, ecology, behavior, and zoogeography. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the identification and natural history of Texas mammals. Prerequisites: Biology 2402 or equivalent.

*4404 Herpetology (3-3). A study of the amphibians and reptiles, their anatomy, evolutionary history, diversity, ecology, behavior, and zoogeography. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the identification and natural history of Texas amphibians and reptiles. Prerequisites: Biology 2402 or equivalent.

4412 Biological Oceanography (3-3). A study of marine organisms and the environment in which they are found. Particular emphasis will be given to the Gulf of Mexico.

*4421 Developmental Biology (3-3). A study of the molecular and genetic mechanisms regulating the development of animals. Specific topics include gametogenesis, embryogenesis, and tissue development. Laboratory explores the development of various invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms and emphasizes the application of techniques used with these model systems.

*4423 General Physiology (3-3). An advanced course in fundamentals of vertebrate physiology emphasizing functions of molecular levels of activity. Laboratory exercises combine animal surgery, biochemical techniques, and electronic instrumentation. Prerequisites: Biology 2402 and 2423 and junior standing or consent of instructor.

*4435 Plant Taxonomy (3-3). Laboratory and field studies emphasize the use of a dichotomous key using flowering plants of the Concho Valley as topics of study, and recognition of the major families of flowering plants. Lecture emphasis is on current problems in plant taxonomy and systematics. (Formerly Biology 3435)

4441 Parasitology (3-3). A study of the anatomy, life cycles, ecology, diseases, diagnosis and treatment of protozoa, helminths, and arthropods parasitic in man. Prerequisites: Biology 1480 and 2402 or 2423 and 2424; junior standing.

*4443 Invertebrate Zoology (3-3). A survey of major invertebrate phyla, with emphasis on the classes of Cnidarians, Annelids, Mollusks, Arthropods, and Echinoderms. Particular attention will be given to phylogenetic relationships and natural history. Prerequisite: Biology 2402 or equivalent.

*4444 Vertebrate Zoology (3-3). An intensive study of the living groups of vertebrates from agnathans through mammals with emphasis on functional anatomy, phylogeny, and natural history. Laboratory will emphasize comparative vertebrate anatomy. Prerequisite: Biology 2402 or equivalent.

*4450 Molecular Biology (3-4). A study of the synthesis, function, and regulation of biologically important macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins). Laboratory exercises are designed to develop skills with standard techniques in molecular biology such as electrophoresis, PCR, recombinant DNA technology, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics. Prerequisites: Biology 3301 and Biology 3403.

4451 Principles of Ecology (3-3). Examination of basic ecological concepts and principles of the ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles, with particular emphasis on the organization and energetics of populations at the species, interspecies, and community levels in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Prerequisites: Biology 1480 and Math 1302.

4480 Introduction to Biometry (3-2). An introduction to the application of statistics to biological research. This course will include an introduction to probability, sampling theory, and hypothesis testing. Emphasis will be on common statistical techniques for biological research. Prerequisites: Math 1302.

* May be taken for graduate credit with permission of the Dean of the Graduate School.